This blog should only be three words long: practice, practice, practice! Take as many practice exams as possible that you can get your hands on and complete these under timed conditions. Review practice papers and (in particular) those answers you get incorrect to ensure that you identify where you made your error. The UCAT requires quick solutions for a particular set of questions and there is no better way to prepare for this type of exam than in completing similar questions.
When I used to play competitive football, at training we would repeat several individual drills to ensure that each individual part or component was perfected. When combined, these techniques contributed to our overall game performance and success. You need to apply this to your UCAT preparation by breaking down each cognitive section into parts, with each part worked on individually.
Just like football, improvement in the UCAT is dependent on how well you manage your ego by identifying your weaknesses. Be honest with yourself and realise that there’s nothing wrong with weakness in an area. You just need to put the time in to improve on these areas. Objectively, you could appraise yourself through tallying your practice test marks, or by asking a study buddy their thoughts on where you need to improve. This is the hardest part — nobody enjoys doing something tiresome; however, it is the only way to achieve success.
As you will most likely be stressed, you must plan the day of your exam beforehand to make it as comforting as possible. Eat nutritious meals, arrange transport with plenty of time to allow for transportation issues, and have your bag packed with your required items (including ID) the night before.
On the day of the exam, read questions carefully and use a process of elimination when required to decide on the correct answer. Treat each question equally, moving on to more feasible questions if you are stuck on a particular brainteaser. Finally, do not self-appraise your performance in the middle of the exam. The exam can be thought of as a marathon rather than a sprint, and any stumbles throughout the performance won’t have much of an effect if you don’t let them.The Institute of Medical Education UCAT programs focus on building specific competencies required for performance in the exam; so, if you have any further questions or would like to see how we can help you with your preparation, contact us today! Good luck in your exam and we look forward to working with you.