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UCAT Practice Tests

Our focus here is on UCAT practice tests.

UCAT Introduction

The UCAT is the series of tests given to the annual intake of graduate applicants to the medical schools around the UK.

The UCAT includes five separately timed subtests each comprising of multi-choice format.

Firstly, the UCAT Quantitative reasoning test which is a computer-based test which takes two-hours. It assesses mental abilities of individual and is identified by the university medical and dental institutions. Once the UCAT quantitative reasoning test begins, it cannot be paused.

UCAT Preparation

  • Are there any tricks? Can the UCAT be ‘cracked’? No
  • Be sceptical about anyone’s claims to be able to help you do well in the test by coaching.
  • You can improve by your own preparation.
  • Although you must approach your preparation in a disciplined way.
  • There are just a few elementary points to bear in mind when you are taking the test. You could work them out for yourself.

Before listing some UCAT tips let’s introduce the UCAT test format(s).

UCAT subtests

The UCAT subtests include verbal reasoning, which helps to evaluate information presented in a written form exclusively. Another subtest is on decision making, which evaluates one’s ability to make sound decisions and judgments using exclusive data.

The UCAT Abstract reasoning test addresses both convergent and divergent thinking concerning a piece of particular information. The final subtest in UCAT test is situation judgment, which measures one’s capacity to vividly evaluate real-world situations and be able to identify significant factors and appropriate measures to deal with them. The above tests are allocated specific durations.

1) UCAT Quantitative reasoning test; assesses ability to evaluate numerical info presented in the form of tables, charts and graphs. This test assesses the use of numerical reasoning to solve problems. Specifically, knowing which information to use and how to manipulate the numerical data using simple calculations.

The following four aptitude tests and situational judgement test which are included in the UCAT assess the following medical reasoning skills:

2) UCAT Verbal reasoning test; assesses applicants’ ability to read and critically evaluate written info. Specifically, to quickly assess the content of written passages and the accuracy of the conclusions drawn.

3) UCAT Abstract reasoning test; assesses ability to find patterns in the abstract shape information presented. Both convergent and divergent thinking are assessed. You need to track pattern changes, generate hypotheses about which features are changing; and test these hypotheses.

4) UCAT Decision analysis test; assesses applicants’ ability to make decisions based on complex coded information. Specifically, making complex decisions when faced with ambiguous, uncertain situations.

5) UKCAT situational judgment test; assesses capacity to firstly identify the critical factors in real-life, medical scenarios. Secondly, to use logical reasoning skills to determine how best to deal with these SJT scenarios.

UCAT practice tests. Medical professional on computer with clipboard


Free online UCAT test practice

 UCAT quantitative reasoning test practice

Online UCAT verbal reasoning test practice

UCAT Quantitative Reasoning test

Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.

  • Before deciding upon your final answer, you may be able to rule out one or two of the multiple choice questions as incorrect.
  • Read each question and review each chart very carefully – taking one chart and its associated questions at a time. Only start looking at the answer options once you have done this.
  • Ensure that you are aware of the units of measurement that each question is referring to.

UCAT practice tests

  • Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. Remember that you may find subsequent questions easier to answer and that if there is time at the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions.
  • Work efficiently but do not rush. Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
  • Before deciding upon your final answer, you may be able to rule out one or two of the multiple choice questions as incorrect.
  • Remember to only use the information that is provided in the charts and not any of your own background knowledge.
  • Round up any decimal points and any pence (whilst taking account of any specific instructions provided).

UCAT Situational judgement test tips

– The new UCAT SJT test format means you can give the same rating to all response options. If, for example, two were Inappropriate and two were Appropriate that’s fine.

– Timeframe is very important to the correct answer. Consider how appropriate each response option is to both the short-term and to the long-term.

– Even when there are 4 response options this does not mean that one is Very Appropriate, Appropriate, Inappropriate and Very Inappropriate.

UCAT Abstract Reasoning Practice Test Tips

– The previous UCAT abstract reasoning test format of Sets A and B is still in place. Although there is a new question format with the question, Which of the following belongs in Set A / Set B?

– You must identify the patterns that differentiate Set A from Set B. You can find further UCAT abstract reasoning tips here.

UCAT practice tests. Medical professional at desk with papers.

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice Test Tips

– It’s worth noting that there are both critical verbal reasoning and more traditional True/False, Can’t Tell format questions. The latter reading comprehension format has practice questions here.

– There are also practice questions for critical verbal reasoning UCAT format questions here.

UCAT practice tests

UCAT Quantitative Reasoning Practice Test Tips

– This UCAT sub-test format is the same as the previous Quantitative Reasoning Test format.

