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How do I get better at the UKCAT?

First of all, practice. Secondly, practice. Third... guess what? Practice.

It really is that simple. HOWEVER, there are tricks to use to make that practice more valuable. I did the UKCAT for the first time in 2010, and achieved a score of 665. At this point, I didn't fully believe that you could 'revise' for the UKCAT, and so I geniunely thought that was the best I could do. In 2011, I did a fair amount of work (not a lot, mind you) and improved my score up to 752 average. 

So let's just go over what I did differently, and hopefully that will give you some idea of how to do your UKCAT right the first time around.

      1. Do lots of practice questions - I had a book with 500 of them in, and it was invaluable. 

      2. When marking your practice questions, consider where you went wrong. Did you make a typo in the calculator? Did you misread the text? Have you completely forgotten the difference between mean, median and mode? The different types of questions in the test are what make it complex to revise - so consider where your own strengths and weaknesses are to know where you need to improve. 

     3. This one is specifically for abstract reasoning, as that was my weakest area: Have a system. Have an order that YOU do things, every time. This is where I can finally see the relevance to clinical practice.

For example, when interpreting ABG (arterial blood gas) results, I start by looking at the patient details and any relevant clinical details (aka, why was it done?). Next, I'll look at the pH, then I'll consider what the acid-base disorder is by looking at the CO2 and HCO3-, then check for any compensation. I'll then look at the O2 level, and finally finish off by looking around for any other abnormalities and seeing why this might be relevant. 

My point is that I will ALWAYS do the same thing. No matter what. I'm not going to miss anything by doing it that way. So count the number of shapes, check the colours, count the sides, count the angles, check the positions... whatever works best for you. The only way to make sure you won't forget something is to have your own system, and stick to it. 

Finally, if it doesn't go to plan, never mind. Your UKCAT is only part of your application, and you can easily minimise the impact of a bad score (as well as maximising the impact of a fantastic score) 

Rebecca D. A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Chemist...

9 months ago

Answered by Rebecca, an Uni Admissions Test .UKCAT. tutor with MyTutor


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Francesco G.

Degree: BSc Biomedical Science (Bachelors) - Kings, London University

Subjects offered: .UKCAT., Science+ 9 more

.UKCAT.
Science
Philosophy and Ethics
Italian
Human Biology
Chemistry
.BMAT (BioMedical Admissions)
-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“Hello! My name is Francesco Grillo, I am a first-year Biomedical Science student in London, at King's College London. I am passionate about science, philosophy and languages.I was born in Rome (Italy). My first experience abroad was ...”

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Ellen C.

Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - Cardiff University

Subjects offered: .UKCAT., Maths+ 5 more

.UKCAT.
Maths
Extended Project Qualification
Chemistry
Biology
-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“I am passionate about getting to know students to maximise their full potential. I like to take the time to really get to know each student to understand how they work best, revision techniques that suit them and ways in which I can s...”

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Elizabeth A.

Degree: medicine (Bachelors) - Kings, London University

Subjects offered: .UKCAT., Psychology+ 4 more

.UKCAT.
Psychology
Human Biology
-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“Hey there, I'm Lizzy, a 1st year medical student at Kings College London. I've always loved the sciences and hopefully I can prove to you how enjoyable they are.Exams are dreadful but learning can be fun. By the end of our tutorials I ...”

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Rebecca D.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Medicine (MBChB) (Other) - Sheffield University

Subjects offered: .UKCAT., Maths+ 4 more

.UKCAT.
Maths
Chemistry
Biology
-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“As a fourth year medical student at the University of Sheffield, I have a thorough grounding in basic sciences and I consider myself alogical and thorough learner (and teacher!). It also took me two UCAS application cycles to get into...”

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