UCAT (UKCAT): Universal Clinical Aptitude Test

7 minute read

UCAT or the Universal Clinical Aptitude Test is an aptitude test for medical students to test their innate skills before they jump into clinical practice. It is a necessary requirement for admission to a plethora of medical and dental courses. UCAT exam-partnered universities in the UK require undergraduate and postgraduate medical students to take this 2-hour computer-based aptitude test to shortlist the best candidates for their university.

Name of the TestUniversal Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT/UCAT)
Type of ExamComputer-Based
Duration2 Hours
SectionsVerbal Reasoning 
Decision Making 
Quantitative Reasoning 
Abstract Reasoning 
Situational Judgement 
Scoring1200- 3600
Fees£120 (INR 11,968)
Accepted byAccepted in countries like UK, New Zealand and Australia across 46 universities
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What is The UCAT?

UCAT test is a 2-hour computer-based test. This test is conducted to assess the mental ability, characteristics, attitudes and professional behaviours of the candidate that is required for the medical profession. The format of the UCAT is multiple choice questions. It is divided into five timed subtests. Taken once per year, the score obtained in this test will be used on the UCAS application.

UCAT Sections

UCAT has five sections: verbal reasoning, decision-making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, and situational judgement. Have a detailed look at these sections.

UCAT categoryDurationQuestionsTopics & Skills tested
Verbal Reasoning21 minutes44Comprehension skills
Decision Making31 minutes29Ability to solve text and visual data-related questions
Quantitative Reasoning25 minutes36Math skills
Abstract Reasoning12 minutes50Ability to spot patterns and ignore irrelevant information
Situational Judgement26 minutes66Capacity to your capacity to understand real-life situations and behave appropriately

Criteria for Testing in UCAT 

UCAT does not have a particular curriculum with subjects that you are supposed to study for the test. It is an aptitude test to know the behavioural, practical, logical and problem-solving skills which are needed once you start your medical practice. Below given are the criteria that are tested along with the examination details:

Criteria Questions Approximate time taken (minutes)
Verbal Reasoning 4422
Decision Making 2932
Quantitative Reasoning 3625
Abstract Reasoning 5514
Situational Judgement 6927

The entire exam is computer-based and in the MCQ format. Let’s know what each criterion means and the demands from the candidate. 

  • Verbal Reasoning– Passages are given which you have to carefully read and think about. You are expected to draw conclusions and answer the questions and no prior knowledge is required for this section.
  • Decision Making– This section tests how good you are at making conclusions from logical puzzles, statistics, Venn diagrams, etc.  
  • Quantitative Reasoning- Ratios, percentages and other numerical skills are tested in this section for which you are allowed to use a basic calculator. 
  • Abstract Reasoning– One of the difficult criteria for testing, abstract reasoning comes with questions related to different sets of shapes. You can create or follow a pattern, evaluate critically and give answers. 
  • Situational Judgement– All you have to do is read the real-world situation and make a judgement. 

Must Read: MBBS in UK

UKCAT Score Range

The UKCAT score range is from 1200 to 3600 and the marks division is as follows:

Criteria Marks 
Verbal Reasoning 300-900
Decision Making 300-900
Quantitative Reasoning 300-900
Abstract Reasoning 300-900
Situational Judgement Band 1 to 4

The average UKCAT score in 2020 was 2511. The results will be available to you within 24 hours of you giving the UCAT test.

Key Dates for UCAT Test

If you wish to become a doctor in the UK from the UCAT-partnered universities then you will have to first look at the exam dates so that you can get the results before you start applying to study in UK. The key dates for testing in 2022 will be published in December 2021 but have a look at the 2021 test dates to have a better understanding:-

UCAT Important Dates Particulars
JuneRegistrations open 
JuneTest bookings open
JulyTesting begins 
September Registration last date 
SeptemberLast date to book test
Last date to book the testLast date to give the test

The UCAT test has to be booked within a limited time so for a particular date and time. UCAT will allot you exam centres according to your country. 

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Can I Reschedule My UCAT Test?

If you need to reschedule your exam, you must call Pearson VUE to do so; you cannot do it via email. It’s vital to keep in mind that the closer you go to the final exam date, the less accessible slots become, making rescheduling the test more difficult.

