TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a Subject > Medicine > UCAT


InformationImportant Dates and CostsHow the test is scoredUpdates to the UCAT for 2020 Entry
Who needs it? How is it used?Preparation for the UCATThe subtestsGeneral Advice


The UCAT stands for the University Clinical Aptitude Test and is an admissions test used by the majority of medical schools and dental schools. the test was formerly known as the UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) prior to 2019. The test is sat between early July and early October each year and should be taken by applicants who are planning to apply to medical school in the same year (for entry 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 as it contains no curriculum content, that said it is highly advisable to prepare for it by doing practice questions and papers. 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 UCAT average score of between 300 and 900. The majority of applicants will score between 600 and 700, with approximately 630 being the average.

The UCAT 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 UCAT score, and invite the top x% to interview.

For more information, visit the main UCAT website: http://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/

See the The UCAT Guide here on TSR for more information.

For any questions about the UCAT, ask them here.

Important Dates and Costs

Important Dates for 2019 UCAT (Source)

Registration Opens: 01 May 2019

Testing Begins: 01 July 2019

Registration & Online Booking Deadline: 18 September 2019

Last Testing Date: 02 October 2019

Test Location: Pearson Vue test centre


Tests taken in the EU between 1 July 2019 - 31 August 2019: £65

Tests taken in the EU between 1 September 2019 - 2 October 2019: £87

Tests taken outside the EU: £115

If you or your parent are in receipt of Income Support, EMA, a 16-19 bursary or meet any of the other eligibility criteria you can apply for a bursary voucher to cover the full cost of the exam. You can apply for the voucher by filling out a bursary application form found on the UCAT 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 UCAT exam. (Source)

How the test is scored

The UCAT is made up of five subsections, and SJT plus four cognitive sections which are each 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. Total scores are therefore out of a maximum of 3600, plus a banding score for the Situational Judgement Test.

Updates to the UCAT for 2020 entry

1) Change in test name from UKCAT to UCAT. 2) All requests for Access Arrangements and test accommodations must be submitted by 18 September 2019. 3) Three new universities are using the test - Edge Hill University, University of Sunderland and Kent & Medway Medical School.

Who needs it? How is it used?

See the UCAT website for an up to date list of universities: https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/universities/

UCAT also collate the information in the table below afresh each year here.

University UCAS Course Code How do they use it for medicine applicants?
University of Aberdeen A100, A201 "UCAT scores make up 20% of the total score, and 40% of the pre-interview score. Applicants are divided into deciles by UCAT score to apportion scores for this. A wide range of UCAT 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."
Anglia Ruskin University A100 Not yet specified - refer to their website.
Aston University A100 Your UCAT result will be considered alongside the other required qualifications.
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (Queen Mary) A100, A101, A110, A120, A130, B960, A200 5yr: 2400 minimum cut-off to reach interview. 4yr: UCAT 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 UCAT 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 Not yet specified - referred to their website.
Cardiff University A100, A104, A200, A204 "No absolute UCAT threshold is used."
University of Dundee A100, A104, A200, A204 "UCAT 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 East Anglia A100, A104 "While a high UCAT 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."
Edge Hill University A110 Not yet specified - referred to their website.
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 UCAT alongside other factors. "
University of Glasgow A100, A200 "Interviewees who meet/are predicted to achieve the minimum academic entry requirements will be ranked by UCAT total score. Depending on the number of applications the Medical School receives and the standard of scores achieved in the UCAT, the Medical School may need to increase the UCAT total score requirement."
Hull York Medical School A100 "If you have a total UCAT 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 UCAT 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."
Kent and Medway Medical School TBC Not yet specified
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 UCAT scores will not be the sole indicator for selection. "
University of Leicester A100, A199 The UCAT 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 A score of 2500 or above is deemed competitive. Do not normally progress those with an SJT of Band 4.
University of Manchester A104, A106, A204, A206 "Applications are ranked by total UCAT 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 UCAT threshold will vary each year depending on how many applications we receive and how they score on their UCAT. As a guide, last year we interviewed candidates with a range of UCAT scores between 1990 and 3160; the majority of applicants invited for interview had achieved a total UCAT score of 2580 or above."
University of Newcastle A100, A101, A206 "The UCAT 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, A10l, A108, A18L "We do NOT operate a threshold for the UCAT test results. When marking your application, we will mark each of the scores you received for the four cognitive components of the UCAT 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 "UCAT 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 UCAT 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 UCAT Banding Scores for Applicants Applying for Medicine at Queen's University Belfast in 2012

