The UKCAT stands for the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test and is an admissions test used by the majority of medical schools. The test is sat between 1 July and early October each year and should be taken by applicants who are planning to apply to medical school in the same year or for deferred entry for the following year. The test takes about two hours and tests mental aptitude and ability and is not a test of knowledge. It is not possible to revise for the exam, however it is perfectly possible to practice. It is made up of five sections which each test different things: Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Situational Judgement test. Each section is scored between 300 and 900, except for the Situational Judgement test which is marked from Band 1 to Band 4, with Band 1 being the highest, which leads to an overall UKCAT average score of between 300 and 900. The majority of applicants will score between 600 and 700, with approximately 629 being the average.
For 2016, the Decision Making subtest is running as a pilot test (replacing the previous Decision Analysis subtest) and so will not be scored for this pilot year only.
The UKCAT is used differently by different medical schools. Some medical schools hardly use the test at all, some medical schools look at the average score and some medical schools look at each individual sub-section score. Broadly, medical schools can either: 1) not use it for any significant part of their admissions procedure, 2) look at the average/sub-section score as part of an applicant's overall application or 3) rank applicants using their UKCAT score, and invite the top x% to interview.
For more information, visit the main UKCAT page: http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/
For any questions about the UKCAT, ask them here.
Testing Begins: 01 July 2016
Registration Deadline: 21 September 2016
Last Testing Date: 05 October 2016
Test Location: Pearson Vue test centre
Tests taken in the EU between 1 July 2016 - 31 August 2016: £65.00
Tests taken in the EU between 1 September 2016 - 5 October 2016: £80.00
Tests taken outside the EU: £100
If you are in receipt of Income Support or Educational Maintenance Allowance at the top rate (£30) you can apply for a bursary voucher entitled to the full cost of the exam. You can apply for the voucher by filling out a form found on the UKCAT website and attaching adequate evidence of your eligibility with this form. The bursary voucher is received by e-mail, which you need to keep; the number on the voucher is needed when booking your UKCAT exam.
The UKCAT is made up of four subsections, each of which are scored on a scale between 300 and 900. The higher the score, the better.
The test is designed so that the national average will be around 600, though this will vary from year to year.
The majority of applicants will score an average between 500 and 700, with exponentially less numbers as the difference from the mean increases.
It is worth noting that the majority of medical/dental schools will use either an average or a total score, rather than look at individual subsections. As such, if you do badly on one particular subsection it does not necessarily mean you will not get in to medical/dental school.
For 2016 only, the Decision Making subtest will not be scored as this is a pilot year for this subtest. total scores for this year will therefore be out of a maximum of 2700, instead of 3600 as in standard years.
1) Decision Analysis replaced by Decision Making (Source)
2) Decision Making Section will not contribute to UCAS Application Score
| University || UCAS Course Code|| How do they use it for medicine applicants?
| University of Aberdeen || A100, A201 || "UKCAT scores make up 20% of the total score, and 40% of the pre-interview score. Applicants are divided into deciles by UKCAT score to apportion scores for this. A wide range of UKCAT scores make it to interview and subsequently receive offers - as low as 1800 total. The top 700 applicants by pre-interview score will be invited to interview."
| Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (Queen Mary)|| A100, A101, A110, A200 ||5yr: 2400 minimum cut-off to reach interview. 4yr: UKCAT is significant in reaching interview, but those not meeting other entry criteria will not be interviewed regardless of a high UKCAT score. "
| University of Birmingham|| A100, A200 || "There is no minimum cut-off score. Total UKCAT scores of applicants (excluding the the SJT component) are separated into deciles and scored. The band score for the SJT component is used at the interview stage. "
| University of Bristol|| A100, A108, A206, A208 || TBC - Using the test for the first time in 2016.
| Cardiff University || A100, A104, A200, A204, B750, B752 || "No absolute UKCAT threshold is used."
| University of Dundee || A100, A104, A200, A204 || "UKCAT scores are separated into quintiles and scored. Normally this is given a weight of 20% but this may be higher in certain circumstances. There is no specific cut off applied but obviously a high score is advantageous.."
| University of Durham || A100, A190, A191 || "The UKCAT threshold may differ in each admissions cycle as it is dependent on the scores achieved by those applicants who apply to our Medical School in the current cycle."
