25th April 2023
It can be difficult to know where to start with UCAT prep – so here are five key things you should know before you begin.

The purpose of each section

If you’re already familiar with how the UCAT is structured, you’ll know there are five different sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making and Situational Judgement.

Before you start your prep for each section, it’s important to understand the test format and the skills that each section is designed to assess. Then, as you’re preparing, you’ll be able to bear this mind and make sure you’re developing the necessary skills to achieve a good UCAT score

It’s incredibly time-pressured

When you do your first UCAT practice test, be aware that there isn’t time to meticulously work out the answer to every question. It’s nothing like your school exams!

The timing for the UCAT is very difficult to stick to. For some questions, you’ll have just a few seconds to read a whole passage of text and select an answer.

Understanding the time constraints before you try the UCAT and start tackling practice questions is important. This way, you won’t have unrealistic expectations that it will be like a standard exam where you might be able to finish early and check over your answers at the end.


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It’s a guessing game

Because of the time pressure, you need to accept that you can’t spend lots of time thinking through your answers. In your prep, you should be learning strategies and refining your technique so that you’re able to make educated guesses.

Practise answering questions and do mock exams in timed conditions. Make a concentrated effort to become quicker at ruthlessly eliminating multiple choice options.

Practice does help!

The more practice you do for the UCAT, the better you’ll understand the test and the higher your chances will be of getting a good score.

Remind yourself of this before you start UCAT prep. Some sections of the test might come more naturally to you than others – so once you know where your weaknesses are, use this to focus your revision.

No matter what your starting point is, it’s important to have a positive outlook. You can get better at the UCAT!

Your test date

Make sure you book your test date (or have a preferred test date in mind) before you start UCAT preparation, so you can use it to count down to exam day. You’ll also be able to plan more effective preparation if you know how much time you have to work with.

Preparing without a test date in mind isn’t a good idea, because there’s no urgency and you might find yourself procrastinating. You should feel more motivated to prepare when your test has been booked.


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