Study with me! My UCAT preparation journey

August 12, 2019 - Aarya Deshpande

With 30 days to go until my UCAT exam, I am studying for about 2 hours every day. Read on to find out how I have been preparing for the exam.

My Kaplan UCAT course experience

I attended the Kaplan UCAT course, on the 27th and 28th of July, and I found that the course was extremely useful and the tutor explained how to tackle each section within the exam. We learned about techniques plus tips and tricks to improve our score and improve efficiency when answering questions.

Each section was introduced on the first day, followed by Advanced lessons on the following day. The difficulty ratings increased on the second day, I found this to be helpful as my confidence was boosted by the second day.

Kaplan tutor support

The tutor was a senior medical student, who was very kind and patient and also encouraged us to work harder. The tutor also gave us guidance and talked through the question if we were confused or if we answered the question incorrectly. I met new people of the same interests whom I felt were dedicated individuals. Overall I had a good yet intense time while learning along the way. In addition I found that Kaplan’s Strategy Books very useful.

I have also purchased another UCAT book in addition to the book that comes with the course. I am working through the books, trying to improve my techniques, and I’m utilising the online Kaplan study plan to guide my learning.

Independent prep

I plan to do a number of complete and fully timed practice tests which would help me to get a realistic feel for the real exam. This will also help me to reflect, recognise and analyse my strengths and weaknesses so my time is allocated appropriately. I personally find the Quantitative Reasoning section to be the hardest, so I am trying to focus more of my time on that section. I’ve also used YouTube videos to support my prep.

How I’ve overcome prep challenges

Like many candidates, I have found the time constraints within the test very challenging, but applying techniques to cope with these constraints was essential. For instance, I guess the answer to particularly challenging and time consuming questions, whilst flagging them so I can revisit the question if I have time in the end. It can be very easy to get stuck on a particular question, when in the moment, I am determined to solve it, but such questions are placed in the test to catch candidates out. As medical and dental students are determined and dedicated people who strive for solutions, it’s very easy to get caught out with these types of questions.

I think that one of the most important things to do whilst studying, is to identify the sections you find easiest and those that you find the hardest, then try and improve your hardest points. After I did this I started to really focus and target my preparation in the right ways.

Overall, I think the best thing is to practice with the tests in timed conditions, to accurately mimic the conditions of the test. I’m also planning to do the official UCAT questions to give me a taste of the real thing.

My score so far

With all the practice I have been taking so far my average score is 690 per section, and I’m trying all Kapalan mocks to improve my score.

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