UKCAT Preparation and Advice


So it's time for the dreadful UKCAT. After sitting it twice, I still don't like it. Anyway so the first time I did the test, I didn't do a lot of preparation. In fact, I did some random questions I found online for a few days leading to the test and I ended up with 505 average haha. I bet that is the lowest score you guys have ever seen.
The second time around, I put in a little more effort and did quite a lot of preparation for the test and I was able to bring my average score up to 667.5. At first I thought the score was still not good enough but I thought wrong. First of all a little bit about the UKCAT.


Meaning?: UK Clinical Aptitude Test.
Who takes the test?: Students applying for medicine, dentistry and Veterinary Science.
What is it made up of?: The test comprises of 5 sections.

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Abstract Reasoning
  4. Decision Analysis
  5. Situational Judgement
Where is the test taken?: The are various centres in the UK and abroad where you can take the test.
You can find more useful info on the links down below.

Preparation

They say you can't really prepare for the UKCAT coz it's an aptitude test, well see how preparation changed my score the second time. This is what I wish someone had told me when I was preparing the first time.

  • Buy a book that will help you prepare. There are so many books online with hundreds of practice UKCAT questions and great advice to get you started with your prep. 
  • Practice online questions too. Most of the questions in the books especially the ISC medical book are not really a representation of those in the actual test. There are websites like Medify and Kaplan that provide courses and timed practice questions. You can also practice the questions on the UKCAT website. There are so many other websites and free questions online. Use them as much as you can.
  • Don't leave everything till the last minute. Book your test early and then start preparation immediately. You can do a little prep for the few weeks leading up to your test.
  • Focus on your timing. To be honest, you won't gain anything if you take your time and get all the questions right when practicing. You can try to do the questions untimed the first few days but after that, you have to get on with it. Time will not be on your side on the day so I have to stress that practising timing is very important.
  • Developing strategies is a good way to work through the questions. It also helps with timing. 
  • Finally, don't over-prepare but don't under-prepare either.
  • This will sound cliche but seriously, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Practice makes perfect.

 Advice:


  • I think it's better to book a morning slot when you are still active than the afternoon when you might be tired.
  • Make sure you eat something before going for the test. You need that energy.
  • Arrive at least 15 mins early so you can calm yourself down before the test.
  • It's ok to be nervous but try not to panic.
  • When answering the SJT questions, take your time to think about the scenario. They might be long and boring but some universities might use it in determining candidates for interview.
  • After you get your results, please choose universities wisely. Don't risk a UKCAT heavy university if your score isn't too high. 
  • If you get a low score, don't worry. There are universities that don't use the UKCAT like Bristol and Birmingham. You could also apply to BMAT universites like Imperial and UCL.
Useful links