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20th May 2021
Practice really does make perfect when it comes to acing your UCAT test, says Anna, who tells us how she was able to score in the ninth percentile.

I Got Interactive

To begin with, I started studying using more traditional UCAT textbooks. Although it was useful to familiarise myself with the question types, I didn’t feel I learnt a great deal from this method and soon realised I needed something a little closer to the real thing to make the most of my preparation.

For this reason, I bought a subscription to an online UCAT Question Bank, which I cannot recommend enough. I think it’s such a great resource and the format and layout are very similar to how the interface looks on the day. I also made sure that I completed all of the resources on the UCAT website as these are the closest to the questions on the day.

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I Gave Myself Time For It To ‘Click’

I didn’t have a super strict timetable, but I did start my UCAT prep pretty early on, albeit casually. Although I don’t think months and months of prep is needed, it’s definitely worthwhile doing a few untimed questions early on to familiarise yourself with the format.

That said, I wish I had started doing timed questions sooner as the time limit is definitely the biggest challenge on the day. The week before my exam I tried to cram one or two full practice UCAT tests per day. It was only in this last week or so that I felt things really started to piece together, so don’t worry if you are still in the early stages and it still feels a long way off!

I Replicated Exam Conditions Where Possible

It’s really important to ensure you complete your mocks in as close to exam conditions as possible as this will ensure you are not thrown off on the day. I sat my exam in a test centre, so I did my mocks wearing a face mask and earplugs, even if it did feel a bit silly! It’s also worth investing in a cheap keyboard with a number pad to practice with. This will mean that using the calculator function on the day is just muscle memory.

My UCAT top tips

  • Start doing timed questions early on. There is no point in answering every question correctly but only getting halfway through them.
  • You don’t have to excel in every section. Your scores will likely vary a lot between sections and that’s okay!
  • Practice, practice, practice! Once you’ve learned the strategy, make sure you practice as many questions as possible.
  • It takes time. Don’t stress yourself out when you likely can’t quite grasp the questions early on. This is an exam like nothing you will have done before, so remember that they are looking to test a very specific set of skills which you will definitely build upon as you practice. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to hone these skills!
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