Universities requiring the UKCAT

(updated: 2019 entry)

University of Aberdeen 

Anglia Ruskin University

Aston University

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

Cardiff University 

University of Dundee 

University of East Anglia 

Edge Hill University

University of Edinburgh 

University of Exeter 

University of Glasgow 

Hull York Medical School 

Keele University*

*only for home (UK/EU) students;

BMAT required instead for international students

King's College London 

University of Leicester 

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester 

Newcastle University

University of Nottingham 

Plymouth University 

Queen Mary University of London

Queen's University Belfast 

University of Sheffield 

University of Southampton 

University of St Andrews 

St George's, University of London 

University of Sunderland

University of Warwick 

test structure

There are five sections in total, four of which contribute to your overall score. The fifth section, known as the Situational Judgement test, does not contribute to your overall score. Instead, you will receive a grade ranging from Band 1 (highest) to Band 4 (lowest) indicating how well you performed in this particular section. 

All questions are multiple-choice and a simple on-screen calculator is available for use in any section.

 

Each section begins with a 1-minute instruction page, which is not included in your test time. 

If you have a documented medical condition or disability, you may be entitled to extra time. Find out if you are eligible here.

 1. VERBAL REASONING 

This section comprises of 11 short text passages with four questions relating to each passage. Candidates will be required to make inferences and draw conclusions from the information quickly and carefully.

The questions come in various forms, as outlined below.

  1. You may receive a statement, which will require you to respond with either “True”, “False”, or “Can’t Tell”. 

  2. You may receive an incomplete statement, which you will then have to complete using the options given.

  3. You may receive a question based on the passage, which you will then have to answer using the options given.

 

Total number of questions: 44

Test time: 21 minutes

Amount of time per question: 28.6 seconds per question

 2. decision making 

This section was introduced in 2016 to replace “Decision Analysis”, the UKCAT section used prior to 2016. Questions in this section will refer to text, charts, tables, graphs, or diagrams, along with possible additional information. All questions are separate and do not share any data.

The questions come in two forms, as outlined below.

  1. You may have to label each of five statements with either a “Yes” or “No”.

  2. In response to the question, you may have to pick the single-best answer from the options given.

 

Total number of questions: 29

Test time: 31 minutes

Amount of time per question: 64.1 seconds per question

 3. quantitative REASONING 

This section requires the candidate to retrieve relevant information from tables, charts, and/or graphs and to solve a particular problem. The candidate will require a basic (up to GCSE level) numerical literacy to perform these calculations. There will be five answer options, and the candidate will have to pick the single-best answer. 

 

Total number of questions: 36

Test time: 24 minutes

Amount of time per question: 40 seconds per question

 4. abstract REASONING 

This section requires candidates to identify patterns within sets of abstract shapes. The questions come in various forms, as outlined below.

  1. You will see two separate groups of shapes, labeled “Set A” and “Set B”. 
    a) You will then be asked to choose the shape that belongs in e.g. “Set A” from the options given. 
    b) Alternatively, you may see a test shape and you will have to determine whether the test shape belongs to either “Set A”, “Set B”, or “Neither”. 

  2. There will be a series of shapes in succession, and you will have to select the next shape in the series from the options given.

  3. You will be presented with a statement involving a group of shapes. You will then have to choose the shape that completes the statement. 

 

Total number of questions: 55

Test time: 13 minutes

Amount of time per question: 14.2 seconds per question

 5. situational judgement 

The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is a test that already exists for medical students and doctors. Despite this, no existing medical or procedural knowledge is required to answer these questions. There will be 22 different scenarios, each with up to five questions. You will need to be able to consider the appropriateness of possible actions and determine how crucial certain considerations are. The questions come in various forms, as outlined below.

  1. In response to the situation, you may have to choose the most appropriate (or least appropriate) action to take.

  2. You may have to rate the suitability of each response from four possible options.

 

Total number of questions: 69

Test time: 26 minutes

Amount of time per question: 22.6 seconds per question

scoring & results

How The Scoring System Works

A. Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning

Raw marks are awarded for correct answers only; there is no negative marking. Raw marks are then scaled to a score between 300 (lowest) and 900 (highest) for each section. Your total score will be the sum of your scores from these four sections – your score will therefore range between 1200 and 3600. Scores are often discussed in terms of the average score for the four sections – i.e. a candidate with a total score of 2616 can also say that he has an average score of 654. 

