What is a good UCAT score 2021? 5 tips to score 700+
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
The UCAT is used by a consortium of medical schools to select applicants. Using the UCAT score as part of their selection process allows medical schools to transparently and fairly distinguish between the large number of highly qualified applicants. Knowing what constitutes a “good” UCAT score and how your UCAT score ranks for your year group can inform where you apply. You should use your UCAT score to apply strategically to university. Be aware of any UCAT thresholds universities may have in addition to which parts of the UCAT they consider when processing applications (The SJT section is sometimes excluded when ranking student; some universities do not consider applicants with band 4 in the SJT)
It is difficult to define what UCAT score will be good enough. However, at Blackstone tutors we would consider scores of 660-700 good. Above 700 Very Good and above 750 excellent. Follow our top 5 tips below to gain a score of 700+:
Sit the UCAT at the right time.
There is no perfect time to sit the UCAT exam but there are lots of considerations to make. It is important you consider how long you will require to prepare and your preparation strategy- ensure you have at least 4 weeks for regular revision followed by 2 weeks of intense revision. I would strongly recommend you try to complete the exam before you return to sixth form or college in September. During this time, your A2 Studies, personal statement, extracurricular activities, and coursework will begin competing with your time to prepare. Plan out your time weekly and aim to practice over 4000+ questions.
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Effectively use resources for your UCAT preparation
Being aware of what resources are available to you can help you to organise, plan and focus your revision. Consider using online sites such as Medify for questions, find free resources online with worked questions and examples. The 12500Q ISC book is create value for money – many schools libraries supply this book to switch up from using online question banks. You should be stimulating the UCAT using mock exams. You may choose to watch YouTube videos providing guides of how to approach each subsection.
Know your strengths and weakness’.
UCAT preparation should be targeted, knowing how well you are scoring on each section can highlight where more revision is required. Full Mock Exams prepare you for working under timed conditions for 2 hours, focusing on single sections may be a better way to improve your overall score and target your revision.
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Know the UCAT question style and type
Each section of the UCAT requires different skills and knowledge. Through UCAT preparations you will begin to get an appreciation of how long you should be spending on each question. Although you can target this where necessary to suit your strengths and weakness’ we recommend allocating the following time frames for each subsection:
- Verbal Reasoning – 40-60 seconds reading time, 15 seconds per question
- Decision making – 64 seconds per question
- Quantitative Reasoning – 40 seconds per question
- Abstract Reasoning – 12 seconds per question
- Situational judgement – 22 seconds per questions
Be aware of common topics that are tested- this is particularly relevant for quantitively reasoning. Familiarise yourself with: percentage change, reading graphs, weighted means, triangle formulae, areas and ratios etc. For abstract reasoning be aware of triggers. We recommend you use the SCANS acronym to approach pattern recognition. Consider the shapes, colour/fill, angle/arrangement, number, and symmetry/ sizes.
Adapt to the time pressurised nature of the exam?
The UCAT exam is quick paced, not only is the test set to test your aptitude but how you perform under pressure. Some questions will take you longer than others but balancing not rushing or working too slowly will maximise your chances of obtaining a good score.
Part of your preparation for the UCAT should involve learning time saving techniques and shortcuts. Ensure you know how to flag and review questions. Remember UCAT is positively marked so you should put a guess for every question. The following 5 keyboard shortcuts will save you valuable seconds.
- Alt +C= calculator – avoid overusing the calculator as this isn’t time effective. Use mental maths where possible and ensure you do not practice using a scientific/ handheld calculator.
- Num Lock = Activate number keypad
- Alt+N = Next Question Alt+P= previous question
- Alt + F = flag
Other time saving strategies include:
- Verbal reasoning – scan for keywords and avoid reading the whole passage.
- Decision making – maximise your use of the whiteboard and pen. Decision making is the least pressurised section so take your time to digest information and draw valid conclusions. A top tip is to use practice questions with worked solutions.
- Quantitively Reasoning – know mental maths shortcuts and being confident with basic maths skills. Use multiplication and division tips and tricks.
- Abstract Reasoning –Use the simplest box first to solve patterns. Memorise features of common shapes e.g. cross = 12 sides, lightening bold = 11.