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20th August 2021
Roisin scored above 3,000 in the UCAT test, which helped her to secure offers from all four of her Medicine choices. In this blog she shares her high-scoring tips, and explains how her UCAT score boosted her Medicine application.

I Used A Question Bank

I sat my UCAT at the end of August and started preparing at the end of June, giving me two months to prepare which I found was adequate time.

My biggest tip when it comes to using UCAT Question Banks is to not also forget about the official UCAT full length trial exams. Reviewing your answers and 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 is amazing how quickly you will find yourself be able to recognise patterns in the questions

The UCAT is all about consistent brain training, and when you start to improve you really will begin to get into it and find yourself flying through the questions or seeing patterns that you recognise from previous practice.

I Had A UCAT Study Plan

What worked best for me was to do an hour of abstract reasoning first thing when I woke up in the morning, and situational judgement before I went to bed at night. I found time to practice each of the rest of the sections alternately during the rest of the day, ie. verbal reasoning one day, quantitative reasoning and decision making the next 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 practicing but my strongest in the exam, and I found breaking it up into an hour a day, instead of three hour blocks like I could with VR, QR and DM, made it much more manageable.

I love Maths and English in school so studying those other sections didn’t bother me so much, but you have to find what works for you. If you are someone who can’t stand VR, for example, I would recommend doing one hour every morning as soon as you get up to get it out of the way, so that way you’re not dreading your ‘VR day’.

I would also say 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 school work 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.

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My Best Tips For A High UCAT Score

  • Practice lots of UCAT questions. Doing this little and often is the key to doing well in the UCAT. Even pushing yourself to do 10-20 questions every morning can help you break the workload down and continually get you thinking about the style of the questions.
  • If you have to guess the answer to a question, try and eliminate the options that are definitely wrong. Using a process of elimination is one of the most practical ways to approach UCAT questions. Your chances of guessing a question correctly improve with every answer you can work out is definitely wrong. Switching to this mindset instead of one where you have to find the correct answer definitely saved me a lot of time on the day.
  • Learn your shortcut keys. Being able to use the UCAT calculator properly and knowing how to move between questions without having to use your mouse can save you many valuable seconds on test day. I would strongly recommend taking the time to learn and practice the different keyboard shortcuts.
  • Don’t forget about situational judgement! SJT is often overlooked but it can be one of the easiest sections to improve on if you put in the work. I found a couple of free podcast episodes with the GMC on spotify under the ‘How To Become A Doctor’ podcast which basically went through all of the GMC guidelines, and how to apply them to practical scenarios which you will commonly face in SJT and also in your interviews. The scenarios they talk through come up all the time, and I didn’t face a situation in the SJT that hadn’t been covered between the two episodes.

How My High UCAT Score Helped Me Get Offers

My high score helped me get offers because it meant I got shortlisted for interviews and in some cases contributed to my overall post-interview score. Practicing for situational judgement in the UCAT is also a very helpful way to get a kick-start on interview preparation because lots of the situations faced in the SJT applied to interviews!

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