The ukcat for dentistry

Main Information

The UKCAT stands for the 'United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test' and is an admissions test used by nine out of the thirteen dental schools in the UK.

The test is sat between 1st July and 4th October and should be taken by applicants who are planning to apply to Dentistry in the October of the same year. The test lasts around two hours and tests mental aptitude and ability and is not a test of knowledge. It is made up of five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Analysis and Situational Judgement Test and each test different skills.

The first four sections are scored between 500 and 900, which leads to an overall UKCAT average score of between 500 and 900. The majority of applicants will score between 600 and 700, with approximately 620 being the national average. Situational Judgement is slightly different, for this section you will be allocated to a band depending on your answers. The bands range from 1 to 4, 1 means your answers were similar to the panel of experts, 4 means your responses weren't the 'ideal' answers. For more information on how the UKCAT is scored, see here.

The UKCAT is used differently by different dental schools, and some don't use it at all in their admissions process.

For more information, take a look at the Official UKCAT website and if after reading you have other questions that have not yet been answered, ask them in this thread.

Important Dates and Costs

Important Dates for 2014 entry

Dates last updated: July 18th 2013

Registration opens: 01 May 2013

Bursary applications processed from: 01 May 2013

Testing begins: 01 July 2013

Registration deadline: 20 September 2013

Bursary application deadline: 5pm on the 20 September 2013

Exemption application deadline: 20 September 2013

Last testing date: 04 October 2013

UCAS application deadline: 15 October 2013


Sit the test between 01 July and 31 August 2013: £65 EU / £100 for Non-EU

Sit the test between 01 September and 04 October 2013: £80 EU / £100 for Non EU

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 as the number on the voucher is needed when booking your UKCAT exam.

How the UKCAT is scored

The UKCAT is made up of five subsections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Analysis and Situational Judgement Testing.

The first four sections 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.

For Situational Judgement you will be allocated a band from 1 to 4 depending on your answers.

It is worth noting that the majority of 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 dental school.

Preparation Resources

Although you essentially cannot "revise" for the UKCAT as it is not a test of knowledge, some preparation is essential so that you are familiar with the time-limits and style of questions in the test.

• The most recommended book to practice with is the 'Get into Medicine - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions'. Comments gathered from this forum show that this is the most realistic, and therefore the most useful preparation book to use. Members agree that most questions match the level of the exam, except for quantitative reasoning which is harder in the book - but provides excellent practice for the most challenging questions.

• There are practice tests which simulate the real exam, available to download from the Official UKCAT website. It is advisable to complete at at least one of these official tests, in order to familiarise yourself with the strict time limits, screen layout and on-screen calculator.

• There is also this thread on The Student Room which offers a host of alternative resources specific to each section of the UKCAT. Credit goes to Lu-x of the medicine forum for finding and compiling these resources together.

Which Dental schools use the UKCAT? How do they use it?

niversity UCAS Course Code How do they use it for Dentistry applicants?
Barts and the London A200 "In order for us to select an appropriate number of candidates, applicants are ranked according to their UKCAT score. Those who achieve the appropriate UKCAT score will be invited to attend an interview. The appropriate UKCAT score will be determined by the performance of candidates each year. Therefore there is no predetermined cut-off score for the UKCAT at which candidates will be interviewed. However, obviously, the higher your score the more likely you are to be interviewed and candidates with scores well below average are unlikely to be interviewed."
Cardiff A200 "In Cardiff, the UKCAT score is used in conjunction with a range of other academic and non-academic assessments in the selection process. No absolute UKCAT threshold is used"
Dundee A200 "Your UKCAT score will be factored into the pre-interview rank. There is no specific cut off applied but obviously a high score is advantageous.

Our analysis of the 2010 applicants revealed that the average for those gaining offers was over 2,600"

Glasgow A200 "Candidates are selected to progress to interview based on their UKCAT score, with the cut-off point variable from year to year."
King's College London A205 "Your UKCAT scores will be considered in our selection for interview. They will not be the sole indicator for selection, but will be balanced against achievement in other areas, in particular your academic performance to date. All indicators will be considered together in deciding who will be selected for interview. It is therefore important to understand that there is no universal 'cut off' score for the UKCAT when applying for 2013 entry. An applicant who may not normally be considered on academic grounds could be invited to interview on the strength of strong UKCAT scores that may indicate potential. Also, if applicants are very similar in all other ways, the scores may be the determining factor in selection for interview."
Manchester A206 "Manchester Dental School does not operate a cut-off score for UKCAT results. It is merely one element of the assessment of the application. Therefore, candidates with a low UKCAT percentile score does not mean that they will be automatically rejected. Similarly, candidates with a high UKCAT percentile score does not mean that they will be successful either."
Newcastle A206 "All applicants are required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) in the year of application."
Queen's University Belfast A200 "UKCAT results will be considered alongside the other academic and non-academic criteria which the Selectors for the Dentistry and Medicine degrees currently take into account. The test will therefore provide an additional objective measure which will assist in the selection of students best suited to undertake a Dental or Medical degree. "
Sheffield A200 "All applicants applying to study Dentistry at the University of Sheffield will need to undertake the UKCAT in order to be eligible for admission. We do not have a cut-off score for the UKCAT and no applicants are excluded from the selection procedure due to a low score. The test result is used in combination with the other academic criteria and a high score may compensate for weaker GCSE grades. The score may also be used at the end of the selection procedure to differentiate between applicants who are equal in all other criteria."