UCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips​

Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists

​How Long Do you Have For Each UCAT Verbal Reasoning Question?

This answer should be at the tip of your tongue; the main reason for poor UCAT performance is a lack of time awareness. Let’s break it down and make this tip one to remember:

UCAT Verbal Reasoning
21 Minutes
11 Passages with 4 Questions Each (ie. 44 Questions)
Time for each Passage & Set of 4 Questions = 2 minutes (or just under)
Passage Reading Time: 45-60 Seconds
Time for each question = 15 seconds

Common UCAT Verbal Reasoning Pitfalls

​Whilst the UCAT passages and SBA options will vary from question to question, the common pitfalls and UCAT tricks repeat year on year. Attend a BlackStone Tutors UCAT course and we’ll breakdown the six common pitfalls that the UCAT consortium use to catch students out each and every year.

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Questions First or Passage First

With four questions following each passage, reading the questions followed by skimming the passage (and repeating for each question) will take on average 4 x 20 seconds (80 seconds) without selecting answers, and this approach plays into the hands of the examiners who often mention topics multiple times in each passage ‘to ‘catch out skimmers’. Contrast this with reading the passage ‘once over’ (average 45 seconds) followed by answering each question in turn. The latter strategy of ‘passage first’ offers a more time efficient approach which helps to avoid common pitfalls, and candidates attending BlackStone Tutors UCAT Courses will learn techniques to increase how much information you take in each time you read the passage, thus reducing the time-consuming process of having to re-review passages.

Official UCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice ​

Whilst we know our resources are great! There is no substitute for official UCAT practice questions. Make sure that these are the first resource used, the last resource used before your exam and many times in the middle. Whilst the questions will be different in the actual examination, the format, techniques required and pitfalls, will be exactly the same.

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Proportional Practice

Historically, the UCAT (formerly UKCAT) Verbal Reasoning Section has solely been based on True, False & Can’t Tell questions. In the last few years, this has been increasingly replaced by the more challenging and considerably more time consuming Single Best Answer Questions. Despite this change, many unofficial practice resources remain focused on the older question format which now makes up less than 50% of the total Verbal Reasoning question proportion. Make sure that you focus on resources that prioritise Single Best Answer Verbal Reasoning Questions in order to optimise preparation. 

Further Reading....

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips​

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