Band scoreScoring 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, 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 UCAT score and invited to interview in order of score. The cut-off score does not apply to the BM6 (A102) programme, but the UCAT 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 UCAT in two ways; firstly we set a cut off for the overall UCAT 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 UCAT score higher than the cut off did not guarantee an interview. Secondly, at St Andrews the UCAT score will be used as part of an applicant’s overall ranking following interview. The UCAT 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 "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 UCAT to St George’s. Please note that a good score in one section cannot compensate for a poor score in another. UCAT will also be used for borderline cases after interview and to rank our post-offer waiting list."
University of Sunderland A100 Not yet specified - refer to their website.
Warwick University A101 (Graduate Entry) "Our decision to invite you is based on your UCAS application and UCAT score. Those who do not meet our entry criteria will NOT be interviewed even if they score very highly on the UCAT."

Preparation for the UCAT

No commercial preparation courses are endorsed by the UCAT and on their website they state "Candidates should be aware that whilst there are many commercial companies publishing books and offering coaching for our tests, the UCAT Consortium does not work with any of these companies or endorse the use of their materials. Taking advantage of these opportunities can cost candidates a great deal of money and we would advise you to be sceptical about claims they can help you do well in the test by coaching.

Commercial organisations will be using items that are not necessarily of the standard you will encounter in the UCAT and this may distort your performance whilst practising. Screen views may be different and commercial organisations are unlikely to include the new item types which you may encounter in your test. They may also not replicate the UCAT scoring and banding accurately and may give misleading indicators of your anticipated UCAT score."

Books and practice questions are acknowledged to be helpful, with the UCAT official guide and their website cautioning that only recently published or updated resources should be used. UCAT research also suggests that around 25-30 hours of preparation leads to higher test scores.

Free OFFICIAL practice tests which closely mimic the live test are available on the UCAT website here.

Substantial question banks, with over 1,000 example questions are also available on the UCAT website here.

The official UCAT website also provides numerous other free resources to help students prepare for the test, including detailed tutorials on the test, explaining each individual sub-type, a free App students can download, advice pages and tips from past candidates, and the annual UCAT Official Guide. These are all available 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 UCAT can be found with each section.

Thanks goes to Lu-x (unless otherwise credited) for finding and collecting them all together.

Another up-to-date UCAT book used by students published by Medic Portal in 2015 [1] also covers all question types and has good amazon reviews.

The Medic Portal has specialist resources and courses designed specifically to help students master the UCAT, and boost their chances of getting into top universities. If you sign up to the website, you instantly gain access to 50+ free UCAT 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 UCAT, and how the test is used by universities.

"GradMed offers specialist preparation in GAMSAT and UKCAT courses. With over 20 years of experience they are the GAMSAT experts. [2]

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'

BecomeAMedic experts of UCAT & BMAT preparation services. Their courses are all UPDATED FOR 2021 ENTRY. All of their information is written by junior doctors. A selection of free preparation resources are available on their website 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

BecomeAMedic experts of UCAT & BMAT preparation services. Their courses are all UPDATED FOR 2021 ENTRY. All of their information is written by junior doctors. A selection of free preparation resources are available on their website. One day UCAT Course run by doctors can be found here.

Medic Mind Book 6 UKCAT ebooks which have over 400 pages worth of theory and questions £15 'Medic Mind Book 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 UniAdmissions.