UCAT Universities in the UK

Here’s the list of universities in the UK that accept the UCAT exam for medical courses:-

Also Read: Understanding UK University Clearing

Eligibility Requirements for UCAT

If you want to give the UKCAT exam, you have to fulfil the following eligibility requirements:- 

  • Minimum 10+2 years of education or undergraduate degree
  • Eligible for a medical course in the universities of UK

Applying for UCAT comes with minimum academic eligibility requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate medical students.

Application Process for UCAT

Here’s your step-by-step guide that will help you prepare and give your UCAT exam easily:-

  • Register with the Pearson VUE online from the registration date and book your UCAT test. 
  • You should start preparing for your UCAT test 4 to 6 weeks before the test. 
  • You can book your test according to the date, time-slots and test centres available. 
  • Report at least 15 minutes before the exam time to the test centre with the correct identification. 
  • Make sure you are following all the Covid-19 regulations before you give your test. 
  • Read the candidate testing rules very carefully before you start on your test.  
  • Ensure that you book the test within the deadline to avoid wasting an entire year. 
  • Your UKCAT scores will be available to you within the next 24 hours. 
  • Once you have applied for the UCAT approved universities in the UK through UCAS, Pearson VUE will send your scores directly to the respective university. 

It is most important here to know the deadlines and plan your study accordingly. 

UCAT Preparation Tips: A Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Understand the UCAT test and how scores Work
  2. Practice various UCAT Test
  3. Learn strategy with our UCAT course
  4. Consolidate your knowledge
  5. Practice with a UCAT Question bank
  6. Try free UCAT Questions
  7. Get help improving your weaker areas
  8. Save 20% with UCAT packages
  9. Are you ready? Try Mocks

Cost of UKCAT 

For students wanting to give the UCAT test from outside of Europe, the examination fee is GBP 120 or INR 11,968. Bursaries for the UKCAT test are only available for UK candidates.

UCAT Test Result

UKCAT Results are available to students on the same day of the exam and within 24 hours on their account via email. This allows students to speed up the application process and shortlist the universities that they are eligible for based on their given scores.

UCAT in Australia and New Zealand

In 2019, UCAT replaced UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Test) in the countries of Australia and New Zealand. The format, testing criteria, scoring, eligibility and application process are all the same. Here’s the list of UCAT approved universities in Australia and New Zealand that consider UCAT scores:-

Australia New Zealand 
Central Queensland University
Charles Sturt University
Curtin University
Flinders University
Griffith University
La Trobe University
Monash University
University of Adelaide
University of Newcastle / University of New England
University of New South Wales
University of Queensland
University of Tasmania
University of Western Australia
Western Sydney University
University of Auckland
University of Otago

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How many times a year is UCAT held?

UCAT testing opens only once a year, mostly in June.

Do I need UCAT for all medical universities in the UK?

No, is UCAT applicable depends on whether the university is a UCAT approved university or not.

What is the UCAT examination fee for Indians?

The UCAT examination fee for Indians is GBP 120 or INR 11,968.

What is the alternative to UCAT in the UK?

GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admission Test) or BMAT (Biomedical Admission Test) are two alternatives of UCAT in the UK.

In which countries is the UCAT exam applicable?

UCAT is applicable in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

When was UCAT introduced in ANZ (Australia and New Zealand)?

UCAT was introduced in 2019 in ANZ and replaced the UMAT exam.

What are the five criteria of testing is UCAT?

Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Abstract Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Situational Judgement are the five criteria of testing in UCAT.

UCAT is a widely accepted aptitude test for most popular medical universities in the UK. Want assistance with the UCAT test as well as the application process to study MBBS in the UK? Call Leverage Edu experts on 1800-572-000 now and book your first counselling session for free!

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    1. Hi Daisy, no MCAT and UCAT are not the same. Both exams are for medicine but they differ in terms of the exam structure and courses covered. MCAT is for USA and Canada while UCAT is for the UK. Here are some blogs to help you understand MCAT-

      Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Daisy, no MCAT and UCAT are not the same. Both exams are for medicine but they differ in terms of the exam structure and courses covered. MCAT is for USA and Canada while UCAT is for the UK. Here are some blogs to help you understand MCAT-

      Hope this helps!