For your reference, here is an example tutorial video featured in our Medify UCAT online course.
Want to be a doctor or a dentist?
If so, there is a good chance that the UCAT will be a hurdle in your way.
The UCAT (Undergraduate Clinical Aptitude Test) ANZ (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.
As a standardised test it is used to compare and rank applicants across Australia and New Zealand.
Admittedly, the test sounds somewhat scary, but it is actually a lot less stressful than you might think, if you approach it in the right way.
What is the UCAT?
The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a computer-based examination that is required by the majority of UK, Australian & New Zealand medical and dental schools, as well as other healthcare-related programmes.
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.
Use our comprehensive UCAT course and start as early as possible.
Our course has a fully realistic online exam simulator, over 20,000 questions, and detailed video tutorials on every section. To widen access, we always keep our content affordable, with prices starting at just A$80.
Keep a diary of how you are doing in each section, and target your weaknesses systematically.
The UCAT tests aptitude rather than academic knowledge. Each section of the UCAT assesses a different proficiency:
Verbal Reasoning: Critically evaluating written material
Decision Making: Making appropriate decisions in complex situations
Quantitative Reasoning: Assessing and evaluating numerical information
Abstract Reasoning: Using both convergent and divergent thinking styles
Situational Judgement: Testing your reasoning against real-life medical situations
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The UCAT consists of 233 multiple-choice questions across five sections. Each section has a different number of questions and time allocation, as below:
(+1 minute for instructions)
Number of questions
44 questions on 11 passages
69 on 20 scenarios
The UCAT takes 2 hours to complete.
Each section has 1 minute for reading the instructions.
This depends on how ready you are for each section of the UCAT, but as a guideline we recommend giving yourself a minimum of 6 weeks.
We recommend giving yourself plenty of time and a minimum of 6 weeks.
It is an aptitude test, and 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 even a year before prepare for 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.
Most students find the UCAT challenging not because the questions are particularly difficult but because of the huge number of questions that need to be answered in just two hours (233 in total!).
On average, you need to answer two questions every minute, so time is your main enemy.
Research indicates that students who use prep materials and study more for the UCAT score higher.
The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), previously known as the UKCAT - United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test, is a two-hour computer-based examination that is required by the majority of UK, Australia & New Zealand medical and dental schools and other healthcare-related fields. Please note that UCAT ANZ and UCAT UK are the same test. Therefore, when purchasing our UCAT ANZ online course you will be taken to our UCAT UK site to complete your purchase.
Preparing for the UCAT involves four key steps:
Try our free UCAT questions to give yourself a better understanding of the exam
Our Online UCAT ANZ Course provides you with extensive video tutorials, a huge bank of over 20,000 questions, 21 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams and question walkthroughs, as well as personalised performance feedback.
The UCAT tests aptitude rather than academic knowledge. Each section of the UCAT aims to test a different component of cognition:
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 have recently updated the entire Verbal Reasoning section, and it is now the most up-to-date and realistic resource on the market. We have also updated our VR tips and tricks guide.
If you prepare thoroughly with Medify’s software, you won’t have any nasty surprises on the day.
The UCAT is compulsory for the following courses:
You can sit the UCAT in your final year of secondary school and any year after that.
Over 14,000 students sat the UCAT ANZ in 2020.
The UCAT is held between 1st July and 11th August.
You need to book by 17th May (late booking deadline: 31st May).
Don't leave it until the last minute.
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.
The UCAT costs A$305 for tests taken in Australia and New Zealand and A$380 for tests taken overseas.
All fees are charged in Australian dollars.
Can I get a UCAT concession/discount?
Candidates in financial need may be able to sit the UCAT for a reduced fee after providing supporting evidence.
What about UCAT access arrangements?
UCAT access arrangements are available for students with a disability, upon providing evidence:
Yes, for anyone with visual impairment, adjustments can be made to font size to help you 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 2920 in 2020 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.
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 (=2920) would give you a solid chance of securing interviews, provided that you have a respectable 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.
The UCAT scores are valid for a year. This means that if you sit the UCAT in 2021, you can only use it for entry to medical and dental programmes commencing in 2022.
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).’
There is an onscreen calculator to use during the QR test. No personal calculators are allowed.
You can email email@example.com
For Pearson VUE-related queries, you can call (Australia: 1800 512 320, New Zealand: 0800 451 260) or email Pearson VUE customer services.
Medify can provide you with 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.
Ready to get started? Go to our UCAT page, for more information, a free test or to sign up.
We provide you with extensive video tutorials, a huge bank of 20,000+ questions, 21 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams and question walkthroughs, as well as performance feedback.
We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009.
Medify is here to support you, just reach out to us.
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