Yes! Even high achieving students can stumble in the UCAT.
Some students with perfect secondary school scores have missed out on a place in medicine and related courses due to their low UCAT scores. In some cases, your UCAT score is more important than your secondary school grades in securing a university place in Medicine or the health sciences.
Research shows training can significantly improve UCAT score by familiarising you with the types of questions that will be asked and developing strategies to tackle them.
An all-too-common fallacy about preparing for UCAT is that all you need to do is 'familiarise' yourself with the test by doing some practice questions. That's like saying the way to become a great basketball player is to familiarise yourself with a basketball court and practice taking a few shots.
You might be familiar with the quote by Benjamin Franklin: "by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail". These words definitely ring true for the two-hour, gruelling marathon that is the UCAT.
"Kids take prep courses to ace tests that are supposed to measure inborn aptitude," (page 100, Time Magazine, December 20, 2004).
The UCAT is a skills based test: you cannot ‘cram’ information the night before. You have to overlearn the strategies to solve UCAT style problems so that thinking becomes automatic and fast.
So start preparing now!
You may find opinions expressed on forums and by some organisations that UCAT preparation may not help. They are mainly from:
Yes! Research and other evidence overwhelmingly backs our claim that UCAT preparation helps:
Research and other evidence overwhelmingly backs our claim that UCAT preparation helps:
Some further points to consider:
Please also read the information under ‘About Us'.
Please also read the article "Do I need to train for the UCAT?" (Under "Does MedEntry UCAT prep help?)
When you purchase the MedEntry UCAT package, you will get numerous resources for your use. You will also get additional recommended reading in the MedEntry UCAT workshops. This is definitely much more than you need, if you use it properly. How to efficiently and effectively use these resources is also discussed in the MedEntry UCAT workshops.
MedEntry constantly updates and adds new and relevant materials to the LMS so that you get the best quality resources. Most students do not use all of the materials on the LMS. Most do only the practice exams: remember there are many more resources on the LMS. Therefore, if you have used all the resources on the LMS, you can be assured that you have plateaued in terms of your UCAT skills required to ace the test. In the highly unlikely event that you have managed to complete all the resources in the way suggested in the workshop, we can recommend additional readings for you.
We also recommend that you complete the resources on the UCAT Consortium's website.
Apart from these, we do not recommend any other courses or programs. We suggest that you do not waste your time and money on other UCAT programs because you will not end up using them since they are not relevant, too easy, outdated, contradictory, confusing, not good quality or you don't have time. Virtually all of our past students who bought another course (as well as MedEntry) regretted doing so for several reasons. There are also many scam websites spruiking UCAT products. They are likely to mislead you.
Virtually all medical school lectures at all universities are now ‘Online’, so there is no need to attend the classes every week and only a small minority do!
We encourage you to attend a MedEntry UCAT Preparation Workshop.
But don't just take our word for it, check out the hundreds of glowing Google and Facebook reviews of our workshops posted by our happy and successful students. We have more and higher ratings than every university! MedEntry's Sydney, Melbourne and Ireland offices have over 1300 reviews at a star rating of about 4.8+, far exceeding that of any university.
Three of the main benefits of the MedEntry workshop are:
The study guides on the online LMS (Learning Management System) do provide detailed approaches to different UCAT question types, but it is always more effective to be taught this information than simply to read it yourself – after all, according to the psychiatrist William Glasser, we learn 10% of what we read, but 50% of what we see and hear!
The UCAT workshop highlights what kind of approaches to questions are the most important, and what types of UCAT questions are the most common. This allows you to make the most of all the resources provided by MedEntry, and perform as well as possible on the UCAT. In evaluations, MedEntry students say that they either did not use the resources on the LMS, or did not know how to efficiently and effectively use them, until they attended a MedEntry UCAT Preparation Workshop.
Additionally, some inside knowledge and information that is not available elsewhere is provided at the UCAT workshop. You will also find that many of the skills that you learn at the UCAT workshop are transferrable, and useful for school and university study.
Attending a MedEntry UCAT Preparation Workshop provides motivation to perform well on the UCAT, as it can make the whole UCAT process feel clearer and more real.
You will also interact with fellow students with similar interests and passions. This is a fantastic opportunity for developing your thinking and forming new friendships and study groups, as well as a great source of motivation.
