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jams187
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Hi there,

I was wondering if those of you who have sat your UKCAT test previously would be kind enough to briefly summarise how you prepared for it.

1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
5) General advice- what to do on day?

I understand a lot of you who have already done the UKCAT will be busy enough preparing for med school etc and that I am asking for quite a lot of info, however it would be of great help to me and I hope others too to see how different techniques work

Thanks in advance
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LexxieK
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I don't know if this will help but I have just been accepted to medical school so thankfully don't need to go through the UKCAT again. However, over the last two years I have attended two Kaplan UKCAT 2-day courses (£299 each time) and am selling all the preparation material from the course, test papers, plus all my text books. I estimate it at being worh around £700 worth. I don't expect this though, especially as the material has my notes on. Willing to accept sensible offers.

What I can say is the Kaplan material is outstanding and incredibly useful.

Please contact me if anyone wants this.
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Dr.Acula
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1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
I started preparing about a month before the test. For the first two weeks I did about an hour a day and the last two weeks I did about 2 hours a day.

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
I highly recommend the ISC Medical 600Q book (this), online UKCAT practice tests (here) and the free Kaplan material.

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
I didn't attend any courses.

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
Average of 705, I don't remember the exact breakdown.

5) General advice- what to do on day?

I booked the test for the afternoon (I'm not really a morning person). I didn't do any prep on the day as I thought it'd be fairly pointless. I'd advise you not to stress too much on the day (which can be difficult, I know). Read through everything calmly during the test. If you don't understand something, flag it and move on. You can come back to it later. All the questions are worth the same points/marks so aim to answer as many as you can. When you have around 15 or so seconds left just guess any remaining questions. Also, try and get used to using an on-screen calculator as I lost a bit of time with that.

Best of luck.
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*Funny*Bunny*
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1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!

I read through the preliminary information in the 600Q book, explaining why each section was in the test and roughly what each section was about about 4-5 weeks before I sat the test, from this I decided that what will improve my chances of a good score is just familiarisation with the test style and practice practice practice of the questions! Two weeks before my test I started revision, I had no uni and no job (summer hols), but only practiced about 4 hours a day (separate 1-2 hour sessions) in the week leading up to the test I did 5-6 hours a day.

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?

600Question book is really good, maths and abstract I found harder than the real thing, but that is perfect for practice anyway.

Lots of google searches to find and practice psychometric tests and advice

Practice papers are available on the UKCAT website

PRACTICE using the online/pc calculator!!! It is dodgy and you have to be patient with it and make sure you don't press things twice, miss-press, this patience is difficult in timed conditions so PRACTICE with it!

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc

None

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)

745 (VR - 680, AR - 880, QR - 720, DA - 700)

5) General advice- what to do on day?

Take a deep breath before you go in and try to remain calm (I didn't, and I was shaking the whole thing which made it even more nerve-racking)

Keep an eye on the time, but don't waste time checking every other second (maybe check every few qus) that way if you are running out you don't waste time on one you'll never get the answer to and can move on to the next which may be simple.

Never leave a qus blank, guess if you don't know as you have a 1 in 4 chance of getting it right.

Also take it early so if you get worse than expected, or really really high you can adjust your medical school choices accordingly and have plenty of time to do research regarding them.
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racheatworld
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1) Overall preparation time - 3 weeks or so. For the first 2 weeks I did an hour a day, last week I did 2-3 hours a day.

2) Revision techniques - I used the 600 Q book first and read through that fully in around a week, I did every question and marked myself as I went along. For the second week I used a lot of free online resources, which can be found in a big thread on the Medicine forum entitled something along the lines of UKCAT Preparation resources. For the last week I re-did the 600Q book and did all of the Practice Tets on the official UKCAT website, to get my head around the format of the test, the timings and how to use the on-screen calculator.

3) External courses attended - None. Waste of money in my opinion.

