If you are looking for important information on the UCAT ANZ for Australia and New Zealand, please see our blog here.
If you have decided you would like to apply to medical school or dental school, you are probably aware that you are likely going to have to sit the UCAT test, which is the most widely used aptitude test by medical and dental schools in the UK. Scoring well at the UCAT is an important component of success when applying to universities and it’s perfectly understandable if you want to focus on starting with practice tests straight away.
However, note that there are a few logistics surrounding the UCAT as well, such as registration and booking a test date that have pretty strict deadlines.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown began, can you tell a Monday or a Saturday apart? To make it easier, we have compiled a list of all important UCAT test dates in 2021 that candidates taking the UCAT should be aware of. Make sure you mark them in your calendar. We monitor changes closely on the UCAT official website and by staying in touch with the medical schools
COVID-19 UCAT Booking update
On their official website, the UCAT Consortium says "If travel to a test centre is difficult because of distance, pandemic, war, civil unrest or natural disaster you should contact the UCAT Office for advice before booking a test."
UCAT registration and booking begins 2 June, 2021.
Testing will begin 26 July 2021, and the final test date is 29th September 2021. This is so that UCAT results can be given to applicants before the application deadline on 15th October 2021.
UCAT registration and booking
UCAT registration opens on 2 June 2021.
You will need to first register on the Pearson VUE online registration system and you need to do so by yourself - your school or college cannot do that for you. You will be asked to input simple information such as your name, address and contact details. Once you have registered an account through the system, you will then be prompted to book a test date.
The registration is scheduled to close 22 September 2021 at midday. Even once the online registration is closed, you are still able to book a test date by phoning Pearson VUE. However, this is not recommended and test dates will be very limited. Registration via phone ends the same time that test booking ends - midday, 28 September 2021.
If you have a learning difficulty, you can apply for access arrangements. The purpose is to make sure every student can sit the test in optimal conditions to do well. The access arrangements can be a different test version to give you an extended time or it can be special arrangements such as a separate room, or access to medical items or food during the exam. If you have a specific medical condition such as diabetes, you can apply for this.
You can apply to sit the UCATSEN for example, if you are entitled to extra time, which will provide you with 25% extra time for the test. The deadline to apply for access arrangements is midday on 22nd September 2021, and it needs to be arranged at least 10 working days prior to the date you are sitting the UCAT.
There are other versions of the test that exist such as UCATSA, UCATSENSA, UCATSEN 50 and a number of access arrangements are available too. We make sure that our preparation material is inclusive for all. This is why we offer UCAT mock exams (included as part of our UCAT question bank access) that have a testing mode with UCAT, UCATSEN or UCATSEN50 timing.
UCAT Bursary scheme
Students who are in financial need can apply for a bursary that will cover the UCAT fee. To be eligible for the bursary, you need to be able to meet one criterion from a list set by the UCAT Consortium. These include being a UK or EU candidate as well as meeting one of the following criteria:
Free school meals - funded by the local authority
16 to 19 bursary (England), or Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) (Scotland, Wales or NI) - does not apply for independent or fee-paying schools
Learner support (FE19*) or equivalent FE funding for Scotland, Wales or NI
Student Finance England Maintenance Grant or Maintenance Loan* (full-rate), or Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) Young Students’/Independent Students’ Bursary (full-rate), or Student Finance Wales or Northern Ireland Maintenance Grant (full-rate)
Income Support, or Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA), or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Working or Child Tax Credit
EU State Benefit
As part of our strong ethos of widening access to all students, we provide access to our online UCAT course for free to all students who meet the criteria above and who are intending to apply to medical school or dental school in UK universities in the 2021-2022 application cycle. If you qualify, please send your request with supporting evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have sat the UCAT, you need to finish the rest of your application such as your personal statement, a letter of recommendation and ensuring your school or university grades are available to be submitted.
You will then have to upload all required information on UCAS with a deadline to submit your application for Medicine and Dentistry by October 15, 2021. You can wait until the 15th October to submit your full UCAS but most schools in the UK have an internal deadline for the completion of the personal statement. This means that you may have to submit it as early as the third week of September.
It is also a good idea to get a review of your personal statement. The purpose of the personal statement review is to check for grammar, structure, style, content and assess it against the marking schemes of the universities you are applying to.
Your UCAS personal statement should not be just a collection of what you have done, but rather an interesting reflective piece. It is thus best to have the end of August or mid-September as your internal deadline to finish your personal statement. That leaves plenty of time for a personal statement review and to meet your teachers’ deadlines as well.
You do not need to worry about sending your UCAT score to the universities of your choice, as that will be automatically done for you. The UCAT official website has provided early November as the time they would usually send off your UCAT scores.
Once you have submitted your UCAS application, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief and relax - you have done all required steps in the first part of the selection process and now have got a little bit of spare time to enjoy, before the next part begins - receiving an interview invitation and preparing for it.
We are the leading provider of medical school interview preparation in the UK, offering many elements of interview preparation, not offered by any other companies:
We have been collecting past questions from Medical and Dental schools over the past 8 years. We use these questions to tailor the preparation of each applicant. Many questions stay the same so on average, a student tells us that at least 3 questions or sometimes up to 6+ they get are exactly the ones we prepared with them.
Our trainers are current or past interviewers at medical school, mainly doctors and some senior medical students who are in interview circuits/panels.
Note that the dates listed above relate to the UCAT as administered in the UK for UK medical and dental schools. For important dates relating to UCAT ANZ, for those applying to universities in Australia and New Zealand you can read our blog about the UCAT ANZ important dates.
We hope these important UCAT Dates are helpful in preparing for you exam. Don’t forget that if you have any questions about the UCAT test or medical schools in general, you can send us an email at hello@theMSAG.com.
Additional resources with helpful UCAT techniques: