UK Clinical Aptitude Test

UK Clinical
Aptitude Test
In this session...
What is the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and who
uses it?
The UKCAT process
 Key Dates, Registration and Booking
 Costs and Bursaries
 Preparation and Candidate Toolkit
 Taking the Test, Marking and Results
Further information
What is the UKCAT?
A test used in the selection process by a consortium of 24
UK university medical and dental schools.
It helps universities to make more informed choices from
amongst the many highly-qualified applicants who apply
for their medical and dental degree programmes.
It is used in collaboration with other admissions processes
such as the UCAS application, academic qualifications
and interviews.
You sit the test in the same year that you apply through
What is the UKCAT?
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: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative
Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Analysis and
Situational Judgement.
There is no curriculum content as the test examines
innate skills.
UKCAT Universities
University of Aberdeen
University of Leicester
Cardiff University
University of Manchester
University of Central Lancashire
University of Newcastle
University of Dundee
University of Nottingham
Durham University
Plymouth University
University of East Anglia
Queen Mary, University of London
University of Edinburgh
Queen's University Belfast
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
University of Glasgow
University of Southampton
Hull York Medical School
University of St Andrews
Keele University
St George's, University of London
King's College London
University of Warwick
Key Dates 2014
1 May - Registration opens
1 July - Testing begins
19 September - Registration deadline
19 September - Bursary and Exemption application
2 October (midday) - Booking/rescheduling deadline
3 October - Last testing date
15 October - UCAS application deadline
Results are delivered to universities in early November
Registration and Booking
Opens from 1 May 2014.
Register and book early to ensure places are available
at a local centre.
Create an online account then select a test centre and
book your test.
Testing starts from 1 July and ends on 3 October.
Booking/rescheduling closes at midday on 2 October.
Tests taken in the EU July-August: £65
Tests taken in the EU Sept-Oct: £80
Tests taken outside the EU: £100
The fee is payable online at the time of booking by major
credit card (Visa, MasterCard) or UK Visa debit card.
Bursaries that cover the full test fee are available to EU
candidates from low-income households.
You may be eligible if you receive a 16-19 Bursary;
Discretionary Learner Support; Educational Maintenance
Allowance; Full Maintenance Grant or Special Support
Grant; Income Support; Job Seeker's Allowance;
Employment & Support Allowance; Universal Credit.
You may also be eligible if your parent/guardian receives:
Child Tax Credit; Income Support; Job Seeker's
Allowance; Employment & Support Allowance; Universal
Check the website for more details about the criteria, how
to apply and what evidence is required.
Candidates with Disabilities
The UKCATSEN is an extended version of the test (2
hours 30 mins) which can be booked if you are entitled to
additional time for public examinations based upon a
medical diagnosis or report from a specialist teacher.
Likely to relate to dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia,
dysorthographia, attention deficit disorder or working
memory deficit but may apply to a range of other medical
conditions. See the website for details.
Exemptions from the Test
Exemptions from the test are only offered on exceptional
grounds and the vast majority of applicants are expected
to sit the UKCAT during the test window.
Further details about exemptions are available from the
What is in the Test?
Verbal reasoning - assesses ability to critically evaluate
information that is presented in a written form.
Quantitative reasoning - assesses ability to critically evaluate
information presented in a numerical form.
Abstract reasoning - assesses the use of convergent and
divergent thinking to infer relationships from information.
Decision analysis - assesses the ability to make sound
decisions and judgements using complex information.
Situational judgement - measures capacity to understand
real world situations and to identify critical factors and
appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.
Test Format
UKCAT Standard Test
(includes 1 minute
per subtest
for instruction)
UKCAT Extended Test
(includes 2 minutes
per subtest
for instruction)
Verbal Reasoning
22 minutes
28 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning
25 minutes
31.5 minutes
Abstract Reasoning
14 minutes
17.5 minutes
Decision Analysis
32 minutes
39 minutes
Situational Judgement
27 minutes
34 minutes
120 minutes
150 minutes
Total time
Verbal Reasoning
The test 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.
21 minutes to answer 44 items , associated with 11
Some items assess critical reasoning skills, requiring
candidates to make inferences and draw conclusions from
For other items you decide whether the statement
provided follows logically from the information in the
Verbal Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning
Answer: C
Rationale: This is supported by the information
presented in the whole passage. Since rodents
are a food source for foxes, it is common
sense that when there are more rodents, there
will be more foxes as their reproduction is
dependent on food availability.
Quantitative Reasoning
The test assesses your ability to use numerical skills to
solve problems.
 24 minutes to answer 36 items associated with tables,
charts, and/or graphs.
 It assumes familiarity with numbers to the standard of a
good pass at GCSE but focuses on problem solving.
 A basic calculator is available for use in this section.
Quantitative Reasoning
Quantitative Reasoning
Answer: B Rationale: Deposit for Type D
motorboat on Sundays = 95 + 5 × 95/100 = 95
+ 4.75 = £99.75.
Total cost of renting a Type D motorboat for 6
hours on a Sunday = Deposit + Cost per hour
× number of hours = £99.75 + £100 × 6 =
£99.75 + £600 = £699.75.
