UCAT Test: Beat the UKCAT with our Actionable Guide (2020-21)

Last updated 10/2020

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a predictor of job performance for a range of job positions. It is a pre-employment test that measures your problem-solving, critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and analysis skills.

The UCAT is used as an admissions exam by many UK Universities for entrance to their dental and medical degree studies. The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is the most frequently used exam by UK medical schools. Universities use the UCAT to identify candidates with the most suitable mental aptitudes and professional conduct. The UCAT is often used in conduction with other admission requirements, including academic degrees, personal statements, and UCAS application.

What is the UCAT (UKCAT) test?

The UCAT, (known as the UKCAT until 2019), or Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test, is an aptitude exam distributed by Criteria, which assesses the general cognitive skills of a candidate. The UCAT doesn’t feature any science-based ideas, but rather is focused on assessing the reasoning skills, cognitive abilities, and logical thinking of candidates.

Medical schools use the UKCAT to help them assess whether or not an applicant has the appropriate skill set to practice as a dentist or doctor. It achieves this by measuring their mental skills, general attitude, and overall professionalism. It is typically deemed to be a core requirement for Medical programs.

Explore UCAT Test Format

The UCAT test is a multiple-choice exam and is made up of five subtests. The UCAT is a computerized test that lasts for two-hours. You’ll take it at the testing center assigned to you. Each section of the exam needs to be addressed in the order presented. Once you begin the exam you cannot pause for a break, however, a timed instruction part is factored in, prior to each sub-test.

The UCAT sections are as follows:

  • Verbal Reasoning – 44 questions (22 minutes + 1 minute of reading)
  • Decision Making – 29 questions (32 minutes + 1 minute of reading)
  • Quantitative Reasoning – 36 questions (25 minutes + 1 minute of reading)
  • Abstract Reasoning – 55 questions (14 minutes + 1 minute of reading)
  • Situational Judgement – 69 questions (27 minutes + 1 minute of reading)

The UKCAT test is an online test taken at a Pearson center near to where the candidate is based. Candidates cannot bring external materials into the exam. A basic calculator is given on the screen in the decision-making tests and quantitative reasoning. You will also receive a marker pen and whiteboard pen, which you can use to take notes.

UCAT Scores: What is the Average Score?

Once you complete the UCAT test your score report is forwarded to the employer requesting the exam. The score report shows your raw score, sub-scores for specific categories, a percentile ranking, and it will show how your score fares in comparison to the desired score range for particular job roles.

Different job roles demand varying scores. Here a few examples of scores for particular jobs:

  • Store Manager: 20-37
  • Customer service Rep: 18-32
  • Lawyer: 29-42

The average UCAT score is provided by the UCAT Consortium in their yearly report. The UCAT scores are broken down according to the sections of the exam. Here is the data from the 2019 UCAT test sitting:

Verbal reasoning: 565
Decision making: 618
Quantitative reasoning: 662
Abstract reasoning: 638
Situational Judgement: N/A

Total scaled score: 2483

When you complete the UCAT test, you should strive to achieve a grade that is on the high end of your profession’s desired score. This will give you an edge over others competing for the same job role.

Which are the 5 Sections of the UKCAT Test?

The following is a detailed breakdown of the 5 sections of the UKCAT test.

Verbal Reasoning

This section will ask you to read 11 passages of text. Each passage will have 4 questions connected to it. The questions are developed to measure your ability to assess the information given to you and form inferences based on your thought process. For example, you may be asked to finish a sentence in keeping with the text or to determine if a statement about the passage is true, false, or unclear.

Decision Making

This section is created to make sure that applicants who pass the test can make decisions in challenging situations. It contains 29 questions, each question will be based on numerical data of a portion of text. You will be given a calculator on the computer. Some of the questions require you to answer “yes” or “no” while other questions are multiple-choice.

Quantitative Reasoning

This section is developed to measure your problem-solving abilities. An on-screen calculator will be given to you. This section features 36 questions and most of these will be given in sets of 4, connected to a certain bit of data, for example, a table, graph, or chart.

Abstract Reasoning

This section asks you to identify patterns in a set of images and infer what the next picture in the series will be according to this pattern.

Situational Judgement

The Situational Judgment Test (SJT) assesses your ability to grasp real-world situations and to see if you can identify appropriate behavior and critical factors when dealing with such situations. This section determines your capacity to use perspective, resilience, integrity, and dealings within teams. The section includes 69 questions connected to 22 scenarios. You will need to decide how appropriate the different options are.

UCAT Dates and UCAT Registration

Here are the important testing dates for the 2020 UCAT test:

Registration begins: 1st July 2020
Testing starts: 3rd August 2020
Registration deadline: To be advised
Bursary application deadline: 30th September 2020
Last test date: 1st October 2020
UCAS application deadline: 15 October 2020

Note that all these dates are subject to change.

Prepare for the UCAT with PrepTerminal

The UCAT test is created to be a test that measures aptitude rather than an exam that tests academic strengths. Nevertheless, preparation can greatly improve a candidate’s score. The top way to achieve a high score on the UCAT is to practice. A great way to gain familiarity with the UKCAT test is to practice mock questions.

PrepTerminal’s UCAT prep course features 15 core modules, 11 video guides, and 15 written guides to keep you engaged and involved in your study process. We also provide you with 15 practice sets and all the information you need to know for numerical reasoning, abstract reasoning, and clerical proficiency. Make sure you go into your UCAT test prepared and enroll in PrepTerminal’s comprehensive UCAT prep course now.

*Note: UCAT and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

UCAT Test: Beat the UKCAT with our Actionable Guide (2020-21)

Last updated 10/2020

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a predictor of job performance for a range of job positions. It is a pre-employment test that measures your problem-solving, critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and analysis skills.

The UCAT is used as an admissions exam by many UK Universities for entrance to their dental and medical degree studies. The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is the most frequently used exam by UK medical schools. Universities use the UCAT to identify candidates with the most suitable mental aptitudes and professional conduct. The UCAT is often used in conduction with other admission requirements, including academic degrees, personal statements, and UCAS application.

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