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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Wow, you are being really helpful! Thank you again I will steer clear of Medify and check out Kaplan.
    You're welcome.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    You're welcome.
    TSR Won't let me rate you again so +1
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
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    How intensive would you say the maths is?
    I have the UKCAT book and it looked like basic stuff? Nothing past GCSE is it?
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    How intensive would you say the maths is?
    I have the UKCAT book and it looked like basic stuff? Nothing past GCSE is it?
    GCSE standard, but the question still makes it slightly harder.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    How intensive would you say the maths is?
    I have the UKCAT book and it looked like basic stuff? Nothing past GCSE is it?
    Technically nothing past GCSE. The real problem is the time pressure -- if I gave you enough time to do it, you could do 6547 x 8546 without a calculator and it wouldn't require anything beyond GCSE-level maths (although I should add that you won't have to do it in your head and could easily use the on-screen calculator if you wanted). But it's not so easy to do different calculations like that in the time pressure of the UKCAT. Throw in a bunch of irrelevant data in tables and graphs, and you'll see why it's difficult. :/

    With the UKCAT, the best thing you can do is practise and experiment with different strategies, which will need to take into account time pressure. There's one particular strategy that people know from A Levels that, in my experience, fails miserably in the UKCAT: flying through the section you're on skipping anything you can't do within a few seconds in the hope of coming back to it later. You won't have time to get back to it. If you intend to do this with any question at all, don't leave it blank. Take a (preferably educated) guess and then flag it for review and move on. There's no negative marking so at least, if it so happens that you run out of time before you've finished, you won't have left yourself with a zero percent chance of having got that question (and any others) right.

    So yeah, just practise and accept that you'll have to endure this monstrosity to get into medical school.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Technically nothing past GCSE. The real problem is the time pressure -- if I gave you enough time to do it, you could do 6547 x 8546 without a calculator and it wouldn't require anything beyond GCSE-level maths (although I should add that you won't have to do it in your head and could easily use the on-screen calculator if you wanted). But it's not so easy to do different calculations like that in the time pressure of the UKCAT. Throw in a bunch of irrelevant data in tables and graphs, and you'll see why it's difficult. :/

    With the UKCAT, the best thing you can do is practise and experiment with different strategies, which will need to take into account time pressure. There's one particular strategy that people know from A Levels that, in my experience, fails miserably in the UKCAT: flying through the section you're on skipping anything you can't do within a few seconds in the hope of coming back to it later. You won't have time to get back to it. If you intend to do this with any question at all, don't leave it blank. Take a (preferably educated) guess and then flag it for review and move on. There's no negative marking so at least, if it so happens that you run out of time before you've finished, you won't have left yourself with a zero percent chance of having got that question (and any others) right.

    So yeah, just practise and accept that you'll have to endure this monstrosity to get into medical school.
    I'm surprised I even passed GCSE maths so this should be a nice little challenge. Think I'll definitely have to go over this test a few hundred times before its sat. Does seem like an absolute monster of a test. But I'm guessing with development of strategies you can significantly improve your score (counting on this, at least, lol).
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    I'm surprised I even passed GCSE maths so this should be a nice little challenge. Think I'll definitely have to go over this test a few hundred times before its sat. Does seem like an absolute monster of a test. But I'm guessing with development of strategies you can significantly improve your score (counting on this, at least, lol).
    That's basically the mantra of how to improve one's UKCAT score. I like to think I'd do much better on it if I had to do it again, because I didn't really follow that advice this time around.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    I'm surprised I even passed GCSE maths so this should be a nice little challenge. Think I'll definitely have to go over this test a few hundred times before its sat. Does seem like an absolute monster of a test. But I'm guessing with development of strategies you can significantly improve your score (counting on this, at least, lol).
    I applied as a mature student and I managed 710 on the QR, far higher than I thought I'd get.

    A big part of it is knowing what will take time and knowing what won't take as much time, so you don't get bogged down. Each mark is worth the same, but there are some pretty easy questions throughout it, along with the hard ones. I didn't do any QR practice, just standard math questions here and there from GCSE topics.
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    (Original post by Rampage)
    I applied as a mature student and I managed 710 on the QR, far higher than I thought I'd get.

