What is the UCAT?

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is the new admissions test for future healthcare students in medicine, dentistry and other clinical sciences that was introduced on 24th of September 2018. The UCAT replaces the Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT) from 2019. Prospective candidates seeking admission to selected health programs at participating Universities in 2020 will be required to undertake the UCAT in 2019.

What are the differences between the UCAT and UMAT? 

The UCAT is an online based multiple-choice exam consisting of 5 separate subtests, including Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Situational Judgement. The UCAT exam is 2 hours in duration.

The UMAT was a paper based multiple-choice exam consisting of 3 sections, including Logical Reasoning, Understanding People and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The UMAT exam is 3 hours in duration.

 Both UCAT and UMAT are aptitude tests that assess the qualities important to the practise of medicine / dentistry / clinical sciences. Certain core elements of the UMAT are retained in the new UCAT exam, though the presentation and style of question are different.

 The Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making and Quantitative Reasoning aspect of the UCAT are reflective of the Logical Reasoning section of the UMAT. The Abstract Reasoning subtest of UCAT has elements similar to UMAT’s Non-Verbal Reasoning section.  The Situational Judgement Section of UCAT has features comparable to the Understanding People section of the UMAT

Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning subtest assesses a student’s ability to make inferences and draw specific conclusions based on information presented.

44 questions, 21 minutes test time

Decision Making

The decision-making subtest assesses a student’s ability to interpret text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams in order to reach a decision or conclusion.

29 questions, 31 minutes test time

Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning subtest assesses a student’s ability to solve problems by extracting information from tables, chests, and/or graphs. 

36 questions, 24 minutes test time 

Abstract Reasoning

The abstract reasoning subtest assesses a student’s ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes. There are 4 different question types in this subtest: 

-       Type 1: Students are presented with 2 sets of shapes (Set A and Set B). The question involves a test shape and students are asked to determine which Set (Set A or Set B) does the test shape belong to.

-       Type 2: Students are presented with a series of shapes. The question asks students to determine the next step in the series.  

-       Type 3: Students are presented with a statement involving a group of shapes. The question asks students to determine which shape completes the statement.

-       Type 4: Students are presented with 2 sets of shapes (Set A and Set B). The question asks students to select which of the response options belong to Set A or Set B.

55 questions, 13 minutes test time 

Situational Judgement

The situational judgement subtest assesses a student’s capacity to understand practical situations. Students will be tested on their ability to consider either the appropriateness of possible actions, or the importance of possible considerations, based on a series of scenarios. 

69 questions, 26 minutes test time 

All sections include 1 minute instruction section that is not included in the actual test time. For further information regarding the test format, please visit the official UCAT website: http://www.ucatofficial.com/ucat-anz/test-format/

UCAT Preparation

Though similar to the UMAT in its overall aim of assessing qualities that are deemed important to the practise of  medicine / dentistry / clinical sciences, the UCAT is a different exam and thus requires significant update to any existing UMAT curriculum as offered by a number of external UMAT providers.


What Universities require the UCAT for Admission?

UCAT is required as a pre-requisite for admission to the majority of health-related courses around Australia and New Zealand. As of September 2018, UCAT is required for the following courses:

Medicine – The University of Adelaide, Curtin University, Monash University, The University of Newcastle, University of New England, The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, University of Tasmania, The University of Western Australia, Western Sydney University, The University of Auckland, University of Otago

Dentistry – The University of Adelaide, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia, University of Otago

Oral Health – The University of Adelaide

Please note that some pathways to medicine/dentistry/clinical sciences will not require the UCAT. For up to date information regarding admission requirements, students are advised to check the websites of individual universities.

When is the UCAT held?

The 2019 UCAT testing period is scheduled between the 1st of July 2019 – 31st of July 2019. Registration is open from 1st March 2019 and closes on the 16th of May 2019 at 5PM AEST.


Why Prepare UCAT with MedEssentials?

Though similar to the UMAT in its overall theme, the questions presented in the UCAT are comparably different from the UMAT. This becomes evident on review of official sample questions provided by the UCAT ANZ Consortium.

Based on the observed differences in question type, style and time constraints, any existing UMAT curriculum/courses/questionbanks as offered by established UMAT providers, will need to undergo significant update in content to meet the requirements of students seeking preparation assistance in the UCAT. Students should be weary of practising through UMAT style questions that has been adapted to the UCAT with only minor changes.

At MedEssentials, we are excited that the new UCAT test will offer a more comprehensive aptitude assessment and thus provide added opportunities for students seeking a career in Medicine and Dentistry. Content for our upcoming programs, including the 2018-19 Masterclass, 2019 Trial Exam and the new edition of our Coursebook Series will be developed exclusively by our team of practising doctors. Many of our selected content writers have previously undertaken the UKCAT for admission to Medical Schools in the United Kingdom, which represent the exact content of the UCAT exam. 

With new changes comes a degree of uncertainty for many students. MedEssentials holds the strong belief that the best coaches for a health-related aptitude test such as the UCAT are practising clinicians within insight into the health profession. As the only provider of admissions training guided exclusively by practising doctors with MD and MBBS qualifications, MedEssentials aims to make the transition from UMAT to UCAT a seamless process.