Abstract Reasoning is the third of the five UCAT sections. You’ll be presented with shape-based patterns and sequences to assess your spatial awareness and reasoning.
There are 55 multiple choice questions, divided into 13 question sets. With 13 minutes to answer everything, this gives you just one minute per set.
What Is The Question Format?
There are 4 question types in this section:
Type 1: two ‘sets’ of shapes (Set A and Set B), followed by five ‘test shapes’. You must decide if the ‘test shapes’ fit Set A, Set B or neither set.
Type 2: a series of shapes that alternate from one box to the next. You need to state which of the four shapes would follow in the sequence.
Type 3: a ‘statement’ of two sets of shapes, where one has been changed to create a new set. You need to apply the same change to a set of test shapes and then choose which of the four options follows.
Type 4: like type 1, but you’ll be presented with four ‘test shapes’ simultaneously and will need to decide which one of the four belongs to Set A or B.
What Skills Are Tested?
The Abstract Reasoning section tests your abilities to evaluate and generate hypotheses and assesses critical thinking skills. This is important because Doctors deal with both reliable and unreliable information, and they need to make judgements based on possible diagnoses from test results.
Average Abstract Reasoning Scores
Between 2015 and 2019, Abstract Reasoning scores tended to fall between 630 and 640. The average Abstract Reasoning score in 2019 was 638.
Average Verbal Reasoning Scores
For more on UCAT scoring, check out our UCAT Scores page.
Abstract Reasoning In 60 Seconds
Want some more advice on how to tackle the Abstract Reasoning section of UCAT? Check out this clip.
More Abstract Reasoning Preparation Tips
Familiarise Yourself With The Question Types. This section assesses your ability to recognise patterns, so the more UCAT practice you do, the quicker you will be able to recognise the kind of patterns that commonly reoccur in exams.
Think About The Patterns. As you look at different examples, ask yourself: how many shapes are there in each box? Does the tile fit the format? Do the shapes or patterns rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise?
Take Your Time. Don’t be in a rush to time yourself when you first start practising this section. It will take a while for you to recognise and learn the patterns that recur.
Be Strategic. Put each set through a series of questions that help you rule out obvious patterns. For example, is there a colour pattern? Is there symmetry? Does the pattern correlate to the number of shapes?
Practice. The more you practice, the quicker you will get.
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