Admissions Tests for ANZ Medical Schools: UCAT ANZ vs. ISAT

A Guide to Undergraduate ANZ Medical Schools: UCAT and ISAT 

Like most medical schools around the world, those in Australia and New Zealand require you to sit a general medical school admissions test. As of 2022, most undergraduate ANZ medical schools require students to sit either the UCAT ANZ or the ISAT to qualify for an interview. Since it can feel quite overwhelming to prepare for and differentiate between these exams, our ANZ medical school experts have pooled together their knowledge to produce a walkthrough of everything you need to know about the UCAT and ISAT. 

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the UCAT and ISAT! 

University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ)

The UCAT is a 2-hour long computer-based aptitude examination that assesses cognitive abilities, attitudes and behaviours. This exam does not officially assess school curriculum but, instead, requires a grasp of basic numeracy and literacy skills. 

There are multiple centres across Australia and New Zealand where you can register to take the UCAT ANZ 2022. The exam consists of five sections: Verbal Reasoning (VR), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Abstract Reasoning (AR), Decision Making (DM) and Situational Judgment (SJT). Each of these sections follow sequentially, contain a different number of questions and are scored differently. A UCAT scoring table can be used to indicate your 2022 percentile or decile among the test-takers within your exam cycle. 

Use your UCAT percentile to assess your performance 
  • Verbal Reasoning (VR) comprises 44 comprehension-based questions that need to be completed within 21 minutes. It evaluates your ability to process and locate information in short passages within a limited timeframe. All VR questions are multiple choice and are graded on a scale from 300-900. 
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR) requires you to answer 36 questions within 24 minutes. This section tests your mathematical skills and is likely the most closely related to school learning. All QR questions are multiple choice and are graded on a scale from 300-900. 
  • Abstract Reasoning (AR) is the most time pressured section of the UCAT, consisting of 55 questions that are to be answered in 13 minutes. AR examines your ability to recognise patterns and abstract relationships. All AR questions are multiple choice and are graded on a scale from 300-900. 
  • Decision Making (DM) gives you 31 minutes to complete 29 questions. This section tests your ability to make sound judgements and evidence-based decisions. DM questions are predominantly multiple choice or ‘drag and drop’ and are graded on a scale from 300-900. 
  • Situational Judgement (SJT) tests 69 questions in 26 minutes and assesses your capacity to make decisions relating to real-life and medical scenarios. SJT questions are predominantly multiple choice or ‘drag and drop’ and are graded on a scale from 300-900. 

The following healthcare-related courses in Australia and New Zealand list the UCAT ANZ as a part of their selection criteria:

UniversityCourseUCAT Requirement 
Charles Sturt UniversityDoctor of Medicine

Bachelor of Dental Science 
A UCAT ANZ threshold is set on a year-by-year basis, and the total UCAT score is used to determine whether an applicant is invited for an interview. 

Selection for interview is either based on an applicant’s UCAT ANZ score or their previous academic performance. 
Curtin UniversityBachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Applicants must sit the UCAT ANZ in the year preceding their planned admission. Applicants are selected for interview based on a weighted combination of:
60% academic merit (ATAR or equivalent)
40% UCAT ANZ score
Flinders UniversityBachelor of Clinical Sciences/Doctor of Medicine Applicants are ranked with weighting as follows: 
90% ATAR (or equivalent)
Griffith UniversityBachelor of Dental Health Science Applicants are ranked with weighting as follows:
40% MMI Score
40% Academic Results (ATAR/GPA)
La Trobe UniversityBachelor of Dental Science Applicants with some higher education study must have sat the UCAT ANZ for consideration. 
Monash UniversityBachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine Selection for MMI is based on a combination of an applicant’s UCAT ANZ score and ATAR. 
University of Adelaide
*All degrees requiring the UCAT ANZ at the University of Adelaide will weight AR, VR, QR and DM equally. SJT will be used to distinguish between applicants of lower ranks holding similar scores. 
Bachelor of Medical Studies (undergraduate) and Doctor of Medicine (postgraduate) 

Bachelor of Dental Surgery

Bachelor of Oral Health 
Applicants for admission to the Bachelor of Medical Studies course are ranked with weighting as follows:
40% ATAR
40% Interview 

Applicants are first screened by assessing interview performance. They are then ranked based on a combination of interview and UCAT ANZ results. Academic results are used to separate applicants with equal summed interview and UCAT ANZ scores. 

All applicants must sit the UCAT ANZ. 
University of Newcastle/University of New EnglandBachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program (JMP) JMP calculates an aggregate score based on AR, VR, QR and DM. This aggregate score is used to rank candidates for invitation to the Assessment of Personal Qualities (PQA). The fifth subtest, SJT, will not form part of the JMP selection process for admission in 2022.
University of New South WalesBachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine Invitation to a medical interview is determined by combining an applicant’s UCAT ANZ score and selection rank. There is no stated UCAT ANZ cut-off but applicants must reach at least the 50th percentile to be invited to an interview. SJT is not considered in the UCAT ANZ evaluation process. 
University of QueenslandDoctor of Medicine (provisional entry)

Dental Science
UCAT ANZ scores are used to rank applicants for interview.

