Welcome to our brand new blog series, #AskAMedStudent! Every fortnight we’ll be asking your questions to a current medical student, who will answer them in a blog. So, what would you love to know about applying to medicine?
Ideally, as soon as registration opens, you should book the test so can choose the most appropriate date for yourself and so you are also able to pick a convenient location. Don’t leave it until the last minute otherwise you’ll find yourself scrounging for dates and having to travel halfway across the country to sit the test.
You should also start your preparation pretty much as soon as your exams are over and consistently practice every day leading up to test day. Alternatively, a month or so of non-stop practice before your test should also be sufficient.
Although the UKCAT is supposed to be an “aptitude test”, don’t let that fool you in to thinking that you can’t improve your score. The more practice you do, the higher you’ll see yourself achieving! The best preparation by far is practising questions using an online question bank.
The biggest pitfall of the UKCAT is the time pressure, so mimicking the conditions and training yourself to work quickly and efficiently will serve you best. Getting comfortable with the layout of the test and how to use the online interface will also mean you’re not in for a shock on test day!
Now, here’s the easiest way you can boost your score… make sure you choose a test day before September! The statistics show students who sit their test before September (i.e. before they have to go back to sixth form and start A-Level work again) score significantly higher than those who sit it after.
Essentially, if you sit the test in the second half of the testing period, you’re very likely to score lower than somebody who sat it in August. Don’t let yourself sit the test in September/October and just be another addition to this statistic! There couldn’t be a simpler way to guarantee yourself a few extra points!