Looking for ways to kick-start your UKCAT practice? In this blog we outline three key ways to get started with your preparation.
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Bearing in mind your test date, you want to spread out your UKCAT preparation to make sure you’ve gone through everything you want to and have had enough practice for when it comes to the big day.
It might be helpful to make a list of all the different things you want to do: textbooks you want to go through or online practice questions you want to use, and then estimate how long each activity will take you.
You can then divide the total number of hours out between the time you have available. Having a number in your head for the total hours you need to spend each day will help you to actually get it done, because in the summer you’ll probably want some time to relax as well. This way, once you get those hours done you’ll be completely free for the rest of the day!
Make sure you also set out some goals beforehand, listing the dates you’d like to have different forms of revision/practise completed. Remember the UKCAT requires short-term focussing and concentration, so you need to really be on top of it from day one!
Read our guide to creating a revision timetable>>
You may want to read a little bit about the test before you dive in to your preparation properly. Make yourself familiar with the test’s structure, format and how the test day will run.
Giving yourself a general overview of the test is not only a great way to kick-start all your preparation, but it’ll also give you motivate you get practising!
The Medic Portal has created a free online UCAT guide which is definitely worth a read! It’s even got 60-second-long videos brimming with tips for each section, so be sure to check under each of the headings.
The UKCAT is very different to the standard test that you would have taken in school, so make sure you know exactly what to expect. You might even want to take some time to familiarise yourself with the computer interface and the online calculator. After all, when it comes to test day, you’ll can’t be wasting time just because you’ve been landed in an unfamiliar environment!
See our complete UCAT guide>>
Some people need to see the beast before they try to tackle it – if you’re the type of person who needs to know what you’re up against first, you should probably head for the practice questions straight away!
You can try a bunch of practice questions from each of the sections, or you can try a whole mock test. The good thing about going for a complete mock test first is that an online one will completely simulate the testing environment and then you’ll be able to prepare bearing in mind what the real test will feel like.
It’ll also be able to provide you with a boost of confidence when you can take a look back at you first mock test and your latest and see the improvement just before you go in for your test.
The UKCAT consortium has provided 3 mock tests on their website which are freely available, so if you’re a mock test type of person you might want to try one of these. if you decide to use these, make sure you don’t waste all three now – you only have three official tests so you probably want to keep at least two of them for when you’ve done most of your preparation.
You can also try free UKCAT questions on The Medic Portal’s UCAT Question Bank.
Masumah is a 1st year medical student at the University of Manchester. She writes a blog documenting her experience through medical school and also giving tips to aspiring medics: lifeofamedic.com
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