Guide To The 2020 UCAT
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
The University Clinical Aptitude Test, also known as UCAT and previously called UKCAT, is one of the many haunting hoops aspiring medics have to jump through. Let’s go through some of the basics about the 2020 UCAT.
How is the UCAT test structured?
You’ll have to answer 202 questions divided unevenly between five sections. The first one will assess your understanding of written texts (verbal reasoning); you will then move on to decision making, where you will have to use the information you’re given to make quick judgements. The quantitative reasoning section will assess your basic mathematical skills and numerical problem-solving, while abstract reasoning will stretch your thinking to recognize patterns and how pieces of information relate to each other. Situational judgement will wrap up your test with real-life ethical scenarios; you will need to rank the most appropriate course of action. Before each section starts, you will have one minute to read through the instructions and take some deep breaths.
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Tips for Verbal Reasoning
This section is quick! With 21 minutes to answer 44 questions you will be short of time. Don’t worry too much, as the difficulty will vary across the section: consider making educated guesses for the questions with wordy answers and come back to them if you happen to have time at the end.
You can practise for this section by skim-reading some articles and then thinking back to them: you’ll be able to retain more details as you practice.
Tips for Decision Making
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Tips for Quantitative Reasoning
How to get ready for this? Practice doing basic calculations in your head very quickly; this section’s score is nearly guaranteed to rise with more practice!
Tips for Abstract Reasoning
This section is even quicker than verbal reasoning, with 13 minutes to go through 55 questions. Try not to be overwhelmed by the hardest questions and learn to make an educated guess rather than getting stuck on a sequence of shapes the pattern of which you’re just about to grasp. This is probably the most obscure of all the sections, as it thoroughly tests your observational and focusing skills. The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to spot recurrent patterns, and hence the better you’ll perform.