Welcome to our Ultimate UCAT resource! In this Guide, we’re going to give you the ultimate UCAT Cheatsheet. This is your one-stop-shop for how to tackle every type of UCAT question.
In this UCAT resource, we’re going to list each UCAT question type and the method to ace them. First, we need to look at the question types.
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In the UCAT, there are 5 subtests:
Each of these subtests have a variety of different question types.
These can be seen in the tables below. We have broken each subtest into:
It is important that you know what question formats are used for what question types for each format as there are specific rules.
You can click on the link in the table to jump to an explanation of the question and method for acing it! Official UCAT information such as dates, times, and registration can be found here on their website.
|1. Most / Least Likely||7. According To The Passage / Comprehension|
|2. Inference||8. Keyword Questions|
|3. Writer Questions||9. Except Question|
|4. True or False||10. Evaluation Questions|
|5. Value Judgement||11. Insufficient information (see True, false, can’t tell)|
|6. Strengthen Weaken|
|1. Interpreting Information (two types)||3. Venn Diagrams|
|1a. Interpreting Visual Information||4. Probability Reasoning|
|1b. Interpreting Textual information||5. Logical puzzles|
|2. Recognising Assumption / Strongest argument|
All Quantitative Reasoning questions are 5 choice multiple choice questions.
|1. Basic Arithmetic||8. Geometry: Area and Volume|
|2. Proportionality||9. Population densities|
|3. Percentage and Percentage changes||10. Averages and ranges: Means, Median and Modes|
|4. Fractions and decimals||11. Schedules and Time|
|5. Ratios||12. Rates|
|6. Speed, Distance and Time||13. Chart and graph reading|
|7. Money, Income Tax, GST, VAT, Tariffs & Exchanges|
|1. Format of Abstract reasoning questions|
|1a. Type 1 – Set A/ Set B Identify|
|1b. Type 2 – Set A / Set B Select|
|1c. Type 3 – Sequence|
|1d. Type 4 – Analogies|
|1. Types of Patterns||1d. Fraction or number of shapes that are a particular shade|
|1a. Conditional patterns||2. Position or relative position of shapes or features|
|1b. Non-conditional patterns||2a. Size or relative size|
|1c. Number of shape or feature||2b. Direction or orientation of arrows or shapes|
|4. Types of Situational Judgement Scenarios||4d. Professionalism|
|4b. Communication||4e. Minimising Risk|
Verbal Reasoning questions test your ability to read a passage of information and figure out what conclusions you can draw from it.
Verbal Reasoning is a very important skill for medical professionals as they need to unpack complex statements from patients as well as clinical notes. In particular, doctors and dentists, amongst others, will need to quickly interpret information from referral letters, medical journals, textbooks and pharmaceutical studies to be able to give patients the best care they can.
The Verbal Reasoning subtest contains 11 passages that have between 2-4 paragraphs. These may be up to 400 words long. Each passage will be followed by 4 questions, making 44 questions in total.
Verbal Reasoning questions can ask any question type in any question format.
Direct questions are your usual multiple choice questions with four answer options to choose from. You must select the answer that is best supported by the information in the passage. The majority of questions are of this format
Incomplete statements are questions where the first half of a statement is provided and you have to decide which ending is best supported by the passage from a selection of 4 possible responses.
There are normally 4-6 of these questions.
You are given a short statement about the passage that you’ve read. Based on the information in the passage, you must determine whether the statement is “True”, “False”, or “Can’t Tell.”
There are usually 16 of these questions in the subtest.
These questions may present you with four options and ask you to select which is most or least likely to be true according to the passage. These options are often a little ambiguous or speculative. There will be clear distinction between responses. After you’ve read the passage you’ll need to weigh up each response to choose the most or least likely one for the question.
In these questions, the answer is not explicitly stated in the passage but requires you to make an inference using the information available in the passage. This can include hypothetical scenarios.
This can be a direct question or a True, False, Can’t Tell question.
There are usually 6-8 questions of this type in the subtest.
