Want to be a doctor or a dentist? If so, there's a good chance the UCAT will be a hurdle in your way.
In this article, we provide answers to the top 38 UCAT questions so you know exactly what to expect.
The UCAT ANZ (University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand) is a standardised computer-based assessment designed to assess students’ ability to interpret numerical and written information presented in various formats. All UCAT sections are related to important qualities for medical professionals.
The test is used to compare and rank applicants across Australia and New Zealand. Although the UCAT might sound scary, it's actually a lot less stressful than you might think, as long as you approach it in the right way.
No difference: they are all the same test. In terms of the names, the UKCAT is an old acronym for the exam and the UCAT ANZ is Australia and New Zealand only.
Admission to medicine and dentistry is extremely competitive as the number of applicants far outweighs the number of available places.
The UCAT helps medical schools decide who to invite to interview and sometimes who gets the final offer. Getting a good score will increase your chances of getting accepted.
The UCAT consists of 228 multiple choice questions across five sections. Each section has a different number of questions and time allocation, as shown below:
The UCAT takes two hours to complete. Each section has one minute for reading the instructions.
The UCAT tests aptitude rather than academic knowledge. Each section of the UCAT aims to test a different component of cognition:
This depends on how ready you are for each section of the UCAT, but as a guideline we recommend giving yourself plenty of time, ideally a minimum of six weeks.
As it's an aptitude test, some students may be able to get a good score with just a month’s preparation. The question to ask yourself is, ‘Will I risk jeopardising my future career if I prepare too little?’ There are a limited number of medical school places so you need to score as high as you can to give yourself the best chance of gaining entry.
Many students start preparing months before the test, so make sure you are ready for the intense competition. Doing 20 minutes to an hour a day over months is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the exam without the stress.
How many UCAT practice questions should you do? (Includes a free revision plan)
You can sit the UCAT in your final year of secondary school and any year after that. Around 14,000 students sat the UCAT ANZ in 2021.
Most students find the UCAT challenging not due to difficulty, but because of the large number of questions that need to be answered in just two hours (228 in total!).
The UCAT is compulsory for the following courses:
Learn more about UCAT universities
Read our in-depth guide to UCAT preparation, or just learn the four key steps:
Try our free UCAT questions to give yourself a better understanding of the exam.
To ace the UCAT, we recommend using a comprehensive preparation course. Medify's UCAT ANZ Online Course provides 20,000+ questions, 24 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams, 50+ hours of video tutorials, and personalised performance feedback to help you improve your score.
If you're looking for more hands-on support, such as UCAT tutoring, books, and live courses or workshops, explore our Courses and Tutors Directory.
Medify has a team of experts following UCAT developments and continuously responding to student feedback to make the simulated tests as realistic as possible.
For example, we updated the entire Verbal Reasoning section, and it is now the most up-to-date and realistic resource on the market. If you prepare thoroughly with Medify’s software, you won’t have any nasty surprises on the day.
Also note, there is no advantage to using harder mock exams instead of accurate mocks during your UCAT preparation. In fact, unrealistic mocks may be detrimental to your progress because they can provide you with a wrong impression of the exam and lead to you feeling demoralised. This can negatively affect your motivation levels and final UCAT score.
The UCAT is held between 1 July and 9 August 2024.
You need to book by 17 May 2024 (the final late booking deadline is 5 June 2024 but will incur an extra fee of $185).
You need to create a web account with Pearson VUE first. Then you can book your test session.
It’s possible to postpone your exam with appropriate notice. However, if you miss the deadline you can lose the fee. Cancelling and rebooking is sometimes better.
The official UCAT site says: ‘Tests can be cancelled for a full refund as long as you give appropriate notice. If you miss the cancellation deadline, your test fee will not be refunded.’
You cannot cancel or reschedule an appointment by email, only through your account or by calling UCAT customer services.
Yes, the UCAT is taken the year before you want to begin your studies.
Yes, you can use your UCAT ANZ results to apply to medical and dental schools in the UK.
You may wish to study in the UK for various reasons, such as studying at your dream university. Applying to both ANZ and UK medical or dental schools can also provide a strategic advantage by maximising your chances for entry.
In 2024, the UCAT costs $325 for tests taken in Australia and New Zealand and $395 for tests taken overseas.
All fees are charged in Australian dollars.
