Konflict
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Hi all!

I'm currently in the first year of college, and I want to study Medicine at university. I know that most universities require you to either sit the BMAT (Oxbridge, UCL, Imperial) or the UKCAT.

I was wondering how I should prepare for these admissions tests? I have purchased various books on the BMAT and UKCAT, and am proceeding to read through them. I understand the BMAT will be arranged by my college, but the UKCAT will have to be organised by myself.

When would be the best time to start hardcore focus on the BMAT. and particularly UKCAT. The BMAT date is usually in November, so there is more time. The UKCAT, I believe, must be sat before a specific date for a number of universities. When should I sit the UKCAT?

And, how should I organise my daily timetable roughly to practice both admissions tests? Also, does anyone have some good resources for these tests?
I'm kind of nervous about these tests, because no one from my family, and no one I know, has sat these tests before - so I am unaware of what to expect, and how I should prepare efficiently.


Any help and experience would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Coke Or Pepsi
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Hey I'll give you an answer based on what I did, then you can use that yourself to judge whether or not it's appropriate. In general, I spent around a month preparing for the BMAT, and 2 weeks preparing for the UKCAT.

BMAT prep took slightly longer because I had to go through the GCSE science stuff again - you'll be surprised how much of it you'd forget. So, I prepared for each of the sections as follows; for the science bit, I went through the GCSE curriculum and revised GCSE content. For the aptitude bit, I used the official BMAT book and just practised (but I'm not very good at this type of thing so I had already accepted that I was going to score pretty poorly on this bit...) and for the essay bit, which is actually my forte, I just made sure I knew certain 'funky and impressive' phrases, as I called them, with a few complex and fancy essay words (like this may be elucidated by.... this is not tantamount to....) - I ended up with 5.7, 4.9 and 4A for the science bit, aptitude bit and the essay bit (I did best in the essay bit, out of 5A, and relatively well in the science bit, near the 6 mark) - regardless of these relatively average scores, I still got an offer from Cambridge.

UKCAT prep took 2 weeks, and what I did is I practised using the online** software (including this website with loads of practise material on it that you purchase for a small cost) and the ISC medical book which is the one everyone raves about. What I can tell you is that the quantitative reasoning section is much easier in the actual exam than the practise material. All you can do is come up with a stock of certain 'rules' for the abstract reasoning section to check for in the exam (odd or even, if the squares are shaded in, then there are triangles etc...), to be familiar with certain phrases in the decision analysis bit (which only comes through practise, for example dwelling often means house or something like that), and for the verbal reasoning, once again, practise - I never mastered the VR bit. The results of my UKCAT are some time ago now and I don't really remember them but you can find them on my profile - I scored a 702.5 average, with the QR section boosting my mark (790) and DA too (710), but AR and VR, which I never really got, bringing it right down.


Hope this advice helps! Some additional things to note:

BMAT:
- You sit it at your college as you correctly identified
- It's pen-to-paper, multiple choice
- No calculators

UKCAT:
- You sit it at a test centre
- It's computerised, multiple choice
- You do get a calculator and one laminated sheet of paper (double sided) with a marker pen which you can use as a sort of white board
- Don't forget to bring identification with you!!! This is *so* important

Check the websites before hand. Please feel free to inbox me if you have any other questions! Best of luck.
(Original post by Konflict)
Hi all!

I'm currently in the first year of college, and I want to study Medicine at university. I know that most universities require you to either sit the BMAT (Oxbridge, UCL, Imperial) or the UKCAT.

I was wondering how I should prepare for these admissions tests? I have purchased various books on the BMAT and UKCAT, and am proceeding to read through them. I understand the BMAT will be arranged by my college, but the UKCAT will have to be organised by myself.

When would be the best time to start hardcore focus on the BMAT. and particularly UKCAT. The BMAT date is usually in November, so there is more time. The UKCAT, I believe, must be sat before a specific date for a number of universities. When should I sit the UKCAT?

And, how should I organise my daily timetable roughly to practice both admissions tests? Also, does anyone have some good resources for these tests?
I'm kind of nervous about these tests, because no one from my family, and no one I know, has sat these tests before - so I am unaware of what to expect, and how I should prepare efficiently.


Any help and experience would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Konflict
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Thanks! I was worried that I didn't have enough time!

I've booked the UKCAT for the end of August. I understand that BMAT requires GCSE knowledge, so I'll probably revise a bit of that - in addition to the preparation books. I'll start UKCAT practice!
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purplefrog
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(Original post by Konflict)
I was wondering how I should prepare for these admissions tests? I have purchased various books on the BMAT and UKCAT, and am proceeding to read through them. I understand the BMAT will be arranged by my college, but the UKCAT will have to be organised by myself.
The first thing to remember is that both tests can certainly be revised/prepared for and this will help boost your score. Regardless of what the UKCAT people say that it tests innate abilities and this can't be boosted, evidence is stacking up to say that preparation does definitely help. So in terms of preparing, it would be well worth your time to get hold of some BMAT/UKCAT books.

