Standardized Tests - UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test )

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The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is a test that is beginning to be used in the selection process by a consortium of UK University Medical and Dental Schools. It is run by the UKCAT Consortium in partnership with Pearson VUE. It was first introduced in 2006, and will remain in test mode for some years beyond this date.

The test is designed to give information on the candidates' mental abilities, as well as attitudes and possible professional behaviour. The test is expected to start helping universities make more informed choices between medical and dental applicants in the years to come, once the test has been fully validated.

The UKCAT is designed to be a test of aptitude and attitude, not academic achievement. The latter is already demonstrated by A-Levels, Scottish Higher 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.

UKCAT Test Structure

  • Verbal reasoning - assesses candidates' ability to think logically about written information and arrive at a reasoned conclusion. It will take 22 minutes, doing 11 passages and makes up 44 marks.
  • Quantitative reasoning - assesses candidates' ability to solve numerical problems. It will take 23 minutes, doing 9 tables, charts, graphs etc.; and makes up 36 marks.
  • Abstract reasoning - assesses candidates' ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking. It will take 16 minutes, doing 13 sets of questions and makes up 65 marks.
  • Decision Analysis - assesses candidates' ability to deal with various forms of information to infer relationships, to make informed judgments, and to decide on an appropriate response. It will take 32 minutes, doing 1 set of information and makes up 26 marks.

The UKCAT also tests an additional domain:
SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT - identified aspects of each candidate's personality and character in order to determine their suitability for a career in medicine or dentistry. It will take 27 minutes with 13 scenarios and makes up 60 marks.
The entire test is delivered by computer. Candidates are not allowed to bring external materials in to the exam. A basic calculator used to be provided in the past years of 2011, along with a white board and a marker pen or paper with a pencil, for taking notes, however in 2012 there will only be a simple digital calculator on the screen. 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 two hours. Each of the UKCAT subtests is in a multiple choice format and is separately timed.

Click here to register for UKCAT. You get a free textbook and CD after your registration is confirmed.


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