About the UCAT® (UKCAT)

What is the UCAT (Previously UKCAT)®?

The UCAT is a computer-based test taken at Pearson Vue Centres nationwide between July and October every year. For 2020, the option to take the test online is also available.

The UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test, (previously named UKCAT, UK Clinical Aptitude Test), and is required for entry to a medical/dentistry degree at many UK universities. Even though a name change has taken place, the UCAT is an identical test to the UKCAT.

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What is the difference between the UCAT & the UKCAT?

The UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) was the test name used for the UCAT before it was renamed. There are no differences in content, structure or timing between both tests. The UCAT replaced UKCAT in 2019, with the name change intended to encourage a more global reach. Since then, the UCAT has also launched in Australia and New Zealand under the name UCAT ANZ. Find out more on the Kaplan Medical blog.

Which Universities require the UCAT?

The full list of universities that require UCAT is: Aberdeen, Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, East Anglia, Edge Hill, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Hull York Medical School, Keele, Kent & Medway Medical School, King's College London, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Queen Mary- University of London, Queen’s University Belfast, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland, St. Andrew’s, St. George’s London and Warwick (grad only).

What are the entry requirements of Medical Schools?

The entry requirements of Medical Schools are different but all will require high grades. You should check each university's website for current details on the admission requirements. Or check the minimum UCAT score required by each university.

What is tested on the UCAT?

The UCAT tests a range of mental abilities identified as important for medical and dentistry professionals. It consists of 5 sections. The time granted to answer the questions in each section is reflected below, and they include the additional 1 minute of time granted per section to read instructions. 

Section Questions Timing Scoring
Verbal Reasoning 44 22 minutes 300-900
Decision Making 29 32 minutes 300-900
Quantitative Reasoning 36 25 minutes 300-900
Abstract Reasoning 55 14 minutes 300-900
Situational Judgement 69 27 minutes Band 1- 4

Related: 12 UCAT tips to save time and ace the exam..

What is the average UCAT score?

The average UCAT score is released by the UCAT Consortium in their annual report, broken down by section of the test. Below are the figures from the 2019 UCAT sitting:

Verbal reasoning: 565
Decision making: 618
Quantitative reasoning: 662
Abstract reasoning: 638
Situational Judgement: N/A

Total scaled score: 2483

How will you score on test day?
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How to prepare for the UCAT exam?

The UCAT Consortium offers few practice tests and question banks. If you require more thorough preparation, Kaplan runs a number of classroom and online UCAT courses starting from £170, all backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

What is a good UCAT score?

A good UCAT score in general, is a score above the national average UCAT score that gives students a competitive advantage. However, the average score changes each testing year, and different medical schools have different criteria. We've dedicated a separate article that tackles the question of a good UCAT score head on!

For tips to score higher on the UCAT watch the following teacher video: Top Tips to Score Higher on the UCAT.

What are the UCAT test dates?

Below are the key testing dates for the 2020 UCAT.

Registration opens: 1st July 2020
Testing begins: 3rd August 2020
Registration deadline: To be advised
Bursary application deadline:  30th September 2020
Last test date:  1st October 2020
UCAS application deadline: 15 October 2020
Please note that all dates are subject to change.

Download our 2019-2020 UCAT & BMAT Timeline as part of your UCAT starter kit, including:

Kaplan UCAT Study Guide
UCAT & BMAT key differences fact sheet
UCAT free practice test

Download now

How much does the UCAT cost?

£75 for UK & EU test takers
£120 for Non-EU test-takers

Bursaries are available to cover the cost of the test. See www.ucat.ac.uk for application details.

For further information about the UCAT test and to register* please visit www.ucat.ac.uk.

*We encourage all students to register early for the UCAT, particularly if you would like a Test Date in September. Test Centres can fill up, so book early to avoid having to travel to an alternative test centre.



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Course reviews from former Kaplan students

Lauren B, a Birmingham Classroom Course Student, scored 3020, Band 3

As I was the only student at my school sitting the UCAT, I felt I had little help and was concerned about how I would score. I feel taking part in the Kaplan course helped me massively as it provided me with skills and tips to allow me to succeed in the exam and get a score high enough to apply to the University of my choice. I can now happily say I start my Medicine degree at this University in just over a week - this may not have been possible without my help from Kaplan.

Yue W, a Live Online Course Student, scored 3220, Band 1

I really enjoyed the UCAT prep. It gave me some very useful advice particularly with triaging but the best thing about this course was probably the confidence and reassurance it gave me that it is possible to do well by putting in effort and it's not a game of luck.

Alice S, a London Classroom Course Student, scored 2790, Band 1

Kaplan was fantastic; it gave me the skills to tackle each section in a logical way, but also the teaching and the resources we were given meant that I continued to practice in a productive way. The methods I learnt from Kaplan, and the practice tests, meant I knew exactly what to expect from my UCAT test and how to approach each question. Without Kaplan, I definitely would have not got the score I did.

Sammy G : "You can see the teaching is actually working."

Sammy was referred to us by a current medical student who took a Kaplan course. She found the Kaplan strategies to be a helpful boost to the prep she did in advance.

Rupert V W: “It’s a great way to kick-off my learning in the UCAT (UKCAT).”

Rupert took the UCAT exam last year but didn’t get the high score needed for medical admission. This year he chose to take a Kaplan course based on recommendations, to boost his score.

Arjun M : "I would really recommend it to someone who's deciding to do the UCAT (UKCAT)"

Arjun was struggling with his UCAT (UKCAT) preparation before he learned Kaplan's techniques and strategies as part of his UCAT course. He really enjoyed the course and recommends it to anyone taking the UCAT.

Charlotte P : "Strategies to overcome really difficult questions"

Charlotte was recommended our UCAT (UKCAT) course by a friend. She found the Kaplan teacher's experience and advice invaluable over just studying from a book.

Cherry Jade L : "When I go to sit the UCAT (UKCAT) I'll have the right stategies and know what to do"

Cherry-Jade appreciates the importance of a high UCAT (UKCAT) score as part of a good medical application. She decided to take the Kaplan UCAT course after discovering that many medical students found the test harder than expected, and that the Kaplan course helped them to get a better result.

Ronan L : "What we have been learning in the course is extremely beneficial"

Ronan took the UCATSEN (UKCATSEN) and found it particularly useful that the teacher was able to adapt the course content so that no student was left behind.

Sambhavi Kumar, 2018 UCAT (UKCAT) Student, scored 3220, Band 2

I found Kaplan very helpful and definitely could not have scored as highly as I did without it. The classroom course was really well delivered, engaging throughout and quite motivating as well.

The online resources were also very good for practise and were brilliant for familiarising myself with the test format.

Shavanni scored an average of 743 on the UKCAT and band 2 for situational judgment.

"Thanks to Kaplan I had lots of practice and online resources - I felt much more confident going in to the exam"

Victoria scored 840 on the UKCAT with band 1 in situational judgment.

"I found Kaplan's realistic practice tests and comprehensive answer explanations incredibly helpful as they helped me learn from my mistakes and build up my confidence"
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