What is UCAT Exam - Dates, Eligibility, Fees, Syllabus

Sristy Sharma
Updated on Sep 27, 2022 10:05 AM IST

The UCAT exam is one of the aptitude tests for clinical and dental aspirants in the UK. Check out more about what is UCAT exam, how to register for it, fees for Indian students and more.

What is UCAT Exam - Dates, Eligibility, Fees, Syllabus
prodigy finance banner

The UCAT exam is one of the common standardised tests in the UK and is especially popular among international students who wish to study medicine or dentistry in the UK.

The medical courses’ curriculum and overall study structure worldwide are vastly different. In this case, standardised tests are extremely important for universities in the UK, primarily when it comes to taking up medical and dental fields of study — the UCAT test is one such test.

The test helps medical colleges in the UK to determine whether the applicant is suitable for the course or not and if they can cope with their course curriculum. Explore all about the UCAT test here, from exam dates to the syllabus.

Learn more about the various standardised and aptitude tests applicable to study or work in the UK.

Explore All Standardised Tests to Study in UK!

What is UCAT Exam?

The University Clinical Aptitude Test or UCAT exam is the aptitude test designed to test the skills and calibre of candidates in medical and dental fields of study. The test is applicable for the master's level qualifications in selected medical fields, including dentistry.

The majority of UK universities and non-UK universities are associated with the UCAT authority. These member universities readily accept the exam as proof of aptitude in relevant medical fields of study. The popularity of the exam is such that it is conducted in over 130 countries worldwide by the Pearson VUE.

Purpose of UCAT Exam

The UCAT exam is a popular exam with limited applicability. It is only relevant for admission to its member universities, which causes proper questions about its purpose. Here are some of the main purposes as served by the UCAT exam:

  • Aptitude Testing: The UCAT exam consists of a total of five sections, each of which tests either the cognitive or non-cognitive abilities of candidates. This helps the reviewing university to get a summary of how the test taker understands the information presented to them, and whether they have the capability to handle the field relevant situations.

  • Specialised Standard Testing: There are many standardised tests active for admission to any university in any country. However, the specialised nature of the UCAT exam makes it stand out. The exam is focused on the selection of selected medical and dentistry students. Hence, the exam is designed very specifically to test the candidate’s aptitude in the relevant field only.

  • Cater to Member Universities’ Requirements: Although there are many medical and dental colleges in the UK, each of them does not follow the same course teaching pattern even for the same degrees. Hence, singular standardised tests cannot be relied upon to cater to all their needs equally and fairly. The UCAT test caters to the needs of its member universities and helps them shortlist worthy students for further medical and dental studies.

  • Ease the Selection Process: The quantification of the skills possessed by the candidates helps the universities to pace their selection process. They do not have to infer the skills of applicants from their applications and answers, the UCAT result speaks for themselves.

Overview of UCAT Exam

The prospective UCAT test takers can refer to the brief overview of the UCAT test before they delve deep into the exam’s characteristics:

Parameters

Description

Full Form

University Clinical Aptitude Test

Popularly Known As

UCAT

Exam Authority

UCAT

Administered by

Pearson VUE

Type of Exam

Computer-based (At Home testing available)

Total Exam Duration

120 minutes (115 + 5)

Total Number of Questions

225

UCAT Exam Sections

5

UCAT Scores

1200-3600; 

300-900 section-wise

UCAT Exam Dates

July 11, 2022 - September 29, 2022

UCAT Exam Centres

UK and 130+ Countries

UCAT Exam Fees

GBP 70-115

Qualification Level

Foundation, Bachelor’s and Master’s Courses

Fields Applicable

Medical (MBBS & MBChB) and Dentistry

Countries Applicable

UK

Affiliated Universities

34 UK universities + 2 Overseas universities

UCAT Exam Dates and Deadlines

UCAT exam dates are slotted from July 11, 2022, to September 29, 2022. The prospective test takers need to register within this timeline and appear for their respective tests. Here are the important UCAT dates and deadlines for 2022:

Action or Event

UCAT Dates and Deadlines 2022

Account Registration Opens

May 29, 2022

Booking Opens

June 20, 2022

UCAT Exams Start

July 11, 2022

Access Arrangement Application Deadline

September 21, 2022

Booking Deadline

September 22, 2022

UCAT Exams End

September 29, 2022

Bursary Scheme Application Deadline

September 30, 2022

UCAT Exam Centres in India

Pearson VUE administers the UCAT exam in India in over 20 exam centres. The prospective test-takers can choose among any of of these UCAT exam centres as per their convenience:

UCAT Exam Centre

City and State

Agile Technologies And Solutions

Kolkata, West Bengal

Ansal University

Gurugram, Haryana

Dr NGP Institute Of Technology

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Dr. T. M. A. Pai Polytechnic

Manipal, Karnataka

GATS

Pune, Maharashtra

Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering

Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Infinity Academy

Ranchi, Jharkhand

Lakshmi Narain College of Technology Excellence

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

National Inst. Of Technology

Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu

 

Pearson Professional Centers

Ahemdabad, Gujarat

Bangalore Karnataka

Chandigarh, Punjab

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Gurugram, Haryana

Hyderabad, Telangana

Jalandhar, Punjab

New Delhi, Delhi

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Pune, Maharashtra

Surat, Gujarat

Rajagiri College Of Social Sciences

Kochi, Kerala

Sakar Edutech Pvt. Ltd.

