It’s a good time to brush up on your maths skills! In Quantitative Reasoning, you can expect to encounter questions asking you to use ratios, percentage change, speed/distance/time, converting units, areas/perimeters and some simple statistics.
Make sure you practice your mental maths, and brush up on some simple formulas you may need to use. As you start practising, you’ll quickly get used to the level of numerical skills required.
2. Work on your estimation skills
This is a simple technique but works well! Depending on what the question is asking you, brushing up on your estimation skills will help you. If you’re struggling to do the exact maths, it might be helpful to round numbers up or down, and then doing the sum from there.
Then, when selecting your answer, choose the option that is near enough what your estimated answer is.
3. Use the calculator and whiteboard wisely
While using these too much can actually be a hindrance, if used correctly these can really help in Quantitative Reasoning. In your practice, you should use the calculator and a piece of paper so that if you need to use them in the real test you’re familiar with it!
However, generally speaking, the more you can do sums in your head, the better, as it takes time to tap numbers into the calculator or scribble on the board, so try to minimise this as much as possible and use the tips above.
4. Read the question first – and carefully
Making sure you pay attention to the question is one of the key UCAT tips for Quantitative Reasoning. Our best advice to save time, similarly to Verbal Reasoning, is to read the question and then look at the data provided – this will help to focus your attention.
In Quantitative Reasoning, sometimes extra information will be provided in bullet points underneath. Many students make the mistake of ignoring these, but they’re there for a reason – it’s usually designed to help you answer at least one of the questions!
Abstract Reasoning is often the section that is most daunting for students – however, don’t panic!
Being systematic in how you scan the sets is key to scoring highly in this section. The patterns in the shapes will often fall into one of four categories:
This is the first one to look out for. Are there a certain number of shapes in each box? Are there a certain number of sides of the shapes, or a particular number of intersections? Are there a certain number of shaded shapes in each set?
Alternatively, the numbers could be more complex – you may need to work out that the number of triangles added to the number of squares equal the number of circles in each box. Keep calm and analytical as you approach each set, and ask yourself the questions listed above.
This is an obvious one – but because it is, students often fail to remember it! Ask yourself: are there only particular shapes in each box (for example, each box contains two hexagons and three triangles)?
Or is there a particular feature that all shapes in the box share (for example, each shape has a right angle, or curved sides?)
The way shapes are shaded may play a key part in identifying the patterns in Abstract Reasoning. Are there a certain number of shaded shapes in each box? An uneven number of black or white circles in each one?
How the shapes are arranged in each box can also play a part. How are they positioned in relation to each other (for example, the circle might always be diagonal to the star)? Are they rotated in a certain way? Are they arranged anti-clockwise?
If the sets contain arrows, which way are they pointing? How many intersections are there?
Situational Judgement is designed to assess the key skills needed to be a doctor: professionalism, teamwork, ethical codes of conduct. Here are some UCAT tips for this section…
1. Read the scenario first
For the Situational Judgement section of the UCAT, make sure you read the whole scenario first before answering the questions.
Make sure you pay particular attention to your role in the scenario – are you the doctor, or a work experience student? This will inform what the most appropriate response is, so make sure you keep this in mind and choose your answer carefully.
Take a good 30 seconds to read it all, and then each question shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds to answer.
2. Make sure you know the key skills needed to be a doctor
As long as you keep in mind these key skills, you should be able to arrive at the correct answers. Some points to keep in mind are:
Medical students and healthcare professionals should never imply or act as though they have knowledge beyond their level of experience.
Maintain professionalism at all times – for example, you should never argue with another healthcare professional in front of a patient.
The patient’s best interest and safety should always be a priority.
Issues should be addressed as soon as possible – and it’s good to try to seek local solutions first where appropriate – for example, instead of going to the dean of the medical school to report something (legal but) inappropriate that you’ve witnessed, consider turning to a personal tutor for guidance instead.