After the UCAT workshop you will be given the opportunity to sit a trial UCAT exam, based on which you will receive predicted UCAT scores. This is immensely helpful for a number of reasons:
- You will have a much better idea of what to expect from the experience of sitting the actual UCAT exam.
- You will be able to see how your scores compare to fellow MedEntry students, and how they are predicted to compare to those of everyone taking the exam.
- You will be able to determine your strengths and weaknesses; on what sections you need to focus the most, how to plan your UCAT preparation, and how to plan your approach in the UCAT itself. Remember that wherever you are at is just a starting point; it’s incredible what it’s possible to achieve with practice – and MedEntry provides all the resources to allow you to practice in the most effective way possible!
Further benefits of the MedEntry UCAT workshop include:
Attending a MedEntry UCAT Preparation Workshop is an invaluable opportunity that will allow you to achieve your best score possible on the UCAT.
Yes! Interviews are a crucial aspect of the selection process for entry into health science courses. Most people focus on their secondary school studies, prepare for the UCAT but do not prepare for the interview.
However, knowledge of the types of questions asked, coaching on interview technique and enhanced communication skills can dramatically improve your performance. You should not go into an interview unprepared or not having an understanding of what you will be asked.
Personality tests (such as the interviews) rely on the fact that the candidates do not prepare, so interviewers actively discourage the candidates from preparing. They do this by propagating various myths such as: preparation does not help; there are some questions in the interview which are designed to detect if you try to second guess; preparation may work against you etc. Accredited testers know that such organisations go to great lengths to place fear in the candidates to ensure they do not prepare, precisely because preparation works! If it is really true that you can't prepare for interviews, universities should have no objection to interview preparation (rather than actively discouraging students from preparing). Even if there is evidence that the answers come across is rehearsed, interviewers have to give you the benefit of the doubt (assume you are smart/motivated to prepare and think about the issues).
The graduate medicine entry route requires that you complete a degree first before applying for Medicine. This means studying hard for an additional 3 or 4 years (and paying the fees), to maintain high grades with no guarantee of getting into Medicine. So you will have exams for at least 7 years: three years of first degree and 4 years of condensed medical degree. Undergraduate medicine is far less stressful because in the first year they ease you in, and in final year you are working as an unpaid intern (so no exams).
You also need to sit a test called the GAMSAT, which is a six hour test (compare this with UCAT which is a two hour test) as well as doing well in the interview. The preparation courses for GAMSAT are also far more expensive, in the range of $1500 plus.
The GAMSAT has been described by most people as ‘the most horrible thing I've ever had to do in my life’. Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you do a Biomedicine or Biosciences degree, you will automatically be offered a place in Medicine, as some universities misleadingly make you believe. If you miss out on a place in Medicine, you may end up with a degree that is not useful for your future, and a waste of several years of your life.
The median age of students entering graduate medical programs in Australia is 25.4 years. By that age, you would have completed your medical degree and probably working as a Registrar in your chosen specialty if you choose the school leaver entry (UCAT) route. Imagine entering medical school at 25 via graduate entry, then trying to study for the specialist training exams in your early thirties with a family to care for!
Some people think universities are education oriented organisations, but in reality they are massive businesses with annual income of each university around a billion dollars - they earn about $30,000 per year of study at university for each student they enrol (about $10,000 from you, and the rest from the government). This means that the longer you study at university, the better it is for them. This is the reason why some universities are moving towards graduate-entry medical programs. It is to increase universities' income, not because it is good for you! Furthermore, universities are prohibited from charging full fee for undergraduate medicine, but they can charge full fee for graduate medicine!
With the higher debts of graduate entry and the uncertainty of whether you will get into medicine, universities will be laughing all the way to the Bank, but you will end up in the classic wheel of borrowing to pay for a degree to get a job to pay off what you borrowed (if you don't get into medicine).
Some people feel that they want to go to so-called "prestigious" universities (eg. Sydney University) which offer only graduate medicine. However, unlike other disciplines such as law, in medicine it does not matter which university you graduate from.
Perhaps 15 years ago, when GAMSAT was new, it was easier than UCAT but now most medical students who sat both tests claim GAMSAT is harder. GAMSAT is getting much harder for several reasons (eg many professionals wanting to change careers, the 'late bloomers', many school leavers putting off the hard work and the difficult decision).