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May 28, 2020, 09:50:45 pm

Author Topic: Any Tips?  (Read 791 times)

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bees08

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Any Tips?
« on: July 12, 2019, 08:06:38 pm »
+1
Hey guys,
my UCAT is in under 10 days  :( and my scores have not been looking good for VR and AR. Please provide some tips for these two sections and chuck in some for DM as well as I am doing pretty average in that. The only thing I am doing well is SJT where I only lose about 3-6 marks and QR :( Please help I don't want to do terribly!
Thanks,
Bees08

r1ckworthy

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Re: Any Tips?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 10:07:19 pm »
+5
Hey guys,
my UCAT is in under 10 days  :( and my scores have not been looking good for VR and AR. Please provide some tips for these two sections and chuck in some for DM as well as I am doing pretty average in that. The only thing I am doing well is SJT where I only lose about 3-6 marks and QR :( Please help I don't want to do terribly!
Thanks,
Bees08

Hey!
I hope to write an article soon on this, as I have done the UCAT with an average score (definitely will repeat again) and have learn't so much from the experience. My number one tip that applies to each section would be to do timed practice. I really wish I used more timed practice, as this was definitely a shock factor. Another thing is that when getting a question wrong, attempt the question again without jumping to the answer. I found this to be really helpful as well because now I actually understand the question way more than if I read it, and that it would stick in my head longer. Seriously, the key with UCAT is correct preparation. Some people say do no practice, others say do a ton of practice, but in my opinion, the UCAT is all about applying the correct technique in order to reach the answer the fastest

Now that being said, I define technique by how you are approaching each section. By this stage, I highly advise you to begin mock exams if you are not already doing it. You need to have a key technique/ strategy that you will employ for each section. I only realised this a day before my actual exam, and by God did I wish I know it before. Below are some tips for techniques that could potentially be useful:

Verbal Reasoning

Here is my approach for verbal reasoning (before I changed it, which I shouldn't have):
1. Read the passage, but while I do so, I am continually categorising each paragraph. For example, say I am reading a passage about the movie Aladdin. While reading it, I will say in my mind after reading each paragraph," Right, so the first paragraph is historical context, "the second paragraph is talking about how they actually made the movie" and "the last paragraph is talking about the reception of the movie". This was really effective for me as I knew which place to look once seeing the question. However, it might not work for you and that is completely fine! Test it out and see how it goes.
2. Target the keyword in the question. Pretty self- explanatory, but I just locate the main idea with the question/ statement.
3. Locate the keyword in the text and match both question and the text.
4. Read the sentence before and after the sentence containing the key word in the passage. This is key, as you could miss on extra information that was key to answering the question.

Also, you should skip sets if you feel they will take a huge amount of time. Get all the easy marks first, and then retrieve all the hard marks.

Decision Making

I think practice is really key in this section. I can't comment too much because I suck at decision making, but my tip would be for yes/ no statements that you match up each statement with the passage provided, and then really think about it. The key is just practice.

Quantitative Reasoning

The key in QR is practice, but also actually doing the question (when getting it wrong) before jumping straight to the answer. A few hours before my test, I was panicking so much, since I couldn't answer the question within the time constraint. I practiced for two hours straight on QR, and got a reasonable score (710). I think the key is if you have no idea on how to do the question, even after getting it wrong, look at the explanation once and try and do it by yourself without any aid again. I applied this strategy and managed to save my score, even if it is not too great.
In this section, it is essential that you skip questions that you know will take a huge amount of time. If it is easy (EG. adding up values to find an average), do it as quick as you can. But if it is a problem requiring multiple steps, just skip it. QR is a section where you have no actual time to waste. Get all the easy marks first and then retrieve all the harder ones.

Abstract Reasoning
Remember the following mnemonic:

Shapes
Colour
Arrangement
Number
Symmetry

This mnemonic will help you so much. Use this as a kind of checklist when scanning for the pattern. First, you should start with the simplest box in each set, and then identify characteristics according to the SCANS mnemonic. Then move to the other boxes and notice any similarities/ patterns. The key here is to find a rule for each set and then apply it to what the question gives you. You just need to do a shit tonne of practice applying this and moving forward. Again, this section is very intense because of the time, so skip questions in which you cannot recognise the pattern for more than 10-15 seconds. You cannot afford to waste time thinking about one particular pattern/ question when there are tons ahead of you. Again, gain all the easy marks first and then get those harder one.

Situational Judgement
You seem to be doing well here ;D, I don't think I need to fully give you advice on this. A suggestion I would give is to give this document a read, as the UCAT consortium (the offical body that makes the test) actually recommends candidates to give this a read. Maybe it might boost your mark up by a bit!

Hopefully you have found that quite useful! The key right now, with only 10 or less days to go, is to keep doing mocks. The day before my UCAT exam, I did a mock (in which I got a tonne of questions wrong) and I sat through and analysed each one ie. I wrote an explanation on why I got it wrong. I had a five page document, which was insane, but I believe it was instrumental in getting me a decent mark. The thing that went wrong with me was incorrect preparation. Like, I dedicated some time to this but I just simply didn't digest the fact that I needed a proper technique/ approach/ procedure for each section ie. one that worked best for me. I only realised the tips I just gave you above the day or a few hours before the exam. Again, try them out and see if it works for you. If not, don't fret, just cook up a technique/ approach that suits you best and gets you the marks. Below are a few videos I found useful:
This dude is amazing, please check out his playlist where he goes through specific questions, it really helped me out!

Again, hope you found this useful! I am going to write an article soon that extrapolates on these tips but yeah. Just remember that the sun will still rise the next day regardless of your UCAT score. If you get a terrible score, don't fret because you will just simply improve from here. Also, I ended up getting way higher on most of sections than my mocks, so keep that in mind as well. Do your best, take a chill pill (figuratively!) and you will do great!


« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 10:09:00 pm by r1ckworthy »
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bees08

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Re: Any Tips?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 10:47:13 am »
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r1ckworthy thank you so much! this so helpful and I am feeling so much better about it! I think I need to analyse my mistakes a bit more and I still have some time to improve my scores! Thanks heaps!