UCAT Decision Analysis Practice Test Tips

– This UCAT sub-test format is the same as the previous Decision Analysis Test format.

UCAT’s Decision Analysis sub-test

Aptitude testUCAT practice, UCAT practice test

Our site has several practice tests available in this test in which medical students must achieve the highest possible grades. This is a necessary step in the process of gaining acceptance of a place on the medical training university of their choice.

UCAT Decision Analysis practice

There is a specific practice page for each UCAT sub test. For example, the Decision Analysis sub test is available for free download here.

UCAT Decision analysis practice test 1.

Here are the test answers for Decision Analysis UCAT practice test 1.

UCAT Decision analysis practice test 1 answers.

Practice UCAT test 2 and test 2 answers.

Our second Decision Analysis UCAT practice test is available for free download here.

UCAT Decision analysis practice test 2.

Here are the test answers for Decision Analysis UCAT practice test 2.

UCAT Decision analysis practice test 2 answers

UCAT Decision analysis tests measure the ability to make sense of coded information. The intention is to simulate the realities of real-life when decisions need to be made without having access to all the necessary information in one place.

The UCAT Decision Analysis subtest is specifically designed for the UCAT. Since you have not experienced this type of question before it is worth spending additional time reviewing the test format. Then the questions themselves, when you come to experience them on the UCAT Test will not be any more difficult than those of the other UCAT sub-tests.

Decision Analysis Sub-test Format

These UCAT Decision Analysis questions take the format of a scenario together with a Code Table containing four different series of complex code words. This Code Table comprises of four different lists with the code and its corresponding meaning shown for each word. You are not being asked to break the code.

The individual questions ask you to decipher progressively more and more difficult examples of sentences written using that code. In other words, applying what is shown in the Code Table to interpret instances of that code in practice.

For each code there will be five multiple choice answer options. You must use your own judgment to decide which of these 5 is the best possible interpretation of that coded sentence.

UCAT Practice tests. Medical professional analysing data on glass.

UCAT Decision Analysis Strategies

The Decision Analysis sub-test comes near the end so ensure that you maintain focused concentration.

A useful approach to take is to follow these stages when completing each question:

  1. Write down a literal translation on a piece of paper.
  2. Next, compare your translation with each of the answer options provided. Ask yourself the following questions and note the answers:
  • Which of the multiple-choice answer options are clearly wrong?
  • Are any of the answer options correct?
  • Which of these remaining possibly correct answers is the most appropriate i.e. makes the most sense to me.

Top Decision Analysis Tips to Remember!

  • Question One is particularly important. Remember that there are only a few major reasons why a particular multiple-choice answer option is incorrect. This is because one or more of the following may be true of that answer option.
  • Does not include each of the code words in the question.
  • Uses the combined codes in the question.
  • Or uses the combined codes incorrectly.
  • Introduces a new word or concept for which there is no corresponding code.
  • A particular answer option may still be incorrect even though it has used all the correct codes. This is because there is a more appropriate multiple-choice answer option. In other words, one or more of the following may be true of that answer option.

Top Decision Analysis Tips to Remember!

  • An unusual answer that is not the most sensible/logical option of those available.
  • Uses each of the codes but not in a logical order.
  • It does not capture the true meaning/essence of the question codes.
  • In summary, it is not the best available interpretation of the question codes and so is not the preferred answer.
  • Think of the initial stages of translating the coded words just as would translate English phrases into a foreign language, such as French or Spanish. Sometimes the translation is direct and other times there are subtleties that you need to be wary of.
  • You will find some items much easier than others. This is why it’s important to get to the end of the Decision Analysis subtest before the allocated time. That way you can return to the more difficult items and at least have attempted answers to all the questions.
  • The length of the coded sequence in the question and the number of combined codes are the best indicators of how difficult you are likely to find a particular Decision Analysis question. You may decide to complete the easier Decision analysis questions first.
  • If you are unsure which of two possible answer options is correct then focus your decision solely on which comes across as the most logical answer to you.

More Tips to Remember!

  • Remember the different reasons for why a particular answer option is unlikely to be correct that were provided earlier in this Test Taker’s Guide. Then go through a process of eliminating multiple-choice answer options.
    Ensure that you understand the meaning of the General Operating Codes.
  • One pitfall to avoid is the use of combined codes, especially when the translation is a plural (e.g. robots in questions 26-29).
  • Another pitfall to avoid is spending too long on the first half of the subtest. Ask yourself the question when you are halfway through your allocated time, Have I finished half of the questions?  If the answer is yes then you are working at the right pace. If you have completed less than half you may like to speed up your working. Do not do this at the expense of accuracy.

Many candidates do not complete the Decision Analysis test which is something you should aim to do.

UCAT practice tests