Access Arrangements

The deadline for applying for access arrangements was 22 September 2021 at 12 noon (BST).

Access arrangements need to be arranged in advance and some require you to apply online for approval before you can book a test.  Testing without access arrangements in place will not be accepted as a mitigating circumstance.  

The information below outlines the access arrangements we are able to support in test centres. 


Am I entitled to access arrangements? 

Candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions who are entitled to extra time or other accommodations for school/college/university exams may be entitled to access arrangements when sitting the UCAT.

These adjustments may relate to candidates with:

  • General and/or Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or Dyscalculia.

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

  • A Physical Disability or a Hearing or Vision Impairment.

  • Medical or Mental Health Conditions

This list is not exhaustive.

If you are not normally entitled to access arrangements in public exams or have a short-term illness or injury you should contact the UCAT Office for advice before making an application. 

Extra time will not be approved if your learning difficulty is primarily because English is not your first language.

As the test is computer-based and multiple choice, extra time will not be approved if your entitlement only relates to handwriting issues. 


What access arrangements cannot be provided?

Due to the nature of the UCAT and the necessary testing environment, the following access arrangements cannot be provided under any circumstances:  

  • A reader or computer reader.

  • A paper version of the test.

  • Pen and paper (see Test Tools for note taking options).

  • A scribe.

  • Unlimited, ‘on request’ or ‘stop the clock’ breaks (refer to tests with rest breaks below). 


What access arrangements require approval? 

Extra test time and/or rest breaks

You must apply for approval for extra test time and/or rest breaks in the UCAT.  This is a separate process to booking a test. 

We offer the following extended versions of the UCAT:  

  • UCATSEN (150 minutes):  The UCATSEN is for candidates eligible for 25% extra test time
    The UCATSEN can be booked through your web account or by calling Customer Services.  Our booking system allows a UCATSEN to be booked before your eligibility has been approved.  However, you must wait until your application has been approved before sitting your test.  If you are also entitled to any ‘special arrangements’ listed below DO NOT book a test until your application has been approved.

  • UCATSA (140 minutes):  The UCATSA is for candidates eligible for extra time for rest breaks but not for extra test time.  It has the standard UCAT timings but with 5 minute, timed instruction sections before each subtest.

  • UCATSENSA (168.75 minutes): The UCATSENSA is for candidates eligible for 25% extra test time who also need extra time for rest breaks.  It has UCATSEN subtest timings with 5 minute, timed instruction sections before subtests.

  • UCATSEN50 (180 minutes): The UCATSEN50 is for candidates who are eligible for 50% extra test time.

Detailed timings for each version of the test can be found here.

The UCATSA, UCATSENSA and UCATSEN50 can only be booked through Customer Services once your application has been approved.  These versions are not available to book through your web account.

Special Arrangements (only allowed in a test centre)

You must apply for approval before booking your test to have these special arrangements in place at a test centre: 

  • Separate room – This will only be arranged if you are entitled to sit exams in an individual room.  Separate rooms are also subject to test centre availability.  Our test rooms accommodate around 5-15 candidates which we consider meets the requirement for testing in a smaller room.

  • Access to medical items or medically necessary food/drink at your workstation NOT included on the Pearson VUE Comfort Aid List. This arrangement requires a separate room, which is subject to test centre availability.  Candidates with diabetes should refer to this information sheet


What access arrangements do not require approval? 

The following do not require prior approval.  However, some do need to be arranged at least 5 working days in advance of your test by calling Pearson VUE Customer Services.  You do not need supporting evidence. 

Test centre accommodations

Arrange in advance?

Instructions

Items on the Pearson VUE Comfort Aid List

No

Items will be visually inspected by test centre staff during the check-in process.

Headphones / Earplugs

No

Only headphones/earplugs supplied by the test centre are permitted for use.

Wheelchair access or adjustable height desk

Yes

Subject to test centre availability.

ZoomText

Yes

If you are familiar with ZoomText, this can be arranged as an accommodation.  You may use the magnification and colour enhancement features but the reader features will be turned off.

Overlay

Yes

You must supply the overlay, which will be visually inspected by staff during the test centre check-in process.  Overlays should lie flat against the screen (kept in place by static) or in a frame that sits on the top of the monitor.  Monitors in most UK test centres are 24” flat screen.


How do I apply for access arrangements that require approval? 

All applications must be made using the application form (link below) and be supported with the correct evidence. You must be registered and know your candidate ID (in the format UKCAT + 6 digits).

Access arrangement applications open: 2 June 2021 at 9am (BST)
Test booking opens: 28 June 2021 at 9am (BST)
Access arrangements application deadline: 22 September 2021 at 12 noon (BST)

  • You are advised to apply at least 10 working days before you intend to test as applications can take up to 5 working days to be processed.  If you leave it very late to apply, your options may be limited depending on test slot availability.

  • You will be notified of the outcome by email within 5 working days. If you have not heard from our office within this time (and after checking junk/spam folders), please email the UCAT Office and we will check on progress.  


What supporting evidence do I need?

Please refer carefully to the information relating to supporting evidence, as this is what we will use as the basis for our decisions.  If you supply incorrect evidence your application will be rejected.

We reserve the right to request additional evidence if, in our view, the initial supporting documentation is not sufficient to verify your eligibility.