    A big part of it is knowing what will take time and knowing what won't take as much time, so you don't get bogged down. Each mark is worth the same, but there are some pretty easy questions throughout it, along with the hard ones. I didn't do any QR practice, just standard math questions here and there from GCSE topics.
    Did you get in? Probably will have done with a high ass score like that.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Did you get in? Probably will have done with a high ass score like that.
    I didn't apply to GEM as I didn't have a degree, was sharing my experience of QR but yes

    I got around 660 average, so my scores in the other sections were lower.

    QR can help out if you do well on it.
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    (Original post by Rampage)
    I didn't apply to GEM as I didn't have a degree, was sharing my experience of QR but yes

    I got around 660 average, so my scores in the other sections were lower.

    QR can help out if you do well on it.
    Oh, sweet

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Don't make that mistake for starters. :lol: It's an absolute ***** to prepare for because of the time constraints. There's a book that's a few years old by a company called ISC Medical which you can get on Amazon. Just search for '600 questions UKCAT book' and it should come up. It's highly recommended by a lot of people but it's probably a little out of date now and doesn't prepare you for the SJT section because that was added to the test quite recently.

    There are a number of companies that offer preparation, such as Medify and Kaplan. I can't speak for Kaplan but I used Medify and, personally, I found that a lot of the questions in its question bank are not representative of the real thing, and in a bad way too. What I mean is that a lot of the decision analysis and abstract reasoning questions that you get on Medify will be easier than the ones in the actual test. This is just my impression of it and there may well be people who benefitted from it but I certainly won't be using them again. To balance the tone of this review, I should mention that they gave me free explanations for sections 1 and 2 of the BMAT past papers from 2009 to 2013 so it wasn't a complete waste.

    I would say, based on my experience with both the BMAT and UKCAT, that the BMAT is the best to prepare for, provided you start early. It's a lot more logical and the only thing that ruins it is the time pressure, but it's actually possible to prepare for the BMAT, although section 1 problem solving questions are quite difficult to predict and complete in the time limit for some people such as myself.
    I agree with you. I spend weeks preparing for the UKCAT and come exam time, I was mentally and physically exhausted and only got 615.

    OP Kaplan and Medify are great but they don't really represent abstract reasoning. Kaplan's decision analysis is quite similar to that of the actual test. Always work on your weaknesses, don't overdo it and sit the test early.

    My strategy for 2017 entry is starting GAMSAT revision in January and sitting the UKCAT early. I'll start prep for that in May and I'll prep only for over two weeks. I hope this time round I will be less nervous and stressed out, because that's what caused me to guess the questions on a lot of the sections.

    The maths is really easy in QR.
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    (Original post by deathbeforeimmortality)
    I agree with you. I spend weeks preparing for the UKCAT and come exam time, I was mentally and physically exhausted and only got 615.

    OP Kaplan and Medify are great but they don't really represent abstract reasoning. Kaplan's decision analysis is quite similar to that of the actual test. Always work on your weaknesses, don't overdo it and sit the test early.

    My strategy for 2017 entry is starting GAMSAT revision in January and sitting the UKCAT early. I'll start prep for that in May and I'll prep only for over two weeks. I hope this time round I will be less nervous and stressed out, because that's what caused me to guess the questions on a lot of the sections.

    The maths is really easy in QR.
    Same. I stayed up the night before the test doing mocks (not realising that they'd actually take a picture at the test centre where my ghastly unshaven and unwashed face was probably attached to the score they send to my universities ) and came out with 577.5 and Band 2 in SJT. :/ Had to apply strategically after that but oh well.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Wow, you are being really helpful! Thank you again I will steer clear of Medify and check out Kaplan.
    Personally I used Medify and the Kaplan book and they both worked well for me. Yes, some of the Medify questions aren't representative of the real UKCAT, but it does prepare you for the computer format of the exam very well, and the clock (which times how quickly you respond) was useful!

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    OK so I'm going to disagree with some of these posts (I confess I did not read the second page).

    I sat all three entrance exams, for GEM it is ALL about the entrance exams. Only doing one limits you massively.

