What Is UKCAT And Who Should Take It

The UKCAT, otherwise known as the UK Clinical Aptitude Test, is an assessment used in both medicine and dentistry. It is a test that helps universities make a more informed choice when it comes to choosing from the applicants who wish to study a variety of medical and dental programmes across the UK.

It is carried out to help achieve greater fairness during the selection process when it comes to accepting students onto university courses. Used in collaboration with other admission processes such as the UCAS application, the UKCAT tests mental abilities, attitudes and professional behaviour that is required to be a successful doctor or dentist. While this is a compulsory exam, it is important to note that the UKCAT does not contain curriculum or science content but is focused instead on attitude and behaviour.

How is the UKCAT structured?

Questions that are put forward in the UKCAT are written by experts, meaning that the questions in the test are created by trusted individuals. Any questions that are put forward must pass trials first before they are deemed appropriate for the UKCAT, and they are regularly reviewed to make sure the test is fair.

This particular assessment is centred on questions of a reasoning nature, that tests a candidate’s mental ability in this field. Identified as a necessity by both medical and dental schools across the country, the likes of verbal reasoning, decision making and judgement all make up the UKCAT examination. Each aspect tests a candidate’s ability to make informed decisions, as well as the capability to identify critical factors and evaluate any important information.

Each section has a certain number of items with a particular number of minutes allotted to it, with each UKCAT subtest including 1 minute of instruction.

Who should take the UKCAT?

This year, candidates who are looking to enter medical or dental school should take the UKCAT by 5th October 2016 if they are intending to apply for entry in 2017, or deferred entry in 2018. This applies to all UK, EU and other international applicants. It is important that you ensure you are organised and take it on time, as it can affect your application process.

There are specific courses that require candidates take the UKCAT, the UCAS course codes are listed here for you to check if you need to sit the test.

Why is the UKCAT important?

Many universities will take note of your UKCAT result and use it to help them in the selection process. You will receive your result before the UCAS deadline, so It is important to use your result to help you choose your choices.
Universities could use your result in many different ways, and each university differs. Your UKCAT result could be a significant factor in the application process; some universities may have a threshold score that candidates must pass in order to be considered further. Other universities may use the UKCAT alongside academic achievements, personal statement and interview performance to come to a decision.

In some cases, the UKCAT score provides another way of ranking candidates that may have come up equal against each other somewhere else in the process. On the other hand, some universities may not deem the UKCAT particularly significant and choose to focus on other aspects.

How to prepare for the UKCAT

Due to the UKCAT testing innate skills as opposed to curriculum knowledge, it can be difficult to prepare and ensure that you are ready. One of the most productive ways to prepare yourself for the UKCAT is to become familiar with the question styles and what is expected of you. This can help to build on your exam skills, and by signing up to an online course you can track your progress and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

For successful online revision and online courses, contact PasTest to give yourself the best chance of passing your medical exams.

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Brittany Guymer

Editor of the Student Wire | Studying PR and Journalism at Leeds Beckett | Lover of good music and all things quirky | Easily bribed with mini eggs

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