28th June 2023
Here are some common UCAT mistakes that you’ll need to avoid if you want to ace the test and maximise your UCAT score.

Mistake 1: Forgetting to use the whiteboard (or using it too much!)

Every candidate gets a whiteboard and a pen for the UCAT exam. You might want to use it for jotting down key facts, doing calculations in Quantitative Reasoning, or drawing diagrams in Decision Making.

The whiteboard is invaluable – but make sure you pick the most appropriate times to use it. If you’re able to calculate something quickly in your head, do this to boost your speed and avoid wasting time.

Mistake 2: Leaving answers blank

There is no negative marking in the UCAT, so you won’t be punished for getting answers wrong. As such, you should never leave an answer blank.

If you leave an answer blank, you’re guaranteed zero marks for that question. You might as well make a guess, because there’s a chance you’ll get it right. If you’re about to run out of time in the UCAT test, with only a few seconds left, try to make educated guesses for any questions you haven’t answered already. You might find that you pick up some vital extra points!


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Mistake 3: Getting into a panic

This is one of the most common UCAT mistakes. You see a question and can’t think of the answer. You decide to skip it and come back to it. You feel the same way about the next question. You start to feel anxious and worry that you won’t be able to answer anything… Don’t worry! Some questions are always going to be more difficult than others.

It’s natural to feel a little nervous during the UCAT exam, but try to keep calm and don’t feel overwhelmed if you can’t answer a question. Flag it, move on and come back to it later. If you start to panic, you won’t be in the right mindset to take the test. You’ll only end up wasting time and making common UCAT mistakes if you let your nerves get the better of you.

Mistake 4: Falling for common tricks

There is a whole repertoire of tricks that are designed to trip you up in the UCAT test. For example, in Verbal Reasoning, you need to look out for dispersion and contradiction. This is when key terms are referenced more than once in the text, with the second instance either negating or clarifying the first. You could end up with the wrong answer if you stop reading after the first instance.

In Abstract Reasoning, if a pattern seems a lot more complex than you would expect, make a guess and move on. It could be there to confuse you and slow you down! UCAT Courses are a good way to pick up strategies for every subtest and learn about common tricks.

Mistake 5: Sitting the test if you’re unwell

You’re only allowed to sit the UCAT once per year, so it needs to count. If you’re feeling unwell and have time to reschedule your test for another date, don’t go!

Your UCAT score can make or break your chances of getting into Medical School, so if you aren’t feeling at your best, don’t be afraid of rescheduling – as long as you have time to fit it in.


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