Writer questions are based on the author’s opinion of something. You need to read the passage and then consider a series of statements that reflect the author’s most likely position on something. It’s most important with these that you understand the writer’s general opinion on the issue in the passage and what the passage is actually about.
Your focus in these questions needs to be the author’s view and not any extraneous information they provide.
True of False questions ask you to decide which of the four answer options is either “True” or “False”.
You may be asked which question is “always” true or “most/least likely to be true.” When answering these questions, you need consider the degrees of Truth” of the four answer options.
There are usually 4-6 questions of this type in the subtest.
You will need to assess each answer option and identify which option is main “cause” of something. You may also be asked to assess what is the “most effective” measure in the provided passage.
You may face between 2-4 of these questions.
These questions are uncommon. In these questions, you asked to assess which response would strengthen or weaken a particular argument in the passage.
You may get one of these questions or none of these questions.
Comprehension questions rely on understanding something from the passage, such as to identify something that has been summarised or paraphrased. Depending on difficulty, this may require on the reading of one sentence, or of the entire passage. .
Keyword questions are where the answer is related to one or more keywords. There will be one keyword if the keyword is in the question, and four keywords if the keywords are in the answer options.
To respond to these, you need to search for the keyword(s) throughout the text and read the surrounding sentences.
Except questions are questions where the question asks you to look at what is not “True”.
These are multiple choice type questions. Three of the answers will contain “True” information – wrong answers. one of the responses will include “False” information – this is the correct answer.
It is important that you carefully read all of the responses in a question to see if they include “except” or “not” in them.
These questions as you to make an evaluation about the passage relating to, e.g. the main idea in the passage, the aims of the passage or author (see writer questions, above), the aim of the passage, the likelihood that something may or may not happen.
These are questions where the responses you have been given lack sufficient information for you to be able to make an accurate inference (for more information please see “True, False, Can’t Tell” above)
The Decision Making Subtest is a challenging section that requires you to answer 29 questions in 31 minutes. The UCAT Decision Making subtest measures your ability to apply logic to reach a conclusion, evaluate arguments and analyse data
This subtest reflect how, as a health professional, you must be able to identify patterns and make hypotheses based on abstract or incomplete information under challenging time constraints.
In these questions, you are given a passage and you must then respond to a series of questions or statements about the passage.
In Yes or No Statement Questions, you are given 5 statements in response to the passage. you need to select which of these statements either follows (the conclusion is correct) or does not follow (the conclusion is incorrect). You will select “Yes” for follows and “No” for does not follow.
The list below describes the variety of different question types. For these questions, you may be required to answer a multiple choice question where there are:
You will be given a passage and will be required to evaluate whether each of a series of conclusions arises from a given set of facts.
There are usually about 4-5 Yes or No Statements in this subtest. You can learn more about tackling Syllogisms in our UCAT Decision making Guide.
This section can be easily tackled at times with a diagram – venn diagrams and tables can help deduce the correct answer, particularly when words such as ‘all/some/none and only’ are used.
Syllogism questions are only ever Yes/No questions.
You will need to answer two types of questions where you will need to interpret information. Questions where you need to interpret visual information or questions where you need to interpret textual information.
The key here is to ensure that you do not answer questions based on knowledge from outside of the text – don’t let personal bias creep in, as sometimes they try and trick students with answers that encourage you to answer based on personal assumptions rather than what information is contained in the passage.
Interpreting information questions are multiple choice questions.
These require you to draw logical inferences or conclusions from tables, graphs, or charts and draw logical conclusions from them.
These require you to read a passage and draw inferences or conclusions, this can include numerical or statistical information.
These items ask you to evaluate arguments for and against a particular solution to a problem. They are usually about a public issue or a topical passage.
Make sure that the argument you select addresses the concern in the question – all answers might seem relevant but not all will address the particular argument at hand. Don’t let your personal bias affect your choices – eliminate all the assumptions rather than statement of facts!
Recognising Assumption / Strongest argument questions are multiple choice questions.
You will be required to interpret a Venn diagram or construct a Venn diagram from the information provided. There may be a lot of quick arithmetic involved as well, and at times using the pen and paper will be a lot quicker than using the on screen calculator. The questions mean you will be:
Venn Diagram questions are multiple choice questions.
