The Ultimate Guide to UCAT ANZ Sections

The UCAT ANZ is a conundrum.

On one hand, you're often asked basic questions you could do standing on your head. On the other, you have to be an absolute all-rounder who thrives under draconian time limits.

That’s why it pays to familiarise yourself with the content as much as possible. This article takes you through each section and question type so you know what you’re up against.

If you are just starting out, check out our UCAT FAQ for information on dates, regulations, cost and much more, and bookmark UCAT preparation tips to read before you start revising.

UCAT sections infographic. Time per question, number of questions and total time allowed are shown.

We’ve updated all of our mocks and mini-mocks to reflect the latest UCAT ANZ changes.

Verbal Reasoning

Time: 21 minutes

Questions: 44 

Time per question: 28 seconds

Explore our top tips for UCAT Verbal Reasoning
UCAT Verbal Reasoning (VR) section exam topics infographic

The purpose of Verbal Reasoning (VR) is to assess your ability to read information and draw specific conclusions from it. Some questions also assess your critical thinking skills.

VR consists of 11 passages with four multiple choice questions each. Time is the enemy in all sections of the UCAT, but perhaps none more so than VR.

Medify created UCAT Skills Trainers to help you overcome these harsh time limits. For VR, you get points as you enhance the microskill of scanning for inference. The automaticity you develop this way is the key to saving time and increasing your score.

Verbal Reasoning question types

True/False/Can’t Tell

You’ll be given a statement related to a text and will need to decide whether it is:

  • True
  • False
  • Can’t tell

True means 'true to the text', not what you happen to know. That means if information is at all uncertain, it’s 'can’t tell'.

UCAT Verbal Reasoning (VR). True/False/Can't Tell question type example.

Critical reasoning

You make inferences from the text to answer the question. The question could be asking you to complete an incomplete statement or identify which statement out of the four answer options is false. 

UCAT Verbal Reasoning (VR). Critical Reasoning question type example.
Example Critical Reasoning question
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Decision Making

Time: 31 minutes

Questions: 29 questions

Time per question: 64 seconds

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UCAT Decision Making (DM) section exam topics infographic

The purpose of Decision Making (DM) is to assess how you use logic to reach a conclusion, evaluate arguments and analyse data.

All the questions are standalone. This means that you won’t be asked on multiple aspects of the same question. 

Decision Making questions types

Logical Puzzles

For this kind of question, you are given information and through the process of elimination or deduction, you work out which statement is true of the four answer options.

UCAT Decision Making (DM). Logical Puzzles question type example.


You’ll be given some statements that are true and also some proposed statements. You have to decide if the statements proposed are true or false. These questions will have a drag and drop format.

UCAT Decision Making (DM). Syllogism question type example.

Interpreting information

You are given data in the form of a graph, a table or a text. You interpret that data and answer a question. There are four answer options in this type of question.

UCAT Decision Making (DM). Interpreting information question type example.


A question is posed and you’ll also be given four arguments. You choose the strongest of the four. 

UCAT Decision Making (DM). Arguments question type example.

Venn diagram

You are presented with a Venn diagram, and you’ll have to deduce information from it. There are four answer options.

UCAT Decision Making (DM). Venn Diagrams question type example.


You will be given some information about the probability of certain events happening and then you answer a question. There are four options to choose from.

UCAT Decision Making (DM). Probability question type example.
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Quantitative Reasoning

Time: 25 minutes 

Questions: 36 

Time per question: 41 seconds 

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UCAT Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section exam topics infographic

The purpose of Quantitative Reasoning (QR) is primarily to test your problem solving skills, but it also tests your numerical ability. The maths in this section is pretty straightforward.

In Quantitative Reasoning some questions may share the same data and others will be stand-alone questions. All questions have four answer options. 

A huge part of the test is mastering how to use the UCAT calculator (and when not to use it).

