What is the UCAT ANZ?
39 Questions Answered

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?

UCAT ANZ test: Key information (medify.com.au) UCAT price: $305 ANZ/NZ, $380 overseas. Questions: 5 sections, 233 multi-choice questions. Length: 2 hours to complete, 1 minute for reading instructions, Resits: Unlimited, once per year. UKCAT vs UKCAT vs UCAT ANZ: same test, UKCAT is the old name, ANZ is Australia and New Zealand. Low score options: Gap year + resit, some schools don't require UCAT, Graduate Entry Medicine, Study abroad. How long to prepare for the UCAT? 6 weeks to several months is recommended.


1. What is the UCAT ANZ test?

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. 

2. What is the difference between UCAT, UKCAT and UCAT ANZ?

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.

3. Why take the UCAT?

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.

UCAT test student looking thoughtful, with hand on chin.


4. How can you ace the UCAT?

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.

If you're not ready for a course, try our free UCAT practice questions

5. What is being tested in the UCAT?

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

Improve Your UCAT Score

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6. How many questions are in the UCAT?

The UCAT consists of 233 multiple-choice questions across five sections. Each section has a different number of questions and time allocation, as below:

Section

Time

(+1 minute for instructions)

Number of questions

Verbal Reasoning

21 minutes

44 questions on 11 passages

Decision Making

31 minutes

29

Quantitative Reasoning

24 minutes

36

Abstract Reasoning

13 minutes

55

Situational Judgement

26 minutes

69 on 20 scenarios

7. How long is the UCAT?

 The UCAT takes 2 hours to complete.  

Each section has 1 minute for reading the instructions. 

 

8. How long does it take to prepare for the UCAT? Can I prepare for the UCAT in a month?

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.

How many UCAT practice questions should you do? (including a free revision plan)

 

9. How hard is the UCAT?  

 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.

What is the average UCAT score?

UCAT test graph showing Decision Making and Abstract Reasoning.
How hard is the UCAT for you? Medify shows you where you stand compared to the average user

10. How do I prepare for the UCAT?

Read our in-depth guide to UCAT preparation, or just learn the four key steps:

  1. Learn about the different styles and formats of the questions, as well as strategies for solving them.
  2. Practise with plenty of questions to become faster at answering correctly.
  3. Simulate with mock exams to gauge your readiness for the time pressure.
  4. Review your performance and focus on weaker areas.

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. 


11. What is being tested in the UCAT?

The UCAT tests aptitude rather than academic knowledge. Each section of the UCAT aims to test a different component of cognition:

UCAT Abstract Reasoning Sets A and B, abstract shapes
E.g. The Abstract Reasoning Section: preparation is key to understanding the different types of problems

12. Are Medify’s UCAT tests harder than the actual thing?

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.

Visit our blog and admissions guide to find more information about all the sections of the exam.

If you prepare thoroughly with Medify’s software, you won’t have any nasty surprises on the day. 

See what other users have to say about Medify’s tests.


13. Which universities require the UCAT?

The UCAT is compulsory for the following courses:

Click to expand

Medical School

Course

The University of Adelaide

Medicine, dental surgery, oral health

Charles Sturt University

Dental science, medicine

Curtin University

Medicine

Flinders University

Clinical Sciences/medicine

Griffith University

Dental health science

La Trobe University

Dental Science

Monash University

Medicine

The University of Newcastle/University of New England

Medicine

The University of New South Wales

Medicine

The University of Queensland

Medicine (provisional entry pathway), dental science

University of Tasmania

Medicine

The University of Western Australia

Medicine (direct pathway), dental medicine (direct pathway)

Western Sydney University

Medicine

The University of Auckland

Medicine

University of Otago

Medicine, dentistry

Learn more about UCAT universities

14. Who can sit the UCAT? How many students take the UCAT each year?

 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.

UCAT test centre

15. When is the UCAT in 2021?

 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.

Full list of deadlines

16. How do I book the UCAT?

 You need to create a web account with Pearson VUE first. Then you can book your test session.

We'll post the UCAT ANZ 2022 dates and full instructions for registration as soon as they are available.

 

17. Can I change my UCAT test date?

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.


18. Can I cancel my UCAT booking?

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.

19. Can I take UCAT the year before I apply to medical or dental school?

Yes, the UCAT is taken the year before you want to begin your studies.

20. How much does the UCAT cost?

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.

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.

Detailed information on concession eligibility and how to apply

21. What about UCAT access arrangements?

UCAT access arrangements are available for students with a disability, upon providing evidence:

  • UCATSEN: You get 25% extra test time
  • UCATSA: You get five minutes of rest break before each section
  • UCATSENSA: You get 25% extra test time and five minutes of rest break before each section
  • UCATSEN50: You get 50% extra test time

Find out about your eligibility and the application process

Furthermore, adjustments can be made to font size to help anyone with visual impairment during the exam.


22. Can I resit the UCAT? How many times can I sit the UCAT?

You may resit the UCAT an unlimited number of times as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, but only once per year.

23. Where can I take the UCAT?

The UCAT can be sat at Pearson VUE test centres across the world.


24. How is the UCAT graded? (UCAT deciles 2021)

 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.

 

25. Do I get penalised for wrong answers?

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.


26. What is a good score on the UCAT test?

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.

What is a good UCAT score?


27. How do universities use UCAT scores?

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.

Find out about the specific UCAT requirements for medical and non-medical courses in Australia and New Zealand


28. How can you get into medicine without the UCAT?

A high UCAT score takes you closer to medical school, but even with a low UCAT score, there are several options:

  1. Not all direct or provisional entry medical programmes require the UCAT (e.g. James Cook University and Griffith University). Read about the full entry requirements of each medical school.
  2. You can take a gap year and sit the UCAT again.
  3. You can go through the graduate entry pathway.
  4. You can study medicine overseas (e.g. UK, Eastern Europe).

Anderson Stuart Building, Australia (The University of Sydney School of Medicine)

29. When do the UCAT results come out?

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.

30. How long are UCAT scores valid for?

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.


31. How do I send my UCAT results to my chosen universities?

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.

32. How is the UCAT different from the GAMSAT?

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.

33. Are papers and pens allowed in the UCAT?

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.

34. What can you bring into the UCAT test centre? Can you bring water?

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).’


35. Are you allowed a calculator in the UCAT test?

There is an onscreen calculator to use during the QR test. No personal calculators are allowed.

8.5 tips to master the UCAT calculator

36. Should I sit the UCAT ANZ as a New Zealand high school student?

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.


37. How do I contact the UCAT customer services?

You can email ucat-anz@monash.edu

For Pearson VUE-related queries, you can call (Australia: 1800 512 320, New Zealand: 0800 451 260) or email Pearson VUE customer services.

 

38. How does Medify use data to help you ace the UCAT?

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:

  • Your scores for each section
  • Time taken across all questions

39. What is Medify’s number one piece of advice for the UCAT?

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.

For further information

Refer to the official UCAT ANZ website, in particular the FAQs section.

Do you need help with preparing for the UCAT ANZ? Please don’t worry, head over to our Online UCAT ANZ Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process.

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.

If you need more help, we also offer Live Interactive UCAT classes that includes 13 hours of teaching from expert instructors and tailored homework.

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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