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4th May 2023
Are you thinking about getting a UCAT tutor to help you boost your score? This blog weighs up the key things you should consider when it comes to UCAT tutoring.

Your Guide To UCAT Tutoring

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.

What Is 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.

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Are UCAT Tutors Worth It?

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:

  • You feel like you need a personalised approach. You might be going through online UCAT resources by yourself, but something just isn’t clicking. You may need advice that is more tailored to how you think and learn.
  • You don’t know how to get better any more. You might have improved from where you started, but now your score has plateaued and you don’t know where to go next. A tutor can provide an external expert opinion and offer more insight into how you can improve.
  • You have no idea where to start. UCAT prep can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know someone who’s taken the test before and are just relying on what you read online. A UCAT tutor can guide you and help you to plan your prep.
  • You’re procrastinating. Having scheduled UCAT sessions with a tutor can help to structure your time and will give you an incentive to study. This is particularly helpful in the summer when you’d rather be doing other things!

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:

  • You’re doing great and are on track for the UCAT score you want. After all, it’s unnecessary to spend time with a tutor learning things you already know! If you’re doing well, believe in yourself: it isn’t worth getting a tutor just to validate what you’re doing.
  • Your parents want the tutor, not you. This should be self-explanatory – if you need to, point your parents towards this blog. Tutoring works best when the tutee is engaged and wants to be tutored.
  • There are financial considerations to take into account. Tutoring can be one of the pricier kinds of UCAT support. There are lots of free resources available if tutoring isn’t affordable for you.
  • Also remember: It isn’t true that “you need to have a tutor to do well”. Tutoring can really help people to maximise their scores, but plenty will do well without a tutor. You should think about what you need help with and if a tutor is the best option for what you need.
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Who Are The Best UCAT Tutors?

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:

  • Tutor experience and quality. A company that interviews and trains tutors will be a better bet than picking the cheapest medical student on Craigslist. At TMP, we receive a lot of applications from prospective tutors each year and only hire the best.
  • Credibility. TMP is officially partnered with the Royal Society of Medicine and we’re also trusted to teach the UCAT at top schools.
  • Feedback. For example, TMP has a Feefo platinum award for 5* customer reviews.
  • Logistics. At TMP, we have in-house tutoring coordinators to ensure you get a tutor with availability that meets your needs.
  • Cost. If you have a particular budget, you need to make sure you stay within it.

What Else Should I Do To Prepare For The UCAT?

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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