Published on February 1, 2019:
1. How many hours of UCAT preparation should I do per week?
The first thing to remember is that the number of hours you put in does not directly correlate to success. What is more important is how you use that time – whether you’re using it to apply the techniques, overcome your weaknesses, and improve your accuracy and speed. These are the things that will help you to succeed. However, this being said, there is still a threshold for the minimum amount of time you would need to be adequately prepared. We would recommend that you spend at least one 3-4-hour slot per week (e.g. one afternoon on the weekend) on UCAT study.
2. How important are UCAT practice exams?
In terms of the actual amount of benefit they provide, practice exams are somewhat overrated. For example, if your maths teacher gives you a calculus exam before you’ve even learned calculus, the exam would not be very useful – it would only drain your stamina and decrease your motivation (which is not a very effective way of learning!). Similarly, UCAT practice exams are only useful once you’ve mastered the steps required to solve every question type. Put another way, practice exams should be used at the last step of your preparation, not the first. Save yourself some time and learn the techniques for solving questions first!
3. Is UCAT the same as UKCAT?
Yes. According to the official UCAT website, “although new to Australia and New Zealand for 2019, the UCAT has been used for over 12 years in the UK under the test name UKCAT”. The contents of the UKCAT “represent the exact content of the UCAT ANZ test” (https://www.ucat.edu.au/ucat-anz/practice-tests/).
Published on February 7, 2019:
4. For students who usually qualify for additional reading time, etc. (e.g. those who have reading disabilities), how does the UCAT accommodate for them (if it does)?
Candidates can apply for extra time by submitting an application for Access Arrangements when registrations open. For more information, refer to https://www.ucat.edu.au/ucat-anz/registration-booking/access-arrangements/.
5. Can Australian candidates use the UCAT to apply to medical schools in the UK that use UKCAT as part of the selection criteria?
Candidates can sit UCAT (ANZ) and apply to UK universities (that accept UCAT UK) with the results. However, candidates cannot sit UCAT (UK) and apply to UCAT (ANZ) universities.
6. There is speculation that the UKCAT is now called UCAT globally (i.e. from this year onwards the name UKCAT does not exist anymore but has been replaced by the name UCAT). Is this true?
UKCAT has been relaunched as UCAT. There is a UCAT (ANZ) test for Australian and New Zealand universities and UCAT (UK) for UK universities.
7. Is there any difference at all between the UCAT (UK) and UCAT (ANZ)? For example, in terms of medical ethics used to solve Section 5 questions, will the UCAT (UK) be based on the UK medical system and the UCAT (ANZ) be based on the Australian system?
The UCAT (UK) and UCAT (ANZ) test contain the same subtests and will not have a specific UK or Australian / New Zealand context; it will be universal.
8. The scaled marks that a student receives is a result of comparing the raw marks of all candidates with each other. In the case of Australian candidates, will they be compared to other Australian and NZ candidates only or pooled with the rest of the world?
The results for UCAT (ANZ) are based on the Australian and New Zealand cohort only.
Published on February 25, 2019:
9. When should I register for the UCAT exam?
We have been informed by the UCAT organisers that as soon as a venue is full, it will not accept any more students. In other words: there is limited seating for the UCAT exam. Therefore, our advice is that you register for the UCAT as soon as possible!
10. When do registrations for the UCAT exam close?
Registrations close on May 17th, 2019. The registration period is relatively short, so avoid leaving it to the last minute.
11. Which UCAT exam date should I register for?
You definitely shouldn’t register for an exam date that is before or during your break, as you would miss out on crucial preparation time. Ideally, you should sit the UCAT as late as possible; in previous years, the UMAT has always been held in the last week of July, so it would be best to select a similar date for the UCAT. However, you should also ask your school about assessment dates to make sure that you won’t have any assignments or tests around the UCAT exam date you’d like to register for.
12. How much does the UCAT exam cost?
It costs AU$298 to sit the UCAT in Australia or New Zealand, and AU$373 to sit the UCAT in other countries. However, candidates sitting the test in Australia may be eligible to apply for the concession rate, which is AU$198.
