It might sound strange, but one of the worst things you can do the day before your UCAT test is to revise for it! If you’ve planned your time well, you should have spent several weeks preparing for the UCAT – and there is very little you will achieve with last-minute cramming the day before.
By all means, look over some notes the day before your test if you really want to. For example, you might find it helpful to remind yourself of some key strategies for a subtest that you particularly struggle with, or you might want to go over some keyboard shortcuts. But don’t spend the whole day on UCAT prep, because you’ll probably end up feeling burnt out, stressed and definitely not in the right mindset for test day!
On a similar note, if you have any friends who are also doing the UCAT around the same time as you, try not to spend the whole day talking to them about it. You’ll just get each other worked up and worried if, for example, one person has done something to prepare that the other hasn’t.
It’s natural to feel nervous the day before your UCAT – but remember that you’ve done your prep, and no amount of extra work in the next 24 hours is going to make you feel more prepared. In fact, it might even have the opposite effect. For instance, if you get a low score in a mock exam the day before your UCAT, you’re only going to panic and spend the rest of the day worrying.
Try your best to relax and get into a good mindset before UCAT test day. Watch TV, read a book, go for a walk… do anything that usually makes you feel calm and content! If you’ve spent the day avoiding unnecessary stress, this means you should hopefully be able to get a better night’s sleep before your test too.
For peace of mind, double-check the time and location of your test. You’ll need to be at the test centre at least 15 minutes before your test starts, allowing time for the check-in process, so make sure you know where you’re actually going. If you’re taking public transport, plan your route and give yourself plenty of time in case of delays.
When you get to the test centre, you’ll need to check in with your photo ID (your name needs to match the name you registered for the UCAT with) and your confirmation email from Pearson VUE (electronic or printed). Get these things ready the night before, so you aren’t rushing around looking for them on the day of your test. You aren’t allowed to take food or drinks into the test with you (you’ll have to leave your bag in a locker), but it might be wise to pack a drink and a snack to have before or after you’ve completed the test.
If you want to be extra-organised, you might also want to plan what you’re going to wear to the test centre. Make sure it’s something comfortable, and not too warm if the weather is going to be hot.
This might be easier said than done if you’re feeling nervous, but you need to try and get a good night’s sleep before the UCAT. As mentioned before, you should find it easier to sleep if you’ve spent the day relaxing instead of panicking and trying to cram. You need to be as fresh and alert as possible to boost your chances of performing well and scoring highly.
Plan what time you’re going to get up, so you won’t be rushing around and getting yourself stressed. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to eat before your test – whether it’s breakfast before a morning test, or lunch before an afternoon test. You should also factor in some time to wake up your brain with an activity like reading or listening to music.
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