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Year 12

UMAT Replaced by UCAT From 2019

Worried about the changes to UMAT? Don't be! In this post, we give you the low down on UCAT ANZ.

UCAT replaces UMAT from 2019

Do you want to study medicine or dentistry course? Did you know you now need to sit UCAT instead of UMAT from 2019? In this post, we’ll give you the down low on the new UCAT exam and what it means for you.

What are UMAT and UCAT ?

UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test) and UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) are mandatory entrance exams used to test students who are applying for medical and dental university courses.

From 2019, UCAT will replace UMAT.

The outgoing UMAT was a 3-hour test that consisted of 134 questions covering three broad areas:

  1. Logical Reasoning
  2. Understanding People
  3. Non-Verbal Reasoning

How does UCAT differ?

UCAT is a similar admissions test to UMAT. Instead of being a paper exam, UCAT is now a 2-hour computer-based test. The computer exam for UCAT will have 233 multiple choice questions.

UCAT will have 5 sections:

  • Verbal Reasoning: The ability to understand information presented in a written form
  • Decision Making: The ability to make sound judgements and decisions based on complex information
  • Quantitative Reasoning: The ability to critically evaluate information presented in numerical form
  • Abstract Reasoning:  The ability to identify rules and patterns in new data and apply this information to solve problems
  • Situational Judgement: The ability to identify real-world situations and the appropriate behavioural responses for dealing with them.

Previously, UMAT results would take a couple of months to be released while the paper exams were marked. Now, students will receive their UCAT result immediately after finishing their exam.


Where and when will I sit UCAT?

UCAT is sat at testing centres around the country and in New Zealand and other international locations. These centres are run and administered by Pearson VUE.

Students will be able to book in for any date or time within July of 2019.

You can find a list of the Pearson VUE testing locations, here.


Want to learn more about UCAT?

Join our FREE UCAT Seminar with our UCAT experts and discover all the strategies to prepare for your UCAT exam. Learn more now. 



Why do we need UCAT?

UCAT helps universities see who has the appropriate mental skills, attitudes, and abilities as well as professional behaviours to be enrolled in health-science courses.

These skills are especially important in evaluating candidates who wish to be doctors or dentists.

UCAT is used in conjunction with interviews to assess candidates. A good UCAT score is equally important to a high ATAR when applying for medicine-related university courses.

You will need to sit UCAT if you wish to study any of the following courses:

Table: University courses requiring UCAT
University Course(s) requiring UCAT
The University of Adelaide Medicine, Dental Surgery, Oral Health
Curtin University Medicine
Monash University Medicine
The University of Newcastle / University of New England Joint Medical Program
The University of New South Wales Medicine
The University of Queensland Medicine (provisional entry), Dental Science
University of Tasmania Medicine
The University of Western Australia Medicine (Direct Pathway), Dental Medicine (Direct Pathway)
Western Sydney University Medicine
The University of Auckland Medicine
University of Otago Medicine, Dental Surgery


Q: How do I book my UCAT exam?

Bookings for 2019 UCAT testing open in March 2019 and closes on 17th May. You must book your UCAT test on or prior to the 17th of May 2019. At this stage, the cost of the UCAT course has not been released.

The testing period begins on the 1st of July, 2019 and finishes on the 31st of July, 2019.

Q: What if I can’t sit the test in July?

You are only able to sit the UCAT in July. If you can’t sit the test during this time, you will not be able to resit it at a later time. None of the member universities will grant exemptions for entry. It is highly unlikely that any university will allow applications without UCAT results.

Q: Can I resit my UCAT exam in 2019 if I don’t get the result I need?

No, you can only sit UCAT once each year. If you underperform, you will need to resit the UCAT in the following year. For this reason, it is essential that you ace it the first time.

Q: Should I enrol into a UCAT Course now?

Matrix is accepting enrolments for our UCAT courses which will commence in January 2019.

No. This is because the changes from UMAT to UCAT were only announced in mid-septebmer and the format differs significantly from the UMAT exam.

We are working with the experienced UCAT experts on developing the new UCAT Preparation course.

Not sure how to prepare for UCAT?

Matrix has helped thousands of students ace their UMAT (now UCAT) to get into the medical science degrees. Read the Beginner’s Guide to UCAT to learn more about how to study for UCAT or attend the Matrix UCAT Seminar to learn the secrets to acing UCAT.

Written by Patrick Condliffe

Patrick has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons. 1st Class - Australian Literature) from USYD. His poetry, short stories, and essays have been published online and in print and he regularly reviews film and other media. Patrick is the editor of the popular Matrix blog and has been an English teacher at Matrix since 2012.


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