Test Day

It is important to read this information to ensure your test day runs smoothly. The information below outlines the test centre experience. 

UCAT ‘Fitness to Test’ Policy

Candidates who attend their test are declaring that they are fit to test. 

  • If you are aware of anything that might affect your performance on the day, you should not sit the test. This applies even if you fall ill or experience issues on the day of your test.

  • If you are not fit to test, you must reschedule your appointment to a later date. This advice applies even if you have missed the deadline to reschedule and as a result will have to pay another test fee to book again.

  • If you choose to book a late test and encounter minor illness/injury or minor personal circumstances, which prevents you from attending your test appointment, you may struggle to reschedule within the testing window. Refer to the Fitness to Test FAQs for advice.

  • If you have a moderate to severe illness/injury (usually requiring medical treatment and absence from school/work) which you are unlikely to recover from before testing ends, you must contact the UCAT Office for advice before sitting a test. Please refer to the Fitness to Test FAQs before doing so.

  • If you are experiencing major illness or injury or significant personal circumstances that affect your ability to declare yourself ‘fit to test’ for the duration of the testing window, you must contact the UCAT Office for advice before sitting a test. Please refer to the Fitness to Test FAQs before doing so.

  • If you choose to sit your test against this advice, UCAT will not normally take any action.


UCAT Exam Rules

You should read the UCAT Test Centre Exam Rules before your test. Please also refer to the Test Day Problems section below.

Candidates are expected to meet minimum standards of acceptable behaviour during testing and any interactions with the UCAT Consortium, UCAT Office and Pearson VUE staff.  The Misconduct Policy deals with cases of suspected irregular test conduct and other unacceptable behaviour.

Photo Identification

When you check-in at the test centre you must present photographic ID from the list of permitted ID, or you will not be allowed to test.  Please refer to the Photo ID Policy.

Test centre check-in process

Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete the check-in process and bring the following: 

  • Photographic ID that meets the Photo ID Policy
  • Your appointment confirmation email from Pearson VUE (electronic or printed) 

If you miss your appointment for any reason, your test fee will not be refunded. This applies in cases of illness, family emergency, accident, arrest, transport problems and security alert as well as forgetfulness, lateness, and failure to present permitted ID. You will have to pay again to book a new appointment.

During check-in:

  • Your photo ID will be checked and staff will take a digital photograph of you.

  • You will be asked to read the UCAT Test Centre Exam Rules and sign to confirm you understand them. 

  • You will be asked to store all personal belongings (including bags, coats, hats or head coverings, papers, books, pens, watches, purses, wallets, keys, mobile phones) in the lockers provided before you enter the test room.  The only exceptions permitted are religious apparel, headwear worn for medical reasons and small hair clips/bands (less than 1cm wide).  For clarity, nothing is allowed into the testing room apart from the indoor clothes worn, your photo ID and any permitted comfort aids or approved access arrangements.   

  • Food and drink (including water) is not permitted in the testing room (unless approved as an Access Arrangement) as it may damage technical equipment.  If brought it must be stored in a locker or designated area and used outside the testing room.

  • Staff will conduct a routine visual inspection of your clothing, hands/arms and any comfort aids. This is for security purposes.

If you have any concerns over the check-in process please contact Pearson VUE Customer Services at least 5 business days before your test. 

Test centre receptions are restricted to test takers only for security reasons. Waiting areas are not provided for anyone accompanying you to the test centre so you should make other arrangements to meet them when your appointment is over.  

The duration of the standard test is 2 hours; care should be taken when making return travel arrangements to allow adequate time at the test centre in case of unforeseen delays. 

Test centre experience and environment

After check-in has been completed, you will be taken into the testing room and allocated a desk space at which you will find a PC, keyboard and mouse.

You will be given a laminated notebook (A4 in size) and a pen. If you require an additional set, raise your hand and request one from the invigilator.

Under normal test centre conditions there will be other people taking tests in the same room. There may be limited disturbance during your test as other test takers arrive and leave or staff assist other candidates.  The test centre will endeavour for such disturbance to be kept to a minimum. You may request earplugs to block out noise.

On occasion there may be a routine testing of fire alarm systems during your test.  Signage should be available in test centres advising you if this is likely to occur.  In the event of there being a genuine incident test centre staff will advise you how to evacuate the building safely.

Once the invigilator has launched your test, you are under exam conditions. The invigilator will continuously monitor and record you by video while you take your test. 

If you need a break to take medication or to use the toilets, raise your hand to notify the invigilator. The test cannot be paused; you will lose time when out of the room. Take breaks between subtests to limit impact on test time. Candidates with pause-the-clock breaks have different arrangements. 

After completing the test, raise your hand. The invigilator will end your test and escort you from the room to collect your score report.

Please take the Test Centre Tour and watch this video to see what a UK Pearson VUE test centre looks like and what to expect on arrival. 

Test Day Problems

All candidates are instructed what to do if there is a problem during their test in the exam rules (which they read before entering the test room) and in the introductory screens of their test.

Illness during Testing
  • If you become ill during your test, notify the invigilator.

  • If you are not well enough to continue, you should ask the invigilator to end your test. You then need to email the UCAT Office as soon as possible (usually within 1 day of your test) to arrange for your test to be rescheduled.

  • If you choose to continue testing, UCAT will not normally take any action. 

Incidents during Testing

The UCAT Consortium and our partner Pearson VUE aim to provide a professional test experience. However, occasionally things may go wrong, and we have systems in place to deal with such circumstances. 

Please refer to the information on the Test Incident page which outlines the steps you should take if there is an issue during testing.