How to Prepare for UKCAT Exam? – A Definitive Preparation Guide with Practice Tests, Tips & Tricks & More
Last Updated on July 3, 2023
This article is your resource for UCAT practice tests & other preparation materials. You will find a list of video tutorials, links to practice tests and sample questions, and expert advice to pass the UCAT Test and go on your way to becoming a medical student and a future medical professional.
How will this article help me pass my UKCAT test?
This article will give you the preparation tools to get a good UCAT score and succeed.
On this page you’ll find multiple UKCAT practice tests and dozens of resources that will help you pass each element of the test.
This article was specifically designed to help people like you achieve their dream of becoming a doctor. Of course, the first step is enrolling in a good medical school and becoming a medical student. This free comprehensive resource is everything you need to make your dream a reality.
Read on to get started.
What is the UCAT or UKCAT test?
The University Clinical Aptitude Test or UCAT is used by universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to select medical students that they will admit. The UCAT is a requirement for around 75% of British universities.
What is the format of the UKCAT test? What should I expect from a UKCAT practice test?
A UCAT Test and a UCAT practice test will be computer-based exams. If the UCAT practice test you found follows strictly the time conditions of the actual UCAT exam, then you will also have to complete it in two hours.
Check out this video about the UCAT:
Here are the two major points that you need to keep in mind the most from the video.
- Book your UKCAT test slot early – Try to schedule your UCAT test at the end of the summer holidays, so you give yourself the whole summer to study. (Take the pressure off yourself and give yourself the best chance to succeed.)
- Do lots of UKCAT practice tests – There are many practice tests available online. There are enough UCAT practice questions out there that will be worth months to answer. While there are no official UCAT past papers, there are official UCAT practice tests you can use to study. Make sure to try as many training materials as you can to increase your chances.
- UKCAT practice test 1 (JobTestPrep) – A must-do. This professional UKCAT practice pack contains 1,000+ practice questions, explanations and solving tips. Great for learning the insider ‘tricks’ of the test (distraction, time management etc).
- Free UKCAT Practice Test Questions (JobTestPrep) – This UCAT practice test is a must do training material. It is professional UCAT practice pack containing 1,000+ practice questions, explanations, and solving tips. Great for learning the insider ‘tricks’ of the test (distraction, time management etc).
- UKCAT preparation toolkit (UKCAT) – Plenty of handy links here from the offical UKCAT consortium.
- UKCAT practice app – Get this on the App Store or Google Play Store
- UKCAT practice test (OnExamination) – 160 practice questions covering the full spectrum of assessment criteria.
You’ve got tons of links here for both free and paid practice (and there’s many more below for each test element), now let’s get into the detail of the test itself.
Where do I sit for my UKCAT test?
You can sit for the UCAT practice tests online, but the official UCAT test is sat at Pearson Vue Centres across the UK. Watch this short animation to prepare yourself during the actual test day.
How is a UKCAT test score calculated?
Here’s a great explanation of how your overall UCAT test score is calculated. To further help you get a good UCAT score, take a look at our curated list of practice tests and practice questions. Our list includes free UCAT practice tests, free UCAT practice questions as well as premium ones. These resources will help your practice taking the computer-based exam and simulate working under the timed conditions.
The 5 elements of the UKCAT test
- All good UKCAT practice tests will cover the 5 areas that are measured in the UKCAT test:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Abstract Reasoning
- Decision Making
- Situational Judgement
Let’s take a look at each UKCAT test element in more detail.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Verbal Reasoning
The verbal reasoning section of a UKCAT practice test will examine your ability to interrogate and evaluate information provided to you in a written format. You have 22 minutes to answer all 44 UCAT verbal reasoning questions.
The UCAT questions will be multiple choice, so remember to read them carefully as concentration really is the key here.
You should read our verbal reasoning success guide to learn proven strategies for this type of test.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Related Preparation Video
Here’s a useful video from a UKCAT test applicant speaking about her experiences with the verbal reasoning element of a UKCAT practice test.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Verbal Reasoning Resources
All good UCAT practice tests will cover the 5 areas that are measured in the UCAT test:
- http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/verbal-reasoning (sign up required)
Let’s take a look at each UKCAT test element in more detail.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Quantitative Reasoning
All good UCAT practice tests will include this. “Quantitative reasoning” sounds rather grand, but this is simply a numerical reasoning test, or “maths test” in other words!
This second part of the UCAT test will look at how you can examine numerical information and how well you make evaluations based upon it. You will have a total of 24 minutes to answer all 36 quantitative reasoning questions. (You’ll have a calculator on screen, to aid with your calculations.)
All parts of the UCAT test are multiple choice but that’s arguably least helpful in this element of the test where it’s more difficult to make inferences than, for example, in the verbal element.
As always, our recommendation is practice, practice, practice. Check out our Numerical Reasoning Hub and also our numerical reasoning success podcast to learn how to ace this part of your UKCAT practice test.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Quantitative Reasoning Resources
- Our numerical reasoning success podcast episode
- http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/numerical-reasoning (sign up required)
UKCAT Test – Quantitative Reasoning Video
This short video has a few useful nuggets of information:
UCAT Practice Tests – Abstract Reasoning
This part of the test is a psychometric evaluation which assesses your overall intelligence and judgement. Yikes. Does that sound a bit scary? For many people this is the hardest part of the test, but don’t worry, as always success simply comes down to preparation.
