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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 Timing

If you ask any candidate sitting UCAT what the hardest part of the UCAT is, they will inevitably say one thing: timing. All questions in the UCAT are do-able if you are given unlimited time. If sufficient time is given, most students would be able to score very highly in UCAT. However, UCAT is designed intentionally to give you less time than is required to answer UCAT questions. This is the only way the UCAT Consortium can distinguish the top performers from the rest of the pack. In fact, each year over one fifth of UCAT candidates fail to mark an...
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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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How I Scored 900 in Abstract Reasoning

The Abstract Reasoning UCAT subtest is one that candidates often find extremely difficult. Not only is it extremely time pressured, but it is unlike any other test you’ve ever taken. Candidates are often unsure how to prepare for and do well in the Abstract Reasoning section of the UCAT. To succeed in this subtest, you need to develop effective strategies to tackle any Abstract Reasoning question. I managed to score 900 in Abstract Reasoning (the highest possible score). In this blog, I outline my five top tips to ace this difficult UCAT subtest. Tip 1: Understand common patterns Many students, especially...
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How I Scored 900 In UCAT Verbal Reasoning

UCAT Verbal Reasoning is widely known as the hardest and lowest scoring UCAT subtest. The average UCAT Verbal Reasoning score over the past five years has been 570 out of 900. Sara scored an amazing 900 in UCAT Verbal Reasoning (the highest possible Verbal Reasoning score!). In this blog she shares her top 5 UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips.  Tip 1: Learn to Speed Read One of the biggest challenges during the UCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest lies in being able to read the passage, read the question, and finally work out the correct answer. If you feel that you’re struggling with getting...
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How I scored 900 in UCAT Decision Making

The UCAT Decision Making subtest poses several challenges, including various question types, limited time, and difficult questions. However, I managed to score a perfect 900 on the Decision Making subtest. There were several strategies that allowed me to bring my score up from the 600 range to the 800-900s. Here are my top 5 tips. Tip 1: Understand each UCAT Decision Making question type A huge advantage you have in the UCAT Decision Making subtest is that you essentially know all the question types that you will be asked before you sit the test. The UCAT Decision Making subtest is one...
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How I scored 900 in UCAT Quantitative Reasoning

Eassen scored an incredible 900 in UCAT Quantitative Reasoning (the highest score possible). In this blog, he shares how he scored 900, including his five top Quantitative Reasoning tips. Tip 1: Familiarise yourself with the UCAT keyboard shortcuts As we all know, the UCAT is infamous for its immense time restraints. One way students can help to ease the time pressure is by using the UCAT keyboard shortcuts. Although these keyboard shortcuts will only shave a few seconds off your time per question, this time can potentially be used for other UCAT questions. Given medicine is so competitive, you should use...
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UCAT SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT: 5 TOP TIPS

Situational Judgement UCAT questions test a different type of non-cognitive aptitude, and can be challenging if you do not have an effective framework to answer them. This blog covers five key tips for success in the UCAT Situational Judgement test. 1.  Identify the key issue(s) in the scenario When reading the UCAT Situational Judgement scenario, it is important to read actively, identifying the key issues raised. This will help you to judge the relative importance of considerations, or the appropriateness of various actions. For example, a consideration is likely to be ‘very important’ if it addresses a key issue raised in...
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5 Key UCAT tips

There are a wealth of strategies and techniques that are useful in boosting your UCAT performance. Each UCAT section and question type requires a slightly different approach. Relevant techniques are discussed in detail in the MedEntry UCAT course. In the meantime, here are five important tips that will help you in preparing for and sitting UCAT. 1. Work on your weaknesses Each of the five sections in UCAT tests different skills. It is likely that you will find some UCAT subtests easier than others, and that you will have a natural ability or affinity for particular questions. As early as possible...
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7 TIPS FOR USING THE UCAT CALCULATOR

I managed to score 880 out of 900 in the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning section. A significant reason for this was my ability to use the UCAT Calculator quickly and effectively. In this blog, I discuss my top tips for using the UCAT Calculator. Learning to use the UCAT calculator took my mind off the time-consuming and seemingly never-ending calculations required to answer UCAT Quantitative Reasoning questions. I was able to actually THINK about how to solve the UCAT question without drowning in all the grunt work. Too many students are frustrated because they know they could have solved more UCAT Quantitative...
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Top 5 Under-Rated UCAT Preparation Strategies

1. Learn how to speed-read Not enough students are working on improving their speed reading. There are a lot of resources out there that can help you with this and I highly recommend delving into some of these (such as MedEntry’s UCAT Speed Reading trainer). The major problem I see time and time again is that in their UCAT preparation, students try to learn how to speed-read but do not end up doing so efficiently. They either fail to absorb content and miss key details or do not read at a particularly fast rate. This UCAT strategy is pertinent to the UCAT...
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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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5 Tips for UCAT Abstract Reasoning

Struggling with UCAT Abstract Reasoning questions? Check out this blog which outlines 5 top tips. 1.  Identify the pattern first When you are first starting out with Abstract Reasoning UCAT questions, it can be tempting to focus on the test shape and try to ‘match’ it to the sets. This wastes valuable time and is unlikely to lead you to the correct answer. Instead, start by examining the sets and looking for a pattern. Once you have identified the pattern, it will be easy to determine which set the test shape fits into.  2.  Choose your own perspective Some questions are...
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5 Tips for UCAT Success

The UCAT is not an easy exam. It is intense both when you prepare for it and when you undertake it. It requires every ounce of mental concentration and effort to do well. However, you need not be worried about this: the conditions apply to everybody and what determines whether you will do well in UCAT is if you can perform better than your peers. Always remember that a large portion of students are going into UCAT without proper experience of questions or experience of the conditions which ultimately puts YOU above them. Here are five tips from my UCAT experience...
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UCAT 2021: Top Tips for Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning subtest of UCAT can be challenging, even for those who are proficient at maths. This is largely due to the extreme time pressure placed on students in this UCAT subtest. The commonest mistake made by students in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest is to approach it like you would approach a high school maths test – by calculating everything perfectly, checking your working and not being aware of common wrong answer traps.  To do well in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest of UCAT, you need a strategic approach. This blog outlines five key tips. Tip 1: Use the UCAT calculator...
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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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UCAT 2021: TOP TIPS FOR VERBAL REASONING

  Verbal Reasoning is one of the most difficult and time pressured subtests of UCAT. In fact, up to 20% of students each year fail to answer every question – that is, they run out of time to even randomly guess some questions! This blog describes five key strategies to help you boost your speed and performance in the 2021 UCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest.   Increase your reading speed Speed reading is a key skill that is required to succeed in the Verbal Reasoning subtest of UCAT. Not only will you be faced with lengthy passages of text, but you will...
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5 UCAT Tips from a student who scored >3500!

Tim was a MedEntry student who achieved a whopping 3520 in the UCAT last year, which was the highest score achieved. Tim is now studying medicine at the University of New South Wales. In this blog, Tim shares his top 5 UCAT tips. 1. Periodically Check Your UCAT Timing While doing the UCAT, it’s very easy to get lost in the questions, focusing on reading and answering each one correctly. However, this carries the risk of running out of time, or not getting as many questions done as you would have hoped. Learning to quickly see if you’re on pace to...
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