How to Apply & Who is Eligible for UCAT special consideration?
UCAT ANZ Access Arrangement: What Does it Mean?
The UCAT assessment is highly time-pressured and does not permit ‘break-time’ for students on the test day. Students undertaking the UCAT will have to sit through the 2-hour computerized exam without taking a bathroom break or getting a chance to munch on some snacks. This is also one of the reasons why our UCAT mentors advise students to re-create the UCAT test environment while preparing for the UCAT from the comfort of their homes.
Equity in UCAT ANZ
The UCAT ANZ Consortium delivers a fair and transparent testing process to everyone. In accordance with this, they have taken special care to ensure that students struggling with a temporary injury, particular educational setbacks, or disabilities be given the opportunity to remain just as competitive in the UCAT as their unhindered peers.
The term used for addressing equity in the UCAT is called ‘UCAT access arrangements’ should you ever need to find out more on the UCAT website.
What are the provided UCAT Special Arrangements?
You are able to submit your access arrangement application with supporting documents through your Pearson VUE account once the applications open on 1 February 2022. It is your responsibility to ensure you have listed the requirements in detail alongside supporting documents before the deadline on 17 May 2022.
The following ‘extended test versions’ are available for you to submit an application based on your health conditions and other personal disadvantages:
This test version follows the standard test time with additional 5 minutes rest time before each section. The total test time amounts to 140-minutes.
The total test time in this testing procedure is 150 minutes, which basically allocates 25% of extra test duration for you to complete the exam.
Students applying for this test version will gain 25% of extra time with a 5 minute break before each section. In this case, the total test time is 168.75 minutes.
4. Separate testing rooms are allotted to those individuals who can provide relevant documentation on why it is crucial to their condition. Besides, not all test centres have the provision for an individual testing space. It is important to check whether a test centre of your preference has a separate room availability before registering to sit the exam.
5. Traditionally, no food or drinks are allowed with you at your workstation. However, if it is a prescribed medication or a medically necessary edible item, you may be granted a separate room for this type of arrangement upon room availability.
Besides, only medical items included on the ‘Comfort Aid List’ are permitted at your workstation.
6. Finally, a height adjustable desk can be provided based on availability at the test centre.
UCAT Access Arrangements that Do Not Require Supporting Evidence
- You don’t need to provide documentation to get access to a wheelchair. However, wheelchair access is subject to availability at the test centre.
- UCAT Consortium allows you to adjust the font size and colour scheme to select a preferred colour scheme or font from the dropdown menu on the top right of the computer screen.
- You can also provide a coloured overlays preference to the consortium by email
The UCAT official body does not restrict the entry of some medicines, medical or mobility devices into the test room, however, a visual inspection will be conducted to ensure it complies within the testing policy. A detailed list of comfort aids is also available on the UCAT website.
Kindly note that unapproved items will have to be placed in the storage space, such as a locker or a designated space at the test centre. These items will NOT be allowed within the testing premises and to access them, you need to seek permission from the invigilator who will direct you with proper instructions.
On a side note, the UCAT exam will continue to run during this time and NO extra time will be given for completion.
What CANNOT be Included in the UCAT Access Arrangements Application?
The UCAT exam has always been delivered in a digitalised setting which implies that the ‘special arrangements’ cannot be fulfilled by compromising the nature of the exam itself.
The test centres make necessary arrangements to support computer systems with strong internet connectivity and an user-friendly keypad, therefore the following list of items are strictly off-limits during the exam:
- A reader or computer reader
- Paper and pen. (Bear in mind that you will be given a laminated notebook and a marker pen on arrival at the test centre)
- A print version of the questions
- A scribe;
- Unlimited ‘on request’ or ‘stop the clock’ breaks
UCAT Special Consideration Applications: Who is eligible?
Providing valid supporting evidence is integral to receive a confirmation to the access arrangements. First and foremost, you ought to scan through the eligibility criteria on the official UCAT website to check whether you qualify for the extended test versions or other special requests available on the test day.
The two mandatory supporting documentation can be seen as follows:
- A letter from your educational institution stating that you receive the current exam arrangements as requested for the UCAT testing process.
- A medical certificate from a registered health practitioner that you provided at your educational institution to receive specific exam accommodations at the UCAT test centre.
The UCAT Consortium may seek additional information to consider your request of special arrangements.
Now with regards to the letter from your school or university, the official letterhead must contain the recent date, name and credentials of the issuer, signature and contact information. The issuer should expand on the following bullet points in order to help you receive the access arrangements:
- Highlight the amount of extra time you are entitled to in your school examinations
- Be precise in declaring the break time you typically receive during exams
- Explicitly describe extra arrangements you are entitled to during the course of your exam
- Provide the basis of confirmation for your special arrangements.
UCAT Special Arrangements for Applicants with NO Educational Affiliation
If you are amongst the cohort of applicants who are not currently pursuing a educational qualification from an institution, you have to ensure that the below documents can clearly attest to your ‘special arrangements’ request:
- Relevant evidence that can confirm you received special seating arrangements from your recent educational institution which are less than 3 years old
- A letter from a registered health practitioner dated 2022 declaring your medical circumstances, impact of the condition on your testing process and a medical recommendation stating the extra break time required for exam completion
- In cases of learning disabilities, a doctor’s report that is no more than 3 years old needs to be submitted from an educational psychologist who can explicitly state the extra time is crucial for finishing the UCAT exam.
UCAT Access Arrangements Applications: What else you need to know?
The UCAT, as stressed earlier, is a computerised test that is purely built on multiple-choice questions which involves no writing on paper at all.
In fact, the primary reason for requesting specific healthcare approved documents is to ensure that the accommodations provided at your educational institution match your appeals to the UCAT Consortium. Having said that, you need to remember that the UCAT administrators will not necessarily grant all of your requests for accommodation.
The UCAT access arrangements are solely developed to maintain the integrity of the UCAT assessment, therefore, requesting accommodations that grants advantage to one applicant over another disrupts the transparency and the overall credibility of the test.
Finally, no extra time is permitted for applicants suffering with writing difficulties. After all, UCAT is purely a virtual exam requiring no written content whatsoever.
UCAT Special Arrangements: FAQs Answered
Do I need to re-apply for access arrangements if I applied for the same previous year?
Yes, you have to re-submit your UCAT access arrangements application to the UCAT consortium as any arrangements provided by the consortium are only valid for the year you choose to sit the test.
Are medical schools notified about my access arrangements?
The UCAT Consortium maintains the confidentiality of your medical condition and does not disclose your approved test version to your preferred medical schools. In addition to this, the UCAT consortium only delivers your final UCAT score to the med schools, hence respecting your privacy during the UCAT exam.