As you probably know, the UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) is the admissions test used by a majority of UK Medical Schools. For better or worse, it’s often the main differentiating factor between lots of applicants with stellar grades. If you’re applying to UCAT universities, your UCAT score is a crucial part of your application.
Feeling worried yet? It can be an intimidating exam, but there are lots of steps you can take to make sure you achieve as highly as you can. You have control over your own UCAT preparation process.
To elevate their UCAT prep, many people choose to hire a UCAT tutor. This is someone, usually a medical student, who can give you one-to-one support. As this costs money, it’s worth having a think before you decide to use the services of a UCAT tutor.
A UCAT tutor is someone, often a Medical School student or Doctor, who has one-to-one sessions with you to help improve your UCAT score. Typically they are people who have sat the UCAT and scored highly themselves. The idea is that you can get tailored support from someone with proven success.
Here at TMP, all of our UCAT tutors are high-achieving medical students or qualified Doctors. You can pick who you want to tutor you, but the hourly rate is higher for Doctors. For the UCAT, you might actually prefer a medical student tutor because they will have taken the test more recently. After you book, you’ll be matched with a tutor who can meet your needs.
Tutoring sessions take place online and the content of the sessions is always tailored to suit you. A typical session might start with a quick check-in, then focus on tackling an area of the UCAT that you are finding particularly challenging. You set the pace!
If you find that you want more sessions than you had initially booked, it’s also easy to book more time with the same tutor – including for interviews later on.
There are definite benefits of one-to-one tutoring. For example, it might be a good idea for you to get a UCAT tutor if:
That said, UCAT tutoring won’t be right for everyone, and there’s no point getting a tutor if it won’t be useful. Tutoring might not be the best option for you if:
So, you’ve decided you want a UCAT tutor. Now you need to assess the different options you have. Apart from TMP, other providers include Medic Mind, UKCAT People and MedEntry, as well as working with individual tutors directly.
When choosing a UCAT tutor, you need to consider:
Tutoring on its own isn’t enough to prepare you for the UCAT – you also need to work hard outside of sessions. The tutor is ideally there to support you with the problems that you identify from doing lots of practice questions!
In addition to using a Question Bank, a UCAT course can help you to learn theory and strategy for every subtest. If you want to do a UCAT course as well as tutoring, it would be wise to start with the course first, then move on to tutoring when you need more tailored support and want to really work on your weaknesses. TMP has UCAT prep packages which combine a course, questions and tutoring for a cheaper all-in-one experience too.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck with your UCAT practice! And do think about tutoring – sometimes that personalised advice is what you need to push you over the edge into a high UCAT score.
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