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UCAT Decision Making Question Types

Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists

Decision Making is the second scored section on the UCAT and is designed to test the student’s ability to apply their logic and make correct conclusions and deduction from the information given to them.

This is important in Medicine and Dentistry, as you will have many scenarios where you will have to problem solve and come to conclusions using your intellect under a time pressure.

The Basics

You will have 29 questions, with 1 minute to read the questions. You have 31 minutes for the questions to be answered giving you approximately 1 minute per question, making Decision Making arguably the most lenient times section of the UCAT.

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Understanding the question types

All the six question types require you to use logic and unpack data. Let’s have a look at the question types by dividing them into 2 sections.

Logical

  • Syllogisms – find out whether the statements follow from the information given.
  • Maths – probabilities and percentages.
  • Logic puzzles – apply rules to a sequence or match information to the truth.

Visual

  • Venn diagrams – understand a diagram and apply your mathematical knowledge.
  • Strongest arguments – select answer that correctly complements the terms of the question
  • Inference – what statements are true based on data.

These questions can often be lengthy and feel as though you need to spend more than 1 minute on them however, it is important to time yourself and ensure you do NOT spend more than the allocated time.

Syllogisms

Syllogisms can come in the form of five part questions, which can arguably be more time consuming to complete therefore it is paramount that you flag it for review and come back to it at the end. This is due to the nature of the question being so lengthy, that you may take more time than allocated to complete the question.

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Maths

The majority of maths questions are probability or percentage based, therefore taking time to prepare and refresh your memory on these topics will be beneficial for working through these questions efficiently. The answers will always be ‘YES, because…’ or ‘NO, because…’ however, you should use your logic and reasoning through maths to find the answer to the question, regardless of it being a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

Logic Puzzles

This type of question is likely to require you to make good use of your whiteboard, so that you can make sketches and relate the relevant details in the question. Logic puzzles require you to arrange items in a certain order to ensure that you are able to deduct the correct answer.

Venn Diagrams

These questions require you to understand which shapes overlap with one or more of the other shapes, therefore less mathematical deduction is required, and you can eliminate answers before having to calculate them, saving you time. You may find that you use your whiteboard to make sense of the diagram.

Strongest argument

To find the strongest argument it will be the statement that directly addresses the question most exactly even if there is extra information provided. An incorrect answer will have very little relation to the main question.

Inference

A good rule to apply to inference questions is that you should ONLY answer ‘Yes’ if a statement must explicitly be true based on the information given and answer ‘No’ if it is probably but not a guarantee for the answer to be true – this will help you avoid mistakes.

Must be true = ‘Yes’
Could be true or could be false = ‘No’
Must be false – ‘No’

UCAT Decision Making Question Types

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