UCAT

The University Clinical Aptitude Test is used in the selection process by the majority of UK University Medical and Dental Schools.

UCAT Subtests

The information below is subject to change.  Details of the 2020 test cycle will be updated in April 2020.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning subtest assesses your ability to read and think carefully about information presented in passages and to determine whether specific conclusions can be drawn from information presented.  You are not expected to use prior knowledge to answer the questions.

Doctors and dentists need excellent verbal reasoning skills in order to understand complex information and communicate this clearly and simply to patients is essential. Medical practitioners must also be able to interpret findings from published materials and apply this to their own practice. It is essential they are able to critique such materials and draw their own conclusion as to the validity of any findings.

Verbal Reasoning Questions

You will be presented with eleven passages of text, each associated with 4 questions.  You have 21 minutes to answer the 44 questions in this subtest.

Some questions assess critical reasoning skills, requiring candidates to make inferences and draw conclusions from information.  You will need to read the passage of text carefully.  You will then be presented with a question or incomplete statement and four response options.  You are required to pick the best or most suitable response.  You will only be able to select one response.  

For other questions, your task is to read each passage of text carefully and then decide whether the statement provided follows logically.  There are three answer options you can choose from:

True: On the basis of the information in the passage, the statement is true.

False: On the basis of the information in the passage, the statement is false.

Can’t Tell: You cannot tell from the information in the passage whether the statement is true or false.

Decision Making

The Decision Making subtest assesses your ability to apply logic to reach a decision or conclusion, evaluate arguments and analyse statistical information.

Doctors and dentists are often required to make decisions in situations that may be complex.  This requires high-level problem solving skills and the ability to assess and manage risk and deal with uncertainty.

Decision Making Questions

You will be presented with 29 questions that may refer to text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams. Additional information may be presented within the question itself.  You will have 31 minutes to answer the questions in this subtest.

All questions are standalone and do not share data. Some questions will have four answer options but only one correct answer; others will require you to respond to five statements by placing a 'yes' or 'no' answer next to each statement.

A simple on-screen calculator is available for use in this section.  You may also need to use your noteboards and pen.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning subtest assesses your ability to use numerical skills to solve problems. It assumes familiarity with numbers to the standard of a good pass at GCSE. However questions are less to do with numerical facility and more to do with problem solving.

Doctors and dentists are constantly required to review data and apply it to their own practice. On a practical level drug calculations based on patient weight, age and other factors have to be correct. At a more advanced level, clinical research requires an ability to interpret, critique and apply results presented in the form of complex statistics. Universities considering applicants need to know they have the aptitude to cope in these situations.

Quantitative Reasoning Questions

You will be presented with 36 questions associated with tables, charts, and/or graphs.  You will have 24 minutes to answer the questions in this subtest.

You are required to solve problems by extracting relevant information from tables and other numerical presentations.  Most questions will be shown as sets of four questions each connected to the same data. There are some questions that standalone and do not share data. Each question has five answer options. Your task is to choose the best option.

A simple on-screen calculator is available for use in this section.  You may also need to use your noteboards and pen.

Abstract Reasoning

Abstract Reasoning assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes where irrelevant and distracting material may lead to incorrect conclusions. The test therefore measures your ability to change track, critically evaluate and generate hypotheses and requires you to query judgements as you go along.

When considering possible diagnoses, medical practitioners may be presented with a set of symptoms and/or results. Some information may be more reliable, more relevant and clearer than other information. Doctors and Dentists need to make judgements about such information, identifying the information which will help them reach conclusions. Carrying out research involving data often involves identifying patterns in results in order to generate further hypotheses. 

Abstract Reasoning Questions

You will be presented with 55 questions associated with sets of shapes.  You will have 13 minutes to answer the questions in this subtest.

You will see all of these 4 different question types in this subtest:

  • For type 1, you will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be given a test shape and asked to decide whether the test shape belongs to Set A, Set B, or Neither.

  • For type 2, you will be presented with a series of shapes. You will be asked to select the next shape in the series.

  • For type 3, you will be presented with a statement, involving a group of shapes. You will be asked to determine which shape completes the statement.

  • For type 4, you will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B.


Situational Judgement Test

The situational judgement test (SJT) measures your capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.  Questions do not require medical or procedural knowledge.

The test assesses integrity, perspective taking, team involvement, resilience and adaptability.  SJTs are used widely in medical and dental selection, including selection of Foundation Doctors and Dentists, GPs and other medical specialities. 

Situational Judgement Questions

You will be presented with 69 questions associated with 22 scenarios (consisting of between 2 and 5 questions).  You will have 26 minutes to answer all questions within the subtest. 

The test consists of a series of scenarios for which you will need to consider either the appropriateness of possible actions, or the importance of possible considerations. 

Some of the questions will require that you rate each response from four possible options. Other questions will require you to choose the most and least appropriate action to take in response to the situation, from the three actions provided.