Can you study for the UCAT?
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
Studying for the UCAT is essential and invaluable, provided it is conducted in the correct way. The UCAT requires a structured program of study which is organised in the style of the test itself. Each of the five sections must be studied in isolation to focus academic skills on their specific question types. Dipping in and out of revision and taking parts of one section then parts of another will only lead to confusion and cost valuable time on the day of the test.
You can therefore study for the UCAT test by following a well laid out course that clearly labels each of its sections. Timed practice tests should also be available to develop time management and to develop recognition of question types along with the relevant strategies to answer them.
So how should one approach their study program? You must put yourself in the correct frame of mind and to do this there are certain factors to appreciate.
Don't Measure Input, Measure Output
Following a focused and structured study program will not automatically provide you with an acquisition of strategies. It requires reciprocal focus from the learner. Place yourself in an environment free from distraction with devices that will aid you in study rather than detract from your concentration. Spending hours scrolling through resources on your phone will merely waste time whereas a half hour completing practise questions or focusing on revising strategies will be much more beneficial.
UCAT Preparation <---> UCAT Score Correlation
The level of importance given to UCAT test preparation is proven to directly affect the final score achieved. This is a vocational test and must therefore be approached in a professional manner. This entails factoring in your lifestyle and commitments in order to set aside a part of your day to focus exclusively on your revision. UCAT scores are often taken alongside A-level grades to form the criteria for interview selection by universities. It is therefore imperative that UCAT be afforded the same focus as other academic subjects.
High Yield UCAT Revision
There is no shortage of UCAT resources available on the internet and a candidate can spend hours wading through tips and personal experience articles. However, the majority of students attend a high yield UCAT course, whereby proven techniques are presented in a concise manner saving you time and maximising the amount of information you acquire without impeding other commitments.
UCAT v GCSEs
While you may recognise elements of the UCAT test, there is no direct comparison with GSCE subjects. This means the techniques you are familiar may not be relevant to this test. Rather than trying to apply prior academic skills to UCAT, it is important to appreciate the importance of techniques specific to UCAT.
How many hours should you study for the UCAT?
Once you have joined a reputable High Yield UCAT Revision program, and have organised your time to dedicate a portion each day to focused revision, we can consider the time scale leading up to the date of your booked examination. For the average learner, the revision program should be commenced 4 to 6 weeks prior to the examination date. A minimum of 30 minutes each day should be spent dedicated to UCAT and this time should ideally increase as one nears the test.
The actual time that you allot should be measured against the requirements of the exam itself. Consider the amount of questions you can complete in the half hour you dedicate to your revision. A general comparison can be seen in the chart below.
Number of Questions in Test
30 UCAT Minutes Yield
These guidelines are recommended for the average learner who is also studying A-Levels. There is no specific time scale for all learners as we all have personal responsibilities to consider when planning a schedule. The important factor is to know that preparation is not a matter to be taken lightly and the resources you turn to are crucial to how you benefit from the time you allot. Blogs and Social Media posts bring a human side to the UCAT experience and they are often enjoyable to read. However, anecdotal articles must be considered extraneous to an established learning program from a respected UCAT training provider. Only by attending and completing a structured High-Yield learning plan can you acquire the relevant techniques to successfully complete your UCAT examination.
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