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

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, so assessing how you perform in these areas helps 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. So don’t fret if you don’t score as high as you expected, it’s not over yet! 

UCAT Fees and Bursary 

You can only take the test once in a cycle. The test must be sat the same year that you apply through UCAS. There is also a fee for these exams:

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

If you are a UK or EU student who 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 and closes in late September each year, so don’t forget to complete your UCAT bursary application as early as possible.

UCATSEN and UCAT Access Arrangements 

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

UCAT Testing Period

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

Sections of the UCAT

As the UCAT is designed to measure an individual’s cognitive ability as a whole, the test is divided into 5 different sections. The UCAT exam is made up of the following elements:

Verbal Reasoning – Analysing your ability to understand critically understand written information.

Quantitative Reasoning – Measuring your ability to critically understand and interpret numerical information.

Abstract Reasoning – Understanding your ability to recognise and identify patterns.

Decision Making – Assessing your ability to make decisions using complex information.
Situational Judgement – Examininng your ability to make real world decisions and testing your professional judgement.