If you have dreams of joining any of the renowned medical colleges in the UK, it’s likely that you’ll need to undertake the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) as a part of your application.
Some of the main UK universities include UCAT in their admissions process for prospective medical students. The UCAT is a 2-hour computer-based exam that will test your mental ability, characteristics, and behaviours in the health profession.
There are five sections in the test – titled Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Situational Judgement – and they appear in the order indicated here.
It is advised to give yourself time to prepare for the test since the scores received will further help you shortlist the universities for the UCAS application, so it’s important that you score highly. Preparing for this test is not an easy thing – thanks primarily to the peculiar format of the test.
- Know the test format well: When taking a test, it’s important to be aware of the amount of time you have to answer each question. There are different format types that can be used for tests, so make sure you’re prepared for the most common one. (For example, Multiple Choice, True and False, Fill in the Blanks, etc.). Never leave a question blank without at least putting your best guess as to what the answer might be.
- Complete the section you know more about: Determine the sections that you can easily wrap your head around – invest time in mastering them. The best way to master a skill is to break your goals down into smaller pieces. This is called compartmentalization. After that, pick a new section and continue building off the previous section. These skills will compound upon one another. For example, mastering paragraph structure and flow is a stepping stone to mastering sentences and words.
- Apply different strategies to find the one that works best for you: On the sections that you find tricky, learn and apply different strategies each time you take a practice test/sectional test till you find the strategy that best suits your learning style.
- Practice is the key: A key aspect of the ideal practice regimen for a UCAT candidate is that practice should be more regular than expansive. No one becomes a top-notch musician, athlete, or artist without practising regularly. That’s why you should practice the UCAT tests – an exam that can help you get admitted to your Dream University – every single day. Practice tests allow you to see where you need improvement and they help you build your stamina. Even if you think you’re doing poorly, don’t give up! If you really want to be admitted to a top-notch college, you can do it by hitting this exam right. Skills are like a lease; you cannot buy them once to hold them in perpetuity and the rent for this lease is due every day.
- Manage your time well: Instead of using scratch paper, you should be typing out your notes. Typing your notes onto a computer will help you save time. Being able to type your notes in a document will allow you to keep a record of all the things you’ve learned. This will be helpful in the future, especially if you want to look back at a certain lecture or passage. You can also use this method to copy lecture content onto other applications such as Evernote, where you can save all of your notes and lectures in one place.
UCAT is a test that presents difficulty not because individual questions are difficult but because you have to answer an obscenely high number of relatively easy questions in an absurdly short duration.
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