13. Can I apply for concession?
You are eligible for concession if you hold or are listed as a dependant on a current Health Care Card (HCC) or Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) issued by Centrelink. To apply for concession, you need to submit an online application form before registering for the UCAT exam. The online application form is available here: https://www.ucat.edu.au/ucat-anz/concession-scheme/. Applications for concession close on May 10th, 2019.
14. Can I cancel my UCAT exam?
If you cancel your UCAT exam by May 17th, 2019, you will receive a refund. However, if you cancel your UCAT exam after this date, it will be considered a ‘no-show’ and your payment will not be refunded.
15. Can I reschedule my UCAT exam?
If you reschedule your UCAT exam by May 17th, 2019, you can do so via the online registration system. However, if you would like to reschedule your UCAT exam after this date, you will need to reschedule via phone call. Rescheduling is accepted until 24 hours before your test time (but note that rescheduling will become increasingly difficult as the test date approaches since many venues are likely to be full).
Published on April 1, 2019:
16. What is the minimum mark I need to get into medicine/dentistry?
Since the UCAT is being run for the first time in 2019, thresholds from previous years no longer apply. As such, there is no official ‘minimum mark’ that provides guaranteed entry into a medicine or dentistry course. Furthermore, since medicine and dentistry are highly competitive, instead of trying to achieve a ‘minimum mark’ you should focus on scoring as highly as possible in order to outperform any competition. Thresholds set by universities are generally proportional (e.g. the top 10% of students are accepted), meaning that the 'minimum mark' you need to achieve depends entirely on how the rest of your cohort performs.
17. When is the latest I should start UCAT preparation?
You should start preparing now. The April holidays are a valuable opportunity to spend time on UCAT preparation, allowing you to learn the content without rushing and identify all of the issues you encounter for each question type. By starting on UCAT preparation now, you are setting yourself up to make the most of the next few months and will be able to finalise your UCAT preparation during the July holidays (right before the test).
18. How important is the UCAT compared to my academic results?
For most universities, the UCAT is a major criterion in selecting candidates. In some cases, the UCAT is weighted equal to (or weighted more than) your academic scores, meaning that the two-hour test is just as important for determining medical school entry as your academic results from the entire year! Because of this, it’s important to dedicate time and effort to preparing for the UCAT, as this will maximise your chances of getting into your desired course.
Published on May 1, 2019:
19. When should I start preparing for the UCAT?
You should start as early as possible. The sooner your start on UCAT preparation, the more time you will have to focus on succeeding in your Year 12 studies, the less stress you will experience, and the more speed and accuracy you will be able to develop when answering UCAT questions. For more information, refer to this article.
20. How should I structure my UCAT preparation?
The best way to prepare for the UCAT is by following a simple 3-stage process: learning the details, then carrying out slow and mindful practice, and then doing practice exams.
Stage 1 ('learning the details') takes the average student 15 hours to complete; it involves being taught how to solve each of the 14 question types, as well as creating your own working table that shows you what each question type is like and how to approach it. By providing examples of different questions and writing down how to solve them, this will help you to think critically and provides a great reference for you to work with once you start completing lots of questions. This stage is completed in one sitting during our UCAT Masterclass 1.
Stage 2 ('slow, mindful practice') comprises the majority of preparation - we generally recommend that students spend 150-200 hours in this stage. The purpose of carrying out slow, mindful practice is to build accuracy and improve speed. The method for achieving this is simple: review your working table, attempt a practice question, identify any issues you encountered when attempting the question, and incorporate those issues into your working table. After doing 30 questions of each type in this way, you will not only be very adept at answering questions of every type but will also have a 'master summary' that shows you how to deal with any possible issue that a UCAT question may present.
Stage 3 ('doing mock exams') is the final stage of preparation, and generally only takes 10-20 hours. After completing Stage 2, you should be very fast and accurate when completing questions, and if you make any mistakes you will be able to identify and rectify them immediately.