What Is The UCAT? Here’s All To Know!

what is the ucat

What is the UCAT? 

Have you been desiring to study medicine and would want to know exactly what the UCAT is? Then, you’d find everything on this Australian medical school guide! 

Over the years, the want for having a graduate or undergraduate degree in Medicine and Surgery in Australia and New Zealand has been on the rise. 

This has propelled people to storm the internet daily to ask different questions which would provide them the clarity they need on the various need-to-knows on how to get into medical school in Australia. 

One of the most eminent being – “What is the UCAT?”

The term UCAT requires great research for full knowledge of it to be grasped easily. That full knowledge is what you would achieve by reading this article till the end.

What is the UCAT?

There are two main admissions tests used in the United Kingdom for dental, medical and other health related courses. They include UCAT and BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test).

The UCAT, known in full as the University Clinical Aptitude Test is an admissions test that is used in the screening or selection processes by most Universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand for their medical and dental degree programs.

The UCAT was first launched in 2006 as UKCAT, known as the United Kingdom (UK) Clinical Aptitude Test in full.

Australia and New Zealand adopted this test in screening new Medical and dental intakes from the year 2019, and the name was changed to UCAT.

History Of Ucat And Umat (Ucat Vs Umat)

Formerly, before the adoption of the UCAT as a screening test into Australian Medical schools, the UMAT, known in full as Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test was a test previously supervised by the Australian Council for Educational Research in Australia.

The UMAT was first introduced in 1991. It aimed to assist in the selection of domestic students for health sciences-related courses which include most medical and dental degree programs.

The UMAT was used only for domestic applicant’s selection into Undergraduate courses. Applicants for graduate degree programs were required to take the Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test.

International students took the International Students Admissions Test.

Ucat Vs Umat

In 2019, The Australian government replaced the UCAT with UMAT for reasons unknown to us.

Although the test’s format is a little bit different from the UMAT, the primary aim which is accessing student’s aptitude for medicine hasn’t been changed.

The major reasons why UCAT is being preferred to the UMAT are:

• UCAT grants the students a greater degree of choices as to when they sit for the test. This makes it easier for the applicants to fit their preparations around other commitments.The UMAT on the other hand was more rigid with only a single test available.

• UCAT allows students to receive their results immediately following the exam rather than having to wait several months for the UMAT result release.

What Is The Ucat Importance?

Many have questions on why the UCAT was being formed and why so much importance is being laid on it. Many reasons come into play as to why the UCAT is a must-do exam to gain entrance into most medical schools in Australia and the UK.

Due to the very high demand for dentistry, medicine, and other health-related courses, the year 12 score required to get into those courses became very high. Schools, therefore, had to devise other means and constructed another method for screening students into medicine.

What Is The Ucat Test Format?

The UCAT is a compulsory computer-based test offered in various Pearson Vue centers for admissions into medical and dental schools in Australia and New Zealand.

It was designed not as a test of academic achievements but rather as a test for attitude and aptitude. 

It aims to assess a range of intellectual abilities of medical applicants which includes logical and critical thinking which is highly mandatory for new doctors to possess for a successful clinical career.

The UCAT usually consists of five subtests: four cognitive tests, and one test for the applicant’s professional demeanor. The five subtests altogether are named:

• Verbal Reasoning.

• Decision Making.

• Quantitative Reasoning.

• Abstract Reasoning.

• Situational Judgement.

What Is The Ucat Verbal Reasoning Section?

This checks the candidate’s ability to reason logically about written information and arrive at reasonable conclusions. The candidate is being given 22 minutes to answer questions under this section. It includes 11 passages and 44 questions.

Decision Making

The abilities of candidates to apply logic in decision making and reaching conclusions, analyzing statistical information, and evaluating arguments are being accessed.

Thirty-two minutes are allocated to each candidate in this section to answer 29 questions that are associated with charts, tables, graphs, and diagrams.

What Is The Ucat Quantitative Reasoning Section

The UCAT quantitative reasoning section tests for the candidate’s ability in mathematics in application to solving numerical problems. Twenty-five minutes is being allocated for the completion of this section.

Thirty-six questions associated with tables, charts, and graphs are being provided to aspirants to solve.