| University of East Anglia || A100, A104 || "While a high UKCAT score could be advantageous a low score will not automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration, if the rest of the application is strong then the applicant could still be short-listed for interview with a lower test score."
| University of Edinburgh || A100|| "UKCAT scores are divided into four quartiles. Those applicants whose UKCAT scores come in the top quartile are allocated three points, second quartile are allocated two points, third quartile are allocated one point and the fourth quartile are not allocated any points. The points are then added to your total score to contribute towards your final ranking. Test results are worth 8% of the overall score of an application. The score an applicant actually achieved is looked at when final decisions are being made and there is a number of applicants with the same ranked score and limited places left to offer."
| University of Exeter|| A100|| "No threshold, holistic use of UKCAT alongside other factors. "
| University of Glasgow || A100, A200 || "Interviewees who meet/are predicted to achieve the minimum academic entry requirements will be ranked by UKCAT total score. Depending on the number of applications the Medical School receives and the standard of scores achieved in the UKCAT, the Medical School may need to increase the UKCAT total score requirement."
| Hull York Medical School || A100 || "If you have a total UKCAT score of less than 2000 or a score of less than 450 in any of the four cognitive subtests, your application won't normally be considered. If you meet these minimum requirements, we will award you up to 10 points based on your UKCAT score, as follows: 2000-2099 = 0, 2100-2199 = 1, 2200-2299 = 2, 2300- 2399 = 3, 2400-2499 = 4, 2500-2599 = 5, 2600-2699 = 6, 2700-2799 = 7, 2800-2899 = 8, 2900-2999 = 9, 3000+ = 10. We expect to invite around 550 applicants to interview and to make around 340 offers for a total of 140 places (including 10 international spaces)."
| Keele University || A100, A104 || "We do not use an absolute UKCAT score cut off point in order to select candidates for interview. Those invited to interview offer a broad range of UKCAT scores. We may use UKCAT scores to help us decide between borderline applicants who are competing for a limited number of places. The total UKCAT scores of students accepted onto the A100 course in 2010 ranged from 2150 to 3030."
| King's College London || A100, A101, A102, A202, A205, A206 || "Normally, candidates are selected from those with scores within the top 25% of the applicant pool. Within this group, all indicators are then considered for the final selection of interviewees.Your UKCAT scores will not be the sole indicator for selection. "
| University of Leicester || A100 || The UKCAT will be scored out of 30 possible marks. A total of 3000+ will score 30/30. 2900-2999 will score 29/30. 2800-2899 will score 28/30 and so on. "
| University of Liverpool|| A100, A200, A201 || TBC - see university website for current details.
| University of Manchester || A104, A106, A204, A206, B840 || "Applications are ranked by total UKCAT score. Top scoring applicants are invited for an interview, taking into account educational and demographic information for a full and rounded view of each applicant. It is important to note that the UKCAT threshold will vary each year depending on how many applications we receive and how they score on their UKCAT. As a guide, last year we interviewed candidates with a range of UKCAT scores between 1990 and 3160; the majority of applicants invited for interview had achieved a total UKCAT score of 2580 or above."
| University of Newcastle || A100, A101, A206 || "The UKCAT threshold may differ in each admissions cycle as it is dependent on the scores achieved by those applicants who apply to our Medical School in the current cycle."
| University of Nottingham || A100, A108 || "We do NOT operate a threshold for the UKCAT test results. When marking your application, we will mark each of the scores you received for the four cognitive components of the UKCAT test, together with your personal statement, highest 8 GCSE's and answers to our on-line questionnaire. The total score an individual gains is compared with all other applications and the 800 highest scoring applicants are invited for interview."
| Plymouth University || A100, A206 || "UKCAT test results will be used, alongside the academic information contained on your UCAS form to select direct school leavers for interview. You will be required to meet a minimum standard in each of the four subtests, plus meet an overall target score which is set and reviewed annually by the Admissions Advisory Panel."
| Queen's University Belfast || A100, A200 || "All applicants will take the UKCAT in the year of entry and their overall score will attract up to six points, see table below. This score will be added to their knowledge based mark and all applicants ranked. The top circa 500 applicants will then be considered under stage 2 of the selection process which will be a nine station multiple mini interview (MMI) to determine non-cognitive performance.
