I sat my UCAT at the end of August and started preparing at the end of June – giving me around 8 weeks for UCAT prep, which I found was adequate time.
My biggest tip when it comes to using a UCAT Question Bank is to remember the official UCAT mock exams too. Reviewing your answers, as well as the explanations behind the right answers, is the best way to make progress.
Don’t be put off at all by getting questions wrong at first. It’s amazing how quickly you will find yourself being able to recognise patterns in the questions.
The UCAT is all about consistent brain training. When you start to improve, you will really begin to get into it and should find yourself flying through the questions or seeing patterns that you recognise from previous practice.
The routine that worked best for me was to spend an hour on Abstract Reasoning first thing in the morning, and Situational Judgement before I went to bed at night. I found time to practise the other sections alternately during the rest of the day, e.g. Verbal Reasoning one day, Quantitative Reasoning and Decision Making the next day, etc. That way I was able to enjoy my summer while still getting in practice for the UCAT every day.
AR was my weakest section in practice but turned out to be my strongest in the exam. I found that breaking up my AR prep into an hour each day, instead of three hour blocks like I could with VR, QR and DM, made it much more manageable.
I like Maths and English in school, so studying the other sections didn’t bother me so much – but you need to find what works for you. If you are someone who can’t stand VR, for example, I would recommend doing an hour every morning to get it out of the way, so you won’t be dreading your ‘VR day’.
I would also say that it’s very important to still be able to go out with your friends and enjoy your summer. You have a tough year ahead of you with A-Levels and interviews, so think of the UCAT as a chance to train your brain little and often, and not a burden that keeps you stuck in your room all summer.
My high score helped me to get offers because it meant I was shortlisted for interviews, and in some cases my UCAT score contributed to my overall post-interview score.
Practising for Situational Judgement in the UCAT was also a helpful way to get a head-start on interview preparation, because lots of the situations faced in SJT applied to interviews!
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