Test Format

The information below is subject to change.  Finalised details of the 2016 test programme will be updated in due course.

The test assesses a range of mental abilities identified by university medical and dental schools as important. There is no curriculum content as the test examines innate skills.  Each subtest is in a multiple-choice format and is separately timed.

There are two versions of UKCAT: the standard UKCAT and the UKCATSEN (Special Educational Needs) which is intended for candidates who require additional time due to a documented medical condition or disability.

For candidates sitting the examination in summer 2016, the UKCAT will consist of:




UKCAT  timing*

UKCATSEN timing**

Verbal Reasoning

Assesses ability to critically evaluate information that is presented in a written form

44 items   


22 minutes

28 minutes

Decision Making ***

Assesses the ability to make sound decisions and judgements using complex information


32 minutes

39 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

Assesses ability to critically evaluate information presented in a numerical form

36 items

25 minutes

31.5 minutes

Abstract Reasoning

Assesses the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information

55 items

14 minutes

17.5 minutes

Situational Judgement

Measures capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them

68 items

27 minutes

34 minutes

 Total Time


120 minutes

150 minutes

* Each UKCAT subtest time includes 1 minute of instruction.

** Each UKCATSEN subtest time includes 2 minutes of instruction.

*** A new Decision Making subtest will be introduced into the 2016 test.  In 2016 candidates and Universities will not get a score for Decision Making – Universities will assess candidates based on the remaining four subtests.  Please refer to their websites for further details.