UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)
The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is a test used in the selection process by a consortium of UK university Medical and Dental Schools. It is run by the UKCAT Consortium, currently chaired by Nigel Siesage, in partnership with Pearson VUE. It was first introduced in 2006.
The test is designed to give information on the candidates’ cognitive abilities through four reasoning tests, with a fifth test, the situational judgement test testing attitudes and professional behaviour. The test is used by the majority of UK universities to make more informed choices between medical and dental applicants.
The UKCAT is designed to be a test of aptitude and attitude, not academic achievement. The latter is already demonstrated by A-Levels, Scottish Highers or undergraduate degrees. It attempts to assess a certain range of mental abilities and behavioural attributes identified as useful. These mental abilities include critical thinking as well as logical reasoning and inference.
For candidates sitting the examination in summer 2018, the UKCAT consists of five subtests: four cognitive tests, and one testing your professional demeanour. Each test has a time allocation as below:
Verbal Reasoning – assesses candidates’ ability to think logically about written information and arrive at a reasoned conclusion. The candidate is given 22 minutes, with 11 passages to read and 44 questions to answer in that time.
Decision Making – assesses ability to apply logic to reach a decision or conclusion, evaluate arguments and analyse statistical information. The candidate is allocated 32 minutes to answer 29 items associated with text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams.
Quantitative Reasoning – assesses candidates’ ability to solve numerical problems. The candidate is given 25 minutes to answer 36 questions associated with either tables, charts, graphs etc. as information.
Abstract Reasoning – assesses candidates’ ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking. The candidate is allocated 14 minutes to answer 55 questions associated with sets of shapes.
The situational judgement test is a different type of test from the tests above:
Situational Judgement – measures candidates’ responses in situations and their grasp of medical ethics. This section of the test is 27 minutes long, with 69 questions associated with 22 scenarios.
The test is an online test taken at a Pearson Vue centre near the candidate. Candidates are not allowed to bring external materials in to the exam. A basic calculator is provided on the screen in the quantitative reasoning and decision making tests, along with a white board and a marker pen for taking notes. The equipment and conditions vary slightly between different test centers.
Including warm-up time (time allocated to reading the instructions), the test lasts a maximum of 2 hours (or 2.5 hours for the UKCATSEN version of the test). Each of the UKCAT subtests is in a multiple choice format and is separately timed.
The test must be sat in the summer of 2018 by candidates who want to apply to member universities for entry in 2019 (or deferred entry in 2020).
For 2019 entry, the UKCAT must be taken in 2018 by all applicants applying to study medicine or dentistry at the following university Medical and Dental Schools:
-University of Aberdeen
-Anglia Ruskin University
-University of Birmingham
-University of Bristol
-University of Dundee
-University of East Anglia
-University of Edinburgh
-University of Exeter
-University of Glasgow
-Hull York Medical School
-King’s College London
-University of Leicester
-University of Liverpool
-University of Manchester
-University of Nottingham
-Queen Mary University of London
-University of Southampton
-University of St Andrews
-George’s, University of London
-University of Warwick (Graduate Entry)