Test Incident

The test incident process for the 2022 UCAT will be published in Spring 2022.

If you tested at a test centre, you will have had a copy of the UCAT Test Centre Exam Rules to read prior to testing.  This document advises that if you experience issues that affect your test, you must notify the invigilator immediately by raising your hand.  If you did not raise the issue during your test it is unlikely that UCAT will take any action – especially where it is possible that had you raised the issue, this could have been resolved by the invigilator. 

If you raised an issue during testing that was not satisfactorily resolved you may request an incident investigation. 

The issuing of an incident case number does not automatically result in UCAT or Pearson VUE taking any action unless an incident investigation is requested. 

UCAT rarely take action if the incident is not reported to test centre staff on the day of testing. 

You will not suffer any disadvantage or recrimination as a result of requesting an incident investigation in good faith.  However, requests made frivolously, vexatiously or with malice, will not be investigated. 

Where a third party (such as a parent or guardian) contacts Pearson VUE or the UCAT Office on your behalf we can only address general issues, unless we have your written consent to the third party acting on your behalf.  It is therefore preferable that you make contact directly.  Where a third party is acting on your behalf, we will communicate with both the third party and you to ensure you are aware of any developments.  Pearson VUE or the UCAT Office may in such circumstances request a first-hand account of any incident from you. 

What incident investigation requests will be considered?

  • A technical problem with the computer (hardware or software) or issues with equipment.
  • Significant disruption caused by another user of the test centre.
  • Disruption caused by excessive noise in the test centre.
  • Unscheduled interruptions to the test such as a fire alarm.
  • Issues relating to test content.
  • Discrimination on the grounds of any protected characteristics. 

What incident investigation requests are excluded?

  • Appeals against test scores will not usually be considered.  The UCAT is a computer-based test and is marked automatically.  Errors are extremely unlikely as the marking and scoring system is subject to rigorous testing before each test cycle.
  • Circumstances relating to illness, injury or other personal circumstances affecting performance (refer to the ‘Fit to Test’ policy).
  • Lack of access arrangements, if you have not arranged these in advance of your test (in accordance with the Access Arrangements process).
  • Access refused due to late arrival.
  • Access refused if incorrect photo ID has been presented.
  • Noise due to normal test centre conditions such as keyboard noise or other people leaving and entering the test room.
  • Noise from test centre staff going about their normal business, including giving assistance to other candidates in the testing room.
  • Appeals about admissions decisions, which should be addressed to the individual university concerned. 

How do I request Pearson VUE undertake an Incident Investigation?

You must specifically request an incident investigation by contacting Pearson VUE Customer Services, either by email (preferable) or phone.  


When making your request you will need to provide:

  • your incident case number (given to you at the test centre).

  • brief explanation of the incident, which makes clear:

  • any action taken by you or test centre staff;

  • which UCAT subtests were affected by the incident;

  • an estimate of any test time lost (if relevant).

An incident investigation should be requested within 1 working day of your test.  It is difficult for us to verify details of your incident if you leave it longer than this.

Once a request has been logged, your case will be investigated by Pearson VUE and the outcome reported back to you by email within 5 working days.

If you have not received an email after 5 working days, please contact Pearson VUE Customer Services and quote the incident case number to obtain an update on an investigation.


What are the outcomes from a Pearson VUE Incident Investigation?

Pearson VUE will investigate your issue, report back any findings and confirm one of the following outcomes:

  • Referral to UCAT Office for action: if, on the basis of their investigation, Pearson VUE conclude that your incident was sufficiently serious to have impacted on your test experience, you will be advised that you may contact the UCAT Office to take this further.  If you wish to take your case further, you should email the UCAT Office within 5 working days of the outcome of the investigation by Pearson VUE.

  • No action to be taken: you have not followed the correct incident process, or the incident is considered to be of a minor nature or no evidence of an incident has been found. 

What do I need to do if my case has been referred to the UCAT Office?
  • If you have been advised to contact the UCAT Office to take your case further, you should email the UCAT Office within 5 working days of the outcome of the investigation by Pearson VUE.

  • The UCAT Office will review the Pearson VUE findings and confirm an outcome (see below). 

What can I do if I am not happy with the outcome of the Pearson VUE investigation?
  • If you are not happy with the outcome of any investigation undertaken by Pearson VUE into an incident you may request a review of your case by emailing the UCAT Office within 5 working days of the outcome of any investigation by Pearson VUE.

  • A further review of the case will be handled by a member of UCAT staff who will liaise with Pearson VUE as required in order to gather the required evidence.

  • The UCAT Office will report back any findings and confirm an outcome (see below). 

What are the outcomes from a UCAT Office review?

Following a review by the UCAT Office, they will confirm one of the following outcomes: 

  • No action to be taken
    The candidate has not followed the correct incident process, or the incident is considered to be of a minor nature or no evidence of an incident has been found. 

  • Annotation
    Your result may be annotated with a factual statement in order that the Medical and Dental Schools you apply to, are aware of the circumstances which may have affected your test result. 

  • Retest opportunity
    Only a handful of candidates are normally allowed to retest in any test year.  The whole test must be taken again; re-sitting just the subtest(s) affected is not possible.  The original attempt result is made void and only the result of the final test in that test cycle (regardless of the result) will be made available to universities. 

Please note: The UCAT Consortium never makes an adjustment to a candidate’s scores to reflect an incident during their test. 

If you are not happy with the outcome of the UCAT Office review of your case please refer to the UCAT Consortium Appeals Policy. 

General Complaints about Pearson VUE Services

If you have a complaint about how registration or check-in was handled or any other aspect of service from Pearson VUE you should contact Pearson VUE directly in the first instance:

In the UK: 0208 616 5106 or from overseas: +44 208 616 5106 or by email via the website

Feedback and Suggestions

If you want to make the UCAT Consortium aware of an issue which could benefit from improvement, we would encourage this, and all such suggestions will be positively received.  Please email the UCAT Office.