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All you need to know about UKCAT

Thinking of applying to study Medicine or Dentistry? You’ve come to a right place! Here’s our advice when it comes to the UKCAT.

What is UKCAT?

UKCAT stands for UK Clinical Aptitude Test. If you are hoping to study Medicine or Dentistry, you must pass the test in order to get a place on a course at most major UK universities. At Newcastle, it’s a requirement for students applying to Medicine and SurgeryMedicine and Surgery (Accelerated Programme) and Dental Surgery.

What does the test include?

The UKCAT assesses a range of mental abilities that have been identified as important by UK Medical Schools, such as verbal reasoning, decision making and situational judgement. It does not contain any curriculum or science content, but instead it tests whether you have the cognitive powers you’ll need to be a successful health care professional.

How do I take the test?

Registration for UKCAT opens at the beginning of May. The test can be taken any time between early July and early October. For example, if you want to start university in September 2017, you’ll need to sit the test by 5 October 2016. We strongly recommend you to register as soon as you can, as test centre sessions can fill up quickly.

How do I prepare?

It’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared before you sit the test as it can only be taken once per cycle and results cannot be carried over from one year to the next. Here are our top tips:

1. The test is split into five sections, each of which tests a different ability. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the requirements and question styles in each section using the Candidate Preparation Toolkit.

2. Practice makes perfect! Make use of the practice question tutorial on the UKCAT website.

3. Don’t forget to ask for advice from your school or college. If you know anyone who has taken the test before chat to them about it. There is also plenty of available advice from current candidates on The Student Room.

4. If you haven’t studied maths beyond GCSE, or just haven’t flexed your maths muscles recently, we suggest that you make some time to revise and practice.

5. Have a good night’s sleep before the test so you’re feeling your best for the big day.

Good luck! Still have more questions about Medicine and Dentistry? Read some of the common queries we received from the Student Room, and our answers here.

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