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Thapar University

Patiala, Punjab

Unisoft Technologies

Nagpur, Maharashtra

Related Links:

Guide to UCAS Application Process

PLAB Exam - Dates, Application, Syllabus, Fees, Cost, Results

How to Write UCAS Personal Statement

Stay Back Period and Post Study Work Permit in UK

Studying MBBS Abroad: Expense or Investment

Study Medicine Abroad and Practice in India - How?

UCAT Exam Registration

The candidates wishing to register for the UCAT exam should firstly refer to the following eligibility criteria and registration process to avoid any mistakes during the process.  

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the UCAT exam are simple. To be able to register for the exam, the candidates need to:

  • be applying for the medical or dental programmes at the accepting universities,

  • the courses must grant a foundational, bachelor’s, or master’s qualification,

  • the applying university must be a UK Consortium or non-UK Associate Member of the UCAT exam authority.

The applicants can register for any of the following services:

  • OnVUE Proctored UCAT or UCAT test at home, if they cannot make it to any test centre due to certain valid reasons,

  • UCATSEN, if they require 25% extra time to complete their UCAT test,

  • UCATSA, if they require extended test breaks during the exam due to valid reasons,

  • UCATSENSA, if they require both, extra 25% time and extended rest breaks during the UCAT test, and

  • UCATSEN50, if they reasonably require an extra 50% of the time.

Note 1: Each of these additional services can be applied with proper reasoning, but the confirmation of privileges is a right with the UCAT exam authority. They shall decide whether the applicant is eligible for the privilege as requested.

Note 2: The UCAT exam authority also reserves the right to give privileges as per the reason’s quantum, i.e. they can give a different privilege rather than one requested if they deem it more appropriate.

How to Apply?

UCAT registration according to the UCAT authority is a two-step process:

Step 1: Register for a UCAT Account

  • Candidates need to register for the UCAT test as new users if registering for the first time. Already registered candidates can use their existing credentials to log in to their UCAT accounts. 

  • The applicants shall have to fill out their personal details and other information as prompted by the registration form. 

  • After confirming the details, UCAT shall send them their login credentials. These credentials need to be used to generate a password.

  • After setting up the UCAT account, candidates can log in and check out their UCAT Candidate ID, which is an alphanumeric combination, such as UKCAT012345.

  • Pearson VUE will send an email to the candidates within a day or two confirming their account setup.

Step 2: Book a Test

  • On receiving the account confirmation from Pearson VUE, the candidates need to use their account credentials to log in.

  • After logging in candidates can book the test within the July 11 - September 29 test dates.

  • In case the candidate has been selected for OnVUE Proctored UCAT, UCATSA, UCATSENSA, and/or UCATSEN50, then they need to use PAC to book the test date.

UCAT Exam Fees

The UCAT exam fees are diversified into two charges, one for UK test takers, and the other for non-UK test takers. However, there is no diversification on the basis of the mode of the test or the test date.

The UCAT authority charges:

  • GBP 70 from test takers registered to take test in UK exam centres, and

  • GBP 115 from test takers slotted to attempt their UCAT exam from outside the UK.

The applicable UCAT exam fees for Indian candidates who shall attempt their tests from UCAT exam centres in India is INR 10,435 (variable as per prevalent exchange rates).

Test takers can reschedule or cancel their booked slots and get a refund for the same. The whole registration fee shall be refunded as long as the candidate takes these actions at least 24 hours before their scheduled exam. This includes candidates opting for the UCAT test at home option.

UCAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus

UCAT test pattern and syllabus are important for test-takers to understand what can they expect from the test. The test pattern study and preparation will help them avoid exam anxiety due to the testing environment, while the syllabus will help them prepare to score high percentile ranks in the UCAT exam.

Exam Pattern

The UCAT exam lasts for two hours and consists of five sections. Each subtest is defined for the number of questions and time limit. The test is conducted without breaks, however, a one-minute subtest introduction is placed at the beginning of every section, totalling five minutes of extra time during the exam.

Here is a summary of the UCAT exam pattern and overall test duration distribution:

Section

Number of Questions

Time Duration (in minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

44

21

Decision Making

29

31

Quantitative Reasoning

36

25

Abstract Reasoning

50

12

Situational Judgement

66

26

Overall UCAT Exam

225

115

Syllabus

The UCAT exam is divided to test two main skills for the test-taker:

  • Cognitive Skills: These are the skills used by test-takers to grasp the meaning of provided information through reading, listening, and observing. The better a test-taker is able to grasp the apparent and non-apparent meaning from the information and use the same to build their own reasoning and arguments, the better their cognitive abilities. The UCAT test sections of verbal reasoning, decision-making, quantitative reasoning, and abstract reasoning are used to test these skills.

