Everything you need to know about UCAT 2023
8 months ago by Rob
Do you want to study medicine or dentistry in 2024? If so, you will need to sit UCAT 2023. This blog describes everything you need to know about UCAT 2023.
What is UCAT?
UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test. The UCAT is a 2-hour long computer-based exam that is required to gain entry into most medicine and dentistry courses across Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Which universities require UCAT?
A full list of courses that require UCAT 2023 can be found here: https://www.ucat.edu.au/about-ucat/universities
Each university varies in how it uses UCAT scores, but most use UCAT scores to select students for interview and for final offers of a medicine or dentistry place.
When will UCAT 2023 be held?
UCAT 2023 will take place from 3rd July to 12th August. Students can choose their preferred testing date when booking their UCAT test. This date can also be changed if required.
Where can I sit UCAT 2023?
UCAT 2023 will be held in a range of Pearson VUE testing centres across Australia and in some overseas locations. Most UCAT 2023 testing centres are located in major cities, but some are also located in regional and rural areas.
For a full list of UCAT 2023 testing locations, please visit: https://www.ucat.edu.au/register/test-centre-locations
How do I register for UCAT?
You can register for UCAT 2023 by creating an online account with Pearson VUE, and then booking your preferred UCAT 2023 testing date.
Registrations for UCAT 2023 open on 1st March 2023 and close on 17th May 2023. There is a late booking deadline on 31st May 2023.
You can register for UCAT at: https://www.ucat.edu.au/register/booking-a-test/
What is the cost to sit UCAT 2023?
It will cost $325 to sit UCAT 2023.
The concession fee for UCAT 2023 is $199. If UCAT 2023 is taken overseas, the cost is $395. If you book between the 17th and 31st of May there is a late fee of $85.
How often can I sit UCAT?
You will first become eligible to sit UCAT in your final year of secondary school. You can sit the exam only once in that year and, if needs be, once a year every year after that.
However, your UCAT score must be from the year prior to when you plan to start university as your UCAT scores are only valid for one year. If, for example, you sit the UCAT in high school and then take a gap year, you will need to sit UCAT again.
What is being tested in UCAT? What is the content of UCAT?
The UCAT aims to assess qualities considered desirable in medicine and dentistry, such as problem solving, empathy, abstract reasoning and critical thinking.
The UCAT consists of five separately timed subtests:
- UCAT Verbal Reasoning – assesses your ability to quickly read a text and answer questions.
- UCAT Decision Making – assesses your ability to make decisions and judgements using complex information.
- UCAT Quantitative Reasoning – assesses your ability to evaluate information presented in a numerical form.
- UCAT Abstract Reasoning – assesses your ability to infer relationships from information.
- UCAT Situational Judgement – assesses your ability to understand real world situations and to suggest appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.
What is the structure and timing of UCAT?
The five UCAT subtests are separately timed, and each contains several questions. There are 225 multiple choice UCAT questions distributed as follows:
|UCAT subtest||Number of UCAT questions||Standard UCAT time allotted|
|UCAT Verbal Reasoning||44||21 minutes|
|UCAT Decision Making||29||31 minutes|
|UCAT Quantitative Reasoning||36||25 minutes|
|UCAT Abstract Reasoning||50||12 minutes|
|UCAT Situational Judgement||66||26 minutes|
Each UCAT subtest is preceded by 1 minute for reading instructions.
UCAT is very different to traditional knowledge-based tests encountered in school and university. It is also highly time pressured. Therefore, quality UCAT 2023 courses are essential to succeed.
What do I need to take with me when sitting UCAT?
You must take acceptable identification and the email confirming your test appointment into UCAT. You cannot take anything else into UCAT, such as food, drink, your phone or a bag. All of these items must be left in a locker before entering the UCAT exam room.
You cannot take paper and pens into the UCAT test, but you will be provided with a small noteboard and marker pen so you can make notes during the test. You cannot take in a calculator, but you will be able to use the onscreen UCAT calculator.
What UCAT score do I need to get into medicine?
The UCAT score that you need to get into medicine or dentistry depends on the university to which you are applying and your personal circumstances (particularly if you are a rural candidate). In general, a UCAT percentile of at least 90 will usually secure a medical interview offer if you are a non-rural student. UCAT percentiles required are lower for rural students, dentistry, and in some other circumstances.
