Published on 2nd July 2015 by Paul

Welcome to The (All New) Medic Portal’s ‘Applying to Medical School’ Blog.

The aim of this blog is to give timely updates for anyone applying to Medical School. For example, we might provide our top tips on UKCAT, BMAT, or Medical School Interviews — along with plenty of other insights and advice.

Our blog entries can be seen as a slightly less formal top-up to accompany our 100+ pages of free, step-by-step information, which can be found in The Medicine Application Guide.

Remember — as well as The Medic Portal’s own blog, you can use our site to read blogs:

  • from current a current Medical Student;
  • from a top academic on medical sciences;
  • summarising the week’s latest healthcare news

These can be selected by going to our Blogs page and choosing your preferred option from the drop down menu.

For our first ‘Get into Medicine’ blog, we are going to provide our top 5 UKCAT tips.

  1. Book your UKCAT exam now.

UKCAT testing has already begun. It started on July 1st. Don’t worry, the last tests aren’t until October 6th. And you can book up until September 22nd. However, it is very advisable to book as soon as you can in order to secure your preferred date. The cost also goes up if you wait too long.  Having a specific date to work towards will help focus your revision.

  1. Set up a UKCAT revision plan.

You should start practising UKCAT at least a few weeks before your UKCAT exam. Though some sources may say you cannot practise the UKCAT, we have consistently seen vastly improved UKCAT performance in those that practice more. There are two phases of revision:

a) UKCAT awareness — knowing what to expect.

b) UKCAT understanding — knowing how to maximise your performance.

Spend a day or two on part a, and a few weeks on part b.

  1. Be aware of all UKCAT question types.

The UKCAT has five sections:

Click the links above to learn more about each one. It is important to note that there are different types of question even within each section. Some of these are quite new variations.

For instance, a lot of verbal reasoning practice out there is heavily skewed towards the ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘can’t tell’ questions. However, in recent years these have become less common than the questions with four free text options.

  1. Focus on a UKCAT strategy.

Many people focus only on doing UKCAT practise questions. However, we recommend developing repeatable strategies which you can apply to questions, and then using UKCAT practise questions to get used to implementing them.

This will ultimately make your performance level more consistent and less dependent on what kind of form you are in on the day. Our UKCAT courses and UKCAT book lead you through proven UKCAT strategies, using worked examples.

  1. Practise improves UKCAT performance.

It really does! Use our online UKCAT question bank — and any other UKCAT questions you can get your hands on. Just make sure they are up to date in terms of covering all question types. Try answering them to time, as per the actual UKCAT timings.

You should practice on online platforms that simulate the real test. Practising UKCAT in an unfamiliar setting or only using pen and paper can lead to a shock on the day — costing you time and marks.


Good luck to all of you on your upcoming UKCAT exams! We hope you found this helpful. See you soon for the next instalment of The Medic Portal’s ‘Get into Medicine’ blog.


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