UCAT Test Format Changes

Understanding the new UCAT format can be a lot to take in so we go over everything you need to know.

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If you are preparing to sit the UCAT, the last thing you probably want to hear is that they have changed the format of the Admissions Test.

However, the changes are largely minor and should not affect your overall preparations too much.

We will go over everything you need to know.

What are the changes?

Firstly, the Verbal Reasoning and Decision Making sections remain the same, as does the overall length of the UCAT.

As for the changes, they are as follows:

Quantitative Reasoning

Candidates will have one minute more than previously to answer this section, with the number of questions remaining the same.

Abstract Reasoning

The number of questions for this section has been reduced to 50 from 55, and candidates will have one less minute allowed.

Situational Judgement

  • The number of questions in has also been reduced from 69 to 66 but the amount of time allowed remains the same.
  • Candidates will also be faced with a new question format in this section.

Quantitative Reasoning Changes

For 2022, there will be no changes to the number of questions that make up the Quantitative Reasoning section of the UCAT.

Candidates will still have to answer 36 questions; however, they will now have 25 minutes to do so as opposed to the 24 minutes it was previously.

This change will mean candidates will have around 41.5 seconds to spend on each question when previously it was around 40 seconds.

Candidates are advised not to significantly change their timing strategy for such a marginal change as the intention is to reduce the overall time pressure.

This may mean having more time at the end of the section than you originally planned to have but this gives you time to review flagged questions and attempt them again.

Abstract Reasoning Changes

The number of questions in the Abstract Reasoning section has been reduced from 55 to 50.

As a result, the timing of the section has been adjusted accordingly, with one minute less being allocated compared with previous years. This means candidates have 12 minutes for this section.

This time reduction is proportionate to the decrease in questions so candidates will still have around 14 seconds to answer each of the questions. However, it should reduce decision fatigue due to there being a reduced number of questions.

Situational Judgement Changes

The Situational Judgement section is where there has been the most changes compared with previous years.

The section will now be comprised of 66 questions as opposed to the previous 69.

However, this does not have an effect on the overall timing of the section as candidates will still have 26 minutes to tackle this section.

As a result, candidates will gain an extra timing advantage when they attempt this section, averaging an extra second per question.

In addition to this, there is also a new type of question style which is expected to be more time-consuming than the rest of the section so there is no reason to alter your timing.

New Situational Judgement Question Format

This new question format that has been introduced to the Situational Judgement is largely similar to questions used in the section previously, but there are some changes to the structure of the question and what it is asking you to do.

Really, the new type of question is not really new it is just a variation of standard Situational Judgement questions.

The new question format will generally give candidates a number of factors, usually about three, and ask them to identify the most and least important of the selection in terms of a given scenario.

It is assumed there will be a minimum of two to three questions of this style.

Therefore, candidates will be relieved to hear that there is nothing different they have to do to prepare for these questions and that practising older formats will help to strengthen the skills required to answer these questions.


Hopefully knowing this means you can go into UCAT preparation with confidence of succeeding.

Though it is easy to say, do not let these changes cause you any additional worry and focus on practising them to the best of your ability.

These changes have been made to get the best out of candidates and should really be welcomed by you.

Best of luck in your UCAT!

Finally, we want to wish you good luck with the test and with the rest of your application to Medical or Dental School!

If you are looking for support with your UCAT, 6med’s UCAT Bundle is the best way to maximise your score due to the access to thousands of practice questions and expert teaching during our courses. 

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