Medicine is ultra-competitive and amongst the various admission demands are the UCAT and BMAT tests.

These are by far the most popular choices of admission test amongst medical schools across the UK and are designed to test various areas of your thinking skills, medical knowledge and clinical aptitude.

It doesn’t end there, though, as many universities now have their own admissions tests. It all seems very daunting and many students really fear these 2-hour exams that will take place in addition to their A-Levels.

The UCAT is a compulsory computer-based entrance exam required by most UK medical schools. It tests various aptitudes, such as mental abilities and ethics. These skills are key in the clinical context and help universities pick out the best candidates. Each university uses your score differently – some may put a heavy emphasis on the UCAT, whilst others look at your entire application.

You can take the test only once in a cycle. The test must be sat the same year that you apply through UCAS.

  • Tests taken in UK/EU: £75
  • Tests taken outside the EU: £120

If you are a UK or EU student that is facing financial difficulty, the UCAT bursary scheme allows you to sit the exam for free. Even if you have already paid for the exam, the bursary voucher can be applied retrospectively. The scheme opens in early June 2021 and closes late September each year.

If you are eligible for extra time in school exams, they you are more than likely to be eligible for the UCATSEN. This is just the UCAT exam, but with 25% extra time (or even 50% if you usually receive this) in each section. There are also other access arrangements for the UCAT exam e.g. some that allow for rest breaks if you are eligible.

Registration for the UCAT usually opens early june each year and you can start booking your test from late June. You then have from late june to late July to sit your examination with the result of the test delivered to your chosen med schools in November.

The UCAT exam is made up of the following elements:

Verbal Reasoning – Ability to understand critically understand written information

Decision Making – Ability to make decisions using complex information

Quantitative Reasoning – Ability to critically understand and interpret numerical information

Abstract Reasoning – Ability to recognise and identify patterns

Situational Judgement – Ability to make real world decisions, it tests professional judgement