How to Prepare for UKCAT Exam? – A Definitive Preparation Guide with Practice Tests, Tips & Tricks & More

Last Updated on October 24, 2022

Your definitive round-up of UKCAT practice tests & preparation resources. Videos, guides, links, tips, tricks, expert advice & feedback from candidates. It’s all here. Let’s get started!

UKCAT-Practice-Test How will this article help me pass my UKCAT test?

This article will give you the preparation tools you need to 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 is a very useful and free resource so remember to bookmark it for future reference & share it with friends & classmates.

Sound good? Let’s get started! First of all we’ll quickly cover the basics.

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What is the UKCAT test?

The UKCAT test (AKA “UK Clinical Aptitude Test”) is used by universities in the selection process for medical and dental degree applications. It is a requirement for around 75% of British universities.

What’s the format of the UKCAT test? What should I expect from a UKCAT practice test?

Any UKCAT practice test will be computer-based and you will have two hours to complete it. Here’s a very useful video from UKCAT that will give you a decent foundational understanding:

In a moment we’ll go through the elements of the test in more detail. But firstly, I’d like to reiterate two crucial points from this video.

  1. Book your UKCAT test slot early – Aim for a slot just at the end of the summer holidays so you give yourself the whole summer to prepare. (Take the pressure off yourself and give yourself the best chance to succeed.)
  2. Do lots of UKCAT practice tests – There’s a variety of tests around the web and our recommendation is that you try them all. Exposing yourself to a wide variety of test scenarios exponentially increases your chance of success.
  • 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 is a super-useful PDF, give it a read.
  • 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 example questions (KAPLAN) – Free UKCAT example test questions.
  • UKCAT practice package (MedSchoolSuccess) – This covers your personal statement and work experience along with practice questions and med school info.
  • UKCAT practice test (OnExamination) – 160 practice questions covering the full spectrum of assessment criteria.

Ok, you’ve got tons of links here for both free & 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 my UKCAT test?

You can sit UKCAT practice tests online, but the official UKCAT test is sat at Pearson Vue Centres across the UK. Wondering what to expect on the day? Watch this short animation:

How it a UKCAT test score calculated?

Here’s a great explanation of how your overall UKCAT test score is calculated.

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

This part of a UKCAT practice test will examine your ability to interrogate and evaluate information provided to you in a written format.  You will be given 22 minutes to complete 44 elements – that equates to 30 seconds per question, so you’ve got to work swiftly.

The 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 of the verbal reasoning element of a UKCAT practice test.

UKCAT Practice Tests – Verbal Reasoning Resources

Here’s a mega-list of useful verbal reasoning resources:

Of course, check out our ultimate verbal reasoning guide and also our verbal reasoning success podcast first! 🙂

Ok, let’s move on from verbal reasoning and look at the next element of the UKCAT test.

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UKCAT Practice Tests – Quantitative Reasoning

All good UKCAT 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 UKCAT 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 36 questions.  (You’ll have a calculator on screen, to aid with your calculations.)

All parts of the UKCAT 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

Here’s another mega-list of useful resources that you can use if you need extra support in this area.

UKCAT Test – Quantitative Reasoning Video

This short video has a few useful nuggets of information:

UKCAT 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 55 questions, so be sure to practise at pace.

Check out our abstract reasoning guide here and be sure to practice extensively for this difficult element of the UKCAT test. Our recommendations for your practice in this area are here and here.

(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.)

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UKCAT Practice Tests – Abstract Reasoning Video

This is an extremely useful UKCAT abstract reasoning video from James Mungall. (Thanks James, we’re loving your work!)

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.

Ok let’s move on to the final 2 elements of your UKCAT practice test.

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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:

  1. Formal logic questions – Logic statements and multiple choice.
  2. Seating arrangement questions – Draw conclusions based on known data.
  3. Inductive reasoning – Make conclusions from charts.
  4. Statistical – Evaluate data to draw logical conclusions.
  5. Arguments – Evaluate complex arguments (e.g. a public issue). Pick the ‘best’ answer from 4 options.

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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:

Good luck!

We hope you enjoyed this free guide? We’d love to hear your feedback so please do get in touch and let us know. Thanks and good luck with your UKCAT test!

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