4) Average UKCAT Score - 730 average. (VR - 670, DA - 620, QR - 800, AR - 630)

5) General advice- what to do on day? Make sure you have everything ready the night before - your timings, any last-minute practice tips you want to take with you. Set off with plenty of time to spare, there is nothing like a last-minute traffic jam to make you nervous! When doing the test, answer as many correctly as fast as you can, if you don't know how to answer them within 20 seconds, flag the question and move on. BE STRICT WITH THIS! Then you end up with time at the end to go back to flagged questions. If you are running out of time on the questions that you've flagged, or you still can't get them with another 15 seconds, guess and move on!
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twelve
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#6
(Original post by jams187)
Hi there,

I was wondering if those of you who have sat your UKCAT test previously would be kind enough to briefly summarise how you prepared for it.

1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
First time, about a week before, and did a couple of hours in total - literally only the practise exams. Second time round, probably averaged about 10 minutes a day for a couple of weeks. Some days I would do none, other days, I did an hour or two. The day before I did more like 3 hours.
2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
Just the 600Q book and the official oractise exams.
3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc Waste of money, didn't do them.
4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
First time, 665 average-best was about 750, worst was 480 (stupid AR!). Second time 752.5 average, best was about 860(DA I think), worst was something like 650 (again, of course, AR)
5) General advice- what to do on day?
Just relax. It isn't an exam you can revise for, you can only prepare in advance, so on the day just chill, get there early and plan when you're going to drink so you don't need to pee in the middle of the exam!

I understand a lot of you who have already done the UKCAT will be busy enough preparing for med school etc and that I am asking for quite a lot of info, however it would be of great help to me and I hope others too to see how different techniques work

Thanks in advance

(Original post by LexxieK)
I don't know if this will help but I have just been accepted to medical school so thankfully don't need to go through the UKCAT again. However, over the last two years I have attended two Kaplan UKCAT 2-day courses (£299 each time) and am selling all the preparation material from the course, test papers, plus all my text books. I estimate it at being worh around £700 worth. I don't expect this though, especially as the material has my notes on. Willing to accept sensible offers.

What I can say is the Kaplan material is outstanding and incredibly useful.

Please contact me if anyone wants this.
What was your score?
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LexxieK
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(Original post by twelve)
What was your score?
Off the top of my head 760 QR 690 VR 720 AR and 740 DA
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HeavyTeddy
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#8
(Original post by LexxieK)
Off the top of my head 760 QR 690 VR 720 AR and 740 DA
727.5 average, I think.
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LexxieK
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(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
727.5 average, I think.
Wouldn't have been able to do it without Kaplan. Those courses were a god send, would recommend to anyone!
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HeavyTeddy
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#10
(Original post by LexxieK)
Wouldn't have been able to do it without Kaplan. Those courses were a god send, would recommend to anyone!
Should I let my College know about it? And when should I let them know about it?
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LexxieK
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#11
(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
Should I let my College know about it? And when should I let them know about it?
This is a private course with a company called Kaplan. Google 'Kaplan UKCAT' and you'll find all the information. They hold two day courses throughout the UK. They are £299 per person.
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cz100
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(Original post by jams187)
x
1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
I had started looking at questions around about this time last year, but started real preparation when the summer holidays started. I took my test very late in August so that makes about 2 months prep time.

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
The 600Q book was very good, and there are also official practise tests online which I left towards the end to try in proper test conditions. There was also a UKCAT discussion thread here on TSR which was helpful, people posted questions they didn't understand and helped each other.

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
I didn't attend any external courses.

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
VR-630 QR-820 AR-860 DA-740 Average 762.5

5) General advice- what to do on day?
Don't panic, it goes really quick once you're in the exam. Don't leave anything blank, and don't get caught up on tricky questions you don't get straightaway, it's not in any order of difficulty and you don't want to leave yourself short of time as you approach the end of a section.
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zuzu096
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#13
(Original post by LexxieK)
I don't know if this will help but I have just been accepted to medical school so thankfully don't need to go through the UKCAT again. However, over the last two years I have attended two Kaplan UKCAT 2-day courses (£299 each time) and am selling all the preparation material from the course, test papers, plus all my text books. I estimate it at being worh around £700 worth. I don't expect this though, especially as the material has my notes on. Willing to accept sensible offers.

