UCAT 2024: What to Expect on Test Day

Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists


As you prepare for the UCAT 2024, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with what to expect on test day. By understanding the test center procedures, rules, and environment, you can minimize stress and focus on performing your best. In this article, we’ll guide you through the key aspects of the test day experience, from arrival and check-in to the testing process itself. We’ll also provide valuable tips to help you navigate the day smoothly and confidently.

Arriving at the Test Center

On the day of your UCAT test, plan to arrive at the test center at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will allow ample time for the check-in process and any unexpected delays. Make sure to bring the following items with you:

– Photographic ID that meets the UCAT Photo ID Policy

– Your appointment confirmation email from Pearson VUE (electronic or printed)

It’s crucial to note that if you miss your appointment for any reason, including illness, family emergency, transport problems, or failure to present permitted ID, your test fee will not be refunded. You will need to pay again to book a new appointment.

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Check-in Process

Upon arrival at the test center, you will need to complete the check-in process. During check-in:

  1. Your photo ID will be verified, and staff will take a digital photograph of you for security purposes.
  2. You will be asked to read and sign the UCAT Test Rules to confirm your understanding.
  3. You will need to store all personal belongings, including food and drink, in a designated area before entering the testing room. Exceptions are made for religious, cultural, and medical apparel, as well as approved access arrangements.
  4. Staff will conduct a routine visual inspection of your clothing, hands, arms, ears (if covered), and any comfort aids or approved access arrangements.

Testing Room Environment

After completing the check-in process, you will be escorted to the testing room and assigned a desk with a PC, keyboard, and mouse. You will also be provided with a laminated notebook and pen for rough work. If you need replacements during the test, simply raise the notebook or pen to request one from the invigilator.

The testing room may be shared with other test-takers, so you might experience some limited disturbance as people arrive, leave, or receive assistance from staff. Earplugs are available upon request to help block out noise.

Once the invigilator has launched your test, you will be under exam conditions and monitored at all times for security purposes. If you need a break during the test, raise your hand to notify the invigilator. Keep in mind that unless you have approved pause-the-clock breaks, the test cannot be paused, and you will lose time while out of the room.

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10 Tips for UCAT Test Day

To ensure a smooth and successful test day experience, consider the following tips:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep before the test to ensure you’re well-rested and mentally prepared.
  2. Eat a balanced breakfast on the morning of your test to fuel your brain and body.
  3. Dress comfortably in layers, as test center temperatures may vary.
  4. Plan your route to the test center in advance, allowing extra time for potential delays.
  5. If you feel anxious or stressed, practice deep breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques.
  6. During the test, focus on one question at a time and avoid dwelling on difficult or frustrating items.
  7. Make use of the laminated notebook for rough work, and don’t be afraid to request a replacement if needed.
  8. If you experience any technical issues or distractions during the test, raise your hand and inform the invigilator immediately.
  9. Between subtests, take short breaks to stretch, rest your eyes, and refocus your mind.
  10. After completing the test, take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment and reflect on your experience.


By familiarising yourself with the test day procedures and environment, you can approach the UCAT 2024 with confidence and clarity. Remember to arrive early, bring the necessary documents, and follow the test center rules and guidelines. If you encounter any issues or concerns, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from the test center staff or invigilators.

On test day, trust in your preparation and stay focused on the task at hand. By maintaining a positive mindset and implementing the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges of the UCAT and take a significant step towards your goal of a successful medical or dental school application. Good luck!

UCAT 2024: What to Expect on Test Day

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