Sitting the UCAT ANZ is a prerequisite for application to this course.
University of TasmaniaBachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of SurgeryApplicants must have a UCAT ANZ score greater than or equal to the 50th percentile. This score excludes the SJT section.
University of Western AustraliaDoctor of Medicine (assured pathway)
Doctor of Dental Medicine (assured pathway)
Applicants must sit the UCAT ANZ in their year of application. An applicant’s UCAT ANZ score will determine if they receive an invitation to interview, provided they have also been predicted to meet the minimum academic threshold (ATAR or equivalent).
Western Sydney UniversityDoctor of Medicine (undergraduate entry) Applicants must sit the UCAT ANZ in their year of application. The UCAT threshold for interview selection is not determined by your overall UCAT score as individual sections may be weighted differently. 
Final offers are made on the basis of: 
75% interview performance
25% UCAT performance and meeting the relevant academic threshold
University of AucklandBachelor or Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery All applicants are required to sit the UCAT ANZ in their year of application. 
University of OtagoMedicine
An applicant must have achieved a score in all five UCAT sections at a threshold level determined annually by the Medical Admissions Committee.

We know how hard it can be to prepare for an aptitude test, especially if you’ve only ever sat syllabus-based exams in the past, so we’re here to help! Aside from official UCAT resources, here are some of Medic Mind’s own FREE material, compiled by our UCAT ANZ experts.

Remember to use all the UCAT resources available to you 

International Students Admissions Test (ISAT)

The ISAT 2022 is a 3-hour computer-based test developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). This test is only available to international students and is required by select direct-entry ANZ medical schools and health-related undergraduate programmes. 

The ISAT consists of 100 multiple choice questions interspersed between the Critical Reasoning (CR) and Quantitative Reasoning (QR) sections. The CR section aims to test your comprehension and analytical skills, while the QR section assesses your problem solving, analysis and decision-making skills. Section and total scores are given on a scale of 100-200, with the total score being an average of the two sections.

Your total ISAT score averages the CR and QR sections

ISAT results are released within a week of sitting the exam and are valid for two years. There are three testing cycles for the ISAT, running between May to November in 2022. The ISAT 2022 registration fee currently sits at AUD$413. 

The following healthcare-related courses in Australia and New Zealand list the ISAT as a part of their selection criteria for international students:

UniversityCourseISAT Requirement 
Monash University, MelbourneBachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine Applicants must have achieved an ISAT score of 170 or higher to be invited to an MMI, with a score of 165 or higher in both sections (VR and CR). 
Monash University, Malaysian campusBachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of MedicineA minimum score of 159 must be achieved. 
University of LimerickOccupational Therapy (professional qualification) MScAll international applicants must have sat the ISAT by 31 January of the year in which they wish to apply to be considered for admission. 
Speech and Language Therapy (professional qualification) MSc
University of New South Wales (UNSW)Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of MedicineApplicants are required to have achieved a minimum score of 150 to be considered. 
University of QueenslandDoctor of Medicine (provisional entry)Applicants must sit either the UCAT ANZ or the ISAT to be considered for admission. The UCAT ANZ/ISAT is used to rank applicants for interview. 
University of TasmaniaBachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery International applicants must sit the ISAT or UCAT ANZ or MCAT to be considered. A minimum overall score in the 50th percentile is required for the ISAT. 
University of Western Australia (UWA)Doctor of Medicine (assured pathway)All international applicants To be considered, applicants must meet or exceed the 25th percentile for both sections. 
Doctor of Dental Medicine (assured pathway)
Western Sydney University (WSU)Doctor of Medicine (undergraduate entry) All international applicants must sit the ISAT. ISAT results are used to rank applicants if there are more applicants than places. 

Presently, there are no official full-length ISAT practice tests, however, students may find the sample questions on the ACER website useful. 


→What are ANZ medical schools?

ANZ medical schools refer to undergraduate medical programs in Australia and New Zealand that are accredited by the relevant medical boards of these countries.

→What is ISAT?

ISAT stands for the International Student Admissions Test, which is an admissions test used by some ANZ medical schools to assess the academic potential of international students applying to medical school.

→Is the ISAT required for Australian universities?

The International Student Admissions Test (ISAT) is not required for all Australian universities. However, some universities, such as the University of Western Australia and the University of Adelaide, use ISAT scores as part of their selection criteria for certain courses, such as medicine.

→Does Australia accept UCAT?

Yes, Australia accepts the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) for entry into undergraduate medicine and dentistry courses at several universities, including the University of Adelaide, Monash University, and the University of Newcastle.

→What does ISAT assess?

ISAT assesses a candidate’s academic potential in the areas of critical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning.

→How can I prepare for UCAT and ISAT?

Candidates can prepare for UCAT and ISAT by reviewing study materials provided by the testing organizations, taking practice tests, and seeking guidance from academic advisors or test preparation services.

→Is the ISAT difficult?

The level of difficulty of the ISAT may vary for different test-takers. However, the ISAT is designed to assess critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities, which can make it challenging for some students.

→Is UCAT different from UCAT ANZ?

The UCAT ANZ is a version of the UCAT specifically designed for students applying to medical and dental courses in Australia and New Zealand. While the content and format of the UCAT ANZ are similar to the UCAT, there may be minor differences in the questions and test administration.

→Which UCAT section is the most difficult?

The difficulty of UCAT sections may vary depending on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. However, the Abstract Reasoning and Decision Making sections are often considered to be more challenging due to their unique formats and question types.

→How do I ace the ISAT?

To ace the ISAT, it is important to practise and improve your critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. You can also review sample questions and take practice tests to familiarise yourself with the test format and types of questions.

→What UCAT score is needed for medicine in Australia?

The UCAT score required for admission to medicine in Australia may vary depending on the university and course. However, competitive scores are typically above the 80th percentile for each UCAT section.

→Is the ISAT online?

Yes, the ISAT is an online test that can be taken at designated test centres or remotely using a proctoring service.

→Does the UCAT get harder every year?

The UCAT test developers aim to maintain a consistent level of difficulty for each test, but some test-takers may perceive the test to be more difficult or easier depending on their individual abilities and experiences.

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