UCAT Practice | UCAT Question Bank

theMSAG UCAT question bank in a nutshell



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NUMBER OF QUESTIONS

10K questions available by July 1, 2021
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HIGH QUALITY, ACCURATE Qs

Accurate variety, difficulty and style
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IN-APP LEARNING

Full-course self-study included for free
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PRACTICE/ TESTING

Timed, untimed, mixed and learning pace
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MODERN DESIGN

Clean, mobile friendly, insightful data
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COST EFFECTIVE

Least expensive/best value on the market

What no other UCAT question bank offers



Compared to self-study, 1-1 tutoring can be costly... but is regarded by many as one of the most effective teaching methods. Ever wondered why it works so well?

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In a tutoring session, you usually start by practising questions. If you get something wrong, the tutor jumps in to provide the theory, teaching and hints required. Someone showing you WHY and HOW a technique or concept works will help your learning a lot more than practising alone.

Our innovative UCAT question bank shares these same strengths of 1-1 tutoring but allows you to learn at your own pace, with more time to to independently reflect where you went wrong.

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Over 7 hours of teaching material is available, broken into bitesize videos that are accessed straight from each question’s review screen. You don’t need to watch all of the theory before practising; you’ll only learn the techniques to help you improve on your weak question types.

Click “Learn” straight from the question review, and you’ll go to the few minutes of teaching relevant to that specific question.

How many UCAT questions are available?



Our question bank currently has 4,000 questions to help you practise as of mid-March 2021.

Is that enough?

For the past 12 months, we have been analysing official UCAT questions, tricks, patterns, text style, wording and more to make sure that we pick up the subtleties and intricacies in how the UCAT exam is evolving.

Speaking to students right after they sat the exam last year, we learned that VR passages in the UCAT 2020 were wordier, more complex and of a greater variety in the style of writing. Students require a greater understanding of the passage to answer VR questions than before and simply scanning for keywords is no longer sufficient. For the students we interviewed, there were no shape equations in DM and probability questions had distinctive features, to name only a few insights.

Using these insights on style, variety and difficulty for every section of the UCAT, we are steadily growing our UCAT question bank.

Our release schedule for 2021 looks like:

  • 6,000 questions by the end of April 2021
  • 8,000 questions by the end of May 2021
  • 10,000 questions by the end of June 2021

However, there is more to choosing a question bank than the highest number of questions. What about the...

  • Quality of the questions
  • Quality of the explanations
  • Learning material included
  • Practice modes
  • Software capabilities
  • Price

Consider the above carefully and theMSAG UCAT question bank comes on top! Keep reading to find out how we compare to other UCAT prep companies.

What is the quality of the questions?



The number of questions is important, but the amount of practice makes no difference if the quality of the questions is lacking. For example, while theMSAG founder Dr Jiva was advising applicants, many shared that they were scoring much higher on Medify mock exams compared to their final UCAT result. After researching student feedback on forums like Reddit and The Student Room, she discovered that subsections and question types on Medify were much easier than the real UCAT. That’s when she launched a 3-year project to create a better, accurate resource for the University Clinical Aptitude Test.

To ensure the quality and accuracy of questions in our UCAT question bank, we have created a guide for our question bank writers. The guidance we have written goes into so much detail that it is no less than 250 pages long. It includes the following aspects:

  • Brainstorm of variety as per the real UCAT
  • Brainstorm of difficulty as per the real UCAT
  • Every question type and subtypes
  • Official question styles & phrasing
  • Type of passages, difficulty levels, reliable sources
  • What are “UCAT” styles of “incorrect answers”
  • Tricks to use & not to use
  • Structure of good answer explanations
  • How to teach students the approach to reach the right answer instead of only explaining the answer
  • Structure of questions
  • Structure, style and best practice to match UCAT diagrams and data
  • For each question type - what is tested and every way it can be tested
  • How to write tips with good pedagogy
  • And another 10+ parts in each UCAT section guide

It took a year of full-time work just to create the guide! Question writers are selected only amongst students who scored in the top 10% of UCAT scores and each question is reviewed to check its match against our research by at least 2 senior tutors. We also monitor the average time taken to answer our questions and the percentage correctness across all users so if there are any outliers that fall through the check, they are identified by data, very early on.

The quality and effort we put into creating the questions in our question bank cannot be seen when just reading the number of questions available, but it will be seen in your final UCAT result.

Verbal Reasoning

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VR is the lowest scoring section of the UCAT on average.

In our question bank, we have carefully curated from a range of sources - book passages, different person tenses used, instruction based texts - for our VR passages to match the diversity of the real exam. We have included over 20 specific traps and tricks throughout, as identified by our analysis of real questions. The difficulty level of the text affects comprehension, reading speed and pretty much all aspects that VR tests, so a lower difficulty text - like Wikipedia - is far too easy to be reliable preparation.

Checking over a hundred questions on Medify showed all of those passages were from Wikipedia. While Wikipedia can be a helpful resource, it was created to be an “easy” read… so it is no surprise that using Wikipedia passages to prepare VR does NOT prepare you for the difficulty and timing of real UCAT passages.