  • Non-Cognitive Skills: Non-cognitive skills are those which are based on the person’s own ethics, morals, conscience, and way of handling situations. These skills help the test-taker to take their decisions and also understand the effect and nature of them. The situational judgment section of the UCAT exam tests the non-cognitive skills of test-takers.

The UCAT test syllabus can be identified on the basis of its subtests:

UCAT Section

Skills Tested

Verbal Reasoning

Ability to critically evaluate given information.

Decision Making

Ability to make sound decisions and use given information.

Quantitative Reasoning

Ability to critically evaluate numerical information.

Abstract Reasoning

Ability to apply convergent and divergent thinking to understand relationships as presented by the given information.

Situational Judgement

Ability to deal with real-life situations by identifying critical factors and applying appropriate behaviour.

Countries Accepting UCAT Exam

UCAT results can be sent to selected institutions from November 2022 onwards. Test-takers need to select the institutes for sending scores.Test takers who are applying with UCAS can convey the same to their institution and UCAS authority with reference to UCAT’s 2022 test cycle.

Here are some selected member UK universities and non-UK universities which are accepting the UCAT scores for relevant courses:

University

Country

UCAT Exam Programmes

American University of the Caribbean

Sint Maarten

MD

Aston University

UK

Medicine-MBChB

Cardiff University

UK

MBBCh, Dental Surgery BDS

King’s College London

UK

MBBS, Dentistry BDS, 

Queen Mary University of London

UK

MBBS (5 & 4 years), Dentistry BDS 

University of Birmingham

UK

MBChB, Dental Surgery BDS

University of Bristol

UK

MBChB, BDS Dentistry, BVSc Foundation Veterinary Science

University of East Anglia

UK

MBBS

University of Edinburgh

UK

MBChB

University of Glasgow

UK

MBChB, Dentistry BDS

University of Kurdistan Hewler

Iraq

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

University of Manchester

UK

MBChB (6 & 5 years), Dentistry BDS (6 & 5 years)

University of Sheffield

UK

MBChB, Graduate MBChB, Dental Surgery BDS

University of Surrey

UK

Graduate School of Medicine 

University of Warwick

UK

MB ChB

We hope that prospective test-takers have found this article helpful for their UCAT test attempt. Test-takers are advised to use proper study material and practice tests when preparing for the UCAT exam. It is mentionable here that UCAT is not the only standardised test applicable in the UK for medicine-related fields and roles. Medical students may take the time to explore more about medical studies and practice in the UK before applying for any test, as they are diverse, and may differ in their chosen field of specialisation. 

Consult our experts to know more about medical studies in the UK. You can reach out by writing to us at abroad@collegedekho.com.

Study Medicine in the UK!

FAQs

Is UCAT a hard exam?

Yes, UCAT is a hard exam. The test is another standardised test designed to measure the aptitude of test-takers in medical and dental areas of study. Since the fields of study are specialised themselves, it is obvious for the test to be difficult to a certain degree. You can though score well on the UCAT test with timely and proper preparation. There are free preparation materials available for the registered test-takers.

Can I reschedule the UCAT exam?

Yes, you can easily reschedule or cancel your UCAT exam registration. The exam is administered worldwide by Pearson VUE, which is also responsible for exams like GMAT and PTE Academic. You can reschedule or cancel your exam free of charge if you do it before the mentioned date. The services are accessible up to 24 hours before the UCAT test.

What is a good UCAT score?

A good UCAT score is one that helps you clear the minimum requirement of the medical or dental college to which you are applying. Since the UCAT test is used as a standardised test, there is no particular cutoff applicable to the test scores. They differ for different universities and colleges. However, a UCAT score that falls in the 60th percentile rank or above is good enough to help you get admission to the majority of colleges. 

When is the right time to start preparing for the UCAT exam?

The right time to start preparing for the UCAT exam is at least six weeks before the exam dateYou can time your preparation according to your target UCAT score, especially if you are sure about which college to apply to. It is mentionable here, that the UCAT test scores are applicable in many non-UK colleges as well. Hence, aiming for a high score can help you in the long run.

How many times can I attempt the UCAT test?

You can attempt the UCAT test once annually. Though there is no limit on the number of times you can appear for the UCAT exam, the attempts are limited to one during an application cycle. This means that if you use the UCAT test to apply to UK medical or dental colleges during a particular academic year, then you can appear for the test only once. You can re-appear for the UCAT exam in the next academic year.

Is UCAT mock exam helpful?

Yes, UCAT mock exam is extremely helpful. It will help you in getting an in-depth understanding of the exam pattern and questions. It is a free practice test and you can simply avail of it as a service through your official registered account on the official website. It is suggested that you prepare well for your UCAT mock exam so that you can get an idea of how much you can score on the actual test.

You can share this post!

prodigy finance banner

Admission Open 2023

Aston University

Birmingham, United Kingdom

University of Manchester

Manchester, United Kingdom

University of Sussex

Brighton, United Kingdom

Related Articles

Nov 18, 2022 07:30 PM IST

Popular STEM Degree Courses in USA

Nov 09, 2022 01:37 PM IST

Highest Paying Jobs in the USA

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

  • +91

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.