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Can you increase your UKCAT by 100 points?

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    Hi all,

    I am currently applying for medical school 2 rejections so far, and I think the rest will follow suit. I am on an Access to Medicine course so I am a mature student. UKCAT score was only 600, but I did apply to 3 universities that 'dont' take it into consideration in their initial screening. I also have an option with Kings for Biomedical sciences.I scored 53 for Leicester and they told me that I would have needed 54 to get on a reserve list, and since they score on the basis of your UKCAT i.e 2400, 24. 2500, 25. If I had a slightly higher UKCAT I would have probably got an interview..My question is, can you increase your UKCAT by 100 points in 6 months? I will find out about all my choices lets say March, and then I would only have this time until Sept to really go for it. I did do a lot of practice for it first time, but I dont think my techniques were very good. I think I just need to know whether its wise to bank all my hopes on getting a high UKCAT score second time round...I know that if I had a high ukcat score, I could have applied to cut off unis such as Newcastle or Manchester. My work experience side of things is covered..

    Anyone got any experience of increasing their UKCAT points significantly?
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    Mybe try a UKCAT course?? They are quite expensive but my friend did one and said it was an investment in her future. She went up by about 150 compared to last year. Good luck!! I'm a reapplicant btw and everything is better second time around becauseyou know more!! good luck
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    (Original post by Mon.MD)
    Hi all,

    I am currently applying for medical school 2 rejections so far, and I think the rest will follow suit. I am on an Access to Medicine course so I am a mature student. UKCAT score was only 600, but I did apply to 3 universities that 'dont' take it into consideration in their initial screening. I also have an option with Kings for Biomedical sciences.I scored 53 for Leicester and they told me that I would have needed 54 to get on a reserve list, and since they score on the basis of your UKCAT i.e 2400, 24. 2500, 25. If I had a slightly higher UKCAT I would have probably got an interview..My question is, can you increase your UKCAT by 100 points in 6 months? I will find out about all my choices lets say March, and then I would only have this time until Sept to really go for it. I did do a lot of practice for it first time, but I dont think my techniques were very good. I think I just need to know whether its wise to bank all my hopes on getting a high UKCAT score second time round...I know that if I had a high ukcat score, I could have applied to cut off unis such as Newcastle or Manchester. My work experience side of things is covered..

    Anyone got any experience of increasing their UKCAT points significantly?
    Of course it is possible, there's 3 main ways for you to do this:

    1.Go on a UKCAT course, they're expensive but most of the comments about them are positive.

    2.Think about where you are losing marks and try to make a set of "rules" for yourself in approaching each question. Do a lot of practice to use and develop your "rules"

    3.A mixture of the two.
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    Thank you both for your replies.

    The Kaplan course is the only one I know of, I was looking at it last year but thought I would have a go on my own since it was expensive. But will definitely go for the course if I decide to reapply now. I did 6 weeks of intense revision for the UKCAT and only got 600 so my technique was all wrong..
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    (Original post by Mon.MD)
    Thank you both for your replies.

    The Kaplan course is the only one I know of, I was looking at it last year but thought I would have a go on my own since it was expensive. But will definitely go for the course if I decide to reapply now. I did 6 weeks of intense revision for the UKCAT and only got 600 so my technique was all wrong..
    There's also the AceMedicine course along with a few others. I think for the price, the course isn't really worth it. A lot of what they say is basically common sense. The main reason people seem to recommend it is for the UKCAT practice questions.

    It's not really about how much revision you do but rather how you approach the revision. The way that I practiced is more to develop my techniques rather than to get the questions right. The first time I did the UKCAT I did a lot of revision, almost 2 months worth, mainly just doing questions to familiarise myself with them. The second time I did a lot less only a few weeks trying to develop my technique and saw a reasonably large improvement (for scores check sig).
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    I am a medicine reap, and got 642.5 the first time around, and 700 this time. I now have an offer. All I did differently was revise for longer and harder using a book and a website. I chose not to go on a course (many people encouraged me to) simply because I disagree with the idea of paying to get into medicine, and I felt that I would be gaining an advantage over people who may not be able to afford it.

    I understand that many people do go on courses, but the feedback they give is heavily biased because they paid for it. People want to feel they got value for money and so will distort their view of how much the course helped.

    But at the end of the day, if it helps you get in, you may think it is worth it!
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    Thank you everyone, how long did you spend preparing for it second time round?
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    I used onexamination.com to practise. It costs for a subscription but you can practise doing all the different types of questions timed so you can get used to the pace of it. When I first stayrted doing it I was getting scores of about 550-600 but by the time I sat my actual UKCAT i got 710. so I think it paid off
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    I did well in UKCAT (767.5) and have only sat it once so can only talk about how I approached it this year.

    As well as doing as many practice tests as possible I used the downloadable example tests on the UKCAT website to become completely comfortable using the keyboard shortcuts to answer, flag and go between questions as well as using the keyboard numpad for the calculator. I found this shaved off precious seconds that I was wasting compared to using a mouse.

    For sections like QR and AR I gave myself a few seconds to attempt a question. If I couldn't do it, I'd flag it and move on and come back to flagged questions after having gone through the whole section.

    VR I didn't do as well in, but this section there's not much you can do in terms of tactical approach other than practice reading quickly.

    DA, like VR, is more to do with practice.