Total UKCAT Banding Scores for Applicants Applying for Medicine at Queen's University Belfast in 2012
|Band score||Scoring Range|
Final decisions about whether or not to make an offer will be made on the basis of interview ranking alone (i.e. Stage 2 results) and not in combination with other factors."
| University of Sheffield || A100, A104, A200 || "For 2013 entry a score of 2600 or above (the national average) was required to meet the minimum requirement."
| University of Southampton || A100, A101, A102 || "From 2014 entry, applicants to BM5 and BM4 programmes will be ranked by UKCAT score and invited to interview in order of score. The cut-off score does not apply to the BM6 (A102) programme, but the UKCAT score will continue to be used alongside all other information as part of the BM6 selection process."
| University of St Andrews || A100, A990 || "At St Andrews we use the UKCAT in two ways; firstly we set a cut off for the overall UKCAT score and applicants obtaining a score below that will not be considered for interview or a medical place. A cut off score for each admissions cycle will be decided upon once all applications have been received and it will be based on the national average which, in the past, has been in the range of 2400 - 2500. Applicants who scored below the cutoff point were not considered further but a UKCAT score higher than the cut off did not guarantee an interview. Secondly, at St Andrews the UKCAT score will be used as part of an applicant’s overall ranking following interview. The UKCAT score will be worth 15% of an overall admissions score. That percentage will be generated by a points system whereby applicant scores will be ranked and divided into bandings with points allocated per banding."
| St George's University of London || A100, A900 || "In November, we will set the minimum overall score for the year and this will be published on the website and e-mailed to all applicants. As well as achieving the minimum overall score, candidates must also achieve a minimum score in each of the separate sections of the test. These minimum scores will be detailed upon release of results from UKCAT to St George’s. Please note that a good score in one section cannot compensate for a poor score in another. UKCAT will also be used for borderline cases after interview and to rank our post-offer waiting list."
| Warwick University || A101 (Graduate Entry) || "Our decision to invite you is based on your UCAS application and UKCAT score. Those who do not meet our entry criteria will NOT be interviewed even if they score very highly on the UKCAT."
|No commercially available preparation courses are endorsed by the medical and dental schools that use the UKCAT and the website states that 'coaching is not necessary, desirable or advantageous.'
However, practicing the questions is essential and you can learn what sort of things to look out for in the Abstract reasoning. Free practice tests which closely mimic the live test are available on the UKCAT website here.
Familiarising yourself with the styles of questions has been found to be useful and some people recommend getting hold of some old 11+ style test papers for practice. Practice questions for each section of the UKCAT can be found with each section.
Thanks goes to Lu-x (unless otherwise credited) for finding and collecting them all together.
The UKCAT book, 'Get into Medicine - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions', is highly recommended for practice questions - 'Get into Medicine - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions' can be found here. Comments gathered from this forum show that this is the best preparation book, with questions matching the level of the exam, except for quantitative reasoning which is harder in the book but provides excellent practice for the most challenging exam questions.
The Medic Portal has specialist resources and courses designed specifically to help students master the UKCAT, and boost their chances of getting into top universities. If you sign up to the website, you instantly gain access to 50+ free UKCAT questions with worked answers. You can also subscribe to access around 2000 more. Additionally, they've got plenty of free information explaining every section of the UKCAT, and how the test is used by universities.
The Medic Portal also offers 100% recommended UKCAT Courses created by doctors in cities all over the UK. Click here to learn more about their Mastering the UKCAT course. This course comes with their best-selling Mastering The UKCAT book. It covers every section, focusing on theory as well as practice questions. It can be bought here on Amazon.
BlackStone Tutors specialise in UKCAT and BMAT preparation services. Their intensive courses are provided by current doctors and medical students. A selection of free preparation resources are available on their website. Free Resources
JobTestPrep.co.uk's website has free UKCAT practice materials as well as over 1,000 UKCAT questions, explanations, solving strategies and video tutorials. They offer live and Skype-based courses and tuition services. They also invite users to take part in UKCAT competitions, where they answer challenging questions with the possibility of winning prizes. - 'Their free UKCAT content can be found here'
AssessmentCentreHQ is a very useful site that has tons of free tests and 'success guides' for all aspects of the UKCAT test. Their numerical reasoning section, in particular, is excellent. Their free UKCAT guide has tons of free practice tests and tips etc: 'www.assessmentcentrehq.com/ukcat-practice-test'
GetIntoMedicine.co.uk is a site run by current medical students and features hundreds of free UKCAT practice questions with detailed answers, in addition to tutorials for each subtest - 'GetIntoMedicine.co.uk' can be found here
Kaplan Test Prep’s website offers a number of free resources for the UKCAT, including; a full-length practice test, practice questions and seminars. Kaplan also offer a range of courses to cater for different preparation needs, all of which are updated to include the 2013 test changes.- 'Kaplan' can be found here
Medify is a website that has various free resources for UKCAT preparation and practice, and courses from 1 week to 3 months can be bought. New from 2012 and was highly successful - 'Medify' can be found here
Another highly recommended book, 'How to pass the UKCAT and BMAT' - can be found here, can be found to be effectively when coupled with the free example questions on the UKCAT website.
