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The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is an admissions test used by a consortium of UK Universities for their medical and dental degree programmes.

The UKCAT does not contain any curriculum or science content.  It helps Universities to select applicants with the most appropriate mental abilities, attitudes and professional behaviours required for new doctors and dentists to be successful in their clinical careers.  It is used in collaboration with your UCAS application and academic qualifications.

Test Format

The UKCAT is a two-hour computer-based test.  It consists of five separately timed subtests.  Each subtest contains a number of items in a multiple-choice format. Points are not deducted for incorrect responses. They tests are:
  1. Verbal Reasoning: Assesses the ability to critically evaluate information presented in a written form. It is a 22min exam with 44 items. 
  2. Decision Making: Assesses the ability to make sound decisions and judgements using complex information. Its is 32min exam with 29 items. 
  3. Quantitative Reasoning: Assesses the ability to critically evaluate information presented in a numerical form.Its is 35min exam with 36 items.
  4. Abstract Reasoning: Assesses the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information.Its is 14min exam with 55 items. 
  5. Situational Judgement: Measures the capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. Its is 27min exam with 68 items. 


Registration usually opens in May ( and closes in September) with tests starting in July. The last test date is early October. The results are sent to universities early November.

How to prepare

Since admission to medical and dental school is so competitive (over 80,000 applicants for under 8,000 spots), preparing for the UKCAT is essential. Furthermore, the UKCAT may only be taken once each year. There are a number of sources that provide support.

Take a look HERE for tips & tricks, distractors and time management, as well as 1000 UKCAT practice questions.

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