Australian candidates in financial need may be able to get a concession/discount and sit the UCAT for a reduced fee after providing supporting evidence.
New Zealand candidates and candidates sitting the UCAT ANZ outside Australia are not eligible for concession.
UCAT access arrangements are available for students with a disability, upon providing evidence:
Furthermore, adjustments can be made to font size to help anyone with visual impairment during the exam.
You may resit the UCAT an unlimited number of times as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, but only once per year.
The UCAT can be sat at Pearson VUE test centres across the world.
Your raw scores (the number of questions you answer correctly in each section) are converted to scaled scores between 300 and 900. The cognitive subtests (VR, DM, QR, AR) are added up to provide you with a total scaled score that ranges between 1200 and 3600.
Based on this total scaled score, you will also receive a percentile rank that shows how well you’ve performed relative to other candidates in your year. For example, a total scaled score of 3000 in 2023 meant you were in the top 10%, or 9th decile.
The scaled score for the Situational Judgement Test also ranges between 300 and 900 but this is not included in the total scaled score. For instance in 2023, if your SJT score was 635, you would be in the 7th decile and around the 75th percentile.
No, you don’t. Guess the answers that you are unsure about or do not have time to concentrate on. You have nothing to lose.
This is difficult to say as it varies from year to year and also depends on the universities you apply to.
A score in the 90th percentile or higher (=3000) would give you a chance of securing interviews, provided that you have a top Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR score).
Even with a lower UCAT score, you will stand a good chance if you have a very high ATAR, or if you qualify for special admissions schemes or bonus points.
Each university uses UCAT scores differently. Some use the UCAT as part of both interview invitation and final selection, whereas others use it as part of final selection only.
A high UCAT score takes you closer to medical school, but even with a low UCAT score, there are several options:
Your UCAT scores are available shortly after you finish the test, on the same day. To find out how well you performed in your cohort, you will usually need to wait until October for the final results.
Your UCAT results are delivered directly to the chosen universities. You don’t need to take any further action once you’ve completed the exam.
The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is an entrance exam used by graduate medical and dental courses.
The UCAT is a purely skills-based test, whereas some sections of the GAMSAT assume prerequisite knowledge in sciences. The GAMSAT also requires you to write an essay, whereas the UCAT consists entirely of multiple-choice questions.
Both exams require a high level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
You can’t use a pen and paper for notes. You will be provided with a small whiteboard (or laminated sheets), a marker pen and a board rubber.
Nothing is allowed into the testing room apart from the indoor clothes you are wearing and any permitted items on the Pearson VUE Comfort Aid List.
Person VUE says: ‘All personal belongings (including bags, coats, hats or head coverings, papers, books, pens, watches, wallets, keys, IDs, mobile phones, food/water/drinks) must be placed in the lockers provided before you enter the test room. The only exceptions permitted are religious apparel, headwear worn for medical reasons and small hair clips/hairbands (less than 1/2 inch wide).’
The UCAT scores are valid for a year. This means that if you sit the UCAT in 2024, you can only use it for entry to medical and dental programmes commencing in 2025.
There is an onscreen calculator to use during the QR test. No personal calculators are allowed.
The University of Auckland and the University of Otago require students to sit the UCAT ANZ during the common first year for entry to medicine or dentistry. However, there is nothing stopping you from sitting the UCAT ANZ during your last year of high school.
In fact, preparing for and sitting the UCAT ANZ in high school gives you an edge over other students. Furthermore, sitting the UCAT ANZ in year 13 opens up doors for direct entry medical and dental schools in Australia.
Medify provides the most accurate feedback on the market. 70% of those who take the UCAT use Medify, so we feed that enormous data set back into the system.
That means we can compare, with unparalleled accuracy:
Little and often. Trying to cram for such a time-pressured test can be very stressful and leave you at a disadvantage.
In our experience, the best students take a proactive approach early in the year, so by the time they take the exam, the format is second nature.
Do you need help with preparing for the UCAT ANZ? Don’t worry, head over to our UCAT ANZ Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this 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. Plus, we've upgraded our UCAT mock exams 13-24, revised our practice question bank, and updated our mocks and mini-mocks to reflect the latest UCAT ANZ changes, to enrich your preparation journey.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
This image shows a typical UCAT test environment:
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.
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.