UCAT Techniques to Master
UCAT · June 14, 2019 Miss Giulia Bankov
Giulia is a graduate medical student at the University of Glasgow. She previously studied Neuroscience at King's College London and completed her Cognitive Neurobiology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Amsterdam
If you are a prospective dental or medical student, you probably know that there is a very high chance you might have to sit the UCAT (UKCAT) as part of your application. The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), previously the UKCAT, is the most widely accepted medical school entrance exam across universities in the UK and abroad.
The UCAT is a multiple choice time-pressured exam and while there is no theory you can learn in advance that can help in your preparation, there are certain techniques and strategies you can master, which you can apply both in your practice questions and on test day, to achieve a high UCAT score. Below we have compiled our best strategies for a high score on the exam, so make you have familiarised yourself with them before you start your UCAT preparation.
Learn each subtest’s specifics
The UCAT is composed of five subtests:
While they all test your problem-solving skills in their own respective area, each of these subtests has its own set of techniques that are required to answer the questions correctly.
Learn how to recognise each question type
Once you have identified all strategies pertaining to the five separate subsections of the exam, you will need to be able to apply them in the right circumstances. In order to do that, you will need to be able to identify the type of question you are dealing with and what answer strategy that question requires.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Having learned to spot the question types you will come across on the UCAT and familiarised yourself with the different tips and tricks on how to tackle each one of them, a good next step would be to give a mock UCAT practice test a go and review it carefully at the end, taking note of everything you got right and everything you got wrong. Is there a pattern to the questions you kept getting right or wrong? If you were able to identify a pattern of a particular question type that you consistently answer accurately or inaccurately, you will likely have found what your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the UCAT are.
Focus is paramount
Even though there are definitely a few strategies you can implement when sitting the UCAT, at the end of the day there is no new material to learn and all you need is your sharp mind and focus. Plenty of mistakes are made by simply not reading the question correctly or not taking your time identifying all relevant data presented in the question. Often times the UCAT likes to trick you by asking you a negative question, for example, “Which one of these statements is not supported by the text?”, rather than “Which one of these statements is supported by the text?”.