As a doctor, a large part of your duties will involve problem-solving, drug calculations and perhaps clinical research, so good problem-solving skills are crucial. The UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning section tests these abilities using basic numerical skills to GCSE standard. This page provides an overview of the section, as well as our top UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning tips.
In the Quantitative Reasoning section, you will encounter 9 scenarios, each with 4 questions.
For each scenario, you are presented with data and asked to use this data to solve problems. This data can take the form of tables, graphs, charts, as well as two and three-dimensional shapes. There are five potential answers to choose from, and some of these will include ‘can’t tell’.
You will have access to an online calculator throughout the exam. This will be important during UKCAT quantitative reasoning. However, you shouldn’t need it for every question.
That’s because the key emphasis is on problem solving. As the UKCAT website says: ‘items are less to do with numerical facility and more to do with problem solving’.
Many people feel disadvantaged if they do not have the best maths skills of their peer group. However, the above demonstrates that this is not prohibitive to scoring highly.
By developing a clear strategy for the quantitative reasoning section, you can do a lot of the arithmetic in your head. This will allow you to save time and complete the test.
This is one of the most important UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning tips. Practising your maths is an important aspect of UKCAT preparation! Questions will assess your ability to interpret data and will test your basic mathematical skills – for example, you might be asked to work out the percentage of profit made using a set of figures.
Practice UKCAT questions are great preparation for this section, and you could also try some GCSE Maths past papers to get used to calculating answers in percentages and ratios.