26 UK medical schools require the UKCAT as part of the application process. Applicants are ranked based on their UKCAT scores. Apex Medicine has 5 handy tips for UKCAT preparation to guarantee success.
1. Familiarise yourself with the format early
The UKCAT consists of 5 components:
Verbal reasoning - Tests your ability to evaluate written information
Quantitative reasoning - Evaluates your ability to assess numerical information
Decision making - Assesses your ability to make decisions based on complex information
Abstract reasoning - Tests your ability to infer relationships based on visual information
Situational judgement - Evaluates your ability to assess and react appropriately to real world scenarios
The UKCAT consortium has official information about the components of each of these subsections.
2.ATTEMPT A MOCK PAPER EARLY
It is very important for candidates to identify areas for improvement early. While there are many paid mock UKCAT tests available on the internet, we at Apex Medicine believe that the best way for students to get an accurate idea of what the test will be like is to attempt an official UKCAT practice test under timed conditions.
Doing so early will also give you an idea of the time pressures you will be under during the UKCAT test - knowing this early will allow you time to prepare and prevent a last minute panic.
3. PREPARE FOR NUMERICAL REASONING
Revise basic mathematical operations such as fractions, percentages, currency conversion, areas and volumes. Practising mental maths will also pay huge dividends during the UKCAT as it will save you precious seconds on each question.
Practise using the on screen UKCAT calculator - it is a simple, non-scientific calculator and can be time consuming to use if you are not used to the layout. While some people advocate learning keyboard shortcuts for the test, beware that some test centres may not provide keyboards during the test!
4. PRACTICE QUESTIONS
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Practise as many questions as possible before the UKCAT exam - there are hundreds of question banks and books available for students to prepare with.
There is also an official UKCAT question bank, separate to the mock tests. These are the most similar to those that you will get in the actual test as many publishers are still catching up with the recent change in the UKCAT format.
5. BOOK YOUR EXAM EARLY
Try to book your exam during the summer holidays to allow you to focus solely on UKCAT preparation. Once school reopens, medical school applicants will have to juggle A2 work, personal statement writing, UCAS applications and preparing for the BMAT.
Apex Medicine will also be holding workshops in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates in 2019 - register your interest now !