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 ‘Fit to Test’ Policy

Candidates who present themselves to test are declaring themselves fit to take the 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, even if this means losing the test fee.

  • Do not attend a Pearson VUE Test Centre if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Follow current government guidelines and reschedule your test to a later date, after any mandatory self-isolation period.

  • If you are concerned that illness, injury or personal circumstances means you will not be ‘fit to test’ throughout the 2021 test cycle, you should contact the UCAT Office for advice before sitting a test.

  • If you choose to sit your test against this advice, UCAT will not accept this as a mitigating circumstance. 


UCAT Exam Rules

You should familiarise yourself with the UCAT Test Centre Exam Rules before your appointment.  These explain what you must do if you have any issues during testing. Please also refer to the Test Day Problems section below. 


Test centre safety

The UCAT Consortium and our delivery partner, Pearson VUE are committed to protecting the safety of all candidates sitting the test.  All Pearson VUE company-owned test centres are following CDC and WHO recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting candidates and staff.  Candidates are asked to comply with the latest Pearson VUE health and safety guidelines


Test centre check-in process

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

  • Official photographic ID that meets the Photo ID Policy

  • Your appointment confirmation email from Pearson VUE (electronic or printed) 

If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test and you will have to book and pay for a new test slot on another day.  This applies in cases of family emergency, accident, arrest, transport problems and security alert as well as forgetfulness and lateness.  

During the check-in process:

  • You will be asked to comply with the latest Pearson VUE health and safety guidelines.

  • 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. 

  • All personal belongings (including bags, coats, hats or head coverings, papers, books, pens, watches, wallets, keys, IDs, mobile phones, food/water/drinks) must be placed 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 and any permitted comfort aids.   

  • If you need to access medication or food/drink during your test, you should refer to the Access Arrangements page for more details.

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

If you have any concerns over the check-in process or have a medical condition / disability that you think our test centre staff should be made aware of please contact Pearson VUE Customer Services at least 5 working 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 the check-in process has been completed, you will be taken into the testing room and allocated a desk space at which you will find a PC and keyboard. 

Under normal test centre conditions there will be other people taking tests in the same room (within any social distancing guidelines).  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.  Headphones are available at each workstation and you can also request earplugs to block out the noise. 

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, 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 to limit the impact on test time. 

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

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

Please refer to the information below which covers the steps you should take if there is a problem during your 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 working day of your test) to arrange for your test to be rescheduled.

  • If you choose to continue testing, UCAT will not accept this as a mitigating circumstance. 


Incidents during Testing

Raising an issue during your test

  • If you experience an issue during your test at a test centre, raise your hand to notify the invigilator. This includes hardware/software problems, excessive noise disturbance or other distractions.

  • If you do not raise the issue during your test, UCAT will not accept this as a mitigating circumstance.

  • The invigilator cannot answer questions related to test content. 

Obtaining an Incident Case Number

  • If you do not feel that the issue was satisfactorily resolved, make sure that the incident is recorded by the test centre and you are given a case number.

  • Please make sure you obtain this incident case number before leaving the test centre.

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

Requesting an incident investigation

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

  • If you wish to have your case investigated please refer to the Test Incident page.