This may seem achievable, but remember you are being compared not against your school peers, but against smart and highly motivated students who wish to study medicine from all over Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, being in the top 10% of this cohort is certainly not easy.
When and how will I receive my UCAT score?
You will receive your UCAT score within 24 hours of sitting your test (usually within an hour). You will receive an email after the test confirming when your results are available.
You will be able to see your UCAT percentile ranking (which is what matters) on the UCAT Official website in September.
Pearson Vue does not release how it calculates UCAT scores, but you can find out more in our blog series about UCAT scoring.
Your UCAT results will automatically be sent to the universities – you do not need to do this yourself.
What is UCAT scored out of?
UCAT is marked based on the correct answers that you provide during the test. There is no negative marking in UCAT. As each UCAT subtest has a different number of questions, raw marks are converted into scaled scores that share a common range between 300 – 900. The total UCAT cognitive score ranges from 1200 to 3600 and is derived from your combined scaled scores for UCAT Verbal Reasoning, UCAT Decision Making, UCAT Quantitative Reasoning and UCAT Abstract Reasoning. For the UCAT Situational Judgement test, full marks are given if your answer matches the correct answer, and partial marks if your answer is close to the correct answer.
The following table summarises scoring for each UCAT subtest:
|Cognitive Subtest||Questions||Scaled Score Range||Question Marking|
|Verbal Reasoning||44||300 - 900||1 mark per question|
|Decision Making||29||300 - 900||One option answer = 1 mark
Multiple option answer =
2 marks fully correct;
1 mark partially correct
|Quantitative Reasoning||36||300 - 900||1 mark per question|
|Abstract Reasoning||50||300 - 900||1 mark per question|
|Total Cognitive Scaled Score Range||1200 - 3600|
|Situational Judgement||66||300 - 900||Your response matches answer = full marks;
your response is close answer = partial marks
Is UCAT important?
Yes! UCAT is often as important, and in some cases is more important than your ATAR in determining whether or not you will get into medicine. Even if you achieve a perfect ATAR of 99.95, this does not guarantee you a place in medicine at all universities. Some universities do not even consider your ATAR in deciding whether or not you will be offered an interview for medicine – they only consider UCAT initially. For more information on how UCAT is used, please see our blog on how medical schools will use UCAT.
Is UCAT hard?
Yes! Many practicing medical specialists believe that UCAT was the hardest test they ever sat. UCAT questions are completely different to those you will have encountered at school or university. While the difficulty of an individual UCAT question may not be significant, there is extreme time pressure which means that the vast majority of students do not finish the UCAT exam. It is a two-hour long test requiring high levels of concentration.
The good news? It is possible to prepare for and do well in UCAT.
How can I prepare for UCAT?
MedEntry provides a range of quality UCAT 2023 courses run by expert doctors, academics and psychometricians. These courses provide comprehensive preparation for UCAT 2023. Successful preparation for UCAT can be summarised in five key steps:
- Understand the importance of UCAT
- Familiarise yourself with UCAT-style questions
- Learn strategies for tackling each type of UCAT question
- Attempt full length UCAT practice exams under timed conditions
- Identify your weaknesses and work on them
Will the UCAT make special arrangements for students who need them?
Yes, special arrangements are available for UCAT. You need to apply and be approved for access arrangements before your UCAT test can be booked.
Applications will need to be accompanied by suitable official documentation and such documentation needs to be submitted before 17 May 2023.
Access arrangements include extra time for the test or rest breaks between sections, access to medical items, access to medically necessary food and drink at your workstation, adjustable height desks, font size / colour scheme adjustments on the computer, wheelchair access and a separate room.
What happens if there’s a problem with my UCAT test?
If you need to reschedule your test, you can do so up to 24 hours beforehand using your Pearson VUE account.
If there’s an incident during the UCAT test, such as a technical problem, you must notify the invigilator immediately by raising your hand.
Where can I get more information?
You can find more information about UCAT from:
- MedEntry’s Free Medical Entry Handbook: https://www.medentry.edu.au/resources/free-resources#ucat-handbook
- Dr Ray’s Free UCAT Bootcamp: https://www.medentry.edu.au/resources/free-resources#free-bootcamp
- MedEntry’s Free UCAT Guide: https://www.medentry.edu.au/resources/ucat-guide/introduction
- MedEntry’s Common Questions and Answers page: https://www.medentry.edu.au/what-is-ucat-and-how-to-prepare-for-it
And by contacting MedEntry!