UKCAT for Schools

We have put together some information that we hope will be useful for teachers and schools supporting students applying to study Medicine / Dentistry.

What is the UKCAT?

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is an entrance test used by most medical and dental schools in the UK. It was introduced in 2006 and is now used by 9 of the 14 dental schools and 26 of the 31 medical schools in the UK.

The UKCAT is not a knowledge-based test, there are no science questions and there are no books to read, nothing to memorise and no essays to write.

How important is it?

The UKCAT is compulsory for any student wishing to take medicine or dentistry in the following universities:
    University of Aberdeen
    Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
    Brighton and Sussex Medical School
    Cardiff University
    University of Dundee
    University of Durham
    University of Edinburgh
    University of Exeter Medical School
    University of Glasgow
    Hull York Medical School
    Imperial College School of Medicine, London
    Keele University
    King's College London School of Medicine
    University of Leeds
    University of Leicester
    University of Manchester
    University of Newcastle
    University of Nottingham
    University of Plymouth - Peninsula Medical School
    Queen's University Belfast
    University of Sheffield
    University of Southampton
    University of St Andrews
    St George's
    University of London
    University of East Anglia
    University of Warwick
Different universities give a different weight to the UKCAT score. Some universities use it in borderline cases, for others it is almost as important as A level grades. A good UKCAT score gives a student many more options.

When should my students be preparing for the UKCAT?

Students take their UKCAT before starting the University application process. For students going straight to University from sixth form this means they will take it at the end of year 12. The UKCAT can be taken from July to October. A student should be encouraged to book their UKCAT and arrange their preparation accordingly.

How long should they spend preparing for it?

According to the UKCAT consortium conducted recently most students spend around three and four weeks preparing for their UKCAT. However – it would be of great benefit to students to start their preparation earlier if they think that any of the question types may be particularly difficult for them.

What can we do in school to help students prepare?

The school can support students taking the UKCAT in many ways. School is an ideal place for students to learn the importance of the UKCAT, specific information about how the UKCAT is organised and used, and also to practice the question types.

There are many books, and online resources which can help students practice UKCAT style questions before they take the test.

If a school wish to make a block purchase of the online service there is a discount available of between 10% and 33% depending on the number of subscriptions purchased.

We also offer a 2 hour teaching session that can be delivered at your school. The session includes an overview of the UKCAT exam, an opportunity to practice sample exam level questions for each UKCAT section, with explanations and tips on effective exam technique and preparation. We also look at how different universities use the UKCAT score, so your students can maximise their chances of an offer regardless of their UKCAT score. Sessions cost from just £20 per student depending on numbers.  We offer discounted rates for state schools as part of our drive to widen access to the professions.

What if my student has Special Educational Needs?

Students with a diagnosed SEN (such as dyslexia) are allowed extra time to complete their UKCAT. Evidence of the special need is not needed at the time of the test, however the universities will need to see medical details.

For more information please refer to the official UKCAT site.

Is there any help for my students from low income families?

There is a bursary available to EU candidates that covers the full cost of the test fee and is available to candidates who can show evidence of receiving one of the following:

  • Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA / 16-19 Bursary Fund)
  • Adult Learning Grant (ALG)
  • Full Maintenance Grant for students
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Candidates outside the UK but within the EU who are in receipt of an equivalent benefit to one of the above

Bursaries are also available in instances where the candidate is named as receiving support on the following:

  • Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Employment and Support Allowance for a family member with whom they live
  • Child tax credits for a family member with whom they live where the household income as stated on the award is less than £30k
  • Candidates outside the UK but within the EU who are in receipt of an equivalent benefit to one of the above

The deadline to apply for a bursary and provide the necessary evidence is 5pm on the 21st September 2012.  Candidates will need to provide one piece of documentary evidence to support their application and fill in an online application form which can be accessed on the official UKCAT site. Bursary Programme

If a student qualifies for a bursary they can use the service with a 50% discount. They simply need to forward their bursary confirmation email to us and we’ll send them a code for a 50% discount.  This programme is open to ANY student that receives a UKCAT bursary  - we do not limit the number of bursaries – we want to help as many students as possible. This will allow students to subscribe from as little as £15 for our 2 week package - this includes all 1700 UKCAT questions. Scholars Programme

As part of our ongoing commitment to widen access to the professions we offer a free subscription to students who are recommended by one of their teachers. We ask the student for some feedback on their experience of and their UKCAT test. We offer one scholarship for each school.  If you can recommend a suitable student from your cohort please do contact us at with details of your school / position and contact details for your nominated student. We will contact them directly to arrange their scholarship.

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