Abstract Reasoning
The test 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.
There are 4 different item types in this test and you may
see one or two of them.
13 minutes to answer 55 items associated with sets of
Abstract Reasoning
Abstract Reasoning
Set A Rule: Regardless of the nature of the shapes themselves there
must be an equal number of black and shaded shapes but the
combined total is always at least one more than the total number of
white shapes
Set B Rule: Regardless of the nature of the shapes themselves there
must be an equal number of black and white shapes but the combined
total is always at least one fewer than the total number of shaded
Answer: A – Set A
Rationale: 3 black and 3 white but only
3 shaded so cannot satisfy rules for
set B. 3 shaded and 3 black (= 6
shapes) which is more than the total
number of white shapes so must be A.
Decision Analysis
The test assesses the ability to make decisions in situations
of uncertainty, where information may be incomplete,
complex and ambiguous.
 Using a deciphering scenario, the test requires a move from
logical reasoning to decisions requiring increasing degrees
of judgement.
 The associated confidence rating measures your
awareness of your own decision making.
 31 minutes to answer 28 items associated with one
scenario, each with a related confidence rating.
Decision Analysis
Decision Analysis
Answer: E - Today I am moving house
A) Today I feel personally moved (does not refer to
B) Today it is hard for me to move house (introduces hard)
C) I don’t want to dwell on today (introduces a negative)
D) Today is the day to move on (does not refer to
E) Today I am moving house (correct)
Situational Judgement
The test measures your capacity to understand real world
situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate
behaviour in dealing with them.
 It assesses the key traits of integrity, perspective taking and
team involvement.
 SJTs are used widely in medical selection, including
selection of Foundation Doctors, GPs and other medical
 26 minutes to answer 71 items associated with 17
scenarios (consisting of between 3 and 6 response
Situational Judgement
Situational Judgement
Answer: B - Appropriate, but not ideal
Rationale: The General Medical Council requires students
to work “…within the limits of their competence, training
and status as medical students.” A medical student is not
qualified to discuss the possible outcomes of the patient’s
blood test nor what the future may hold for the patient.
However, it is correct for a student to explain his role to
the patient, so that the patient understands the student’s
position. In this situation, where a patient is concerned or
worried about their health, the medical student should
acknowledge the patient’s concerns and advise the patient
to address their concerns with a more appropriate
member of staff.
Preparation for the UKCAT
Familiarise yourself with the requirements and question
styles in each subtest. It is important to understand the
time limitations in each section and to develop strategies
to approach each subtest with this in mind.
 Make full use of the free preparation material on the
website, including the fully timed practice tests.
 Go to where there is advice
available from current/past candidates. This includes links
to free practice resources which can be found on the
 Spend around 21-30 hours in preparation for the
UKCAT. This is the amount of preparation done by the
highest scoring respondents to our recent survey.
Candidate Preparation Toolkit
Freely available from the UKCAT website
Includes 2 fully timed Practice Tests and an additional
questions from each subtest
UKCAT Official Guide containing over 100 practice items
Free UKCAT Practice App for iPhone / Android
Video of high-scoring past candidates sharing best
Lots more hints, tips and advice
There are many companies offering UKCAT preparation
material; be careful as they may not necessarily be of a
high standard and may not be up to date enough to mirror
the actual test.
Hints and Tips
Candidates who take the test early do better!
If you have not studied maths beyond GCSE level (or
recently), revisit and practice these skills as this will
impact on the Quantitative Reasoning section in particular.
If you are not well, reschedule your test to a later date –
even if you lose your test fee. In presenting yourself for
testing, you are declaring yourself fit. UKCAT do not
consider health issues as extenuating circumstances.
Try and answer all the questions. Practise the test timings
and remember that no points are deducted for wrong
answers so if you’re stuck use your best guess.
Taking the Test
Arrive at the Test Centre at least 15 minutes before you
are due to start. If you are late you may not be allowed to
test and will have to pay again!
Very important! Make sure you take the right ID or you
will not be allowed to sit the test.
Make sure they give you a notebook and pen
Other people will be testing in the same room as you so
ask for ear plugs or headphones to limit disturbance.
For each of the cognitive subtests (Verbal Reasoning,
Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Decision
Analysis) you get a score of between 300-900
Total mean average score in 2013 was 2643
In 2013 mean average scores for each cognitive subtest
were: Verbal Reasoning 557, Quantitative Reasoning
655, Abstract Reasoning 661, Decision Analysis 771
For the Situational Judgement test you are given one of 4
You get a copy of your test result when you leave the test
Before you submit your UCAS application check how
universities use the test or you might be wasting an
UKCAT passes your results to your university choices
directly in early November and they will use it alongside a
number of factors which could include academic
performance, UCAS personal statement, references etc.
Further information
Your main source of information should be the UKCAT
 has lots of information
dedicated to entry into medicine or dentistry.
See also:
 General Medical Council
 British Medical Association
 NHS Medical Careers
 Get into Medicine
For the latest UKCAT news

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