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 Kristie (@gunabadr on Instagram), she offers amazing advice and insight into how she prepared for the exam to achieve an overall score of 3010.
Kristie is a Biomedical graduate with experience as a clinical scientist, she is starting post-graduate medicine at King’s College London for 2019 intake.
What year did you take the UCAT?
What was your overall UCAT score?
Overall Score – 3010 (Average 752)
Verbal Reasoning – 750
Decision Making – 760
Quantitative Reasoning – 700
Abstract Reasoning -800
Situational Judgement – Band 2
What was your strongest subtest and what advice would you give to prepare?
The Abstract Reasoning: Using an acronym to run through different types of patterns, for example:
C olour (if you see grey, think ‘colour’)
A rrangment (if you see arrows, think ‘direction’)
N umber (try to leave counting as your last resort as its time consuming and often a distractor)
This helped me approach these questions systematically.
What was your weakest subtest and what advice would you give to prepare?
Both QR and VR were really difficult for me. I used a speed reading app called spreeder to increase my reading speed for VR which really helped with scanning the text. For QR practice using an on-screen calculator and the number pad as much as possible instead of clicking as this uses up precious time. Also, identifying questions which will use up too much time and guessing and moving on saves a lot of time.
What resources did you use to prepare for the test?
Medify online practice questions, Kaplan 2 day course, UCAT official practice questions and mock tests
How did you go about preparing for the UCAT?
Using medify to practice different subsections for a 30mins to an hour every day- focusing on my weaker subtests more often. I also performed a weekly mock test and reviewed and reflected on my performance after.
How long did you prepare for the test?
I started prepping 10 weeks before my test, increasing the number of mock tests and time I spent practising as time went on.
From a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being ‘really easy’ and 10 being ‘very hard’ How did you find the UCAT?
I’d say a 7, as I found practising and revising quite enjoyable, as I enjoy problem-solving. However, the stress of being able to perform well on the day made in considerably more difficult as such a lot of my application rested on my UCAT score.
In hindsight, anything you wish you had done differently during Revision?
I feel quite happy with how my revision went, however maybe I would have given myself more time so I didn’t have to feel under so much pressure in the last few weeks.
What key advice would you give future candidates taking the exam?
Do as many mock tests as you possibly can, 1 a week worked really well for me. Review and reflect on each one. Get into a routine before taking a mock and do the same each time so you can replicate this on test day to help calm your nerves and feel prepared.
Did you enrol on any UCAT course or tuition?
Kaplan 2 day course and Medify online course
How many interviews did you get for Medicine?
3 interviews – King’s College London, Warwick and Queen Mary’s all for post-grad medicine
For more specific advice where can readers reach you?
Instagram @gunabadr feel free to direct message me on Instagram