Where to start with UCAT Revision
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
So, you have registered and booked to sit the UCAT. The next step is to get started on your preparations. Don’t worry… we appreciate that UCAT preparation can be daunting, and it can be difficult to know how and when to get started. What separates students who get outstanding UCAT scores to the rest is how they structure their revision and utilise their preparation time. Following our tips and advice, you can make sure you get your UCAT revision off to a flying start.
The most integral part of your UCAT revision is planning out your time. UCAT preparation is different to preparation for other types of exams as you do not need to solely learn content. The purpose of preparation is to become accustomed to the questions and develop strategies and the skills needed to approach each type of question. It is almost impossible to cram UCAT revision, therefore try to get into the habit of dedicating a part of your day towards your preparation. It is recommended to begin preparations around 5 weeks before your test date. With 2 weeks remaining, aim to increase the intensity of your preparations. We cannot tell you how many hours per day you should revise for. Keep in mind that the UCAT exam is 2 hours long; preparations can help you to develop stamina to remain focussed during this period. However, if you revise for too long at once you will notice you begin to make silly mistakes and don’t maximise the opportunity to learn when you get things wrong. Most students find it useful to make a revision timetable so they can see what question types they will need to practice and how long they will need to dedicate to each subsection. It is likely that as you transition through your preparations you will notice areas of strength and weakness. You should adapt your revision strategy in relation with this.
Before you dive into utilising the variety of UCAT resources available it is important that you familiarise yourself with the nature of the exam. The UCAT website has a variety of preparation tools which can help you to navigate the exam. Using their tutorial, you can learn about the functions used in the test, including how to answer questions and navigate the question screen. Having completed this, take a look at their question tutorials and read advice on the Blackstone tutors’ website about how to approach each subsection of the test. Before you jump in with practice questions it can be beneficial to have an overview of each subsection including the different question types.
Breaking the test down and choosing just one subsection to initially focus on makes beginning less daunting. Once you have begun practising one subsection, it may feel less challenging to look at another as each section won’t last too long. It is a personal decision whether you spend each day revising a different subsection or cover smaller amounts of questions from various sub-questions during each revision period. Occasionally spending more time devoted to one subsection or question type is beneficial because you can familiarise yourself with the common pitfalls and develop a question type specific approach.
The UCAT website contains 4 different mock tests. The simulation feature of the UCAT resources means that you can simulate the testing environment when practising questions. Most students decide to save the official resources until they are further into their preparations.
It is important to remember that the UCAT is sat on a computer, so your preparation should use online resources right from the start. Initially when you are getting used to the question style you may not complete questions under timed conditions. After trialling a couple of questions of each question variety, start giving yourself time restrictions. Initially check each question straight after you have completed it because the technique you used is fresh in your memory and you are more likely to remember the errors you made. If you have identified that you have got a question wrong, try to get to the correct answer without using the provided explanation, re-engaging with the question rather than passively reading a solution. In time, build up to completing multiple questions in a row before checking answers.
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