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UKCAT

Educational Service

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is a test that is beginning to be used in the selection process by a consortium of UK University Medical and Dental Schools. It is run by the UKCAT Consortium in partnership with Pearson VUE. It was first introduced in 2006, and will remain in test mode for some years beyond this date. The test is designed to give information on the candidates' mental abilities, as well as attitudes and possible professional behavior. The test is expected to start helping universities make more informed choices between medical and dental applicants in the years to come, once the test has been fully validated. Candidates intending to apply in 2013 for entry to a relevant course in a UKCAT University in 2014 (or for deferred entry in 2015) are required to sit the UKCAT by the 4th October 2013 deadline.

The requirement to take the test applies to all UK, EU and the majority of international applicants. There are test centers in locations around the world, including all EU countries.

In India test centers Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, New Delhi (Yusuf Sarai), Maharashtra and Tamilnadu

You may only take the test once in any test cycle. If your application to medical school is not successful and you re-apply the following year, you will be required to take the UKCAT again.

If you fail to take the test in time and apply to a programmed for which the test is required, your application will be rejected unless you have been exempt from the test

Please note we will not accept any requests for exemption until 1 May 2013.
Requests for exemption must be submitted by 5pm on 20th September 2013. Any applications received after this date will not be considered.


You may be exempt from the test on geographic grounds if you live and are educated in a country where we do not offer the test. Please ensure you check first to see if a local test centre is available before making a request for exemption. If you think you are exempt from the test then you need to complete this form.

UKCAT will consider your application and if you meet the criteria will issue you (by email) with an exemption number. This means that you do not need to take the test and your chosen medical or dental schools will consider your application without a test result. UKCAT will inform you’re chosen Universities that you are exempt from the test. You do not need to contact them directly.

If you believe you might be exempt from the test on any other grounds (e.g. medical) please contact UKCAT directly. Please note that exemptions granted by UKCAT are relevant to your ability to take the test during the current test cycle and do not relate to any other aspect of the admissions processes operated by your chosen Universities.

Test Format

The following information relates to the 2013 test and is for information only and may be subject to change. The test assesses a range of mental abilities identified by university Medical and Dental Schools as important. There is no curriculum content as the test examines innate skills. Each subtest is in a multiple-choice format and is separately timed.

For candidates sitting the examination in summer 2013, the UKCAT will consist

  • Verbal reasoning - assesses logical thinking and reasoning about written information.
  • Quantitative reasoning - assesses ability to solve numerical problems.
  • Abstract reasoning - assesses the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information.
  • Decision analysis - assesses the ability, in complex, ambiguous situations, to deal with various forms of information, infer relationships, make informed judgments, and decide on an appropriate response.
  • Situational judgment test - assesses judgment regarding situations encountered in the workplace.

There are two versions of UKCAT: the standard UKCAT and the UKCATSEN (Special Educational Needs). The UKCATSEN is a longer version of the UKCAT intended for candidates who require additional time due to a documented medical condition or disability. The timings of the two tests are detailed below:

Section Items Standard Test Time   Extended Test Time  
Verbal Reasoning 44 items    22 minutes 28 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 36 items 23 minutes 29 minutes
Abstract Reasoning 65 items 16 minutes 20 minutes
Decision Analysis 26 items 32 minutes 40 minutes
Situational Judgment Test 60 items* 27 minutes 33 minutes

*13 scenarios (each consisting of between 4 and 6 potential response options to rate)