The second section of the UCAT is Quantitative Reasoning. It assesses the application of your numerical skills to a problem solving type scenario. There are 36 questions and only 24 minutes. I found this the most difficult section as it was the most time restrictive for me. So here are a few tips in order to help you do better!
This is one of the most important UCAT Quantitative Reasoning tips. Being time restricted, it’s best to write down information as you read the question through for the first time on the whiteboard provided. This will mostly include figures and values and the goal of the question.
This way, if you need to refer back to the question for information it will prevent you having to read it again. This will leave you more time to do the question. On a side note if, like me, you sometimes don’t read the question properly, this will not only ensure that you must first time, but it may also stop you from missing a bit of information.
On average, there is only a small slot per question (around 30-40 seconds) so it’s easy to get very panicked if you cannot complete a question or if you realise that you’ve taken way too much time.
This can then throw you off your game for the rest of the section, as it did for me. So an important thing to keep in mind is to skip questions if you feel you’ve taken too long to complete it. This will avoid panic. If you’re stuck or you find it too difficult you are unlikely to finish the question quickly. Skipping the problem question will allow you to pick up more marks in future questions, instead of wasting time. Not only that, but if you have time at the end you can always come back to it and work it out or change your answer.
On a similar point, if you find yourself feeling flustered, another option is to make an educated guess. Eliminating choices and putting a bet on a rough value can prove to be a useful technique in time constraints. This can be a good way to move on from a question you’re struggling with so as not to waste too much time.
It’s good to get as much practice in for the UCAT as you can – especially online practice, as this is how you’ll sit the exam. This will allow you to see how it will work practically by giving you a chance to use the on-screen calculator. I would also recommend using the keyboard to operate the calculator as this will save time, but you should always use what you are most comfortable with.
Online tests give you a direct insight into how you are doing progress wise and it will get you used to the on-screen timer and the calculator which may all prove important factors on the day.
Words: Kate Gillespie
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