Before anything else, get to know the Decision Making subtest and what it’s designed to assess. This section tests three areas of logical reasoning: evaluating arguments, deductive reasoning and statistical / figural reasoning.
In Decision Making, you’ll face questions that require you to solve textual and visual data-related questions using logic and reasoning. Being aware of this will help you to focus your UCAT prep and make sure you’re developing the right skills.
You need to know what a strong and weak argument looks like, so you’re able to answer correctly.
Tips for spotting strong arguments:
Tips for spotting weak arguments:
Look out for certain keywords in the answers to help you choose the right one. For example, the word ‘might’ suggests a weak argument because it’s uncertain. The word ‘feel’ suggests it may be subjective, which would also count as a weak argument.
On the other hand, ‘shown’ or ‘proven’ are strong words that support a strong argument.
For the ‘deductive reasoning’ questions, you’ll be given a paragraph of text with four or five associated conclusions. You’ll need to decide whether each of these conclusions follows from the text or not, by selecting yes or no.
In these questions, be wary of making conclusions based on what you would ordinarily assume to be true. Unless something is explicitly stated in the passage given, don’t draw conclusions based on your own prior knowledge.
Even though some conclusions might seem logical to you, only go by what is actually mentioned in the text.
For the ‘evaluating argument’ questions, you’ll be given a question starting with ‘Should…?’ and four associated arguments ‘for’ or ‘against’ the question – and you’ll need to pick the best argument.
For these, it’s best to think logically. Which argument makes the most sense?
You can usually narrow them down by picking out the illogical options first, and from there you can decide on the best argument. If you were debating the topic with someone and wanted to win the debate, which is the argument you’d choose?
Another important Decision Making tip is to revise your probability calculations. For many of the questions (particularly the ‘logical puzzle’ questions), it can help to draw or write out the information provided in a way that you can understand it best.
You also need to practise your graph reading, because one question type will involve looking at graphs and diagrams to get information.
The best way to prepare for these types of questions is to practise. If you know that your statistics/maths needs some work, you could try looking at past GCSE Maths papers for graph questions.
One of the best ways to boost your Decision Making score is to work through plenty of practice questions. This will help you to familiarise yourself with the various question types and get used to the computer test format.
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