We reached out to past candidates that took the UCAT to get their thoughts on the test and give their insight into how to prepare for the exam. Today’s Q&A session is with Teddy (@teddybearmedic on Instagram), she offers advice and insight into how she prepared for the exam to achieve an overall score of 2508 with only 2 weeks of study!
Teddy is a 3rd-year medical student at the University of Nottingham. She took the exam back in 2015.
What year did you take the UCAT?
What was your overall UCAT score?
2508… not the best. I don’t remember all the details all that well, but I do remember doing surprisingly well in decision analysis (700), and quite bad in verbal reasoning.
What was your strongest subtest and what advice would you give to prepare?
The old decision analysis section is wildly different from the new decision-making section. However, I remember that when I practised them, I found them really fun, so I did them quite often. Doing them often made me a lot faster at deciphering the codes given.
What was your weakest subtest and what advice would you give to prepare?
My weakest subset was verbal reasoning. I think my main tip for this section is don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. I thought I was doing ok in this section, so I didn’t do it much, and it definitely showed on the day.
What resources did you use to prepare for the test?
I just used the internet for it to be honest. The questions I did were all from the official UKCAT practice tests.
How did you go about preparing for the UCAT?
I basically just did questions every day. I would focus on one section each day, do questions and then go over answers to try and decipher where I went wrong. Repeated this process every day for 2 weeks. The last 3/4days I did one whole UCAT test each day and go through it.
How long did you prepare for the test?
2 weeks… Don’t be me.
From a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being ‘really easy’ and 10 being ‘very hard’ How did you find the UCAT?
Solid 9/10. Harder than my A levels to be honest.
In hindsight, anything you wish you had done differently during Revision:
Definitely should’ve given myself more time to really get confident in the test. I went on a Cadet Camp for the first two weeks of August, and my test was booked for the end of August. Two weeks just isn’t enough time.
What key advice would you give future candidates taking the exam:
Give yourself enough time to practice! I’d say at least 4 weeks, but ideally, 6-8 weeks of regular practice should be enough!
Did you enrol on any UCAT course or tuition?
Nope. I wasn’t really aware they existed, but even if I did, I couldn’t afford it anyway.
How many interviews did you get for Medicine?
One – which is all you need at the end of the day!
For more specific advice where can readers reach you?
I have an Instagram account @teddybearmedic where I do lots of posts all about medicine and studying in general. I also always have an open DM for questions/post requests