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Admission tests

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You might be looking at this article thinking 'More tests! Aren't my exams enough?'. Well, for certain courses at certain universities there are some additional entry requirements, but don't panic as there is plenty of information available to help you through the process. 

In Scotland, admission tests are used by some universities as part of the application process for medical, dentistry and law degrees. The information that follows outlines what these tests are and where you can find more details.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

This test is used by universities to assist with choosing applicants for medical and dentistry progammes. It doesn't test academic ability but rather the other aptitudes required for succeeding in these fields of work, such as mental ability, attitude and professionalism. It is also intended to promote greater fairness in the selection process, such as widening the participation of under-represented social groups within these professions.

Test format 

The different components of the test are: 

Each section is in multiple choice format and is separately timed.

Important dates 

You need to check with the universities you have applied to whether you are required to sit the UKCAT. If you do then you need to make sure that you are aware of all the important dates and information. For those sitting the test in 2017 for course entry in 2018, the following dates have been published: 

The fee for the 2017 test is £65 if sat by 31 August 2017 and £85 if sat between 1 September and 5 October 2017.

Results 

Once you have sat the test you are given a copy of the result to take away with you from the test centre. This is just for your information and you do not need to send it to your chosen universities. Once the UCAS application deadline passes, UKCAT liaise with UCAS and your chosen universities and pass the test result to them in the first week of November. 

More Information 

The UKCAT website has more detailed information, including what to do if you: 

The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT)

This is the test used by some universities as part of the entry requirements to law degrees. Currently, the only university in Scotland to use this is the University of Glasgow. 

Like UKCAT, this test isn't concerned with your academic knowledge. Rather, it assesses your aptitude for the skills needed to study law. 

Test format 

LNAT consists of two sections. 

Section A is a computer-based multiple choice exam, which involves reading passages of text and then answering questions on your understanding of them. You have 95 minutes to complete this section. You are given a mark out of 42 and this is referred to as your LNAT score. 

Section B involves writing an essay from a list of three subjects. You are given 40 minutes to complete it. This section isn't marked by the test centre, so doesn't contribute to your LNAT score, but it is used by the university to see your ability to construct persuasive arguments and draw conclusions. 

Important dates 

You need to sit the LNAT test in the UCAS year in which you are applying to the university and you can only sit the test once in that period, or cycle. 

The important dates for 2017-18 cycle, for entry to university in autumn 2018, (for all universities except Oxford) are: 

There are other deadlines in June 2018 for late applications, but these usually only apply to international applicants. 

The fee for sitting the test is £50. 

Results

If you sit the test on or before 20 January 2018 you receive your results in early February. For dates after that, you will receive your results in early August. 

However, your LNAT score and essay are made available to your chosen universities within 24 hours of you completing the test, so they see your score before you do. 

More information 

The LNAT website has more detailed information, including what to do if you: 

English Language Proficiency Tests

If English is not your first language you may be required to sit a test to show that you are proficient enough to study your chosen course. The grade or score that you need can vary between universities and courses, so you would need to check with your chosen universities what their requirements are. 

There are a number of organisations that run these tests and each has their own scoring system. Again, you would need to check with your chosen universities which tests they accept. 

More information is available from these websites: 

International English Language Testing System 

TOEFL (Test as English as a Foreign Language) 

CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English) 

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English

PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test) 

Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

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