What I can say is the Kaplan material is outstanding and incredibly useful.

Please contact me if anyone wants this.
Hi wondering if you had any kaplan ukcat material?
thanks in advance
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drdrd
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#14
1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!

A few hours per evening for two to three weeks before the test.

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?

The most useful thing I did was try the official UKCAT timed test. I did this a couple of days before the test, and it scared me into taking things more seriously, particularly the QR and AR. The timing is the killer for this and knowing when to skip questions is essential. Also, the practice tests are also the only reliable source of the new types of questions.

To practice I used the 600Q book, and medify. Of these the 600Q was most useful because it provides lots of AR examples, and the QR questions are rock-hard, so they really do overprepare you for the real thing. Medify had lots of AR questions, and with these, the trick really is to practice practice practice until you've seen almost every possible type of pattern! They are the only source of SJT practice I could find as well.

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc

None

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)

800/900/800/900/Band 2; Avg 850

For context, I'm applying for grad courses, my background is physics/engineering.

5) General advice- what to do on day?

Aim to arrive early. Have a drink and use the loo before you start. Try to get a good desk by asking nicely - I managed to get a slightly wider one with more space to sprawl the keyboard, mouse and whiteboard out.

Also, for QR I used the keyboard to speed things up. Alt-N for next, Alt-F for flag, or something like that. I used the keyboard numberpad to enter numbers into the calculator rather than clicking, this is faster but practice using it on the ukcat practice tests first! If it's not working try the numlock key.

Keep an eye on the clock, and if you get stuck on a question, make a guess, flag it and move on. Make sure you put an answer for everything, even if it's a guess!
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lingorawww
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#15
for all the people who have already done the ukcat, for the quantitative reasoning section can we type in the numbers in the calculator or do we have to click the numbers on the screen, and how similar is it to the normal calculator found in any laptop or pc ??!
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Bham_Studentessa
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#16
(Original post by jams187)
Hi there,

I was wondering if those of you who have sat your UKCAT test previously would be kind enough to briefly summarise how you prepared for it.

1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
5) General advice- what to do on day?

I understand a lot of you who have already done the UKCAT will be busy enough preparing for med school etc and that I am asking for quite a lot of info, however it would be of great help to me and I hope others too to see how different techniques work

Thanks in advance

BUMP This is a very useful thread!! I plan on sitting this test next year for entry in 2015...Those who sat it this year, would you mind sharing your experience?

cheers
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musty345
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#17
1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
About a month (2-4 hours a day)

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
The 600Qs book, a few Kaplan mocks and MEDIFY! Also read the GMC's 'Good Medical Practice' for SJT

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
Did Kaplan. Found it very very helpful. Some people don't find it very helpful but those are the people who do it months before without any of their own work. My advice is to do it a week before your test so you've done the majority of your own revision, and it's fresh in your mind.
The two highest-scoring people I know (800 and 815) didn't go to Kaplan so there's that as well.

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
755. VR 690 QR 690 AR 760 DA 880 SJT Band 1

5) General advice- what to do on day?
- Be very comfortable, I did mine in the clothes I usually wear at home (grey pajama type bottoms, and an old jumper).

-Do it in the summer holidays, I knew people who didn't do any school work all september because they put their UKCAT really late. As one of my teachers says: "you're going to end up doing it (the essay) the night before anyway, so it doesn't matter if I give you two weeks or three days". If you do it in the summer you can also push it back if you don't feel prepared (I did this).

- Wake up at the same time as your test every day for a week before it and do a mock.

