4.1 UKCAT

Administered by Pearson Vue centres and the UKCAT consortium, the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is used by 25 UK medical schools.

Unlike the BMAT entrance exam, it does not contain any curriculum or science content; and thus the consortium claims that it cannot be revised for. The tests aims to distinguish between candidates by testing innate ability, such as that of reading comprehension and arithmetic ability.

The UKCAT consists of the sections detailed below.

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New section for 2016: Decision Making (29 items in 32 minutes)

Tests the ability to apply logic to reach a conclusion or evaluate an argument in response to provided information. This is usually through word and math logic problems. As it is being piloted in 2016, candidates will not be scored (and thus this sections plays no role in your application). The test might change in response to feedback in later years.

How do I prepare for the UKCAT?

Since the test itself does not contain much in the way of raw knowledge to memorise, it is much more useful to do questions for the sole purpose of practising the time keeping aspect. Practising sample questions, a couple of months in advance of the test will be useful. Also booking a time slot to take the test some time in advance of the BMAT exam is best, since it will separate the 2 exams with a period of consolidation for the applicant to prepare sufficiently for both tests. Ideally a slot before September is advisable so it doesn’t clash with school and UCAS applications as well.

John – Keele University
“I practised questions using UKCAT question books to work on my time management and to identify the areas which I needed to work on more. Abstract reasoning was never my strong point!”

Siobhan – Queen’s University Belfast
“I took the UKCAT twice since I applied twice for medical school. The best advice I could give is be well prepared by doing all of the available practise out there, and by doing things such as quick mental maths to keep yourself mentally agile. On the day itself, ensure you are well rested and ensure you have practised your timings for each section. "

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