UCAT (UKCAT) Coaching

University Clinical Aptitude Test is Formerly known as UCAT

What is the UCAT (Previously UKCAT)®?

The UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test, (previously named UKCAT, UK Clinical Aptitude Test), and is required for entry to a medical/dentistry degree at many UK universities. As of 2019, the UCAT replaces UKCAT. Even though a name change has taken place, the UCAT is an identical test to the UKCAT, and the UCAT name change encourages a more global reach. That being said, the UCAT has also launched in Australia and New Zealand under the name UCAT ANZ.The UCAT is a computer-based test taken at Pearson Vue Centres between July and October every year.

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When do I sit for the UCAT?

Below are the key dates for the 2022 UCAT. Each year the registration and testing periods take place around the same time.

Registration opens May 24, 2022
Testing begins July 11, 2022
Registration deadline September 22, 2022
Bursary application deadline September 30, 2022
Last test date September 29, 2022
UCAS application deadline October 15, 2022

For further information about the UCAT test and to register* please visit www.ucat.ac.uk.

Which Universities require the test?

You should always check the entry requirements
for each course before booking a test. Some universities may have different requirements for
overseas or graduate applicants. The UKCAT website has the most up to date list.

What is the UCAT?

  • An admissions test used in the selection process by a consortium of UK university medical and dental schools
  • The UCAT is a computer-based test taken at Pearson Vue Centres between July and October every year.
  • You can only sit the test once each year.
  • 2 hour, multiple-choice, computer-based test which you sit at a local Pearson VUE test centre
  • It assesses a range of mental abilities across 5 separately timed subtests:
  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Decision Making
  3. Quantitative Reasoning
  4. Abstract Reasoning
  5. Situational Judgement
  • No points are deducted for wrong answers.
  • Use the Flag and Review functions of the test effectively to manage your time
  • Results are available on the day of your test
Subtest Items UKCAT (includes 1 min per subtest for instruction)
Verbal Reasoning 44 22 Minutes
Decision Making 29 32 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 36 25 Minutes
Abstract Reasoning 55 14 Minutes
Situational Judgement 69 27 Minutes
Total Time 120 Minutes


Your UKCAT result will comprise of:
A score of between 1200 to 3600
Verbal Reasoning – 300 to 900
Decision Making – 300 to 900
Quantitative Reasoning – 300 to 900
Abstract Reasoning – 300 to 900
Situational Judgment – Band 1 to 4 (1 the highest)

1. 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 the information presented.

Time Items 22 minutes (one minute for instruction and 21 minutes for items) 44 items associated with 11 reading passages

Why Verbal Reasoning?

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

Verbal Reasoning Items You will be presented with eleven passages of text, each associated with four items (questions). Some items 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 items that comprise a stem, which might be an incomplete statement or a question, with four response options. The candidate is required to pick the best or most suitable response. Candidates will only be able to select one response. For other test items, your task is to read each passage of text carefully and then decide whether the statement provided follows logically from the information in the passage. In each case you can choose True, False or Can’t Tell.

2. Decision Making

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

Time -32 minutes (one minute for instruction and 31 minutes for items) Items -29 items associated with diagrams, text, charts, or graphs

Decision-Making Items

You will be presented with items that may refer to text, charts, tables, graphs, or diagrams. Additional information may be presented within the question itself. 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 booklet and pen. Why Decision Making? 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.

3. 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, items are less to do with numerical facility and more to do with problem solving (i.e. knowing what information to use and how to manipulate it using simple calculations and ratios). The subtest measures reasoning using numbers as a vehicle rather than measuring a facility with numbers.

Time Items 25 minutes (one minute for instruction and 24 minutes for items) 36 items associated with tables, charts, and/or graphs

Why Quantitative Reasoning?

Doctors and dentists are constantly required to look at data, review it, and apply it to their own practice. On practical level drug calculations based on patient weight, age and other factors have to be correct. At a more advanced level, medical and dental 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 Items

You are required to solve problems by extracting relevant information from tables and other numerical presentations. Some of the items may present additional supporting information in the form of tables, charts and graphs. For each, you may be presented with four items that relate to that table, chart or graph. For each item, there are five answer options to choose from. Your task is to choose the best option. A simple on-screen calculator is available for use in this section. The calculator is integrated into the practice tests to allow candidates to familiarise themselves with using it.

4. 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.

Time Items 14 minutes (one minute for instruction, 13 minutes for items) 55 items associated with sets of shapes

Why Abstract Reasoning?

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 Items

There are 4 different item types in the Abstract Reasoning 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.

5. Situational Judgement

The test measures your capacity to understand real-world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.

Time Items 27 minutes (one minute for instruction and 26 minutes for items) 68 items associated with 21 scenarios (consisting of between 2 and 6 items)

Why Situational Judgement?

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

Situational Judgement Test Items

The test consists of a series of scenarios with possible actions and considerations. The questions do not require medical or procedural knowledge to answer. For the first set, you will be asked to rate the appropriateness of a series of options in response to the scenario.

When considering how to respond to the scenario, an option is:

  • A very appropriate thing to do if it will address at least one aspect (not necessarily all aspects) of the situation
  • Appropriate, but not ideal if it could be done, but is not necessarily a very good thing to do
  • Inappropriate, but not awful if it should not really be done, but would not be terrible
  • A very inappropriate thing to do if it should definitely not be done and would make the situation worse A response should not be judged as if it is the only thing that is done. For example, if the wrong medication is provided to a patient, there are a number of steps that should be taken, including checking the patient is ok and assessing the patient medically. The response ‘ask the patient if they are ok’ should still be judged as appropriate. It should not be judged as if this is the only action that will be taken. For the second set, you will be asked to rate the importance of a series of options in response to the scenario. When considering how to respond to the scenario, an option is:
  • Very important if this is something that is vital to take into account
  • Important if this is something that is important but not vital to take into account
  • Of minor importance, if this is something that could be taken into account, but it does not matter if it is considered or not
  • Not important at all if this is something that should definitely not be taken into account * This subtest has identical content to the SJTace standalone test.

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