- Don't peak too early. You should have 7 mocks left for the last week, so don't devour your material. And don't bother trying to do more than one mock a day, you'll underperform on the second one and end up wasting it!

- The mocks are a crap indicator of what you will get in the real thing. My average on the mocks was about 663.

- When preparing set yourself proper goals. Don't just say you'll do an hour of practice. Say to yourself that you'll do one mock, or 5 questions from the book.

- Use the crappest online calculator you can find in your practice tests. The real one is awful, and very slow.

- I can't stress how important it is to perform at your 100% on the UKCAT. You can make up for average AS/GCSE results with it.
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Gibber96
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#18
1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
I was on holiday for the last week of summer and my test was on the 28th September or something like that. I read through the Kaplan UKCAT book and did most of that for about an hour a day on holiday, and back in England I just did it when I could. 2-3 hours a day for the last 5 days or so. Probably about 25-30 hours altogether. A month's preparation, basically.
2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
I just used the Kaplan book and later the 600Q book, which was probably less helpful to be honest. I did the mocks a bunch of times and I practised things like speed equations and conversions quite a lot, and percentage calculations.
3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
Nope. Don't see the need, particularly - it's not a complex exam. That said, paying for something online may have helped my AR score, which was fairly weak. It hasn't mattered though.
4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
VR 770, QR 780, AR 600, DA 860. 752.5 average, so you can see how a better AR score would have been nice. Still, I've got interviews at the UKCAT heavy unis that I applied for, so it hasn't mattered.
5) General advice- what to do on day?
Just relax. My test was at about 11, I went into Bristol for about 9.45, sat in a cafe, had a coffee and a bottle of water, just chilled out. Just make sure that the day is perfect and you aren't rushing around or thirsty or hungry or tired, and it will go fine.
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calico369
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1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
Eight days. I hadn't thought Med was too realistic after my exams but then I got my AS results and realised that it was so I started cramming revision then. It was summer, obviously, so I spent maybe 5-6 hours a day revising.

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
I did the online tests on the UKCAT website but never sat through a whole one because it was just so long. I used the Kaplan book but it was an old version from the library so it didn't have the new updated questions for 2013 testing.

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
None.

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
VR 860
QR 880
AR 900
DA 880
Average of 880, Band 1

5) General advice- what to do on day?
Get an early bus because I had trouble finding the testing centre - not helped by the fact it was GCSE results day when I sat mine. I booked afternoon and did some cramming in the morning. Eat well, wear something warm because sitting for two hours in a room can get cold. Definitely use the whiteboard for DA, answer all the questions, bring ID.
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Quilverine
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#20
1) Overall preparation time- weeks, months......years?!
From deciding to do it to taking the test maybe 2 months. Study hours in total maybe 6. I just had other things to do.

2) Revision techniques- books, online material, mcq's, cram sessions?
Purchased "ukcat for dummies", probably read one chapter. Downloaded the official App. Didn't use until after the test. Opened the first untimed official test practice, finished it over a few weeks of intermittent moments of feeling proactive. Day before test realise 40 odd questions in roughly 20 minutes a section is actually really fast pacing.

3) External courses attended- eg Kaplan UKCAT 2 day course etc
No.

4) Average UKCAT Score- full marks?! (if you wish not to disclose thats fine)
685 overall 660:640:590:860 and Band 1 on the SJT

5) General advice- what to do on day?
Test experience: it was in a place that does driving theory tests, that threw me completely, I had envisioned an exam hall with computers, not little booths. Get earplugs, realise there's no keyboard and the calculator will be a nightmare with the mouse. Forget to clock watch and time out of VR only 2/3 through questions, blast through QR flagging anything I can't calculate in 10 seconds, AR felt fine and leisurely then I got a terrible score so no idea what patterns I was "recognising", DA was cool, SJT is basically common sense and ethical behaviour. The time is crazy short, don't ponder, just move on. PRACTICE WITH THE CRAPPY CALCULATOR.
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