What is it?
The UKCAT is a computer-based aptitude test required by universities in the UK for admission into medical school. It consists of five sections – Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making, and Situational Judgment – and each section assesses in the candidate the level of problem solving skills required of a medical professional. The test is almost 2 hours long and very time-intensive.
How is it scored?
Students will receive a scaled score from 300 to 900 in the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, and Decision Making sections, resulting in a combined score from 1200 to 3600. For the Situational Judgment section, the candidate will be placed in one of four bands, with candidates in Band 1 demonstrating an excellent understanding of the workplace behaviour and ethical conduct expected of a medical professional.
What is considered a good score?
The mean average score for the 2016 cohort of test-takers was 1893, which averages out to 631 points per section (excluding the Decision Making, which was not scored last year). Students who score above the average tend to stand a good chance of being considered for an interview.
How can I prepare for UKCAT test?
1. Purchase UKCAT Practice Questions book.
The 600 UKCAT Practice Questions book will only last you so long, so make the effort to go out and get some more practice questions.
2. Take your exam before school starts.
It’s important to figure out when in the year you’ll have time to prepare for the test. It is advisable to take the UKCAT test in the Summer Holidays. This way, you can still enjoy your summer, as well as stopping your preparation from clashing with your schoolwork.
3. Allocate time to study.
Spend a consistent amount of time every week studying until you take the test. By setting consistent, scheduled times, it will help make studying into a habit. Your ability to apply the skills you’ve learned will be greatly improved on the day if you practice in short focused bursts.
4. Stick to your study routine.
With regular practice, your skills will improve. Keep a daily log of your weaknesses and prioritize the questions you find hard during your practice.
5. Learn to manage your time.
You have to answer more than a question a minute in three of the four sections, so when you practice, keep an alarm at the ready to stop you running over. If you can’t do a question, move onto the next. You can return to them after finishing the rest.
6. Speed up your mental maths.
You can do this by looking over GCSE material. Look in particular at fractions, percentages and conversion calculations. These are the most important kinds of data that you’ll be dealing with.
7. Do as many questions as you can.
Make the effort to go out and get some more practice questions book.
8. Don’t stress out!
Make sure to get to bed early the night before so you aren’t tired out by the time you reach the test center. A hearty breakfast and lots of water should keep your brain energized. Go in there with your head held high.