You will be presented with a very short passage containing statistical information. You will be asked to select the best response to the question.
The probabilities and statistical information in these questions can be presented in a variety of different ways.
Probability questions are multiple choice questions.
You will be required to take one or more steps of deductive reasoning based on the information presented to arrive at a conclusion. These are multiple choice questions with only one correct answer.
Some common question types include:
Logic puzzles are only ever Yes/No questions.
The Quantitative Reasoning subtest examines your ability to solve numerical problems. In this subtest, you’ll need to interpret tables, read graphs and extract essential information from passages of text.
For this section you’ll need to be familiar with simple numerical operations such as addition / subtraction, multiplication / division, percentages and ratios, however the questions are less to do with numerical abilities and are more to do with problem-solving.
These questions test your ability to make the sorts of decisions that doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals may need to make to manage risk or assess situations. For example, calculating drug dosages that are based on the age, weight, or other factors.
All Quantitative Reasoning questions are 5 choice multiple choice questions:
These are questions that require you to demonstrate a rapid ability for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
These are questions that require you to work out the direct and indirect proportions of something. For example, working out the proportional increase or decrease of a value or space.
These are questions where you need to calculate the increase or decrease in quantities or values of things. you may need to convert percentages from fractions or decimals.
These are questions that require you to switch information between fractions and decimals. you may be required to add fractions together or do mathematical operations involving fractions AND decimals. This may involve converting numbers to percentages or working out percentage changes (see above)
Ratio questions require you to apply a ratio to solve a problem. Ratios are a means of comparing two or more quantities of the same type. This means the quantities must be in the same unit or be able to be converted to the same unit (ie. Millilitres to fluid ounces or miles to kilometers.)
Remember, the order in which the the ratio is written describes the order in which the comparison is made.
Speed, Distance, Time questions ask you to solve problems that involve how long, fast, or far an object, person, or vehicle has travelled. These are the most common questions in the Quantitative Reasoning sections and occur in every UCAT exam.
These questions can ask you to analyse schedules or consider Time (see Schedules and Time for more detail).
Tax and income questions require you to work out the amount of tax somebody needs to pay on their income or on top of a purchase (GST or VAT). Some questions will ask you to deal with flat tax brackets, others will necessitate working on progressive brackets.
The Quantitative Reasoning Subtest will ask you to solve problems that require the knowledge of how to calculate the perimeters and areas of simple shapes:
It will also assume that you are familiar with how to calculate the volumes of cubes and rectangular prisms.
These questions are used to test your spatial recognition skills. Expect to be given practical scenarios involving shapes that you need to understand and analyse in order to solve.
You may need to take information presented in charts, graphs, or forms and apply that to questions about populations. You may need to work out what number or ratio of a population is affected or has a certain trait or ability.
These questions will draw on your ability to work with ratios and read charts, tables, and graphs.
In these questions, you will need to calculate the:
This information may be presented to you as diagrams, charts, or tables.
These are questions that present you with schedules and times and you must apply your knowledge of Speed, Distance, and Time to solve them (refer to Speed, Distance, and Time above).
For these questions, you will need to calculate the speed or rate of flow. A rate is the comparison of quantities measured in different units.
Rates questions are very common in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest. The most common of the these test your knowledge of speed, distance, and time (see above).
Chart and Graph reading questions are quite common. The ability to quickly read charts and graphs and infer information is a very important skill for the UCAT. You will need acquire information from the chart or graph and use other mathematical skills to answer the question.
In the Abstract Reasoning Subtest you will be presented with a a set of patterns, you will need to deduce the rules for the pattern. You will have to answer 55 questions in 13 minutes.
The Abstract Reasoning Subtest measures your ability to recognise patterns, typically in diagrams involving geometric shapes. This is a very important skill for diagnosis.
The patterns you face will follow logical rules that you must identify from the information in the question. Once the rules are identified, they can be used to answer the questions.
Simpler questions will have one or two rules, whilst more complex questions will have several rules and may have exceptions.