Decision Making

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DM is a relatively newer section of the UCAT introduced in 2017.

We have seen that probability questions pose a challenge for many students. Unlike other question banks that put all probability questions in one category, we have identified 4 subtypes of probability questions in the UCAT exam that we help you identify and approach. For example, tackling a question that tests your understanding of probability theory is very different from tackling a question that requires drawing a tree diagram to solve. We have identified 15 subtypes of Decision Making questions, question styles, difficulty level, and we make sure the question bank you use reflects a fair proportion of those as are found in official UCAT resources and tests.

Quantitative Reasoning

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QR is similar to DM, in the sense that there are many questions types within that section. Those that test percentages are by far the most common. We have seen in other question banks, including Medentry and Medify that percentages are grouped into 2 categories:

  • Percentage change
  • Percentages

Through our approach of long-term and thorough section analysis, we found 6 types of percentage questions that each have different methods to assist in identifying them and solving them quickly. You must know what question type you are looking at, in order to be able to apply the suitable method and thus, solve the question quickly.

Abstract Reasoning

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All the question banks we reviewed offer good variety and difficulty levels for AR. We do as well, but this is not where the difference is. Once someone tells you what a pattern is, it is quite easy to see it. But the right question to ask yourself is, would you have seen it? How can you ensure that you will see it next time? We have put a heavy emphasis on our teaching method in the answer explanations for AR so that, for each question, we teach you the approach that would enable you to have seen the pattern, rather than just directly telling you what the pattern is.

Situational Judgement

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With SJT, we have found again that most question banks have good quality passages and questions that reflect the real exam accurately. The difference we provide once more is in our explanation of how to eliminate answer choices, how to be sure you have the right answer. Many students use their previous experience or “gut” to pick the right answer in SJT, but that only works half the time. For a more reliable SJT score, knowing how to eliminate two answer choices fast and how to discriminate between the remaining two matters more than the number of questions you practice. If any of our explanations are not clear enough to you, just ask us and a tutor will clarify this free of charge.

What learning material is included?



As part of our 3-year UCAT preparation improvement project, we collaborated to include the knowledge, tricks and skills of 12 different top test-takers to compile our UCAT strategies.

The full interactive version of our UCAT self-study course - where you are able to asnwer questions in-app and get is included with our UCAT question bank, representing roughly 7 hours of teaching. You can check out the quality of the teaching and production on our youtube channel.

We leverage technology to make the learning material available in two ways:

  1. You can browse all the lessons and learn at your pace.
  2. The “relevant” few minutes of teaching are available, straight from any question explanation slide.

Different ways to practice



We use technology as a core element to improve your learning. The “way” to practice is significantly more advanced on theMSAG hub than on Medify or Medentry. Here are specific things that you cannot do on the other platforms, but are standard when you practice with theMSAG:

1. Untimed practice sets

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Although we recommend that the majority of your practice be timed practice when preparing for the UCAT to simulate a more realistic environment, it is natural to start with untimed practise while you get to grips with all question types and methodology... but untimed shouldn’t mean “featureless”. When doing untimed practice using Medify or Medentry (tested in March 2021), you can only select to do 1 stem at a time. We define a stem as one piece of data, so for QR that is 4 questions, for DM it is 1 question, for AR it is 5 questions etc. Once the stem is done, you get to decide if you want to add 1 more practice stem or not. Although you can keep clicking to add another one if you want to, it does get frustrating and distracting. This is worse in a section like DM where a stem is one question, so after each question, you are clicking to add another question.

With theMSAG untimed practise mode, you can select how many questions you want to do before you start - and the practice session will load with all those questions with no distraction in between each, just like the real exam.

2. Practice multiple UCAT sections together

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Our practice builder is designed to be flexible according to your study needs, so you are not limited to practise one section at a time. Especially closer to the exam, it may be beneficial to do practice that is more reflective of the real UCAT with some VR initially, followed by a few DM questions, then QR, then AR and finally SJT.

You can create as many practise sets, with whichever combinations of sections that you wish to either reflect the actual exam order and proportions or your study needs/areas of weakness.

On Medify and Medentry, you can only practise one section of the UCAT at a time.

3. Question selection option

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While you practise, you should be spending most of your time on your “weaker” areas rather than split your time equally between all areas. This information is easily visible on our online platform. We offer more filtering options than all other question banks. Let’s take VR for example; with Medify and Medentry, the only two options are:

  • VR true, false, can’t tell
  • VR Reading comprehension

When you practice VR on theMSAG hub, you can select to practice in a more granular way, following the official UCAT VR question types:

  • According to passage
  • Incomplete statements
  • Except questions
  • Most Likely questions
  • True, False, Can’t tell
  • Author

On Medify the granularity is lacking in most sections, with all QR questions lumped into 1 group for practice and all DM into only 2 groups. This means that Medify does not allow you to choose a specific type of QR question you want to practise and instead, it is always “random” QR practice, which is not as efficient in improving your results. Offering more targeted UCAT practice in the areas you need it most will lead to a better overall score.

