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Discussion: UMAT being replaced by UCAT

Kezia

New Member
Hi everyone,

I just read about the switch from UMAT to UCAT for those taking the exam in 2019 for 2020 entry. I sat UMAT for the 2nd time this year and improved by 50 percentile but it is still not enough to apply for WSU or Newcastle as I only got 54 for Section 1. As an incoming second-year uni student, I also have the option to sit the GAMSAT next year and re-sit UMAT again. But seeing that UMAT is now being replaced, would I be better off sticking to GAMSAT rather than sitting the newly introduced test? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! :)
 

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Crow

Moderator
Most Active 2018
While at this stage we have very little information regarding UCAT other than what is available on the website, the same principles will apply as they did to UMAT. To maximise your chances of gaining entry into medicine, you should sit both tests (GAMSAT and UCAT) if you're in the position to do so - especially considering you may find you score better on UCAT than UMAT.
 

Lear

Monash BMedSci/MD I
Gold star winner
A group of leading universities in Australia and New Zealand are embarking on an exciting new collaboration with similar universities in the UK.

From 2019, students interested in studying Medicine, Dentistry and identified Clinical Science courses at a member university of the UMAT Consortium will sit the UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) as part of their admissions process.

The UCAT is a well-established and internationally respected test, used widely in the UK since 2006 (under the name UKCAT) to select students to medicine and dentistry courses at the majority of UK universities.

The new test, which will replace the UMAT (Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test), offers many benefits to students and to the universities adopting the test:

· The UCAT is a 2-hour long computer based test.

· Candidates receive their score immediately after the test without waiting for a lengthy marking period.

· Within a specified test window, candidates can now choose the date and time they sit the test.

· Candidates have access to a wide network of test centres across Australia, New Zealand and internationally.

· The test is similar to the UMAT but with new question formats and the addition of a test of Situational Judgment (SJT) which measure attitudes and behaviours identified as desirable for successful healthcare professionals.

· Research shows that the test is a reliable and valid predictor of performance at Medical School.

· Consortium member universities in Australia and New Zealand also benefit from the flexibility of the testing process and the inclusion of additional constructs relevant to their admissions processes.
New admissions test announced for future healthcare students
FAQ
FAQs | UCAT Consortium
Test Format
Test Format | UCAT Consortium
Preparation questions
Preparation | UCAT Consortium
 

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entirety

New Member
SO, we were the last cohort to sit the UMAT. They've been so quiet about it though. Also the practise questions (at least the ten or so I looked at) seem easier than the UMAT S1 imo... but 14 seconds???? Bye.
 

Q3

Regular Member
Wow this is major. This should be very interesting. I think it will be so nerve racking to be the first cohort to have to sit an exam. I am curious as to what motivated this change. It says that the test is a reliable and valid predictor of med school performance, but that doesn't explain why it should replace the UMAT.
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
Wow this is major. This should be very interesting. I think it will be so nerve racking to be the first cohort to have to sit an exam. I am curious as to what motivated this change. It says that the test is a reliable and valid predictor of med school performance, but that doesn't explain why it should replace the UMAT.
Also, saying that and being that are very different things. I’m going to try and find some published articles. Do you know if any were quoted?

ETA: Flinders are not listed. I wonder if this means they are dropping standardised testing completely from their entry procedure?

http://www.ucatofficial.com/ucat-anz/universities/
 

Crow

Moderator
Most Active 2018
ETA: Flinders are not listed. I wonder if this means they are dropping standardised testing completely from their entry procedure?
Yes, same goes for CSU, CDU and La Trobe! Big changes to admissions criteria coming.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
wonder how this will affect the rural quota, i feel like less rural kids will get in.
also curious whats gonna happen to 50-50-50 rule now at places like jmp and monash
The whole point of ‘quotas’ is that they are numbered. For example, WSU has a 15 rural applicants minimum quota, so 15 rural applicants minimum will still get an offer from WSU. It won’t necessarily change a thing as far as I can see.
 

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A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
Does anyone else feel alot of pressure now to try and get in this intake. Cause we'll be heading into uncharted territories next year...
On the positive side they could think if they don't get in this year with Umat then being a new different thing Ucat might give them better chances next year.
 

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Q3

Regular Member
so anyone know about umat changing to ucat? what’s the main differences between the 2?
From the handful questions I have seen so far, UCAT seems easier content wise, but you are given much less time per question.

Edit: The questions I saw were another exam with the same name.

The quantitative reasoning of the UCAT seems to be have quite challenging questions.
 
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LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
so anyone know about umat changing to ucat? what’s the main differences between the 2?
Short version:

5 sections
Computer-based administration
Immediate results feedback
Not (it doesn't appear) required by Flinders, CSU, CDU, or LaTrobe
Somewhat flexible booking system - presumably candidates attend a testing centre at a convenient time
ETA: Price information may be a result of MedEntry scrambling to convert their website, so ignore that part for now.
 
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Mana

Registrar
Administrar
From a precursory look at the UCAT, it seems that this is the parallel between this and the UMAT:

Old section 1 UMAT → Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, probably Quantitative Reasoning as well
Old section 3 UMAT → Abstract Reasoning

Old Section 2 UMAT → gone
Out of the blue → Situation Judgment Test

For those who are reading this for the first time, while the UMAT is different from the UCAT, it's rather unsurprising that at least some of the domains tested are conserved.

Going by this, if you wish to familiarise yourself with the old Section 1 and Section 3 questions for some good practice this may help with your efforts to prepare for this.

MSO's UMAT Questions is still there for anyone who wants to use the old MSO UMAT questions, although the Section 2 questions might be less relevant now.

__________________________________________________________________

Thoughts on the transition to the UCAT:

1. The first, and most concerning, thought to me is that there was a study in the UMAT that showed that there was a male preponderance for higher scores in Section 1 and Section 3 and a female preponderance for higher scores in Section 2. While these scores are on a large cohort level only, the difference was present and I believe statistically significant.

With the old Section 2 having no equivalent in the UCAT, I wonder if the male preponderance for marginally higher scores will be reflected in this, and whether it is appropriate to have a test that selects against any gender.

2. More accessibility to the exam via the internet/reliability of a non-paper test

To be honest, I think any improvement to the accessibility of the test is a welcome change. However the first warning sign to me is the fact that the provider of this test is Pearson Vue. For those not well versed in this this is the company at the centre of the RACP Basic Physician Examination kerfuffle earlier this year (goodness knows how they managed to get the contract with the UCAT Consortium...). Given the lack of stopgaps in that previous exam, and the fact that you can only take the test ONCE per year, I can see this going very, very bad (imagine what happens if you take the test and then your internet disconnects and doesn't reconnect until your allocated time is over!)
 
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LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
1. The first, and most concerning, thought to me is that there was a study in the UMAT that showed that there was a male preponderance for higher scores in Section 1 and Section 3 and a female preponderance for higher scores in Section 2. While these scores are on a large cohort level only, the difference was present and I believe statistically significant.

With the old Section 2 having no equivalent in the UCAT, I wonder if the male preponderance for marginally higher scores will be reflected in this, and whether it is appropriate to have a test that selects against any gender.
I've already seen one UKCAT journal article suggesting it may preference male applicants for UK Medical schools. I intend to look into this further.

ETA: Re. the internet connection issue you raise: as far as I'm aware (a friend's brother has completed UKCAT so presumably it will be similar here), you have to attend a testing centre to complete the test, you don't do it from your home.
 

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