Preparing for the UKCAT

UKCAT is the UK Clinical Aptitude Test, and is an essential part of the process of applying to a medial or dental degree at many universities. There are currently 26 universities in the UK who have adopted the UKCAT as part of their selection process, and it helps to differentiate between the many qualified applicants that have applied to their courses. You can see what our students do to prepare for the UKCAT here.

There are 5 sections in the UKCAT, which are; verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision analysis and a situational judgement test. These different sections assess your ability to think logically, solve numerical problems, infer relationships and make informed judgements and decisions.


It cannot really be revised for, as it focuses on candidates cognitive processes and is not based on any particular topic or curriculum. There are practice tests available online which are designed to replicate the official test as closely as possible which you may find helpful. The key way to prepare for the test is to simply familiarise yourself with it; the question styles and multiple-choice answers may be presented in way that you haven’t previously come across. There are also time limits for each section, and it is advantageous to be aware of how much time you have. Candidates who have a documented medical condition or disability, sit the UKCATSEN (Special Educational Needs) and is allowed 25% extra time, however the test questions are the same.


Make sure you book your test early, to get it out of the way and get your choice of test slot. If you leave it until later your choices are restricted. You can only take the test once each year, so if you are feeling unwell it is better to reschedule it and lose your test fee rather than fail and not get your place on your desired course. Try to answer every question as you wont lose marks for getting it wrong, you should also be aware that there is only one correct answer for each question; even if more than one seems right. Stay calm and relax, if you get stuck you can mark the question for review and come back to it later. Some sections will be easier than others, so don’t get too stressed if you find yourself struggling.