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UCAT ANZ 2020 AND CORONAVIRUS: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

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There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on UCAT ANZ 2020. You may be wondering, will UCAT go ahead? When will UCAT be taking place? What should I be doing now in terms of my UCAT preparation? This blog answers some common questions.

 

Will UCAT ANZ 2020 be going ahead?

Yes! UCAT ANZ 2020 will not be eliminated as a requirement for entry into medicine. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, universities will still need to select students who have the qualities required to be empathetic and skilled health professionals.

UCAT ANZ was introduced in 2019 as a requirement for entry into undergraduate medicine and dentistry at most universities. The UCAT Consortium of Universities have decided that UCAT is effective tool in selecting future health professionals. Therefore, students who are applying for medicine will need to sit UCAT ANZ 2020.

 

When will UCAT ANZ 2020 take place?

The testing cycle for UCAT ANZ normally begins on 1 July and ends on 31 July each year. Given the coronavirus pandemic and resulting governmental restrictions, there is a possibility that the testing period will be revised, to ensure the safety of UCAT candidates. This may involve extending the testing window beyond 31 July 2020, or postponing the testing window, so that it begins after 1 July 2020.

Notably, UCAT UK (which is administered by Pearson VUE and the UCAT UK Consortium) has made the decision to postpone UCAT UK registrations for students in the United Kingdom, and acknowledged that testing for UCAT UK is likely to take place later than originally planned: https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/registration-booking/covid-19/

However, Australia has managed to achieve good control of the COVID-19 pandemic, and government restrictions are being relaxed. Also, Pearson VUE has recently re-opened its testing centres in Australia. Therefore, it is possible that UCAT ANZ 2020 will go ahead in July as normal.

Developments in the coronavirus situation in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide are being closely monitored by the UCAT Consortium and Pearson VUE, who administer UCAT. As the situation is changing rapidly, it is likely that there will be no firm decisions made on the conduct of UCAT ANZ until closer to July.

 

How will UCAT ANZ 2020 be delivered?

UCAT ANZ is normally delivered in Pearson VUE testing centres across Australia, New Zealand and the world. These testing centres are generally composed of an enclosed room with 5-15 individual booths or tables. Each testing area contains a desktop computer, keyboard and mouse.

It would be possible to conduct UCAT ANZ with social distancing and hygiene measures in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. In fact, Pearson VUE have adopted various measures at testing centres globally to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, including:

  • Excluding candidates who have, are suspected to have, or are at risk of having COVID-19
  • Enforcing social distancing measures
  • Permitting or requiring the use of face masks and gloves
  • Requiring a temperature check at some centres before allowing candidates to take the test
  • Making hand sanitiser available to candidates
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting regimens in between all testing appointments

Interestingly, GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test), which is used for entry into graduate medical courses, will be run online, for the first time ever. GAMSAT candidates will be able to sit the test from their own home, supervised by a remote proctor. For more information, please see our dedicated blog. However, GAMSAT is normally conducted in person, in large testing centres, which would pose a higher risk of coronavirus transmission. It is highly unlikely that UCAT will be delivered in a similar manner.

 

Should I register for UCAT ANZ 2020?

If you are considering applying for medicine at any of the UCAT Consortium Universities, then you should register to sit UCAT ANZ 2020. The closing date for registrations is 11 May 2020, with a late registration deadline of May 18. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an exceptional late booking period offered from Friday 22 May until Monday 1 June (associated with an additional late fee of $75).

UCAT ANZ candidates will need to both register and book a testing date and location. Further details can be found at: https://www.ucat.edu.au/ucat-anz/registration-booking/.

 

Should I continue with my UCAT Preparation?

Yes! It is important that you continue with your UCAT preparation. It is very possible that UCAT ANZ 2020 will proceed in July, and students will need to be well prepared for this difficult and competitive exam. Furthermore, UCAT skills need to be developed over time, so the preparation you do now will be important in ensuring your success.

MedEntry offers several options for UCAT preparation during coronavirus:

MedEntry has also developed a blog series to help you prepare for UCAT effectively during coronavirus:

 

What else should I do?

This year is already a challenging and difficult one, without the added stress of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic. It is very important that you look after your physical, mental and emotional health.

This includes minimising your chances of contracting coronavirus by:

  • Keeping your distance from others
  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Seeking advice if you become unwell or have come in contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19

It also includes:

  • Staying in touch with friends and family (via virtual means if necessary)
  • Eating well, sleeping well and exercising safely and regularly
  • Speaking to someone if you are feeling down or overwhelmed

 

Where can I find more information?

As the situation is changing rapidly, you can find updates on https://home.pearsonvue.com/coronavirus-update and at https://www.ucat.edu.au/ucat-anz/registration-booking/covid-19/

MedEntry will also be providing updates to all our students.

We understand this is a stressful, difficult and uncertain time for our students. If you are in need of help or support, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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