Where Should I Sit the UCAT: Online or at a Test Centre?

UCAT Exam

2020-07-15

Are you still unsure of whether you should sit the UCAT Online or at a test centre? In this blog article, we provide some advice on what you should do, depending on your situation and personal preference.

For 2020, you will have the choice of sitting the UCAT Online or at a test centre. They have the exact same content (sections and question types) and duration, just differing in the mode of delivery. 

If you are not familiar with the UCAT Online, please read the following articles and guide carefully:

You can also find the Official UCAT Test Centre Candidate Guide here.

We will now go through the reasons why you might consider sitting the UCAT at a test centre or online.

Five Reasons to Consider Sitting the UCAT at a Test Centre

  1. You perform better in a formal and physical test environment. 

Sitting the UCAT at a test centre may provide you with a degree of healthy tension and alertness, helping you to focus on the test. It is likely that you’ve sat all your exams so far in an exam hall or a similar setting, and it may feel more real and natural for you to do so for the UCAT.

  1. You require access arrangements

While you can sit the extended versions of the UCAT (UCATSEN, UCATSA, UCATSENSA and UCATSEN50) online, the Official UCAT Online Candidate Guide suggests sitting them at a test centre and also highlights that there are access arrangements that can only be accommodated at test centres.

  1. You have a problem meeting the online testing requirements or live in a country where the UCAT Online is not available

For the UCAT Online, you are required to have a number of arrangements in place, including a stable internet connection, quiet and private test space, and a device that passes a system test. If you think you will have a problem meeting any of these requirements, sitting the UCAT at a test centre is recommended, since everything is provided for you and you will have staff to help you with any issues that may arise during the test.

You should also note that due to legal reasons, the UCAT Online is unavailable in Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

  1. Your parents or guardians are busy or unavailable

If you are under 18, you are required to have a parent or guardian to be present during the check-in process for the UCAT Online. This is to provide consent for you to be recorded as part of the online proctoring process. If your parents or guardians are busy or unavailable during the UCAT season, you should consider sitting the UCAT at a test centre.

  1. You feel uncomfortable being watched closely

For the UCAT Online, an online proctor will be present to prevent cheating. You might feel uncomfortable by the idea of someone watching over you closely for two hours.

Five Reasons to Consider Sitting the UCAT Online:

  1. You perform best in a familiar environment

The UCAT Online allows you to use the equipment and set-up that you’ve used during your practice sessions and mock exams. This includes the same computer, monitor, mouse, keyboard, desk and chair. Furthermore, you have the control over your testing environment, including lighting, heating, moisture level and ventilation. A familiar environment may put your mind at ease and help you to perform at your best level.

  1. You prefer not to travel

You may live remotely and not have a test centre in your proximity. Even if this was not the case, travelling to a test centre means that you have to spend extra time locating a test centre and travelling back and forth from it. There’s also a risk of not making it to the test centre on time due to traffic jams, accidents or other unforeseen circumstances. These may be some of the reasons why you may prefer to sit the UCAT Online.

  1. You are concerned about COVID-19

Whilst social distancing requirements and other health and safety procedures will be in place at test centres, the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is never zero. If you want to minimise the chance of catching the virus (especially if your region has a high number of active cases and you live with vulnerable people), you may prefer to sit the UCAT Online.

  1. You can only sit the UCAT at certain dates and times but test centre sessions are unavailable

Registration for the UCAT opened on 1st July 2020. If you can only sit the UCAT at certain dates and times, it is possible that those sessions were already booked out by other candidates. If this is the case, and you cannot accommodate other test dates/times, you will need to register for the UCAT Online.

  1. You are easily distracted by other people

In the UCAT, time is of essence and you will need to be focused through the entire duration of the exam. If you are the type of person who gets easily distracted by other people (e.g. sneezing, tapping fingers, shaking legs, coughing, etc.), you should consider sitting the UCAT Online. 

Cannot Decide Where To Sit Your UCAT?

Life is not always clear-cut and it is likely that you will have good reasons to sit (or not to sit) either versions of the UCAT. If you are struggling to come to a decision, you should think about which reasons are the most important to you, and which are simply matters of preference.

After thinking carefully, you should make up your mind and register for the UCAT as soon as possible. If you spend too long thinking about what to do, you will have less and less options for test session availability.

Regardless of where you choose to sit your UCAT, you should use Medify’s Online UCAT Course to prepare for it. We are the only platform to have released the scratch pad feature to match the 2020 UCAT exam platform update.

Medify’s UCAT helping hand in a blue circle with a yellow smiling emoji

Need help with preparing for the UCAT? Please don’t worry, head over to our UCAT 2020 Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process. 

We have a bank of over 10,000 questions, a decision-making section, and 8 full mock exams and 18 mini-mock exams.

We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009. Medify is here to support you, just reach out to us.

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