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Changes to UK UCAT Exam 2022 and same Pattern for UCAT 2023 Also!

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

There have been some changes to the structure and content of the UCAT Exam, which will apply to anyone sitting UCAT in 2022. Sections Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, and Situational Judgement have undergone time and/or question-number changes. A new question type has been introduced in Situational Judgement, while no changes have been in sections Verbal Reasoning & Decision Making. The same test pattern is expected for UCAT 2023 also.

The UCAT 2022 is undergoing a renovation from the age-old time-pressured format of the past. As always, our team at GuideMe are committed to ensuring that you stay up-to-date on the UCAT and so, below is a deep dive into all the changes to the UCAT 2022.

Summary of the changes

Here’s a summary of the changes to UCAT UK 2022:

  • UCAT Quantitative Reasoning: there will be one more minute to answer questions, with no changes to the number of questions

  • UCAT Abstract Reasoning: the number of questions has decreased by five (from 55 down to 50), and there will be one less minute to answer the questions

  • UCAT Situational Judgement:

    • The number of questions has decreased by three (from 69 down to 66), while timing remains the same at 26 minutes

    • There is a new drag-and-drop question type in Situational Judgement, described in our blog.

  • UCAT Verbal Reasoning & UCAT Decision Making: remain the same

  • The overall length of time to complete the UCAT is the same

New Revised UCAT 2022 Format

This exam consists of five subtests. Preceding each subtest you have 1 minute to read the instructions. In total, you have 120 minutes to complete all five subtests.

Changes to Timings in UCAT 2022 Quantitative Reasoning

In UCAT UK 2022, there will be no change to the number of UCAT Quantitative Reasoning questions, however, candidates will have one more minute to answer the questions. This means that UCAT UK 2022 candidates will have an average of about 41.5 seconds to answer each UCAT Quantitative Reasoning question as opposed to 40 seconds, 1.5 seconds extra per question.

Given this is a marginal change, UCAT UK 2022 candidates should not significantly alter their timing strategy for UCAT Quantitative Reasoning questions. Candidates, however, should be aware that they may have more ‘luxury’ time at the end of UCAT Quantitative Reasoning to return to any difficult questions that they have flagged for review.

The UCAT Quantitative Reasoning subtest historically has been a high-scoring subtest. The additional time provided means that candidates should continue to score well in this subtest, although the difficulty of UCAT Quantitative Reasoning questions may increase in 2022.

Bottom-line: This will reduce the overall time pressure in both the exam and the QR section specifically.

Changes to Timings & Questions in UCAT 2022 Abstract Reasoning

In UCAT UK 2022, Abstract Reasoning will have five fewer questions, with one less minute to answer them. The reduction in the time provided to candidates is proportional to the reduction in the number of questions – that is, students will continue to have approximately 14 seconds to answer each UCAT Abstract Reasoning question, to be precise have 0.22 seconds extra per question.

The five questions removed in UCAT Abstract Reasoning will generally represent the removal of one Set A / B / N unit of questions, which is the commonest type of question in UCAT Abstract Reasoning.

Therefore, UCAT UK 2022 candidates should approach this subtest in a similar manner to how they have done so previously.

Bottom line: Whilst this does not reveal any improvements in the timing of the exam, it does reduce decision fatigue due to the reduced number of questions to be answered.


Attend one of our 1-1 UCAT Courses run by professionals to learn more UCAT 2022 Exam.


Changes to Questions in UCAT Situational Judgement

The most significant change to UCAT UK 2022 is in UCAT Situational Judgement. The number of questions in UCAT Situational Judgement has been reduced by three. In general, this is from the removal of an appropriateness style UCAT Situational Judgement question.

Although the number of questions in the UCAT Situational Judgement subtest has been reduced by three, there has been no change to the timing. This means that candidates will have more time to answer UCAT Situational Judgment questions, averaging an extra one second per question.

Bottom-line: This gives candidates an additional timing advantage.

However, UCAT UK 2022 candidates will face a new type of UCAT Situational Judgement question, outlined in detail in our blog. This type of UCAT Situational Judgement question is more time-consuming than others in the subtest, so overall, students should not significantly alter their timing for this section. Note that the UCAT Situational Judgement subtest tends to be the least time-pressured section of all subtests.

Under this new SJT question type, candidates will get a list of factors – typically 3 – and ask them to identify the most and least important of the selection as it relates to the given situation.


Finally, it is important to note that no changes have been announced to the Decision Making or Verbal Reasoning sections of the UCAT 2022.

What to do now to get prepared for UCAT UK 2022?

While all of the above changes may leave you feeling worried about the upcoming UCAT, it is important to realise that UCAT is an exam that is continually changing. For example, just a few years ago, the UCAT Decision Making subtest was completely different in terms of the style of questions.

Furthermore, the changes that have been made are incremental, and if anything, should be welcomed by UCAT 2022 candidates. You will now have one more minute to answer UCAT Quantitative Reasoning questions and three fewer questions to answer in UCAT Situational Judgement, which will certainly help in these time-pressured subtests. Although one minute has been cut from UCAT Abstract Reasoning, the number of questions has been reduced accordingly.

What Is UCAT Situational Judgement Test? What does it test?

The Situational Judgement Test UCAT measures your capacity to understand real-world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behavior in dealing with them. This is an exam that will recur throughout your studies as both a medical student and as a doctor through your specialty exams and when applying to the foundation program. These UCAT SJT Questions are very different from any in the exam, which requires their strategy and technique.

The UCAT website identifies the following key values and behaviors that will be assessed as part of the Situational Judgement Test:

  • Integrity

  • Perspective taking

  • Team Involvement

  • Resilience

  • Adaptability

It’s important that doctors respond appropriately in situations, to maintain professionalism and uphold trust in the profession; therefore, the values and behaviors assessed in the UCAT Situational Judgement Test are important for prospective doctors.

What Is A Good Score In The Situational Judgement Test?

A good situational judgment score in the UK would be band 2, with a high score being in band 1.

Previous UCAT Situational Judgement Bands:

Previous Average UCAT ANZ Situational Judgement Scores:


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