    Sit the GAMSAT in March (the Irish exam in London). This gives you your GAMSAT score in May. Do you UKCAT as soon as applications open in June. That way you already know both those scores well before the application deadline. If you score well and above the previous years cut offs for your top 4 unis, great. Stop there. If you ace GAMSAT and bomb the UKCAT (like me) maybe pick 3 GAMSAT unis and 1 BMAT and take the BMAT in Nov.
    If you just miss the GAMSAT in March, take it again in Sept! This is the bonus of sitting the March exam. You have your score before application and you can sit it again if you really want to go to a GAMSAT uni (one of my friends did this, she got 60 in March and so sat again to get that extra 1/2 points for Nottingham).

    PM me if you want to chat anytime about the hell of GEM application.

    Also FYI: Newcastle have released the application stats this year for their GEM... 43 applicants per place!
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    you can sit it again if you really want to
    You can sit the GAMSAT more than once per year?! Why can't we have that for the BMAT and UKCAT? :cry: :cry:
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    You can sit the GAMSAT more than once per year?! Why can't we have that for the BMAT and UKCAT? :cry: :cry:
    It's a loophole You are only meant to do it once, but it is perfectly allowed to sit the Irish (they apply in March so need to take it early) and the UK exam. And the scores are transferable to both sets of unis.
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    (Original post by deathbeforeimmortality)
    snip
    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    snip
    If you are looking to sit the GAMSAT, which I rate higher than UKCAT, start preparing now and sit GAMSAT Ireland which takes place in March. It can be sat in London for an extra fee, but crucially you will have your scores by the summer. You can then sit UKCAT and either apply to your strengths or sit the GAMSAT UK in Sept. Note, if you sit GAMSAT UK you will be applying through UCAS before you have your scores for GAMSAT UK.

    Graduate entry medicine is hard work, both getting on to and completing the course. By far and away the greatest reason I've seen people fall short of succeeding is ignorance or lack of preparation. There's a lot of information on this site, its wiki pages and a few other sites (just google). Do not be that girl at GAMSAT who only brings one pen or the guy that goes to SGUL's interview and not knowing who Jenner is.
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    If anyone is thinking of taking the UKCAT, I've one bit of advice:

    It's a test, not an exam, and needs practice, not study.

    By that, I mean that it tests technique, not knowledge. Take QR. If you enjoyed GCSE maths then the actual calculations in the UKCAT are quite straightforward. Most applicants could probably score 50-80% with absolutely zero previous study - if they sat it without any time restrictions. Try the first time under timed conditions, and you might get only 30% correct. It really is very disheartening.

    The good news is that once you get a technique that works for you, pretty much anyone can do quite well. In my mock tests, even up to a few days before my exam, I was only getting 500-600 on QR. It wasn't that I couldn't do the maths, but as soon as I hit a problem that I couldn't solve immediately I'd get out my pen and paper and start analysing the problem. Big mistake.

    On the day, instead of frantically flagging or getting bogged down, I gave each question 15 seconds, and if it wasn't coming then answered A, flagged, and moved on. This left me lots of time to go back and work out the hard maths. Managed 880 on QR in the real thing!

    Another thing I don't have much time
    for is people who say that the UKCAT is absolute rubbish and a waste of time (in terms of practical usefulness). I felt the same way - until my hospital placement. It turns out, being a doctor does involve scanning patients' notes for relevant key words without time to read the whole thing, doing sums quickly, looking for patterns in abstract visual information (what's that shadow on the CT?), and extricating yourself from tricky situations in the most diplomatic way possible (indeed med students sit an exam very similar to Situational Judgment which has 50% weighting for their choice of FY1 placement).

    Decision Analysis, now that *is* voodoo.
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    (Original post by prospectivemed56)
    Another thing I don't have much time for is people who say that the UKCAT is absolute rubbish and a waste of time (in terms of practical usefulness).
    I'm a 'thing?'

    In all seriousness though, there's little evidence to suggest that all those things you've said can't be done by doctors who haven't done the UKCAT, and that's what makes it rubbish, given that it's not exactly any easy test and is just unnecessary stress. Not to mention that, while there are time constraints as a doctor, they aren't quite as strict as in the UKCAT. If you don't get something in 15 seconds, in practice you can afford to take another 10 seconds instead of having the screen time out on you.

    Those skills can be developed over one's medical career instead of expecting school leavers to have them. There's really only one reason why they have the UKCAT -- to make the admissions tutors jobs easier. There's quite literally no other reason for it. If it instilled any skills without which you weren't fit to train as a doctor, all universities would have to require it in order to get GMC accreditation.
 
 
 
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