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5 Things to Know Before Starting UCAT Prep

UCAT Prep

Looking to start preparing soon? It can be difficult to know where to start with UCAT preparation, so here’s a handy guide on how to start – and what you need to know before you begin.

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1. Understand the purpose of each section

Before you begin your preparation, it’s a good idea to read up on how the UCAT is structured first. There are four sections: Verbal ReasoningQuantitative ReasoningAbstract Reasoning and Decision Making; and then a Situational Judgement section.

So, before you begin preparing, it’s essential you know the key skills that each section is testing – for example, numerical skills, professional judgement, spatial awareness.

Once you start preparing, you’ll then be able to bear this in mind to develop the necessary skills to boost your UCAT score.

2. The UCAT is incredibly time-pressured

This is essential to understand before you begin your preparation! Many students find the time pressures of the exam extremely difficult – but keep in mind that it is supposed to be difficult, so you’re not alone if you’re finding it tough.

For some questions you’ll have just a mere number of seconds to read a whole passage of text and the select an answer – so reminding yourself of this before you actually sit down to try a test during your UCAT prep is important. You won’t have the expectation that it’ll be like a standard test which you finish about half an hour early and have time to check over.

There are many ways you can make it easier for yourself, and the main one is practise.

3. Practise, practise, practise…

As mentioned above, the main way to make the time pressures of the test easier on you is to practise – a lot. Many students think that because the test is an ‘aptitude’ test you can’t prepare for it, but this isn’t true.

The more you practise, the more confident you’ll feel – and the quicker you’ll become at answering each question. So when you first begin practising, don’t expect to score highly straight away – it will take time, so don’t be too hard on yourself!

4. The UCAT is a guessing game

As we’ve said, you won’t be able to work out the answer for every question across every section because there isn’t time. Because of this, a lot of your answers will inevitably be educated guesses.

As you practice, you’ll become faster at eliminating obviously wrong options and then making educated guesses from there, and you’ll pick up small time-saving techniques as you go along (such as limiting the use of the calculator and whiteboard).

5. Make sure you know your test date

It’s a good idea to book your UCAT test date before you begin your preparation so you can then use the test date as motivation. If you have a date in mind, this can help you to prepare more effectively as you’ll know how much time you have to work with.

Good luck!

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