All about UCAT
What is UCAT?
The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a computer-based admissions test for students seeking to pursue medicine in the UK. It is needed by a pool of universities, along with their collaboration with the UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Services) portal.
The goal of the UCAT
Essentially, the UCAT examines the reasoning, mental capability, and attitude of a medical aspirant wanting to study medicine in the UK to find out their levels of preparation and readiness for a medical career. Hence, leading medical schools consider the candidate’s UCAT score, along with their academic record and personal statement, to find out whether he or she has the right approach to the medical profession.
The UCAT tests candidates on their cognitive skills in different sections such as abstract reasoning, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and decision making, and on their non-cognitive skills in the situational judgment section.
No. Of Questions
- The final UCAT score is a combination of scores across all 4 sections (namely, verbal, decision-making, quantitative reasoning, and abstract reasoning), which range between 1200 and 3600. The minimum score in each section is 300, so a 650 or above in each section (or 2700 out of 3600 overall) is usually considered a good UCAT score.
- Situational judgement is scored from 1 to 4.
Note: A Band 1 or Band 2 score in situational judgment is recommended.
Registration process for UCAT
- Create an online UCAT account by visiting the official website (ucat.ac.uk) through the Pearson VUE registration system.
- Once registered, a candidate can use the portal to book a test date at any of the test centres available in and around the region.
Important dates in general, however, are subject to change every year.
14 May (09:30 BST)
UCAT Account Creation opens
18 June (06:00 BST)
15 September (23:59 BST)
Access Arrangement application deadline
19 September (12 noon BST)
Last test day
27 September (16:00 BST)
Bursary Scheme application deadline
Results delivered to universities
How is the UCAT score used by universities?
UCAT provides a common platform for unbiased assessment for test-takers from different educational backgrounds. When candidates apply to the top medical universities in the UK through the UCAS portal, their UCAT score also gets reported alongside their applications to the universities of their choice.
Q. Approximately how many universities accept UCAT?
Over 20 medical universities accept UCAT as part of their application completion process.
Q. What is the test fee?
The test fee is GBP 70 for test takers in the UK and GBP 115 for test takers outside the UK.
Q. How many times can a candidate attempt the UCAT?
In the same exam cycle, a candidate can only appear once for the exam; however, there is no information available on the maximum number of attempts overall in a lifetime.
Q. How can a candidate prepare for the test?
The UCAT Consortium has free practice materials for test-takers to understand the exam structure and question types. For more personalized guidance, you can also take effective UCAT preparation classes with GoToUniversity.
Q. When can you sit for the test?
You need to take the test a year before your admissions intake.
Q. How long is the test valid for?
The test is valid only for the current admission cycle.