UKCAT Consortium announces continuation of test partnership with Pearson VUE to help identify tomorrow’s doctors and dentists

Posted by pt91 at Jan 05, 2012 12:12 PM |
University of Leicester among institutions to continue using Clinical Aptitude Test

Issued by UKCAT in January 2012

Applicants for medical and dental degree programmes across the UK will continue to benefit from one of the most advanced and efficient computer-based aptitude tests on the market, thanks to the renewal of the partnership between Pearson VUE and the UKCAT Consortium.

The new contract represents good value for money for the Consortium and involves enhancements to both the candidate experience and services to Universities. Candidates will see improved levels of dedicated customer support and improvements to test preparation resources provided free of charge through the UKCAT website.

Pearson VUE, UKCAT and the Work Psychology Group will work together to develop Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) for the assessment of professional attributes relevant to medical and dental training. The Work Psychology Group leads the way in developing SJTs for use in postgraduate and medical training. This represents a significant and exciting development for the Consortium.

Comprising 26 UK universities, the Consortium uses its Clinical Aptitude Test as one of the measures to identify whether applicants possess the ability, attitude and professional behaviour required to pursue clinical careers. Having delivered the test through its global network of centres since 2006, Pearson VUE has helped thousands of applicants to take their first step towards becoming a doctor or dentist. 

Pearson VUE’s delivery of the test – which measures a range of abilities including verbal, quantitative abstract reasoning, and decision analysis – ensures a distraction-free and highly secure assessment environment. The bespoke solution features an automatic marking function and the prompt production of results. In addition to administering the test, Pearson VUE is responsible for many additional services, including test registration, booking and payment. The Pearson business will continue to undertake extensive marketing activity on behalf of the Consortium, such as campaigns, candidate surveying and the day-to-day management of the UKCAT website,

Dr. Sandra Nicholson, UKCAT Chair, said: “We are committed to working with Pearson VUE to improve both the quality of the candidate experience and of the actual test over the next five years.”

From 2008 to 2010, the UKCAT Consortium witnessed a 25% increase in the number of Clinical Aptitude Tests delivered by Pearson VUE. Over 25,000 candidates took the test in 2011.

Matthew Poyiadgi, Managing Director, Pearson VUE Europe, commented: “This renewal is a testament to the ability of CBT to deliver fairer testing which generates meaningful results for the Consortium. Given the increasing popularity of medical and dental degree programmes, the assurance of a truly robust testing solution is more important than ever before. We are delighted that in an open, competitive bid process, UKCAT chose Pearson VUE’s proven and robust services to further enhance the UKCAT programme in the coming years.”


Media contacts: Jack Gibson, +44 (0)207 010 2139,

Notes to editors: Pearson VUE ( is the global leader in computer-based testing for information technology, academic, government and professional testing programmes around the world. Pearson VUE provides a full suite of services from test development to data management, and delivers exams through the world’s most comprehensive and secure network of test centres in 165 countries. Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international education and information company, whose businesses include the Financial Times Group, Pearson Education and the Penguin Group.

UKCAT, a consortium of 26 UK universities, formed in 2005 to develop and deliver an admission test for medicine and dental education which would complement existing admission’s systems.  UKCAT is committed to achieving greater fairness in selection to medicine and dentistry and to the widening participation in medical and dental training of under-represented groups.  Through an ongoing programme of research, UKCAT is seeking to identify the characteristics in applicants which will make them good dentists and doctors and this improve the quality of those that enter the professions with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.

The test consists of four measures of cognitive ability (verbal reasoning, quantitative            reasoning, abstract reasoning and decision analysis) which combine to form an overall test score.  Since 2007, UKCAT has trialled a number of behavioural tests for use in selection focussing on the skills required for success in the clinical components of programmes.

Pearson VUE will partner with the Work Psychology Group to develop a Situational Judgement Test that will form a part of the UKCAT.

The UKCAT Consortium member universities are: Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Cardiff University, Hull York Medical School, Imperial College London, Keele University, King's College London, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen's University Belfast, St George's, University of London , University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, University of Durham, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Leeds, University of Leicester, University of Manchester , University of Newcastle, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield   University of Southampton, University of St Andrews and Warwick University.

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