Maths topics that come up frequently include:

  • Ratios
  • Unit conversions
  • Percentages
  • Probability
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Averages
Medify’s feedback for a question in the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section
Medify’s QR feedback
Try our QR Calculator Speed Trainer (included in all UCAT ANZ Online Course packages)

Abstract Reasoning 

Time: 12 minutes

Questions: 50

Time per question: 14

Explore our top tips for UCAT Abstract Reasoning
UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) section exam topics infographic

The purpose of Abstract Reasoning (AR) is to identify patterns even when there is lots of distracting and irrelevant information. It’s testing your ability to create hypotheses and then change track if you find that this hypothesis leads to nothing.

Abstract Reasoning question types

Set A/Set B

You’ll be given two boxes, Set A and Set B, each with six smaller boxes. Each set has a specific pattern but both sets' patterns are connected in some way. For example, if Set A has all arrows pointing down, Set B may have all arrows pointing right.

You’ll be given five test shapes and there are three answer options. You’ll have to decide whether they belong in Set A, Set B or neither. 

The pattern:

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) Set A/Set B question example.
UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) Set A/Set B question example answer.
Medify's Abstract Reasoning question feedback


You’ll see a sequence of patterns and five potential matches. You have to select the box which follows the pattern. 

The pattern:

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) Sequences question example.

Potential matches (three of five shown):

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) Sequences question example matches.

Incomplete statement

You’ll have a statement that has been made using some shapes and then you’ll be asked to use the same pattern to complete a different statement. There are five answer options to this question.

The pattern:

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR). Incomplete statement question example.

Potential matches (three of five shown)

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR). Incomplete statement question potential matches..

Variation of Set A/Set B

You are given the same style of sets as Set A/Set B questions, but are given a selection of shapes and then asked to find one out of five options that belong in a specific set.

The pattern:

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR). Variation Set A/Set B question example.

Potential matches (three of five shown):

UCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) Set A/Set B question example.

Situational Judgement

Time: 26 minutes

Questions: 69

Time per question: 22 seconds

Explore our top tips for UCAT Situational Judgement
UCAT Situational Judgement (SJT) section exam topics infographic

The purpose of the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is to assess your ability to understand real-world scenarios and identify important factors and appropriate actions.

An understanding of empathy is crucial (as highlighted in our medical empathy test), as is knowing the difference between sympathy and empathy.

Multiple questions can share the same scenario. 

Situational Judgement question types


You are given a scenario and a possible action. You decide whether the action is:

  • A very appropriate thing to do
  • Appropriate but not ideal
  • Inappropriate but not awful
  • A very inappropriate thing to do
UCAT Situational Judgement (SJT). Appropriateness question type example.


You’re given a scenario and some factors that can be taken into consideration. You decide whether the statement is:

  • Very Important
  • Important
  • Of minor importance
  • Not important at all
UCAT Situational Judgement (SJT). Appropriateness question type example.
UCAT Situational Judgement (SJT). Appropriateness question example answer


You’re given a scenario and a list of three actions or factors. You choose what’s most appropriate/important and what’s least appropriate/important.

UCAT Situational Judgement (SJT). Least/most question type example.


This is just a basic overview of the sections. Each subsection has many variations and nuances that you can only master with practice.

Our UCAT ANZ Online Course has over 20,000 UCAT questions and is by far the largest bank in the world.

We also provide 24 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams, 50+ hours of video tutorials, and performance feedback. Plus, we've upgraded our UCAT mock exams 13-24 and revised our practice question bank to enrich your preparation journey.

In order to guarantee success in this competitive exam, you need to pull out all the stops. 

What should I do one month before my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar showing one month left

Keep practising! A month sounds like a long time, but time will quickly vanish. Set SMART  (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals such as reaching a certain score by a certain date or time. 

Niche down even further on your weaknesses – by this stage you should just be focusing on what you find hardest. Make sure you factor in breaks and days off into your schedule, as well as any important events which you need to attend.

