The Verbal Reasoning section of the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT, formerly UKCAT) is largely one of the most feared and dreaded subtests of the exam for many medical school candidates. The aim of the Verbal Reasoning test is to assess your ability to read and comprehend an unknown block of text and evaluate it. There are then two question types. The easier of the two is called ‘True/False/Can’t Tell’ questions. On the basis of the information in the passage of text presented to you, you will be expected to answer whether a statement is true, a statement is false or it cannot be concluded from the information given, known as ‘Can’t Tell’.
The other question type, apart from true or false questions, we call ‘Statement Questions’. Here, you need to evaluate all answer options given and decide which one is correct, most/least likely or complete the sentence, based on the passage provided. The UCAT Verbal Reasoning time for this section gives you 21 minutes to answer 44 questions, so even solely from a timing point of view, it is understandable why this is such a feared part of the exam. Not to worry, as we are here to give you our best tips on how to ace UCAT VR. For more information on Verbal Reasoning, check out UCAT Consortium’s official website and our blog post, UCAT Verbal Reasoning Overview.
|44 Questions (11 passages)||21 minutes*||• True/False/Can’t Tell
• Statement Questions
*For those with extra time in exams, take a look at our UCATSEN post to see how much time you could have.
This may seem the same as tip number one, and both scanning and skimming involve moving through the text quickly, however, there is a crucial difference. Skimming is used to give you a general summary of the material while scanning should be used to find specific information. Once you have become comfortable skim reading and comprehending and summarising unfamiliar texts, the next thing on your mind should be your timing to find the necessary phrase to answer the question. With 44 questions to be answered in 21 minutes, you will be very time-pressured if you haven’t trained to scan. While attention to detail matters a lot in Verbal Reasoning, speed is also very important. To scan, simply choose a word and then move your eyes as quickly as possible through the passage looking for that word. Be smart about the word that you choose though! If it appears too frequently in the passage it’ll become more of a time-waster than a time-saver.
Try turning this into a game with friends or family! Split into two teams and take it in turns to pick a word in the passage and give it to the other team. Time the guessing team to see how long it takes them to find the word and give points for every second they take. The team with the least number of points wins!
Additional resources to help with your UCAT preparation:
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We have compiled a list of all important UCAS test dates in 2019 that candidates taking the UCAT should be aware of, so have a read below and make sure you mark them in your calendar!
The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a widely recognised exam used by medical schools, as a tool to assess candidates applying to study medicine.
We at theMSAG recognise that the application process can be extremely stressful, so we have collected all the information you are going to need to complete your registration for the UCAT, should you be planning to sit the exam in time for the 2021/22 medicine application cycle.