UniAdmissions is a tuition provider and offers intensive courses and individual tuition on UKCAT questions answering strategy. Claims to have 97% student satisfaction rate and 83% application success rate. [ https://www.uniadmissions.co.uk/ukcat/]

Kaplan is a tuition provider offering intensive courses and individual tuition. Claims to have 65 years of teaching experience for the test [3]

Medic Mind Classroom Course -can be found here Medic Mind offers the most affordable UKCAT course in the UK at £35. Includes free Medic Mind Book and Online Video Course.

Medic Mind Mentoring Program - can be found here. Be mentored for 6 weeks until your UKCAT exam and receive 24/7 support from your mentor where you can ask as many questions as you like.

BecomeAMedic experts of UCAT & BMAT preparation services. Their courses are all UPDATED FOR 2021 ENTRY. All of their information is written by junior doctors. A selection of free preparation resources are available on their website. One day UCAT Course run by doctors can be found here.

Verbal Reasoning

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.

BecomeAMedic experts of UCAT & BMAT preparation services. Their courses are all UPDATED FOR 2021 ENTRY. All of their information is written by junior doctors. A selection of free preparation resources are available on their website. One day UCAT Course run by doctors can be found here.

Practice questions

The Official UCAT's Question Bank - VR questions from the test provider themselves which are of equivalent standard to those you will experience in the actual test.

The Medic Portal's UKCAT Question Bank - Click on the Verbal Reasoning section to subscribe for hundreds of practice questions.

BecomeAMedic's UCAT course - updated for 2021 Entry - Click through the dates to see how they can help and their new UCAT questions available.

'Get into Medicine - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions' - this has now been updated to 1250 questions - bigger and better!

http://jung.test.typologycentral.com/ - This free personality test uniquely combines two powerful systems for evaluating personality type – Jungian Cognitive Functions and Personality Dichotomies.

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)



Decision Making

The 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.

Practice questions

The Official UCAT's Question Bank - DM questions from the test provider themselves which are of equivalent standard to those you will experience in the actual test.

BecomeAMedic's UCAT course - updated for 2021 Entry - Click through the dates to see how they can help and their new UCAT Decision Making questions available.

Quantitative Reasoning

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 (maths) for this part of the test, but only GCSE level.

You're presented with 36 questions associated with a variety of tables/charts/graphs. A basic calculator is provided within the test system.

Practice questions

The Official UCAT's Question Bank - QR questions from the test provider themselves which are of equivalent standard to those you will experience in the actual test.

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

BecomeAMedic's UCAT course - updated for 2021 Entry - Click through the dates to see how they can help and their new UCAT questions available.

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)





Abstract Reasoning

This assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes where irrelevant and distracting material may lead to incorrect conclusions.

You will see all of these 4 different question types in this subtest:

For type 1, you will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be given a test shape and asked to decide whether the test shape belongs to Set A, Set B, or Neither.

For type 2, you will be presented with a series of shapes. You will be asked to select the next shape in the series.

For type 3, you will be presented with a statement, involving a group of shapes. You will be asked to determine which shape completes the statement.

For type 4, you will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B.

Practice questions

The Official UCAT's Question Bank - AR questions from the test provider themselves which are of equivalent standard to those you will experience in the actual test.

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'

BecomeAMedic's UCAT course - updated for 2021 Entry - Click through the dates to see how they can help and their new UCAT questions available.









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)






Situational Judgement Test

The situational judgement test (SJT) measures your capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. The test consists of a series of scenarios for which you will need to consider either the appropriateness of possible actions, or the importance of possible considerations. The questions do not require medical or procedural knowledge.

This section is scored differently to the remainder of the test, scores for the SJT are expressed in one of four bands, with band 1 being the highest.

Practice questions

The Official UCAT's Question Bank - SJT questions from the test provider themselves which are of equivalent standard to those you will experience in the actual test.

General Advice

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 £87) 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.

See the The UCAT Guide here on TSR for more information.

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