UCAT ANZ and COVID-19: Maximizing Your Performance In the Exam Centre In Current Climate

UCAT Information


On 11th May 2020, Pearson VUE announced that face masks need to be worn while taking a test at a Pearson VUE-owned test centre. This is in addition to existing health and safety measures. Third-party test centres are encouraged to implement these measures too. Here, we provide a summary of the requirements to keep yourself and others safe, plus tips to bring out the best performance from you during the UCAT ANZ.

Refer to the official Pearson VUE website for the latest advice on health and safety during your UCAT ANZ. Medify has a COVID-19 live updates page that you may wish to bookmark and check regularly.

What are the health and safety requirements for the UCAT ANZ?

You will be asked to acknowledge whether any of the below applies to you:

  • You’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You’ve been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient.
  • You’ve had flu-like symptoms in the past two weeks.
  • You’ve been under two weeks of self-isolation or quarantine as demanded by government and/or healthcare authority.

If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, you may be denied entry to the test centre and will be required to reschedule your exam. Exceptions to these are detailed in this webpage.

You will be asked to comply with the following guidelines:

  • You must bring your own face mask and wear it at all times during the test.
  • You must stay over six feet (= 1.83m) away from others while you are in the waiting area and during the admissions process.

Some test centres may conduct a temperature check.

What other health and safety measures will be in place for the UCAT ANZ?

  • You will be provided with tissues upon arrival at your test centre.
  • You will be reminded to wash your hands or to use a hand sanitizer upon your arrival at the test centre. A hand sanitizer will be available for you in the waiting area and as you enter the testing room.
  • Test centres will increase cleaning and disinfecting procedures between all testing sessions.

Is there anything else I should note for the UCAT ANZ?

You may be wondering what types of masks are acceptable. Pearson VUE has advised that any face mask (surgical or cloth, commercially available or homemade) is acceptable as long as it covers your nose and mouth fully. Pearson VUE cannot provide a face mask for you and you will be denied entry to testing without a face mask.

If you wish to wear disposable gloves during the test to protect yourself, you will be allowed to do so. Staff at the test centre will inspect your gloves before and after the test. You will be required to dispose of your gloves in front of the proctor after the test.

Tips on maximizing your performance in the UCAT ANZ

#1 Try out a number of face masks to find the one most comfortable for you. Respirator masks (e.g. P2, N95) might be too tight fitting and cause discomfort. Surgical masks may be preferable for some candidates but two hours of wearing one might cause moisture build up. You may consider wearing a cloth mask instead.

All face masks will likely cause ear irritation with two hours of continuous use and be a cause of distraction and pain. If you find that this is a serious issue for you, try using ear protecting expanders with your face mask to protect your ears.

#2 If you normally wear glasses, you may find that your glasses fog up easily while wearing a surgical mask. To prevent this from happening, wash your glasses on the morning of the test with foam soap and water before letting them air dry. As an additional measure, you can stick a piece of tape to the crease of the mask to prevent any air leaking.

#3 If you decide to wear a pair of gloves, you should avoid vinyl gloves as they are loose and may slip off easily. Latex gloves fit like second skin, but you should be wary of allergic reactions and skin irritations. Nitrile gloves may be the best option as they are both tight fitting and do not cause allergic reactions.

All gloves will cause moisture build up, which can affect your typing and clicking speed and accuracy. You may wish to consider taking an extra pair of gloves, but don’t forget the rules above around the inspection and disposal of gloves.

#4 One of the main purposes of mock exams is to help you familiarise yourself with the conditions of the actual test. Sit your mock exams while wearing your chosen face mask to avoid any surprises on the test day (e.g. ear pain, slight discomfort while breathing). If you decide to wear a pair of gloves, try a mock exam while wearing them. 

By conditioning yourself this way, you can expect to boost your performance at the UCAT ANZ. Remember, even a small gain in performance will give you a huge advantage as most of the cohort will not be in the same mental zone and at the level of comfort as you will be.

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