You will be shown words, pictures and diagrams and you’ll need to establish the relationship or pattern between them. You’ll have 13 minutes to answer all 55 abstract reasoning questions, so be sure to practise at pace.
(You may find it useful to read our Watson-Glaser Test page here – this is a test for barristers that’s roughly equivalent to the UKCAT for that profession- and it centres almost entirely around logical and abstract reasoning. It would be a good deep-dive for you, especially if you learn that you’re falling down in this area during your UKCAT practice tests.)
UKCAT Practice Tests – Abstract Reasoning Video
This is an extremely useful UKCAT abstract reasoning video from James Mungall.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Abstract Reasoning Resources
Here’s a round-up of useful UKCAT practice test resources that will help you prepare for the abstract reasoning element of your UKCAT practice test.
- http://www.practicetests.co.uk/Launchtest.asp# (email required)
UKCAT Practice Tests – Decision Making
The UKCAT practice test will be used to assess your ability to make sound judgements based on your interpretation of complex information. This part of the test assesses your ability to reach logical conclusions by evaluating data and arguments.
About the UKCAT Decision Making Subtest
This new section makes the test more robust and adds extra elements of problem solving and deductive reasoning.
Doctors and dentists often need to make decisions with incomplete information while managing risk and dealing with uncertainty.
UKCAT Decision Making – Format
The Decision Making section has 29 questions and must be completed in 31 minutes.
There are five types of questions:
- Formal logic questions – Logic statements and multiple choice.
- Seating arrangement questions – Draw conclusions based on known data.
- Inductive reasoning – Make conclusions from charts.
- Statistical – Evaluate data to draw logical conclusions.
- Arguments – Evaluate complex arguments (e.g. a public issue). Pick the ‘best’ answer from 4 options.
Extra points to be aware of
- Unlike the other UKCAT subtests these Decision Making questions stand alone as isolated individual challenges. (The data doesn’t rollover from question to question.)
- A basic calculator will be available on screen.
- Using paper for workings is allowed.
- You will be asked to interpret graphs, charts, diagrams, text and tables.
Here’s some useful Decision Making tips:
Let’s move on to the last element of your UKCAT practice test, which is Situational Judgment.
UKCAT Practice Tests – Situational Judgment
Ok, this is the final section of the test – keep focussed!
This part of your UKCAT practice test establishes your ability to understand and relate to real life situations and scenarios. You will need to identify the key element of a hypothetical situation and select the best course of action based on the multiple choices provided. You will have 27 minutes to look at 67 items. (It’s really important to keep in mind that you need to base your answers on what the person should do, not what they might do. As with all elements of a UKCAT practice test you have to suspend your real-world knowledge and focus purely on the info you’re given.)
A useful & well-reviewed UCKAT practice test book
You may want to pick up a copy of this book it’s got great reviews on Amazon and is another UKCAT practice test resource that you should avail yourself of.
Two Final Top Tips For UKCAT Test Success
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this UKCAT practice test article, but we want to leave you with these two tips:
• Practise, practise, practise. This is genuinely fundamental to your success. Our recommended ‘must-do’ UKCAT practice tests are here.
• Think in terms of Strategies. This is a great UKCAT article, with some really helpful ideas in terms of your overall strategy.
A (very important) final point…
Remember that the UKCAT tests evolves with each passing year. For the most up-to-date information you should always check the UKCAT consortium’s offical website. Their website is here, they are on Facebook here and Twitter here.
Give this examination the respect it deserves – this is your future! Take some UKCAT practise tests and identify the areas where you’re weak. Focus on practising those areas.
we wish you the best of luck with your UKCAT test and your career. Thanks for reading!
More articles of ours that may help you
We hope you enjoyed this UKCAT practice test roundup? We’ve written tons of other articles that will help you:
- Do you have to take a numerical reasoning test or a verbal reasoning test? If so you may want to check out the aptitude tests section of the site.
- You can find practice tests and tons of free advice on every other type of ‘reasoning test’ too: numerical, verbal, abstract, logical, inductive, diagrammatic, spatial, mechanical comprehension, UKCAT and Watson-Glaser tests.
- Worried about your assessment day? Maybe you’re worried about performing a presentation or preparing for an interview or group exercise or in-tray exercise?
- Perhaps you’d like some guidance on how to deal with nerves & anxiety at your interview?
- Lastly the Tools and Resources page is packed with useful equipment and ‘A’ List recommendations that will make your life easier.
Taking the UCAT is a huge step forward to your dream career. As such, dedicating time and effort to it is crucial if you want to become a medical student, a junior doctor, and even a top medical professional in the country. While you can take a free UCAT practice test, it is best to invest in the best materials possible.
Remember, this will help you in molding the career and future you want. So, make sure you see your UCAT preparation as something to invest in. Doing so will like help you answer UCAT questions better and improve your UCAT score.
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