The UCAT is a test used in most undergraduate medical schools in Australia and New Zealand. It is a highly competitive test, and it is important that you can stay ahead of the pack to ensure you get the offer you are aiming for.
The UCAT ANZ is a 2-hour multiple choice computer-based exam administered in July. The test contains five, separately timed subtests, and we will briefly break down each section in this post.
Verbal Reasoning (VR)
The Verbal Reasoning subtest requires candidates to critically evaluate information presented in written form. In this subtest you will be presented with 11 passages, each with 4 associated questions. Candidates are given 1 minute for instructions, followed by 21 minutes to answer the 44 questions. This section contains reading comprehension style questions and True/False/Can’t Tell questions.
Decision Making (DM)
The Decision Making subtest requires candidates to make sound decisions and judgements using complex information. In this subtest you will have 29 questions that may refer to text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams. Candidates are given 1 minute for instructions, followed by 29 minutes to answer the 31 questions. A key challenge in this subtest is the wide variety of question types. Some questions have ‘drag and drop’ answers, and come in 5 parts. They are worth 2 marks (the only type of question in the test that are worth two marks). You will get 2 marks for a fully correct answer, and 1 mark for a partially correct answer for these questions. All questions in this subtest are standalone and do not share data.
Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
The Quantitative Reasoning subtest requires candidates to evaluate numerical information. You will receive 24 minutes to answer the 36 questions in this subtest. The questions are associated with tables, charts and graphs. You need to select relevant data from the question, and then set up and solve the numerical problems. Most questions come in a set of four questions, whilst there are some questions that are standalone. An on-screen calculator is available for this section, but is not necessary for every question.
Abstract Reasoning (AR)
The Abstract Reasoning subtest requires candidates to infer relationships from a set of information using convergent and divergent thinking. This section tests your ability to find patterns in sets of shapes. There are 55 questions in this subtest to answer in 13 minutes.
Situational Judgement (SJ)
The Situational Judgement subtest assess the ability of candidates to understand real world situations and the factors that need to be considered and appropriate behaviour in dealing with these situations. You will be given 26 minutes to complete the 69 questions in this subtest. There are 22 scenarios, each consisting of between 2 and 5 questions regarding the scenario. Some questions will ask the appropriateness of possible actions, whilst others may ask the importance of possible considerations in deciding the next course of action.
Summary Table of the Subtest Breakdown
|Subtest||Contents||Questions||Total Time||Time Per Question|
|Verbal Reasoning||11 passages with 4 questions associated with each passage||44 Questions||21 minutes||28 seconds per question|
|Decision Making||Mix of a variety of question types||29 Questions||31 minutes||64 seconds per question|
|Quantitative Reasoning||Mixture of Tables, Charts or Graphs||36 Questions||24 minutes||40 seconds per question|
|Abstract Reasoning||Pattern Recognition in Sets of Shapes||55 Questions||13 minutes||14 seconds per question|
|Situational Judgement||22 scenarios with 2 – 5 questions associated with each scenario||69 Questions||26 minutes||22 seconds per question|
The UCAT subtests each pose their own challenges and require you to work on certain aspects of your cognitive and non-cognitive skills. However, the biggest challenge is the timing of the test. Now that you know the exact breakdown of the test, you will be one step ahead of the competition.