Read the 'Good medical practice' by the Medical Board of Australia if you haven’t already. It will inform you about the different duties of healthcare professionals and how they should respond to different scenarios, which is essential for the Situational Judgement Test section of the UCAT.

Try Medify's Skills Trainers, such as inference scanning for Verbal Reasoning, to maximise your score (these are included in our UCAT ANZ Online Course). Make sure you've also completed plenty of UCAT practice tests.

The UCAT exam is two hours with no breaks in between, so practise at least two hours each time to build your mental stamina. You should also simulate the exam environment as closely as possible – this means treating every mock test as if it were a real one. 

For instance, you should sit mock exams at the same time of the day as your actual UCAT exam and ensure there are no distractions. By mirroring the test conditions, not only will it prepare you for what to expect on test day, it should also help to decrease any anxiety leading up to the exam. Otherwise, your brain has to process the ‘new’ way of completing the test.

What should I do one week before my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar showing one week left

At this point, you'll know the format of the exam inside out and will have practised the questions enough times to get used to UCAT timings. Don’t give up – keep preparing in an environment where you cannot be interrupted.

Remember, a lot of your preparation will have been done in the weeks and months before this final week, so be careful not to overdo it and become too fatigued. Your motivation may drop or you might ‘peak’ before the test. Your body needs rest too. 

Now is a great time to introduce or increase self-care in your regime. Whether it’s watching Netflix, gaming, or just running a bath, it’s important to detach yourself from UCAT revision from time to time to avoid the risk of burnout.

In this week you should also prioritise your nutrition and sleep. Eat well, do not miss meals and keep hydrated. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep in the days before the test by avoiding late night cramming or staying awake into the early hours.

If it puts your mind at rest, you can check last year’s UCAT scores, but remember that this is all about your personal journey and performance, so don't get hung up on that information!

What should I do one day before my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar showing one day left

We do not advise doing a mock this close to the exam. Revision won't help you much at this stage and can actually leave you worse off. Instead, use this time to wind down and get yourself into a relaxed state. This will enable you to perform at your best on test day.

Try to get to bed early and avoid things that can affect sleep, such as looking at your phone before bed. If you think that you will struggle to sleep on time, you could try doing some exercise during the day to tire yourself out. 

Exercise can boost your brainpower by oxygenating your brain, helping you learn and aid sleep. Plus, activity makes your body release endorphins, which can reduce anxiety and stress levels.

Make sure you double check your UCAT test centre information, the travel route to the test centre, the time of your UCAT exam, and so on, so you’re well prepared for test day. If someone else is giving you a ride to the test centre, it’s worth reminding them.

What should I do on the day of my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar circling today's date

You should start the day off with a nutritious breakfast and give yourself enough time to arrive early to the test centre to avoid feeling flustered, rushed or stressed.

Remember that buses and trains can be late and that traffic may be heavier than you had hoped, so allow extra time whichever way you are travelling. Find out how to choose a UCAT test centre.

Make sure you know how to get to the test centre – for instance you could consider taking a map with you. If you’re using your phone for directions, make sure it’s sufficiently charged and that you have spare data (otherwise you can download the map ahead of time to use offline).

On test day you will be expected to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled test time to complete the check-in process.

You need to bring:

  • Your test confirmation email
  • Photographic ID from the approved list

When you arrive at the test centre, it’s likely that you’ll be experiencing a heightened sense of adrenaline. This is completely normal, but it could be helpful to learn some mindfulness tricks to reduce your stress levels. For instance, you could focus on your breathing to help you relax.

Don’t forget, during your test there are one minute introductions between each subtest. You can skip these, but we recommend using the time to mentally refresh yourself.

If you’ve stuck to your revision plan, and followed our advice above, the best thing you can do on test day is to try and keep as calm as possible. Take solace in the fact that you have prepared for weeks/months to get to this point, and channel any nervous energy into doing the best you can during your UCAT test. 

What should I eat and drink leading up to the UCAT?