    Other than that, go into the exam accepting that you won't be able to answer all questions with much forthought within the time given. That'll allow you to relax and not panic. Panicking will just fluster you and mean mistakes are made. Also trust your instincts - if you think an answer is correct don't procrastinate, just mark it and move on.
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    Yep, you definitely can. I improved mine significantly: 665 to 752.5. I did it basically by preparing this year, and last year I didn't.

    If you did a lot of prep before, it might be more difficult, but as you say - if your techniques for practising weren't very good, thats what you need to sort out. It is supposed to be an aptitude test, so while you can practise the questions, and get used to the style, you can't magically make yourself more observant for AR, or better at maths, or better at comprehension without a LOT of work. It depends what you feel let you down - are you just not that good at it? Or did you not know how to approach the questions? Were you reading too slowly for VR?

    It is definitely possible to improve your score, but it is a matter of working out what you can improve and acting on it.
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    Yes

    EDIT: You could even be badass and increase it by 110
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    Went from 2470 to 2710 with none of the preparation courses etc etc.
    Just got the book and studied for two weeks before the exam.
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    (Original post by Mon.MD)
    Hi all,

    I am currently applying for medical school 2 rejections so far, and I think the rest will follow suit. I am on an Access to Medicine course so I am a mature student. UKCAT score was only 600, but I did apply to 3 universities that 'dont' take it into consideration in their initial screening. I also have an option with Kings for Biomedical sciences.I scored 53 for Leicester and they told me that I would have needed 54 to get on a reserve list, and since they score on the basis of your UKCAT i.e 2400, 24. 2500, 25. If I had a slightly higher UKCAT I would have probably got an interview..My question is, can you increase your UKCAT by 100 points in 6 months? I will find out about all my choices lets say March, and then I would only have this time until Sept to really go for it. I did do a lot of practice for it first time, but I dont think my techniques were very good. I think I just need to know whether its wise to bank all my hopes on getting a high UKCAT score second time round...I know that if I had a high ukcat score, I could have applied to cut off unis such as Newcastle or Manchester. My work experience side of things is covered..

    Anyone got any experience of increasing their UKCAT points significantly?
    Kaplan really helped me get a high score but they are hell expensive. Any how one thing that boosts your score is remembering to skip anything too hard and make best guesses because every question is worth the same. Better to do every easy q and get the easy marks and flag the others.
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    I used the 600Q book and that was pretty much it. I'm not so sure about Ace Medicine, their interview course wasn't very helpful, but I guess the UKCAT course might be different.

    There is an element of practice, you should now what the test's like firsthand, rather than guessing from practice questions.
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    (Original post by Doctor-to-be)
    Mybe try a UKCAT course?? They are quite expensive but my friend did one and said it was an investment in her future. She went up by about 150 compared to last year. Good luck!! I'm a reapplicant btw and everything is better second time around becauseyou know more!! good luck
    hello which one did she try and what was her old ukcat score and what is her new one and did she get in2 med school ?? lol sorry 4 bombarding u with questions
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    (Original post by groovyangel2008)
    Hey I went on the UKCAT course as I didnt receive any offers last year- my ukcat was 595 and this year it was 757.5 after attending the Kaplan course and I now have an offer for med school so I found it a really good investment.
    I am selling the Kaplan coursebook if anyone is interesting as I am having a clearout since I now have an offer!
    Goodluck!
    hello wich sections did u struggle with? I struggled with QR and VR can those be improved significanly if i attend kaplan course ? what else did u do to help u and where did u get your offer from n btw congrats !
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    The difficulty here is that people only sit the actual UKCAT exam once a year. Which means the nerves, pressure and time constraints are only faced once a year. Practice tests from a book just aren't the same.

    My point is that a different score is expected due to the nature of the test. If you sat the UKCAT three times in a day (assuming you had different questions of course :rolleyes:) then you could get three wildly differing scores, so these increases may not be down to preparation...simply roll of the dice. You do hear of some people getting lower scores the second year they apply.

    Unfortunately there is no way to prove this either way. I was just thinking aloud
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    (Original post by TooSexyForMyStethoscope)
    The difficulty here is that people only sit the actual UKCAT exam once a year. Which means the nerves, pressure and time constraints are only faced once a year. Practice tests from a book just aren't the same.

    My point is that a different score is expected due to the nature of the test. If you sat the UKCAT three times in a day (assuming you had different questions of course :rolleyes:) then you could get three wildly differing scores, so these increases may not be down to preparation...simply roll of the dice. You do hear of some people getting lower scores the second year they apply.

    Unfortunately there is no way to prove this either way. I was just thinking aloud
    what was your score when you took it?
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    (Original post by QofQuimica)
    Anyone got any experience of increasing their UKCAT points significantly?
    I increased mine by 95. (From 570 in 2008, to 665 in for this cycle).

    (Although, to be honest, when I did it for the first time in 2008, I was a complete idiot and didn't even bother to find out what was in the exam or even know that you *could* "practice" for it.)

    When I did it this year, I used the really popular practice book (forgot the name of it now) and did the practice ones from the UKCAT website. They were both great. I did them both casually over the course of about a month. Give yourself time to do the book properly - it's great for spotting the common trends/questions and you'll begin to find your own personal way of doing things. The practice ones from the UKCAT website are significantly harder to do than the real thing, but it's still good practice. It also trains you to be comfortable to guess/move on to the next question within about 10 seconds. Good luck for it
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    Work on timing yourself, and buy the 600 question UKCAT book, its good practice and gives you an idea of how to work through the questions fast.
    It comes down to nerves as well, on tests and interviews, I usually just have the ability to remain calm which is important!

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