Abstract Reasoning

Under this section, a candidate’s abilities to infer relationships from information by divergent and convergent thinking are being assessed. Just fourteen minutes are made available during this section to answer fifty-five questions associated with sets of shapes.

What Is The Situational Judgement Subtest

This is a completely different UCAT section from the others explained above. This section aims to measure the candidate’s response to situations and their grasp of medical ethics.

This section offers 27 minutes long with 69 questions associated with 22 scenarios.

Altogether, the duration for the UCAT test lasts a maximum of two hours which includes the warm-up time. Although approximately 10% of questions will be just trial questions.

What Is The Ucat’s Difficulty Level?

Having known that the total questions to be answered during the UCAT sums up to a total of two hundred and thirty-three questions, a very big question now lies in the complexity of the totality of the exam.

UCAT is a very difficult and technical and time-pressured test. Having said that, it still can be aced beautifully. 

The questions are completely different from those encountered in high schools or universities.

The myriad of questions coupled with limited time granted makes it almost impossible for applicants to finish the exam.

 It is therefore a test that requires extreme concentration and quick thinking skills.

The above-stated fact should not build fear in applicants but spike that awareness in them that their preparations should know no bounds.

What Schools In Australia Require The Ucat?

Starting from 2019, Australia has always made UCAT one of its screening requirements for students aspiring to study high-demand health-related courses (mostly medical, dental, and health-related courses) in their universities.

Below is a list of the fifteen Australian Universities that make use of the UCAT for its screening and the specific courses whose entries are being screened.

1. University of Auckland – Medicine.

2. University of Adelaide – Medicine, Dental Surgery.

3. Monash University – Medicine.

4. University of Otago – Medicine, Dental Surgery.

5. University of Newcastle/ University of New England – Medicine.

6. University of Queensland – Medicine.

7. Griffith University – Dentistry.

8. University in New South Wales

9. University of Western Sydney – Medicine.

10. Curtin University – Medicine.

11. Flinders University – Clinical Science/ Medicine.

12. Charles Darwin University – Clinical Science.

13. Charles Sturt University – Medicine, Dental Science.

14. University of Tasmania – Medicine.

15. University of Western Australia – Medicine, Dentistry.

16. La Trobe University – Medicine.

What Is The Ucat’s Cost?

The fee to sit for the UCAT in Australia and New Zealand is just a reasonable amount.

About three hundred and five dollars ($380) UCAT fee is paid. 

Late registration, although it is Eighty-Five dollars ($85). Students eligible for a concession pay a different amount of One hundred and ninety-nine dollars ($199).

There are extra charges attached for those who wish to sit for the UCAT screening test outside of Australia or New Zealand. The registration fee for this category of people is a sum of three hundred and eighty dollars ($380).

What Are The Ucat Exam Centres?

There are several test centers in Australia where students can go to sit for their UCAT.

Here is a list of regions/states and their respective located cities in Australia where applicants who wish to take their tests in Australia and New Zealand would likely offer their UCAT.

1. New South Wales – Sydney, Newcastle, Parramatta, Armidale, Wagga Wagga, Port Macquarie, Orange.

2. Victoria – Melbourne, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Traralgon, Ballarat.

3. Queensland – Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville, Rock Hampton, Cairns, Toowoomba.

4. South Australia – Adelaide, Port Augusta.

5. Western Australia – Perth, Bunbury.

6. Tasmania – Hobart, Launceston.

7. Australian Capital Territory – Canberra.

8. Northern Territory – Darwin, Alice Springs.

9. New Zealand – Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Invercargill, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Whangarei.

Candidates who don’t have plans of sitting for the test in Australia or New Zealand would have test centers organized for them but that would attract an additional administration fee.

Final Note.

Having read through this article, you must have learned that the UCAT is a very comprehensive and technical test, yet only the wise pass with flying collars.  Applicants are therefore obliged to be steadfast in their preparation. Only geniuses pass the UCAT and everyone, surely, is a genius.

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Anaso Emmanuel
Anaso Emmanuel

My name is Anaso Emmanuel and I’m the founder of MedicsDomain; an SEO Expert, Content Writer and an Enthusiastic learner. To the outside world, I’m an ordinary Medic but secretly I use this blog to help aspirants get into medical school, provide insightful guides and connect with others like me.

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