The ICS Medical range of books are incredibly comprehensive. When I was applying, they only had a 600Q UKCAT book, but now I understand there is a BMAT one too. Definitely get your hands on both and work through them. Also there is the 'official' BMAT book by Cambridge Assessments (the test makers of the BMAT). I'd advise you to get that as that's the only place where you'll get questions as close to the real exam as possible.

In addition to the above, there are past papers on the BMAT website and a sample test on the UKCAT website. From seeing a friend who is just applying, there also appears to be an app by UKCAT with some practice questions and feedback. So use those too.

There's a 'How to Master the..." series one of which does the UKCAT (750+ Q) and one does the BMAT. I've not used them, so can't vouch for them, but many do. When I applied, I only used the 600Q book (partially), the official BMAT book and CGP revision guides.

And there are lots of other books too. But just be careful, especially with the BMAT. Section 2 of the BMAT tests you on science knowledge. I must stress that this is GCSE Double Science knowledge only. The content of questions you'll get will be based on the national curriculum of the majority of the cohort's Y11 curriculum (most of the candidates will be in Y13, so it will be the GCSE double science (GCSE Core Science + GCSE Additional Science, high tiers) syllabus that they sat. Please remember this, as when you will look at past BMAT papers, there will be lots of questions you're unable to do as GCSE syllabi have dramatically changed. But the questions are definitely GCSE knowledge - but it forces you to apply it in a different context. So make sure you understand underlying principles and concepts of the topics. Your best bet to help revise for section 2 would be to get non-board specific CGP revision guides for core and additional science GCSE.

I also stress the above, because lots of books you can potentially buy will include tons of additional science content (sometimes much harder or beyond the syllabus) that you won't be examined on - and that will be a huge waste of your time and energy revising for that.

And don't worry about the QR (maths) section of the UKCAT. The 600Q book has its questions much harder than the real thing - I personally would ignore that section of the book. Just make sure you can do basic arithmetic (averages, percentages, conversions, making something the subject, ratios) and you'll be fine.

When would be the best time to start hardcore focus on the BMAT.
I personally stared in October. Bearing in mind that the BMAT is on the first Wednesday of November. You'll be doing A-Level bio + chem so most of the knowledge will be familiar to you. And just remember they will focus more on human biology than all the ecology and animal sciences you've learnt at GCSE. Also, if you're at school in the UK, you will have a half term holiday before the BMAT - so you'll get a whole week off to focus your attention on that.

and particularly UKCAT.
I would say 3-4 weeks is sufficient for the UKCAT. Book a test date soon and then in the run up to it, just start practising questions etc. Don't start too early otherwise you'll exhaust all the material you have for it.

When should I sit the UKCAT?
Whenever you want. Bear in mind the price goes up towards the end, and that you'll be restarting school in September and the UCAS deadline will be fast approaching. I'd say its best to do it at some point in the summer holidays where you can give its prep your undivided attention. And also, if you do get a bad score, you'll have time to rethink your options and look through universities to readjust the list to where you want to apply without having to make a hasty decision close to the UCAS deadline.

And, how should I organise my daily timetable roughly to practice both admissions tests?
Up to you - depends how thoroughly you work and how long your attention span is. I personally did a little bit each day for the BMAT but went all out over the half term. I only did ~2 weeks for the UKCAT and then gave up with it (to my peril) as I got fed up with the test and couldn't see its relevance (definitely don't do what I did!).

Also, does anyone have some good resources for these tests?
I've mentioned the books above. There's also a website called get into medicine (or something like that) which has started up recently that has lots of practice UKCAT questions.
Also keep your eye out on TSR as there will be discussion threads for both exams where links to resources will be posted up and you guys can all pull each other up. When I applied, we kept posting questions we couldn't answer and the rest of the people in the thread helped explain things.

I'm kind of nervous about these tests, because no one from my family, and no one I know, has sat these tests before - so I am unaware of what to expect, and how I should prepare efficiently.
Don't worry, there's plenty of information and support available on line. There is nothing on an expensive course that you can't find out for free on TSR

Hope that helps
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Konflict
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(Original post by purplefrog)
[Brilliant reply here]
Thanks a lot for that incredibly informative post!

I did the short-test practice option on the UKCAT website - I got quite a few wrong. I was spending a lot of time worrying about how much time I have left! It is incredibly tight on time.

Also, for the science section of the BMAT - I did Triple Science @ GCSE. I have still have the OCR Biology, Chemistry, and Physics revision books. Should I use these from B1-B6 etc, or should I purchase the CGP book for each subject (like you suggested). Sorry if you had already answered this question within your post!

