New UCAT centre in Gippsland improves medical entrance exam access for aspiring doctors

Gippsland secondary school students wanting to study medicine now have the option of sitting the crucial University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) locally rather than traveling to Melbourne, thanks to a partnership between the Monash University School of Rural Health and Pearson VUE.

UCAT is one of three main criteria used by most universities in Australia and New Zealand to select students into high demand health-related careers such as medicine, in addition to ATAR scores and interviews.

Annabelle Rajasingham, from St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School in Warragul, has already applied to sit the UCAT at Churchill.

“This is an important year and its so helpful not to have to travel to Melbourne to sit the UCAT as well as being less stressful,” she said.

According to Acting Head of the Monash School of Rural Health, Associate Professor Shane Bullock, the UCAT is a two-hour, computer-based test which assesses a range of abilities important to practicing in the fields of medicine.

“Because the demand for medicine is so competitive, the UCAT offers valuable information, in addition to the year 12 score, to determine the best candidates for medicine,” he said.

“Monash Rural Health has had a long association with the Gippsland community, providing medical training across Gippsland from Warragul to Orbost for 30 years. Monash Rural Health is pleased to form this partnership with Pearson VUE to make it easier for local students to complete the application requirements for the Monash direct entry medicine course.”

‎According to Mr Mark Woodfield, Monash University’s Senior Data Management and Placements Officer, the testing site is based at Monash Rural Health Churchill which is situated on the Federation University Campus and will be open one day each month initially, and increase this for peak testing periods such as for UCAT in July.

“The site will allow local students to sit the test without having to travel to Melbourne, which can add stress, time and cost to Year 12,” he added “that the testing site will also be used for other professional certifications including Microsoft, Cisco, CPA, and Fire Services Victoria, which is further evidence of Monash University’s commitment to the region.”

For Bairnsdale Secondary College student, Bridie Akeroyd, access to a testing site in Churchill is welcome news, more than halving her travel time.

“This will help a lot of rural students as the trip isn’t as long and daunting, they can do a day trip and not get home at midnight and can feel better overall about the UCAT.”

Year 12  students wishing to study medicine in 2022 will need to register for the UCAT by Monday 17 May 2021.