Starting your UCAT preparation but not sure where to start? From the UKCAT tutorial to using practice questions in timed conditions, here is a four-step strategy to prepare for your UKCAT effectively.
A helpful place to start is the official UCAT tutorial, which has been developed by the UKCAT Consortium. This provides an overview of the types of questions in the exam and the reasoning behind the questions. I found it helpful to use this resource every so often just to keep in mind the basic principles of the test and the timings for each section.
The first step is to identify reliable and accurate practice questions and answer these without a timer. You can find thousands of questions on TMP’s UCAT Question Bank, which has detailed answer explanations and performance tracking to measure your progress. Online question banks are great to familiarise yourself with the format of the test from the start.
You can use these practice questions to work out which sections you feel most comfortable with and which you need to work on. Make sure you check our UCAT tips, too.
The next step is to start practising questions with time constraints. It is crucial to remember that each section has different timings so always use the correct time.
Working in timed conditions will help you to identify which sections you need to work on and where you need to improve your timing. After this, you could then go back and work on individual sections until you improve your scores.
Finally, during the last couple of weeks of your revision, you should start completing practice tests under timed conditions. These are a precious resource and so treat each one as a real test. I would recommend doing the test at a similar time to your real test and away from home in a study area where you won’t be disturbed.
Try and use a computer screen to do the test (rather than a laptop) and get your hands on a whiteboard if you can. The official tests are most representative of the real exam and so carefully studying the answers will go a long way to aid your understanding of the test.
When I was practising, I created my own flashcards with questions from the official mock tests and attached answers to the back of the cards. This was especially helpful for Abstract Reasoning and I would recommend doing the same during the last few days of your revision for some light practice rather than doing a full exam.
Words: Asaad Qadri
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