The UK Clinical Aptitude Test
The United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is an entrance test that is increasingly being used in the selection process by a number of UK Dental and Medical schools, having been first introduced in the 2006 admissions cycle. The UKCAT’s use is expected to grow over the coming years in the United Kingdom.
UKCAT is a pragmatic test, focusing on assessing candidates’ respective intellects as well as their attitudes and values (in order to determine professional behaviour and suitability for their respective professions). The time allowed in total is 2 hours.
Revising for the test is difficult since it is designed to probe innate skills, including mathematical ability, comprehension, reading and writing, values and social attitudes. Genuine answers are required; indeed, the test cross-checks whether candidates’ answers are genuine.
There are no specific past papers; specimen questions are however available on the UKCAT website. Certain universities do not weight the UKCAT as much as others.
- Section 1 - Quantitive Reasoning This component examines critical thinking, data analysis and comprehension. Typically, there are 11 sections, each comprised of a text passage and 4 questions. In other words, there are therefore 44 questions, in 11 sections. Candidates have 22 minutes to complete this section.
- Section 2 - Quantitative Reasoning This section examines problem solving via 10 sections, each of which has 4 questions. Candidates have 22 minutes to complete this section.
- Section 3 - Abstract Reasoning This section tests abstract reasoning skills and candidates' ability to logically infer diagrams and graphic representations. There are 13 pictorial items, attached to each are 5 questions (i.e. there are 65 questions in total). Candidates have 16 minutes to complete this section.
- Section 4 - Decision Analysis This section examines a candidate's ability to analyse coded information and to propose the best answer, given ambiguity and/or coded information. There are 26 questions. Candidates have 30 minutes to complete this section.
- Section 5 - Non-Cognitive Analysis This section consists of a psychometric questionnaire judging attitude and professional potential. There are 11 passages to read; attached to each are 4 questions. There are then 44 questions in this section in total. Candidates have 30 minutes to complete this section.
The test is typically taken between 7th July and 10th October.
This examination is sat at nationwide Pearson Vue test centres.
Universities and Courses
Medicine and dentistry courses at the following universities require UKCAT:
- University of Aberdeen;
- Brighton and Sussex Medical School;
- Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry;
- Cardiff University;
- University of Dundee;
- University of Durham;
- University of East Anglia;
- University of Edinburgh;
- University of Glasgow;
- Hull York Medical School;
- Keele University;
- King's College London;
- Imperial College London (Graduate Entry);
- University of Leeds;
- University of Leicester;
- University of Manchester;
- University of Newcastle;
- University of Nottingham;
- University of Oxford (Graduate Entry);
- Peninsular College of Medicine and Dentistry;
- Queens University (Belfast);
- University of Sheffield;
- University of Southampton;
- University of St. Andrews;
- St. George’s, University of London, and
- Warwick University (Graduate Entry).