B. Situational Judgement
 

In this section, full marks are awarded for answers that are correct, and partial marks are awarded if your answer is close enough to the correct answer. Your result will be presented to you in the form of a grade ranging from Band 1 (highest) to Band 4 (lowest). The most common band achieved by candidates is Band 2, with over 40% of candidates receiving this grade in years 2015, 2016, and 2017. 

Average scores

Over 20,000 students take the UKCAT test every year. The average score varies slightly each year, but is usually around 635. When practicing on mock tests, we recommend aiming for an average score of 650 and above. Average scores and decile rankings for the 2017 cycle can be found here.

where to apply based on your ukcat score

 

Different medical schools use UKCAT scores differently. Some universities set a minimum cut-off score when offering interview invitations, while others consider each candidate’s application holistically instead. Since the UKCAT test is conducted in the summer, and you will obtain your results before you apply via UCAS, we strongly suggest that you use this to your advantage. If you have a particularly high score, apply to universities that put a higher weightage on UKCAT scores. Conversely, if your UKCAT score is not your strong point, there are many universities that do not consider UKCAT scores as much. You can find out how each university uses UKCAT results in selecting candidates here.

how to prepare

Once your summer break begins, it is best to start preparing for the UKCAT as soon as possible.

There are a selection of books that offer UKCAT techniques and thousands of sample questions, but the best way to prepare for the UKCAT is by using online question bank websites and utilising their practice questions under timed conditions, because this will emulate real UKCAT test conditions. It is important to choose question bank websites that have web interfaces that are as similar to the real UKCAT test as possible.

The official UKCAT website offers three practice tests, so treat these three tests as the gold standard of what the real UKCAT will be like. 

 

When practicing on mock exams, remember that you are not trying to learn the content that is being tested. Instead, focus on: -
a) gaining familiarity with the layout of the webpage 

b) learning how to use the on-screen calculator quickly
c) being familiar the style of questions that may come out in your real exam
d) being able to read and absorb text passages quickly 
e) using your pen and paper tactfully 

Here is a selection of tried-and-tested question bank websites that offer sample/practice questions: -

  1. Official UKCAT Practice Test (Free): http://practice.ukcat.ac.uk/pages/menu.aspx?pack=19e59fe9-92d7-4b39-a7b9-dcd017733181

  2. Kaplan Test Prep (Free Trial Available): https://www.kaptest.co.uk/ukcat/practice-questions

  3. The Medic Portal (Free Questions Available): https://www.themedicportal.com/e-learning/ukcat/

  4. UKCATPrep by Emedica (Free Questions Available): http://ukcatprep.com/ukcat_questions.html

  5. Oxbridge Applications: http://www.oxbridgeapplications.com/resources/mock-test-packs/ukcat/

  6. UKCAT Ninja by 6med: https://ukcat.ninja

  7. UCAT Online Course by Medify (Free Questions Available)https://www.medify.co.uk/ukcat

  8. UCAT Masterclass (targeted towards Australian students) (1 Free Test Available)https://www.ucatmasterclass.com/ 

All the best!

 
 
 
 

References

  1. Medical Schools Council. Entry Requirements for UK Medical Schools 2019 Entry [Internet]. London: Medical Schools Council; 2018 [cited 23 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2357/msc-entry-requirements-for-uk-medical-schools.pdf

  2. UKCAT Universities | UKCAT Consortium [Internet]. ukcat.ac.uk. 2018 [cited 23 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.ukcat.ac.uk/ukcat-test/ukcat-universities/

  3. UKCAT Dates and Fees | UKCAT Consortium [Internet]. ukcat.ac.uk. 2018 [cited 23 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.ukcat.ac.uk/ukcat-test/ukcat-dates-and-fees/

  4. UKCAT Test Statistics 2017 [Internet]. UKCAT Consortium; 2017 [cited 26 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.ukcat.ac.uk/media/1198/2017-ukcat-test-statistics-oct-2017.pdf

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