You should think about your diet well ahead of UCAT test day. Focus on foods that release energy slowly (that is, which have a low glycaemic index, or GI) which will stop you from feeling hungry. These are ideal for UCAT preparation, as well as on test day itself.

Try eating protein and low-GI carbohydrates, such as meat or baked beans, brown (whole grain) rice or pasta, or wholegrain breakfast cereals or muesli. However, do not stray far from your usual diet on the day of the test in case you feel sick. You may want to try these foods out at the same time of day a few weeks in advance.

Be wary of energy drinks and coffee. If you’re not used to them then don’t drink them, especially in large quantities. Caffeine can acutely increase anxiety, and the sugar rush of an energy drink is soon followed by insulin slamming on the brakes, leaving you feeling worse than before. These products are no substitute for a good night’s sleep, eating properly and exercising.

No food or drink is allowed in the test room so eat a healthy meal before your UCAT test and ensure you’re hydrated. While you should make sure you’re drinking enough water, do not overdo it, otherwise you might need the toilet while the timer is ticking.

Please note, access arrangements are available if you have a disability, learning difficulty or long-term medical condition. You may be entitled to extra time and/or rest breaks, and allowed certain items, such as water, at your test centre workstation. 

What happens at the UCAT test centre?

  1. At the registration desk, you will be asked to show a valid photographic ID and a printed/electronic copy of your confirmation email from Pearson VUE. 
  2. You will be asked to sign a signature pad and take a photograph.
  3. You will be given a laminated notebook and a black marker pen. You may also request earplugs.
  4. Do not take anything other than your ID into the examination room. A locker or a coat hanger will be available.
  5. Go to the bathroom if you need to.
  6. Once the staff have prepared your exam, you may enter the exam room. You may be asked to undergo a body check (e.g. turning up your pockets and rolling your sleeves).
  7. The staff will guide you to the seat, or you may be able to choose your desk. Take some time to prepare yourself and relax. Your two hours have not yet started.

What is the UCAT test environment like?

This image shows a typical UCAT test environment:

Taking the UCAT at a test centre

There is no audio element to the test, but you can request earplugs to block out any noise that might disrupt your concentration. 

You will have access to a basic onscreen calculator which may be useful for the Quantitative Reasoning and Decision Making sections.

You will be given a laminated notebook and marker pen. Consider using these for:

If you require an additional notebook and pen, you can raise your hand and ask the invigilator. Although the invigilator will check that your pen is working before the test, we advise double-checking this to avoid seeking assistance during the test.

What happens during my UCAT test?

  1. Once you are ready, follow the on-screen instructions.
  2. Your exam will be in the following order:
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Decision Making
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Situational Judgement
  1. You will have one minute before each section to read the instructions. You can skip it, but this will not give you an extra minute to answer the questions. Use this time to give your mind a quick break.
  2. If you have any issues, such as requiring a toilet break, you can quietly raise your hand. However, your time will continue running.
  3. After your exam, there may be an opportunity to answer a short optional survey on UCAT ANZ preparation and the quality of the venue.
  4. Raise your hand when you've finished and the examiner will guide you out of the exam room. You need to return your laminated board and marker pen.
  5. Collect your belongings and leave the test centre.
  6. Your UCAT ANZ results will be available in your Pearson VUE account within 24 hours. You will receive an email with instructions to access your score report through your account. All results will be delivered to UCAT ANZ Consortium universities automatically.
  7. If you’ve achieved the scores that you desire, well done.
  8. Even if you haven’t achieved the scores you wanted, congratulate yourself for getting through a really tough process. You've done exceptionally well just to get to this point. Plus, you can always take the UCAT again next year or consider graduate entry to medicine – do not give up on your dream!

Do you need help preparing for the UCAT ANZ? Head over to our UCAT ANZ Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through the whole process.

We provide a huge bank of 20,000+ questions, 24 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams, 50+ hours of video tutorials, and performance feedback. We've also upgraded our UCAT mock exams 13-24 and revised our practice question bank to enrich your preparation journey.

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