Access Arrangements

Details of the 2021 Access Arrangements Process will be published in early 2021.  The information below is subject to change in 2021.

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

The availability of access arrangements may differ depending on how you are sitting the test.  The information below outlines what we are able to support in our test centres and in the UCAT Online.  Please check carefully what is permitted in your test location.

Am I entitled to access arrangements? 

You may be entitled to access arrangements if you have:

  • Cognition and Learning Needs e.g. General and/or Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia or Dyscalculia.
  • Communication and Interaction Need e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • Sensory and Physical Needs e.g. a Hearing or Vision Impairment; Physical Disability.
  • Social, Mental and Emotional Needs e.g. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Mental Health Conditions.

Candidates with different conditions or short-term illness or injury should contact the UCAT Office for advice.  Please also refer to our information on mitigating circumstances.

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 practice tips 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? 

You must apply for approval if you want to sit one of the extended versions of the test

UCATSEN (150 minutes) 25% extra test time

UCATSA (140 minutes) standard test time with 5 minute rest breaks before sections

UCATSENSA (168.75 minutes) 25% extra test time with 5 minute rest breaks before sections

UCATSEN50 (180 minutes) 50% extra test time

  • You are only permitted to leave the test room if you are testing at a test centre. If you are taking the UCAT Online (OnVUE) all rest breaks must be taken at your desk; you are not permitted to leave your room.
  • We recommend you take the UCATSENSA and UCATSEN50 at a test centre due to the lengths of these tests.

Extra time will not be approved if a candidate’s difficulties are primarily caused by English not being their first language or if they only relate to handwriting issues.

Special Arrangements (only allowed if testing 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 - evidence must specify you need to test in an individual room.  Our test rooms accommodate around 5-15 candidates which we consider meeting the requirement for testing in a smaller room.  Separate rooms are subject to test centre availability. 
  • 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.

What access arrangements do not require approval? 

The following are considered accommodations and 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

UCAT Online

Arrange in advance?


Items on the Pearson VUE Comfort Aid List




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

Headphones / Earplugs




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

Wheelchair access or adjustable height desk




Subject to test centre availability.

Screen magnification




All tests have the in-built functionality to zoom in and out (using Ctrl +/-).  The maximum magnification recommended is 200%.





Overlays must be supplied by the candidate and 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.





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

This only needs to be arranged in advance (by calling customer services) if you are testing at a test centre.  

If you are sitting the UCAT Online you must have version 2019 or 2020 ZoomText installed on your computer.  The OnVUE software permits this application to run.

How do I apply for access arrangements that require approval? 

Please complete an application (link below) with correct supporting evidence. You must be registered and know your candidate ID (in the format UKCAT + 6 digits).

Applications open: 1 July 2020
Application deadline: midday, 17 September 2020 

  • 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.  
  • You will be notified of the outcome by email. If you have not heard from our office within this time please email the UCAT Office and we will check on progress.  Before making contact, please check that an email has not been sent to your junk or spam folder.  Please do not submit multiple applications. 
  • The UCATSEN may be booked in advance of your eligibility being approved but we strongly recommend you wait for confirmation before sitting your test. If you have not been granted approval to sit the UCATSEN by the deadline, your chosen Universities will be told that we cannot confirm your entitlement to extra time in public examinations and they may not accept your result. 
  • All other extended versions of the test can only be booked once approval has been granted.  
  • If you leave it very late to apply, your options may be limited depending on test slot availability.

What supporting evidence do I need?

We require a recent, signed letter on headed paper or email 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 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

If you cannot provide a letter, we may be willing to accept one of the following:

  • A copy of a ‘JCQ Form 8 Application for Access Arrangements’ that has been completed and signed by the Head of Centre/SENco and Assessor.
  • A report from an educational psychologist or appropriately qualified specialist teacher. 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 2020) from a GP or specialist (e.g. a consultant, psychologist or psychiatrist). It must detail your circumstances and make a clear medical recommendation for a specific amount of extra exam time (e.g. 25%) and/or other accommodations in public examinations.

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

Apply for Access Arrangements

Access arrangements FAQs

What if my specific exam needs cannot be met?
You should still register and make an Access Arrangements Application with supporting evidence.  We will then assess your application and advise you how to proceed.  We will consider applications from 1 July and the deadline for any requests is midday on 17 September.

What if I take unapproved items with me?
If you are testing at home, the Greeter will ask you to move any items that are not permitted during your test.  If your workspace does not pass a room scan, you will not be allowed to proceed with taking the test. 

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.  The test cannot be paused and will continue running; you will lose time whilst out of the test room. You are advised to take any breaks between subtests, if possible, to limit the impact on test time. 

Do you tell universities about my access arrangements?
The UCAT Office does not inform Universities which approved version of the test you have sat when we deliver results.  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.