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Optimising your performance in UCAT: 5 Lessons from Sports Psychology

Preparing for the UCAT is like preparing for a marathon: it requires training, persistence and strategies to optimise your performance on UCAT test day. Just as an athlete prepares for a major sporting event, so you must prepare yourself to sit UCAT, which is one of the most important exams that you will face in your career. We can learn much from athletes about optimising performance in UCAT, as outlined in this TED talk by Martin Hagger: This talk discusses how highly successful athletes prepare themselves before a competition. The five key points are summarised below, with an emphasis on how...
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Is UCAT Stressing You Out? Here's How to Use Stress to Your Advantage

You may have heard that stress negatively impacts on performance, particularly in an intellectually challenging test such as UCAT. You may have been told that if you are too stressed in the lead up to an important exam such as UCAT, you won’t do well. You may have been advised to look for ways to relieve your UCAT-related stress. While this may be true, in some cases trying to get rid of UCAT stress can actually cause you to become more stressed. A different approach, which might sound crazy at first, is to embrace your UCAT stress. The following three strategies...
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5 Tips for UCAT Exam Day

Huiyi scored 99th percentile in UCAT (overall cognitive score 3160 / average 790). In this blog, she describes her top 5 tips for UCAT test day. 1. Don’t panic This might sound like another one of those easier said than done things that people around you might say, but it’s actually so important on the day itself! Plan ahead in advance for transportation to and from the UCAT exam centre. If you are taking public transport, keep in mind the possible delays caused and try to adjust for it. Better yet, get your family members to drop you off at the...
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Optimising your health for UCAT: What I learned from getting the flu two days before my UCAT exam and other lessons

Imagine you’re a hardworking student. You have consistently studied for the UCAT for several months and you are feeling pretty well prepared for your UCAT exam itself (hopefully this is not too hard for you to imagine 🙂). Maybe you have a week before exam day and while you are beginning to feel the nerves of the situation, you are really not too worried. Because why should you be? You have studied hard. You have completed or come pretty close to completing your UCAT tuition course. You even went to one of those famous two day MedEntry workshops with the mighty Dr...
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Nutrition is Important for UCAT Test Day

Napoleon Bonaparte once famously said “an army marches on its stomach”, and that is as relevant for UCAT as it was for the French Armies that Bonaparte commanded. Those who are about to participate in an important event, be it sports or social, make sure that they eat right to perform at their best.  Making sure you put the right things into your body in the lead up to UCAT is vital to making sure that you perform well on the day of the test. I’m sure you are well aware of what a quality diet involves, so in this post...
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TIPS FOR UCAT TEST DAY AND THE NIGHT BEFORE

The day before UCAT Ensure that you have everything you need for UCAT test day: importantly, a printout of your UCAT email confirmation from Pearson VUE and acceptable photographic identification (the name must match the one on your confirmation email, and it must be unexpired). Also ensure that you know where your UCAT testing centre is, and how you are going to get there. If you are ill or have extenuating personal circumstances, you can reschedule your UCAT test. You can do so by contacting Pearson VUE. Remember that if you present yourself for the UCAT, you are declaring yourself to...
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Why is UCAT (UKCAT) so hard

UCAT is probably the single most important and hardest test that you will ever have to sit. Many students, especially those who do not prepare, are shocked by the difficulty of UCAT. Some who do prepare become disillusioned with the process, finding the questions difficult to complete within the time limits. So why is UCAT so hard? And what can you do about it? Read on!    1. UCAT is very different to every other type of test you have sat Why?  School and university exams test your knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge. UCAT is not a test...
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UCAT 2021: Top tips for decision making

The Decision Making subtest of UCAT was first introduced in 2017. Students will be presented with a variety of question types. The questions presented are characteristic, but often unusual. It is therefore important that you practice answering Decision Making UCAT questions, and develop familiarity with each type. This blog describes five key tips to help you answer Decision Making UCAT questions quickly and accurately. Know the strategies for each question type There are five major question types in the Decision Making subtest of UCAT: Logic games: you are presented with a series of statements describing people or objects. You will be...
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Making Time for UCAT: Eat That Frog!

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. – Mark Twain Brian Tracy’s 5 minute YouTube video discusses a time management strategy that has changed many people’s lives (including mine!). It discusses time management in the context of the workplace, but the strategy is applicable to UCAT and high school/university study too. This blog summarises the key points.  As Mark Twain said, if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that’s probably the worst thing...
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Three Steps for UCAT Success

Preparing for UCAT can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to know how to best prepare for UCAT and how to utilise your precious study time. Over the last two decades, MedEntry has developed an unrivalled understanding of the strategies used by the highest performers to tackle aptitude tests and get into medicine. This blog describes the top strategies.   1.  Simulate It is vital in your UCAT preparation that you simulate the live UCAT as closely as possible. Most importantly, this involves completing full length UCAT exams under timed conditions. UCAT is one of the toughest, most time-pressured tests you...
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SHOULD I SIT UCAT UK 2020 AT HOME, ONLINE?

For the first time ever, students sitting UCAT UK 2020 will be able to decide whether to sit UCAT online or at a testing centre. This choice is available due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. The actual content of the UCAT test will be the same regardless of where you choose to sit the test. Deciding where to sit UCAT UK 2020 is an important decision. You will need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each option. For guidance on which option to choose, please see our blog. This blog will cover the advantages and disadvantages of sitting UCAT UK...
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Distributed Practice and the UCAT: What you need to know Part 2

In part 1 of this blog, we looked at why it is important to study with distributed practice for the UCAT. In part 2, we will look at how to implement this into your UCAT plan. How to implement distributed practice for UCAT Here are some tips and strategies on how to best use distributed practice in your UCAT preparation (you can also use them in your secondary school and university study; or acquiring any skill for that matter): 1. Plan out a UCAT study schedule/timetable This is an important step. You need to make time for your UCAT preparation, even...
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Planning time for UCAT preparation

A very common question asked by aspiring medical students is “How do you balance your school work and UCAT practice?” Given that UCAT can be equally or even more important than ATAR in the medical school selection process, it is crucial that students devote sufficient time in preparing for the UCAT, without neglecting their high school or university. The key to finding this balance is planning your time. Many students attempt to fit in UCAT study in their ‘spare time’, which is hard to find the final year of schooling. It is more productive to set aside blocks of time which are...
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