If you are CURRENTLY IN EDUCATION (or have been WITHIN THE LAST 2 YEARS), we require a recent, signed letter on headed paper from your school/college or university, which should (as appropriate):

  • Explicitly state the amount of extra time you are entitled to in public exams (e.g. 25%).

  • Explicitly state the amount of time for any rest breaks.

  • Explicitly state you need to test in an individual room.

  • Explicitly state any other accommodations you are entitled to in public examinations.

  • Confirm on what basis this entitlement has been agreed, for example a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner or an assessment by an educational psychologist / specialist teacher

In place of a letter a copy of an approved ‘JCQ Form 8 Application for Access Arrangements’ (all pages) that has been completed and signed by the Head of Centre/SENco and Assessor would be acceptable. 

If you have been out of education for MORE THAN 2 YEARS and cannot provide the evidence detailed above, we may accept ONE of the following:

  • A full, post-16 diagnostic assessment report of specific learning difficulties from a specialist teacher assessor or educational psychologist. It must explicitly recommend a specific amount of extra exam time (e.g. 25%) and/or other accommodations in public examinations.

  • A recent letter (dated 2021) from a GP or specialist (e.g. a consultant, psychologist or psychiatrist) which:

    • includes a clear outline of your disability, illness or condition.

    • explicitly recommends a specific amount of extra exam time (e.g. 25%) and/or other accommodations in public examinations.

    • makes it clear that any recommendations are based on the GP or specialist’s clinical opinion.  A letter that simply states your exam preferences or wishes would not be sufficient to approve access arrangements.

If you are struggling to provide evidence please email the UCAT Office.

The access arrangements approved at your school/college/university, and what is recommended by the GP or specialist, will not necessarily be those approved for the UCAT.

Access arrangements are considered with respect to maintaining the integrity of the assessment process.  Therefore, given the nature of this test it may not be reasonable to provide all the adjustments specified in your application.  Access arrangements should meet the needs of the candidate affected by a disability or medical condition but must not confer any advantage over other candidates sitting the assessment under standard conditions.

ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS HAVE CLOSED


Access Arrangements FAQs

Can I leave the test centre room for a break?
You are permitted to leave the test centre room but the test cannot be paused and will continue running. You are advised, if possible, to take any breaks between subtests to limit the impact on test time. 

Can I book an extended test (UCATSA, UCATSEN, UCATSENSA, UCATSEN50) before my access arrangements application has been submitted or approved?

The UCATSA, UCATSENSA and UCATSEN50 can only be booked by phoning Customer Services once your application has been approved.  You cannot book these versions of the test through your web account.

Our booking system allows a UCATSEN to be booked before your eligibility has been approved.  However, you must wait until your application has been approved before sitting your test.  If you are also entitled to any ‘special arrangements’ such as a separate room or medical items at your workstation, then do not book a test until your application has been approved as these cannot be added on later.  Booking a UCATSEN does not mean you are approved to sit this version of the test; you must make an application for access arrangements to have your eligibility for extra time approved.

If you have a test booked then need to change to a different version of the test (e.g. you book a UCAT and are then approved to sit the UCATSEN) you will need to cancel your existing booking.  Your test fee will be refunded and you will need to go through the payment process again to book the version of the test you are entitled to sit.  This is because the booking system cannot make changes to an existing booking (e.g. extend the length of the appointment).  You should note that we operate a live booking system and it is unlikely you will be given the same appointment.   The date, time and location of your test may all need to change depending on availability at the time.

What if I sit an extended version of the test without approval?
If you sit one of the extended versions of the test (UCATSA, UCATSEN, UCATSENSA or UCATSEN50) and approval is not granted by the application deadline, your chosen Universities will be told that we cannot confirm your entitlement to extra time and they may not accept your result. 

What if my specific exam needs cannot be met?
You should still register and make an Access Arrangements Application with correct supporting evidence.  We will assess your application and advise you how to proceed.  We will consider applications from 2 June 2021 and the deadline for any requests is 12 noon (BST) on 22 September 2021. 

Can I take in water?
If you have a relevant medical condition or need to take medication during your test, permission can be granted for you to have water at your workstation.  Otherwise, water is not usually permitted in the test room as it may damage technical equipment and if brought must be stored in a locker and used outside the testing room. 

What if I take unapproved items with me to the test centre?
Any unapproved items you take with you to the test centre will need to be stored in a locker and can only be used outside the testing room.  If they are required during testing, please raise your hand to notify the invigilator.  You are advised, if possible, to use the break between subtests to limit the impact on test time. 

Do you tell universities about my approved access arrangements?
The UCAT Office does not inform Universities which approved version of the test you have sat.  Nor do we pass on details of your disability, special needs or medical conditions.  University Medical and Dental Schools encourage applicants to declare their disability, special needs or medical conditions to them as early as possible in the admissions process.  This is so that they can start to put the right support in place for you before you arrive. 

Do I need to apply for access arrangements again if I did so in a previous year?
Yes, you must apply each time you sit the UCAT.  Any access arrangements approved by the UCAT Office are only valid for that years sitting of the UCAT. 

How do my access arrangements affect my university application?
Our decision applies solely to your sitting the UCAT.  It does not relate to any aspects of University admission processes, your fitness to study medicine/dentistry or your fitness ultimately to practice.