Using technology for precision



The UCAT is a speed test - so every detail of our platform matters, to help you get as fast as possible. We leverage the precision that modern technology offers to help us refine every aspect of the UCAT question bank. On top of the advanced practice modes and questions filter system, you can also expect:

  • An impeccable presentation that mimics the official UCAT
  • The most advanced dashboards, to make your practice efficient

An impeccable presentation

You will be spending a lot of hours on your UCAT question bank to get ready. To give you an experience that is like the real exam, we have thought of:

  • The question layout
  • The colours, thickness of the banners
  • Font and style of buttons
  • Timer, flagging and review options
  • Calculator with keyboard shortcuts
  • All navigation with keyboard shortcuts

When we compare our platform to the official UCAT exam and to competitors, some differences become apparent. For example, overall, Medify does give the look and feel of the exam, but when you look at the details, you start to notice many discrepancies.

In the last season, some of the QR questions on Medify had large, handwritten graphs that required scrolling down to view, with odd proportions. Some DM conclusion drawing questions were presented as a Multiple Choice Questions, with each statement on a separate slide. The official UCAT format for these questions requires dragging “Yes” and “No” labels to their appropriate boxes on one slide, so the Medify format did not line up with the official exam. Pictures of many graphs and diagrams are pixelated/poor quality and in AR, and images in every section were inconsistent sizes.

We use professional software for all our diagrams, shapes, with standard size and strive to provide a professional, reliable context for your practice. We also recommend you practice on our platform using all the keyboard shortcuts, to be one step ahead in gaining time in the real exam.

Best Dashboard, Efficient practice

In 2020, we created one of the most advanced dashboards to share practice data with students, monitoring:

  • Percent correctness per section, question type, data type
  • Overall score and percentile rank per section and for mock exams
  • Time tracker to see a scatter plot of your timing across all questions you do per section
  • Graph that monitors the time lost in questions you got wrong
  • Activity monitoring

Students commented that seeing in detail which question types they were weaker in, and the advanced timing monitoring helped them to know which sections to focus on in their practice.

Medify and Medentry also show some granular data on where you get your questions wrong, but they do not allow you to select practice modes by those question types, so the use of that is limited. What is the point of knowing you are weak in percentage questions, if when you practice QR, you cannot choose to practise just percentage questions? Our timing data is also not found on any other platform in that format.

In May 2021, we are releasing our brand new analytics aspect of the UCAT question bank with 4 dashboards to help you track YOUR performance:

  • Overall/Summary Dashboard - A summary of your most recent practice data
  • Performance Dashboard - Are you improving? Where do you need to focus?
  • Timing Dashboard - Find out where you are losing precious time
  • Activity Dashboard - Track your practice activity and section progression

With a full Dashboard dedicated to each of the most important aspects of your UCAT prep, you will be able to see and understand where your strengths and weaknesses are, at a glance, as well as observing how you are improving over time.

We are also improving the timing monitoring in the dashboard, where you will now be able to see all areas where you get correct responses slower than other applicants.Your UCAT ranking matters more than your score, and we provide you with the data to help you focus your efforts where it matters most!

Most Affordable UCAT question bank



For most applicants, UCAT is only step one of a costly application process. When you think of UCAT, BMAT, GAMSAT, personal statement and interview prep, the costs can rack up fast. At theMSAG, we have a strong ethos of widening access to Medicine.

From our early days, we have been developing quality services at a more affordable price point than market average. We also offer scholarships and financial aid to students and families who need it. If you think this would apply to you, please email us for support.

Comparing prices is always delicate as companies do not offer the same content for that price. One question bank may have more questions, while another has better functionality or learning material. The price also depends on the length of access. Still to give you an idea, here are prices, found on the official Medify and MedEntry Websites in March 2021.

Company
Term
Cost
Medify
Until mid Aug 2021
£125 / AUD $250
Medify
Until mid Oct 2021
£150 / AUD $320
MedEntry
Until end July 2021
~£164 / AUD $295
MedEntry
Until 1st Oct 2021
£135 / AUD ~$242
theMSAG
Until 15th October 2021
£60 / AUD $110

For a student that is sitting UCAT Anz and needs access until Mid August, Medify UCAT question bank is 108% more expensive than theMSAG UCAT question bank.

For a student that is sitting UCAT and needs access until Mid October, Medify UCAT question bank is 150% more expensive than theMSAG UCAT question bank.

For a student that is sitting UCAT Anz and needs access until Mid August, MedEntry UCAT question bank is 168% more expensive than theMSAG UCAT question bank

For a student that is sitting UCAT and needs access until Mid October, Medentry UCAT question bank is 125% more expensive than theMSAG UCAT question bank.

highlights


intuitive preparation

*requires access to online UCAT course, £10 if bought at the same time

CHOOSE THE WAY YOU PRACTICE

INSIGHTS - LEARN FROM YOUR DATA

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