UKCAT to UCAT: Everything You Need to Know

by Giulia Bankov April 25, 2019 3 min read

If you are a medical or dental school candidate preparing to apply this academic cycle, you probably know that one of the requirements is to sit an entrance exam called the UKCAT. However, you might have noticed that recently that exam’s name was changed to the UCAT. If you are wondering what that means and how it might affect you or your application, then carry on reading - we have compiled all relevant information for you.


UKCAT to UCAT change

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) was an entrance exam required by the majority of medical and dental schools in the United Kingdom. However, as of January 2019, its name changed to University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) to reflect the fact that medical schools in other countries have implemented it too as part of their requirements and application procedure. As of January 2019, the UCAT will also be accepted by universities in Australia and New Zealand. 
Prior to its launch in Australia and New Zealand, applicants from those two countries were expected to sit the Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT), which has now been replaced by UCAT ANZ. As a result, all applicants wishing to pursue medicine or dentistry in either the UK, Australia or New Zealand would sit the same entrance exam. Ever since then, a few more medical schools throughout Europe, as well as overseas, have decided to implement the UCAT as part of their application process - view the table below for an extensive list of those schools, as found on the UCAT Consortium’s website.





American University of the Caribbean

St Maarten

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

Poznan University of Medical Sciences


Advanced MD Program in English  for University Graduates

UniCamillus - Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences


Degrees: Medicine & Surgery; Obstetrics; Nursing Sciences; Physiotherapy; Biomedical Laboratory Techniques; Radiology, Diagnostic Imaging & Radiotherapy Techniques

St George’s University (Grenada)


Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

University of Kurdistan Hewlêr

Kurdistan region of Iraq

Medicine and Surgery (MBBS)


Will the content of the exam be different?

No - while the name is changing to reflect the inclusion of the exam by non-UK universities, it is confirmed that the content in the UCAT will be identical to what was tested in the UKCAT. 
Therefore, the exam will still consist of five subsections: 

The exam will be scored in the same manner as well, so the two will be comparable. If you have taken any scored UKCAT practice tests at all, that’s fine, as that would be identical to a UCAT score. 

What does this mean for you?

If you are preparing to apply for medical schools now for a start in the academic year 2020/21, you will be the first cohort of applicants to sit the new UCAT. However, as previously mentioned, this entails no other changes, apart from the name of the test. If you have been preparing for a while to sit the UKCAT or have bought resourcesto prepare for it, don’t panic, as those are still incredibly useful resources! 
The exam format has not changed, so any such preparation is entirely valid. Starting this year, however, you will likely see that more and more UCAT courses or UCAT question banks being offered, but nothing in the content is changing, so essentially, this will have no effect on you as a current or future applicants. 


How to prepare for the UCAT?

Having gotten all logistics out of the way, you might be wondering - how do I prepare successfully to sit the UCAT? The first step is to get familiar with the content of the exam and know exactly what you will be expected to do when you sit the UCAT. As mentioned before, if you have already done any prior research into the UKCAT, that information is identical, and would, therefore, hold true for the UCAT as well. 

Once you’re comfortable with the format of the exam, have a look into our UCAT Courses, which provide a comprehensive preparation, full of tons of UCAT practice questions for best results on exam day!

I hope this explanation of the UKCAT to UCAT name changes has been insightful in helping you understand this change - and how to best prepare for your UCAT exam. Don’t forget that if you have any questions you can send us an email at

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