Whilst these books are readily available online for purchase, it is worth checking your local library as they may be available for borrowing although you are advised that you may have to wait a while in order to borrow them.
In addition to the aforementioned books, there are also a number of intensive courses - probably the most highly recommended in terms of quality and value being the UKCAT Crash Course. It's £129 for the day, which is cheaper than Kaplan and others.
This looks at how logically people can think about written information and whether they can arrive at a well reasoned conclusion.
You are given a passage of text to read and then presented with 4 separate statements. Your task is simply to judge whether or not the statement follows logically from information presented in the passage. The choices are 'true' if it does follow on logically, 'false' if it doesn't and 'can't tell' if you can't tell from the information you've been given.
The Medic Portal's UKCAT Question Bank - Click on the Verbal Reasoning section to subscribe for hundreds of practice questions.
Verbal Reasoning Mini-Mock Exam and Answers
'Get into Medicine - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions'
http://www.assessmentcentrehq.com/psychometric-tests/verbal-reasoning/ - Excellent verbal reasoning practice page with lots of examples and tips.
http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk/freeverbal.aspx - Free Verbal Reasoning questions
http://www.getintomedicine.co.uk - Free questions
http://ukcatpracticeonline.com/homepagelinks/SampleVerbalReasoning.html (thanks to thecutiepie for posting)
This assesses your ability to solve numerical problems. You will need to solve problems by using information from tables and graphs. You need some background knowledge for this part of the test, but only GCSE level.
You're presented with 10 tables/charts/graphs and asked 4 questions on each with a choice of 5 different answers for each question.
The Medic Portal's UKCAT Question Bank - Click on the Quantitative Reasoning section to subscribe for hundreds of practice questions.
Quantitative Reasoning Mini-Mock Exam and Answers
http://www.assessmentcentrehq.com/numerical-reasoning-practice-test/ - Free numerical reasoning practice tests and resource hub, very useful.
http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk/freenumerical.aspx - Free Numerical Reasoning tests
http://ukcatpracticeonline.com/homepagelinks/SampleQuantitativeReasoning.html (thanks to thecutiepie for posting)
http://www.aptitudetestsonline.com/quizzes/freenumerical.asp (password: demo)
This assesses your ability to find patterns when looking at some groups of shapes.
You are given 2 sets of shapes. All of the shapes in each set are similar in some way, but there is no link between the 2 different sets. For each pair of sets, you are given 5 'test shapes' and you need to identify which set each fits in with or whether it fits with neither.
The Medic Portal's UKCAT Question Bank - Click on the Abstract Reasoning section to subscribe for hundreds of practice questions.
Abstract Reasoning Mini-Mock exam and Answers
'Get into Medicine - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions'
http://ukcatpracticeonline.com/homepagelinks/SampleAbstractReasoning.html (thanks to thecutiepie for posting)
http://www.practicetests.co.uk/Launchtest.asp# (email/name required)
http://discovery.axiomsoftware.com/abstract/abstract.php (email/name required)
Decision Making (Replaced Decision Analysis in 2016)
The new Decision Making subtest tests your ability to apply logic to reach a decision or conclusion, evaluate arguments and analyse statistical information.
You have to answer 29 items associated with text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams.
It is advised that you take the test before the end of August. Not only because from September 1st the fee rises (from £65 to £80 as of 2014 entry) but also so that once you get your results you can have time to think about where you want to apply. If you score highly it may be worth considering Newcastle, Barts and the London etc and likewise if you score not so well you will know to avoid applying to those places. Whilst it may be useful to compare yourself to other on TheStudentRoom it is worth noting that this site is not representative of the population in general and as such a 'bad' score on here may in fact be considered a good score in real life.