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New admissions test announced for future healthcare students

Students walking through the Quadrangle

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A group of leading universities in Australia and New Zealand, including the Universities of Otago and Auckland, are embarking on an exciting new collaboration with similar universities in the United Kingdom.

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.
“We are excited to be taking this next step which will see us moving to an internationally renowned aptitude test giving our member universities greater flexibility and ensuring we continue to promote best practice in admissions,” says Professor Wayne Hodgson, Chair of the UMAT Consortium and Deputy Dean (Education), Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with our counterparts at UK universities in the future development and use of the test.”

Professor Sandra Nicholson, Head of the UKCAT Research Group says she is pleased to see the establishment of the UCAT arising out of the collaboration between universities based in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

“We are confident of providing a high quality testing experience for candidates and further developing our test according to the outcomes of the most robust research,” Professor Nicholson says.

Pearson VUE, an international leader in computer based testing, with a long established and successful track record of delivering and developing high stakes admissions tests will deliver the test.

In partnership with the UKCAT Consortium, Pearson VUE has provided a secure on-line test for more than 12 years, delivering over 280,000 tests to candidates in their approved test centres across 140 different countries. The UMAT Consortium anticipates a successful partnership with Pearson VUE in delivering the UCAT in Australia and New Zealand.

The UMAT Consortium has been established for almost 20 years and includes 11 universities in Australia and New Zealand which all use the UMAT (to be renamed UCAT in 2019) as an entry requirement for students wishing to study medicine or dentistry at their university. The UMAT test score is considered alongside other entry requirements such as academic grades and interview scores.
A list of UMAT Consortium member universities can be found here:
www.ucatofficial.com/ucat-anz/universities/

For further information, please contact:

Professor Peter Crampton
Dean of the Otago Medical School
Email peter.crampton@otago.ac.nz

Lisa Finucane
University of Auckland
Media and Communications Manager
Mob 021 677 216
Email l.finucane@auckland.ac.nz

Professor Wayne Hodgson
Chair, UMAT Board
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Monash University
Australia
Email wayne.hodgson@monash.edu

Pearson VUE
Damien Fletcher
Mob +44 (0)20 7010 2582
Email damien.fletcher@pearson.com

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