Common questions about UCAT answered by MedEntry, the Trusted UCAT Preparation Institution.

What is UCAT?

UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test. UCAT is likely to be one of three criteria used by most Australian and NZ universities in selecting students into high demand health related careers such as medicine and dentistry (the other two criteria being performance in final high school exams and interviews).

The UCAT is a two hour, computer-based test which assesses a range of mental abilities identified by universities as important to practicing in the fields of medicine and dentistry. It consists of five separately timed subtests which each contain a number of questions in a multiple-choice format.


Because the demand for medicine, dentistry and some other health science courses is so significant, the year 12 score required to get into such courses became extremely high. Universities therefore needed another method for selecting students into medicine.

UCAT was developed with the goal to assess qualities considered desirable in the health professions, including problem solving, empathy and abstract reasoning skills. Many universities also use an interview to select students into medicine and dentistry.

Whether or not you agree that UCAT effectively assesses qualities required to be a successful medical student and doctor, the reality is that you must sit UCAT to gain entry into many health science courses.

Why did UCAT replace UMAT?

The UCAT consortium states that UCAT replaced UMAT for several reasons, including:

  • The inclusion of additional constructs relevant to the admissions process.
  • Immediate results generated due to the computer-based nature of the test.
  • Greater flexibility in where and when the test takes place, including the availability of several test dates.

Ultimately, the Consortium of Australian School Leaver Entry Universities decided that UCAT was a more suitable test for assessing candidates for entry into medical and dental courses.

When is UCAT?

The UCAT will take place across the month of July 2019.

What courses require UCAT?

You will need to sit UCAT if you are interested in any of the following courses:

  • University of Auckland (Medicine)
  • University of Otago (Medicine, Dental Surgery)
  • Monash University (Medicine)
  • University of Adelaide (Medicine, Dental Surgery)
  • University of Newcastle/University of New England (Medicine)
  • University of New South Wales (Medicine)
  • University of Western Sydney (Medicine)
  • University of Queensland (Medicine – conditional entry, Dental Science)
  • University of Tasmania (Medicine)
  • University of Western Australia (Medicine, Dentistry)
  • Curtin University (Medicine)

How many questions are in UCAT?

It is likely that there will be a total of 233 questions in UCAT, with the number of questions divided among the subtests as follows:

Verbal Reaseoning – 44 questions
Decision making – 29 questions
Quantitative analysis – 36 questions
Abstract Reasoning – 55 Questions
Situational Judgement – 69 questions

Further, detailed information about UCAT will be released by the UCAT Consortium by January 2019.

How long is UCAT?

The UCAT is likely to take a total of approximately 2 hours. There is also 5 minutes of instruction time, 1 minute before each subtest.

Further, detailed information about UCAT will be released by the UCAT Consortium by January 2019.


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