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30th April 2021
Your UCAT score is important because it can help you get shortlisted for an interview. In this blog Warwick Medical Student Albie tells us how he achieved a high score, how it helped him get into Med School, and what his top UCAT tips are.

My High Score Helped Me Get Into Warwick

I’m sure you know that lots of universities (31) use the UCAT to screen applicants for interview and Warwick is no exception. The lowest score that they accept for interview varies year by year – but for the year I applied, it was 2,570. This was the seventh decile.

It’s important to have a good UCAT score because it means that you have a wider range of universities that you will be able to apply for. It also will give you confidence in securing that interview in the first place!

My UCAT Philosophy

I love the UCAT test! I enjoyed doing it so much that I took it twice – once when applying for undergraduate Medicine, and again when applying for graduate entry Medicine. In fact, when first I took the UCAT it was called the UKCAT! God, I feel old…

My philosophy is that the UCAT is 50% knowledge and 50% strategy. I believe that by having a technique and a strategy before you go into the exam you can nab yourself a very respectable score.

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Timing And Technique

During the UCAT you are pushed for time. You could be the smartest person in the world and still not get the mark you wanted because you didn’t manage your time well.

I used the strategy of making sure I answered every question in each section. If you look at a question and cannot see the answer, or see how you would answer it, flag it, and move on. This ensures that you’ll have answered all ‘easy’ questions that you can in a section and will prevent you from dropping marks by not reaching them.

Once you finish the section, go back, and fill in the unanswered questions. If you have absolutely no idea, guess! There is no negative marking, so you have a better chance of getting a mark by guessing than by not answering it at all! This technique requires discipline to be able to tell yourself when to move on and is best learned through practice.

During the test, you’ll have a minute or two between each section. Use this time to relax and have a drink. Clear your head. This will help keep you focused and prevent you from mentally tiring yourself out before the test is over.

Practice

It’s the exam tip as old as time – practice! The best place to start is with a UCAT question bank with mock exams. You can also use the four free practice tests on the official UCAT website. Spacing your mocks a week or so apart gives you the chance to see how you are progressing as you continue through your revision and practice.

I would recommend doing all mock tests under exam conditions – this will help you replicate your previous performances in the test. Getting used to the conditions can help minimise stress and prevent fatigue before the real test is over.

My final point is one that I always need to remind myself about during exam revision: don’t avoid the sections that you struggle with! While it can be tempting to ignore them, you will only regret it when it comes to the UCAT. You will also feel much better having made an improvement on a section that you previously found difficult.

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Know Where You’re Going

Once you’ve booked your UCAT test – make sure you do this early – you should go and scout out the area! Make sure you know how to get there and how much time you need to leave yourself for travel on the day. You want to minimise as many opportunities for something to go wrong! This will help keep you calm and collected on test day.

It Will All Be Fine

In just seeking out some tips, you are already heading in the right direction! The UCAT is always going to be hard and stressful, and practising for it can really get you down. If you ever feel like you’re lacking motivation, just think about how all your UCAT prep and hard work will help you get into Med School.

And when it comes to the test day, try not to stress. Focus on the strategies you’ve learnt. Keep calm, stay focused, and try your best.

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