Have questions about the UKCAT? Below are some UKCAT FAQs, with expert answers provided by The Medic Portal. Here you can find answers to:
- What is UCAT?
- Will the UCAT exam be the same as UKCAT?
- Do I need to take the UCAT?
- Which universities use the UKCAT (UCAT)?
- I’m dsylexic, do I get extra time in the UKCAT (UCAT)?
- How long is my UKCAT (UCAT) score valid for?
- What happens if I get a low UKCAT (UCAT) score?
- Does practice improve UKCAT (UCAT) scores?
- How should I prepare for the UKCAT (UCAT) exam?
- When should I start preparing for the UKCAT (UCAT)?
- When should I sit the UKCAT (UCAT)?
- Are there any free UKCAT (UCAT) practice questions online?
- If I’m sick, can I postpone my UKCAT (UCAT) exam?
- Can I resit my UKCAT (UCAT) exam if I do badly?
What is UCAT?
UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test and is designed to replace UKCAT, the admissions test used by most medical schools in the UK.
It assesses aptitude for medicine by testing problem-solving, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, professionalism and numerical skills.
Medical schools will use your score on the UCAT exam to rank their applicants for interview. You can find out more about how universities currently use UKCAT scores on our UKCAT (UCAT) Guide.
Will the UCAT exam be the same as the UKCAT?
Yes – it is anticipated that the UCAT will have exactly the same content as the UKCAT, with the same five sections:
The Consortium have stated that the only change is the name of the test, so the way you prepare will be the same.
Do I need to take the UCAT?
The likelihood is yes, but this depends on which medical schools you are applying to – most universities require the UCAT, and a small handful require the BMAT.
Wondering which medical schools require UCAT? See our full list on our UKCAT (UCAT) Guide. You can also compare the entry requirements for each of the four medical schools you are applying to on our Medical School Comparison Tool.
Which universities use the UKCAT?
Currently 27 UK medical schools use the UKCAT as part of their selection process for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. To see an up to date list click here.
I’m dyslexic, do I get extra time in the UKCAT?
The UKCAT Special Educational Needs (UKCATSEN) is 25% longer than the standard UKCAT and is available for those with dyslexia. If you have extra time for other public exams then you will be entitled to sit the UKCATSEN.
How long is my UKCAT score valid for?
Your UKCAT score is valid for one year. If you sit the exam in 2016 then the score will be valid for 2017 entry to university. If you wish to take a gap year or reapply the next year then you will need to resit the UKCAT and use your latest score.
What happens if I get a low UKCAT score?
Unfortunately many candidates will not be happy with their score. It is important that when applying to a university you make sure you meet all the minimum criteria, paying close attention to minimum UKCAT scores. As you will have your UKCAT score in advance of submitting your UCAS application you can tailor your application accordingly – applying to universities which put little or no emphasis on the UKCAT exam.
Does practice improve UKCAT scores?
Yes! From our experience we have found that practice makes a significant improvement to your UKCAT score. There has also been research showing that your UKCAT score does depend on preparation, school attended, mathematical ability, gender and age (Lambe et al. 2012).
How should I prepare for the UKCAT exam?
Every student prepares in a different way to suit their individual learning needs and abilities. Most students however find it useful to attend a UKCAT Course or read a book covering the UKCAT, especially theories and techniques to begin with, followed by undertaking numerous practice questions.
When should I start preparing for the UKCAT?
Don’t leave preparation to the last minute. Most candidates who perform badly state that they were underprepared and had not done enough practice questions. It is advisable to spend at least 4 weeks doing regular revision, followed by 2 weeks of intense revision and practice questions before sitting the exam.
When should I sit the UKCAT exam?
There is a wide window of opportunity to sit the exam, but the price goes up if you leave it to September or October. This is due to an increase in demand. We recommend booking the test during the summer holidays as when you get back to school in September you will be busy with personal statements, course work and starting your A2 year.
Are there any free UKCAT practice questions online?
Unfortunately there are few free UKCAT practice questions available online. The UKCAT website offers some practice questions and mock exams. You can also access UKCAT questions on our website here.
If I’m sick, can I postpone my UKCAT exam?
You can postpone your exam but if you leave it too late you may lose your fee. Once you’ve started your exam however you must complete it and can’t resit the exam that year, so if you’re unwell it’s best to cancel and re-book.
Can I resit my UKCAT exam if I do badly?
Unfortunately, no. You can only sit the UKCAT once per year so if you didn’t score as well as you’d hoped then you can’t resit until the next year. If you get a low score then make sure you are applying to universities which place little or no emphasis on the UKCAT exam to maximise your chances of success.
How to Master the UKCAT
We’ve got a range of tools designed to help you boost your overall UKCAT score…
- Our UKCAT question bank – it’s the perfect way to get some realistic practice done before the real thing.
- Book a place on our 99%-recommended UKCAT Courses.
- If learning one-on-one is more your style, we can help. Our tutors come from top universities like Oxford, UCL and KCL. You could get top insights from students who’ve successfully aced the UKCAT exam themselves.
Find out more about The Medic Portal and how we support students with their UKCAT preparation on our About Us page>>