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The UKCAT

All applicants to Aston Medical School must take the UKCAT (or if appropriate, the UKCATSEN – see below for information on the UKCATSEN).

What is the UKCAT?

UKCAT stands for the "UK Clinical Aptitude Test”. It is an admissions test used by a number of UK Medical Schools. The test is done on a computer in a test centre. The centres can be found throughout the UK and internationally.

The test itself lasts two hours. It consists of five separately timed subtests which assess a range of mental abilities identified by university medical and dental schools as important.  Each subtest contains a number of items in a multiple-choice format.

What does the UKCAT test?

The UKCAT helps Medical Schools select applicants with the most appropriate mental abilities, attitudes and professional behaviours required for new doctors to be successful in their clinical careers.

 The subsections are:

  • Verbal Reasoning: Assesses the ability to critically evaluate information presented in a written form.
  • Decision Making: Assesses the ability to make sound decisions and judgements using complex information.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Assesses the ability to critically evaluate information presented in a numerical form.
  • Abstract Reasoning: Assesses the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information. 
  • Situational Judgement: Measures the capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. 

What doesn’t the UKCAT test?

The UKCAT does not test any curriculum or science knowledge.

When do I take the UKCAT?

The UKCAT is taken at around the same time as you are preparing and submitting your UCAS application. For example, if you wish to start Medical School in September 2018, you will take your UKCAT in summer / early autumn of 2017. 

In 2017 tests are available from early July to the 3rd October, with registration closing on the 19th September. You can find out more  here. 

Our entry requirements note that the UKCAT test must be taken within the last two years of application 

How do Admissions Tutors use the UKCAT results and what score do I need to achieve? 

It is not possible to give an indication of the score that you need to achieve, as the Admissions Tutors will use the UKCAT results alongside the information in your UCAS form, like your Personal Statement, reference and academic qualifications. It is also your opportunity to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your aptitude for a demanding programme of study.

How should I prepare?

The preparation section of the UKCAT website provides a very wide range of information on how to get ready for the test. This includes complete guidance on what to expect in the test, practice tests and tips from medical students that successfully took the test in previous years. 

How much does the UKCAT cost?

It costs between £65 and £115 to take the UKCAT test, depending on when you take the test and whether you take the test in the UK / EU or elsewhere in the world. Find out more here, as well as information on bursary schemes to cover the cost of the test. 

What if I have a disability?

Candidates with disabilities can often test by taking the UKCATSEN or by UKCAT making adjustments to meet particular examination needs. Candidates who do not think that the UKCATSEN or special examination arrangements will meet their particular needs should contact UKCAT directly and present supporting evidence. 

Should UKCAT not be able to provide the necessary adjustments, please contact the Medical School directly prior to the end of the UKCAT testing cycle, with both your supporting evidence and confirmation from UKCAT of the inability to accommodate your requirements. The Medical School will confirm whether or not they will accept your application without a UKCAT test result. Medical Schools will not consider any requests received without supporting evidence, without the relevant confirmation from UKCAT or after the end of the UKCAT testing cycle.

How can I find out more?

Visit the UKCAT website for lots more information and videos, including how to prepare, what to do on the day of the test and test centre locations. The Medic Portal website also has advice and guidance on preparing for the UKCAT.