UKCAT and cut-off point

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is used by the 26 UKCAT Universities as an entry test for medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry, and run by the UKCAT Consortium in partnership with Pearson VUE, where the registration to sit the exam takes place for an amount of £60.00 . It is aimed to evaluate applicants aptitude and suitability to read medicine than academic competence.

The test consists of five test groups in multiple choice format and lasts two hours.

  • Verbal reasoning (22 minutes)
  • Quantitative reasoning (22 minutes)
  • Abstract reasoning (16 minutes)
  • Decision analysis (30 minutes)
  • Non-cognitive analysis (30 minutes)

The UKCAT test is taken between July 2011 and early October and it should be taken in the year that you apply for medical schools and expires within the same academic year.  The exam is more of timing and there is no negative marking. It is marked between 300 and 900 with no clear methodology for the marking scheme. Most UKCAT Universities use the UKCAT score to invite applicants for interview and it is crucial to get a decent point. A more detailed information on how the UKCAT results are used by universities immensely helps to have a successful application. Hence, taking the exam early would help a lot to give enough time to analyse which medical schools would be more realistic to apply to.

Some universities do not use UKCAT, only take it into account for borderline cases or have no minimum threshold. Here is the list of such institutions. So, there is still a chance to apply with low UKCAT score as long as the rest requirements are met.

  • Birmingham (UKCAT not used)
  • Liverpool (UKCAT not used)
  • Brighton & Sussex (UKCAT for indication only. The UKCAT score not looked at until after the interview)
  • Aberdeen (Borderline cases only)
  • Cardiff (Borderline cases only)
  • UEA (Borderline cases only)
  • Keele (Borderline cases)

Leicester medical school assesses UKCAT scores individually rather than by the conventional ‘total or mean’ and hence do not have a fixed threshold used to invite for interviews. It is explicitly stated as “Your UKCAT score is taken into consideration with your academic achievement, personal statement and reference.  It is unlikely that an otherwise strong candidate would be rejected simply on the basis of the UKCAT score.” They score academic ability, the UKCAT, the personal statement and the reference out of a total mark of 40. More regarding this issue can be seen here. Excellent preparation materials include Get into Medical School: 600 UKCAT Practice Questions – Includes Full Mock Exam and Passing the UKCAT Clinical Aptitude Test and BMAT.

Others use the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) instead which is a subject-specific admissions test asked by the following medical schools. You will need to sit BMAT if you intend to apply for 2012 entry to one of the following 4-year graduate-entry medical/dental schools:

  • University of Cambridge (C05) course codes A100, A101 (not essential)
  • University of Oxford (O33) course codes A100
  • The University of Nottingham at Derby (4 years)
  • University College London (U80) course code A100
  • Imperial College London (I50) course code A100

There is also The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) used mostly by graduate entry medical schools. You will need to sit GAMSAT UK if you intend to apply for 2012 entry to one of the following 4-year graduate-entry medical/dental schools:

  • The Peninsula Dental School (4 years)
  • The Peninsula Medical School (5 years undergraduate)
  • The University of Nottingham at Derby (4 years)
  • St George’s, University of London (4 years)
  • Swansea University (4 years)
  • Keele University (4 years)


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