There are 4 different question types in Abstract Reasoning. They are discussed below.
You will be presented with two sets of shapes (Set A and Set B) that follow different patterns. You will be shown a test shape and asked if it belongs to Set A, Set B or to neither set.
Read our essential 5 step process for answering these questions, here.
This is the most common question type. You’ll need to answer 45-50 of these questions.
You will be presented with two sets of shapes (Set A and Set B) that follow different patterns. You will be asked to select a shape that belongs to Set A or Set B.
There may be one set of 5 questions of this type.
You will be shown a sequence of four shapes that change according to a pattern and asked to select the shape that comes next in the sequence.
You will be presented with 2 questions of this type.
Sequence questions will contain multiple changes that are occurring at the same time. Comparing each picture in the question to the one before will let you identify these changes. You can identify one at a time and use that to eliminate incorrect answer options.
there is only one type of sequence question.
The question presents an incomplete statement with three images of patterns: A is to B as X is to what? You need to select the image that completes the statement.
There will be three of these questions.
Analogy questions will also contain multiple changes occurring at the same time. Comparing the first two images in the analogy will allow you to identify these changes. Identify them one at a time and use that to eliminate incorrect answer options.
There is only one type of analogy question.
You will be presented with a variety of different types of patterns. The different aspects or types patterns are listed below.
Conditional Patterns rely on conditions. For example, each square has an even number of circles, but if there is a black triangle it has an odd number of circles.
Non-conditional patterns have rules that stand alone. For example, each square has four diamonds regardless of the other shapes present.
Simple rules relate to the number of a given shape or a given geometrical feature (such as an enclosed area, line, intersection, corner, etc).
Non-conditional rules include having a fixed number or a shape or feature, or an odd or even number. Conditional rules require a condition, such as the number of a shape relating the presence/absence or number of another shape.
In these patterns, the rule is determined by the number or fraction of shapes that are shaded a different colour.
The shades are typically black, white, and grey.
These are patterns where the positioning of shapes determines the rules.
The types of patterns are governed by the following sorts of rules.:
These patterns have rules determined by shapes that are larger or smaller than the others.
These patterns have rules determined by the direction of arrows or orientable shapes. These rules fall into two categories:
The Situational Judgement subtest measures how you understand and deal with moral and ethical concerns in real world medical and educational situations.
The section presents a scenarios comprised of moral dilemmas, obstacles, or conflicts in the fields of dentistry, medicine, or tertiary education. The questions ask you:
This subtest contains 22 scenarios with 69 questions to be completed in 26 minutes. Each scenario typically has 3-4 questions.
All formats of Situational Judgement question can be asked about each type of scenario.
Appropriateness questions ask you to assess how appropriate an action as a response to the scenario. The answers will be presented as a multiple choice format, always with the same four options:
Appropriateness type 2 Questions require you to determine the most and least appropriate course of action from three options.
These will be presented to you in a ‘drag and drop’ style, where you drag one action into a box labelled ‘most appropriate’ and one action into a box labelled ‘least appropriate’.
‘Importance’ questions ask you to assess how important a concern or action is in the context of the scenario. The answers will be presented as a multiple-choice format. There are four options, always with the same four answer options:
The questions all deal with different types of scenarios. The scenarios typically involve multiple people (doctors, nurses, patients, students, lecturers, etc). You will usually be asked to identify with student or junior doctor/dentist.
Common themes for scenarios are listed below..
These scenarios involve direct patient care, and can include issues such as responding to symptoms, consent, privacy, and whether health professionals are fit to practice.
These are scenarios that assess your ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and empathetically. This may involve understanding patient concerns, delivering bad news, and support yourself and others through difficult times.
These scenarios assess your ability to determine the best resolution to team conflict, including the case of a non-contributing team member.
These are scenarios that assess how medical professionals should act professionally in the workplace, particularly in response to fraudulent activity, bullying, rules and regulations, and conflicts of interest.
These are scenarios where your task is to determine how to manage mistakes and anticipate problems to minimise risk in-patient care.