The best resource for basic information about the UCAT is the UCAT website itself. The website not only has all of the vital details you need regarding the test, its format and key dates, but also offers a free online Question Bank to help you prepare.
As the UCAT is an unfamiliar exam to most of us, it’s important to be aware of the logistics of the test before starting other forms of preparation.
Our comprehensive UCAT guide provides information on the format and timings of the test, how to register, what UCAT universities are looking for and how UCAT scores work, as well as instructions on how to prepare.
Once you’ve gone through all of the info available on the UCAT website, read our guide to familiarise yourself with test further and make sure you understand what is really required from you in every subtest.
UCAT courses usually consist of an entire day dedicated to UCAT preparation with an experienced tutor – which is a great way to kickstart your revision. They also allow you to spend time with other students who are preparing for the test and see how others are progressing compared to yourself.
There are several different UCAT course providers out there, so be sure to do your research first and consider which one will be the best UCAT course for you.
1300 UCAT Practice Questions is, in my opinion, the best book to use for UCAT preparation.
Overall, the best way to prepare for the UCAT is via computerised Question Banks and practice tests, as these emulate the set-up of the real exam. However, in the early stages of preparation it’s important to familiarise yourself with the different sections and question types of the UCAT without the difficult time constraints.
This book is ideal to carry with you on the move for times when you might have a free 20 minutes on the bus to, for example, try and identify some Abstract Reasoning patterns.
As mentioned above, online Question Banks are the gold standard method to score highly in the UCAT.
The UCAT is a very different type of exam from what most of us are used to. It’s computerised and very time-pressured, has a unique format on the screen, and forces you to use an on-screen calculator rather than a physical one. Becoming familiar with this format through realistic online Question Banks will make test day a lot less daunting.
There are some free practice questions available online, or you can buy a subscription if you want access to abundant questions and the ability to track your progress.
Subscriptions to Question Banks will usually include several complete, timed mock exams.
Full mock exams/practice tests are ideal for the final few weeks of preparation, once you feel comfortable answering questions in every section in a timely manner. They will give you an idea of what score you are currently achieving and signpost you to which sections may need some more time dedication before the big day.
But remember: getting a high mock test score isn’t an indication to stop preparing, as actual UCAT scores can often be lower on the day than a student’s practice scores.
One-on-one UCAT tutoring can be very helpful when you need more personalised support and want to really work on your weaknesses.
Sessions with an experienced tutor will help you to fully understand the basis of each subtest, making your independent practice even more effective. They can also help to provide your UCAT prep with some structure and minimise procrastination. If you have a scheduled session, that is time you have to dedicate to UCAT, and you should feel motivated to do work and make sure you improve between sessions.
Find out more: Is It Worth Getting A UCAT Tutor?
Several websites post regular blogs and articles sharing UCAT tips and strategies. They often answer commonly asked questions and are a great additional resource to boost your UCAT prep.
Here are some examples from The Medic Portal:
In terms of free UCAT resources, YouTube videos can be very helpful – provided they are from reliable sources.
Here are some that I would recommend:
This may seem like an obvious one, but talking to students who have previously sat the UCAT is not only good for knowing what to expect but also for relieving the anxiety of the unknown.
There’s a comradery amongst those who have sat the test and, given how many hours students spend preparing, they often have some really useful advice!
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