Which UCAT Test Centre Should You Choose?

UCAT Exam

12/4/2024

And how to manage your test day.

So you're working on your UCAT preparation and are thinking about test day?

We understand that being in a test centre can be a nerve-wracking experience, which is why it’s important to prepare yourself as much as possible. In this article, we go through everything you need to know ahead of your test day, so that there are no surprises when you arrive at the test centre.

Table of contents

What happens at the test centre?

What test centre ID do I need?

How can I check UCAT test centre locations?

How do I get to my test centre?

What should I bring to the test centre?

Disabled Access Arrangements

UCAT test centre checklist

What happens on my test day?

Do I have to sit my UCAT exam at a test centre?

What happens at the test centre?

When you arrive at your testing room, you are given a desk space with a PC, keyboard, mouse, and a laminated notebook with a pen.

If you were hoping for complete silence, you may be disappointed. You take the test with many others in the same room, and some minimal disturbances are inevitable as others come and go. Every attempt is made to minimise this, including headphones or earplugs available on request.

With the exception of your indoor clothes, you will not be allowed any other items (unless they are included on the Pearson VUE Comfort Aid List).

Here’s a tour of a test centre.

Graphic showing the inside of a UCAT test centre (monitor, keyboard, mouse)

For security reasons, only those taking the test can attend the test centres and there are no waiting areas. 

Getting ready for the UCAT? Try some free UCAT practice questions.

What test centre ID do I need?

Before entering the test centre, you must show a piece of official photographic ID. This may be one of the following:

  • Passport: accepted at all test centres
  • Driver's license: only accepted at test centres located in the issuing country
  • EU Identity card: only accepted at EU test centres
  • Irish passport card: only accepted at EU test centres
  • Government-issued ID from a country outside the EU: only accepted at test centres located in the issuing country

Note that your photo ID must be original, valid, signed and your name needs to match the one on your appointment confirmation email.

If you have any doubts, refer to the official test ID policy or please contact Pearson VUE customer services.

How can I check UCAT test centre locations?

Use the Pearson VUE test locator. Simply enter your address or city to find the nearest test centres on the map.

Finding a UCAT test centre on the Pearson VUE website

How do I get to my test centre?

Some UCAT test centres are much easier to access than others. When you book your test slot, consider your transport options. 

If you don’t have access to a car, make sure to choose a centre which has good links to public transport. Similarly, some test centres have no public parking available. This information can be found on the ‘Test Centre Information’ link on the Pearson VUE test locator.

A screenshot of the Pearson VUE website that shows a link to 'Test Centre Information'

What should I bring to the test centre?

To find out more about arrangements before arriving at your test centre, visit our UCAT FAQ article.

Disabled Access Arrangements 

Some Pearson VUE test centres have better disabled access than others, and some require you to call ahead to make arrangements. If you have various testing centres near you, find the one with the best disabled access.

Learn more about UCAT access arrangements.

UCAT test centre checklist

  • Check if you have the appropriate photographic ID and your appointment confirmation email from Pearson VUE (electronic or printed)
  • By sitting the exam, you are declaring yourself healthy. If there is anything that may affect your performance, you should not take the test
  • Write down the name and address of the centre and check the directions well in advance
  • Food and drink is not permitted in the testing room (unless pre-approved) as it could damage technical equipment, so make sure you’re well hydrated before testing begins. However don’t drink too much before the test, as any toilet breaks are taken out of your exam time, which is already limited

What happens on my test day?

  1. You should go to the exam venue early, at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time
  2. You will be expected to have a valid form of photographic identification and a printed/electronic copy of your confirmation email from Pearson VUE
  3. You will be provided with the necessary equipment (a set of laminated A4 notebook and a pen) and guided to your seat
  4. Once you are ready, follow instructions on-screen. You will have 1 minute before each section to read instructions. You can skip it, but this will not give you an extra minute to answer questions
  5. Your exam will be in the following order: Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Situational Judgement
  6. During the exam, if you have any issues, such as requiring a toilet break, you can quietly raise your hand. However, your time will continue running
  7. When finished, you can raise your hand, and the examiner will guide you out of the room. You will receive a copy of your UCAT score report before you leave the test centre.

Wondering what to do in the run-up to your test date? Check out our article on preparing for your UCAT test day to find out how best to prepare one month, one week, and one day before your exam, as well as how to get into the optimal mindset on test day.

Do I have to sit my UCAT exam at a test centre?

If taking your UCAT exam at a test centre isn't the best option for you, you may wish to consider OnVUE online proctored testing instead.

You will need to meet certain criteria in order to qualify to sit the OnVUE UCAT.

Ace the UCAT with Medify

Do you need help with boosting your UCAT scores? Keep in mind that medical and dental schools use the UCAT as a way of differentiating applicants, so it’s important to perform well.

To prepare in the most efficient way possible, we recommend using trusted UCAT preparation resources, such as our UCAT Online Course

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