(Original post by CraigKirk)
It looks as though the UKCAT website has been largely improved, giving you lots more information about it than it did before. Make sure to look through the tips provided there, and be sure to enter the test well-researched/familiarised. This new situational judgement part of the test needn't be prepared for, since that score won't be communicated to your medical schools. This will do to start you off.
Now, basically find as many paper/book/online/software practice tests that you can and do them in the timed conditions, having looked into details as to how to best approach each of the tests. This information can usually be found in books such as the 600 UKCAT Questions
book and the Succeeding in the UKCAT
book. The first of these books is the most popular one among medical applicants, whilst I think that the second one is largely worth your time, perhaps more so than the 600 UKCAT Qs book.
Basically, you just need to hammer mock tests like crazy so that you understand the kind of mentality you need to have for the test. This mentality needs to be there so that the stressful time limits don't crush you. Section by section,
I believe that it's best to read your questions first, and then skim read the article looking for key words from the questions, thus finding the relevant information more quickly and not wasting precious time on reading.
Here, some of the questions are much, much harder than others. Sometimes, you'll be presented with ridiculous amounts of information and you have something like 30 seconds (not sure exactly how long, it's been a while) to answer each question. It's best here to flag and guess the ones which will waste your time, proceeding to answer those which will be easier. Once you reach the end of that section, you can go back to those questions that you flagged for a more concentrated attempt. EDIT: Oh, make sure that when you do the test, you practise using that crap on-screen calculator so that it doesn't majorly slow you down on the day. You can use the number pad and '+, -, / and *' for your four primary mathematical functions, which will speed things up.
A nightmare - at first. This section of the test seems ridiculous because initially it seems impossible to make the connections between the shapes in the sets. However, with lots and lots of practice, you'll eventually have learned about every kind of 'trend', 'pattern' or whatever else you want to call their common feature. Then, during the actual test, it will be considerably easier to simply pick up on the patterns and easily answer the five questions for that item. However, time will still be presses at 65Qs in 15 minutes, so get a move on!
This was easily my favourite part of the test. For this, try to quickly write down the words of the codes in English on paper (or your laminated sheet on test day). Then look at the possible answers and try to figure out which seems the most appropriate and true to the random assortment of key words you've written down. When you come across phrases like 'Opposite(Down Earth) Divine Man' after decoding, there may options like 'The mermaid lives upstream' or 'In heaven live angels'. Clearly, the 'Divine Man' part of the translated code matches closely to 'angels', but not 'mermaid', so go for the second option. As long as you've practised, don't panic or become too laid back, time isn't too much of an issue here.
Obviously, I've given my
opinion on the sections and how to tackle them. Make sure to purchase one or both of those (or other) books for more researched (and probably more helpful) opinions. It will certainly be worth it (although I don't think Kaplan courses and similar are).