And, I've got the ISCMedical books! For both the UKCAT, and the BMAT. I also have the official BMAT book, and another 600+ UKCAT question book by KoganPage.

I prefer being able to revise for exams, rather than these random tests on 'aptitude'. I find I struggle at these aptitude tests, while succeed on tests where I am capable of doing proper preparation. As you said, though, it is possible to prepare for both tests!
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purplefrog
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(Original post by Konflict)
Also, for the science section of the BMAT - I did Triple Science @ GCSE. I have still have the OCR Biology, Chemistry, and Physics revision books. Should I use these from B1-B6 etc, or should I purchase the CGP book for each subject (like you suggested). Sorry if you had already answered this question within your post!
I did the OCR 21C (Core + Additional) syllabus. So yeah, do BCP 1-6 and that'll be fine.
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Konflict
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I've been doing some practice UKCAT questions!

I've noticed that the quantitative section of the UKCAT test takes me more time. Often, I use the long method of working things out to get the same answer. Or, I miss out key pieces of information from the text given.

Will this come with more practice? It's worrying, because the time I take to do these questions is quite extensive. I believe I probably take around 2 minutes on each question.
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woodpecker
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(Original post by Konflict)
I've been doing some practice UKCAT questions!

I've noticed that the quantitative section of the UKCAT test takes me more time. Often, I use the long method of working things out to get the same answer. Or, I miss out key pieces of information from the text given.

Will this come with more practice? It's worrying, because the time I take to do these questions is quite extensive. I believe I probably take around 2 minutes on each question.
I found exactly what you're finding, and even yesterday (the day before my UKCAT), it was still taking me far too long to do the QR questions. The questions in the actual exam were much, much easier than any of the practice material, including the practice exams on the official UKCAT website, so although I still didn't finish all the questions, I did just over 2/3 of them, which was enough to get a score of 760.
Don't worry, I'm sure you'll find that you're much faster in the actual exam than in the practices. You will also get faster with more practice, so do as many questions as possible, even if it seems like you'll never be fast enough!
Good luck!!
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Konflict
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(Original post by woodpecker)
I found exactly what you're finding, and even yesterday (the day before my UKCAT), it was still taking me far too long to do the QR questions. The questions in the actual exam were much, much easier than any of the practice material, including the practice exams on the official UKCAT website, so although I still didn't finish all the questions, I did just over 2/3 of them, which was enough to get a score of 760.
Don't worry, I'm sure you'll find that you're much faster in the actual exam than in the practices. You will also get faster with more practice, so do as many questions as possible, even if it seems like you'll never be fast enough!
Good luck!!
Thanks! That's very relieving to know.

I make silly mistakes sometimes - although otherwise my method is correct.
E.g. A question used rows, but I used columns instead my mistake.

Reading the information they give is quite consuming, and I guess I need to improve there. I tend to miss out that one little, yet crucial, fact!

Will they give you any paper during the sitting? I find it easier to do maths on paper - no need to remember figures temporarily.

Still on QR in the ISCMedical book! Doing question by question.
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woodpecker
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(Original post by Konflict)
Thanks! That's very relieving to know.

I make silly mistakes sometimes - although otherwise my method is correct.
E.g. A question used rows, but I used columns instead my mistake.

Reading the information they give is quite consuming, and I guess I need to improve there. I tend to miss out that one little, yet crucial, fact!

Will they give you any paper during the sitting? I find it easier to do maths on paper - no need to remember figures temporarily.

Still on QR in the ISCMedical book! Doing question by question.
I tended not to look at any of the information until I'd read the question, that way I didn't spend loads of time understanding all of the information that I didn't need. Especially as, unlike the 600Q book, there were some scenarios that only had one or two questions, so you only needed a very small part of the information.

Yes, they give you a whiteboard that you can't erase, but if you fill it up they'll give you another.
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Ferrari Lexus
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Going to apply for the UKCAS now at a centre. Do you just ring them and tell them you want to do the UKCAT or something else???? And for the BMAT at school, do you have to enrol yourself or does your teacher do it?????

THANKSSSSSSS!!! and when are your UKCAT tests?? I believe some people have already done them????

(Original post by Konflict)
Hi all!

I'm currently in the first year of college, and I want to study Medicine at university. I know that most universities require you to either sit the BMAT (Oxbridge, UCL, Imperial) or the UKCAT.

I was wondering how I should prepare for these admissions tests? I have purchased various books on the BMAT and UKCAT, and am proceeding to read through them. I understand the BMAT will be arranged by my college, but the UKCAT will have to be organised by myself.

When would be the best time to start hardcore focus on the BMAT. and particularly UKCAT. The BMAT date is usually in November, so there is more time. The UKCAT, I believe, must be sat before a specific date for a number of universities. When should I sit the UKCAT?

And, how should I organise my daily timetable roughly to practice both admissions tests? Also, does anyone have some good resources for these tests?
I'm kind of nervous about these tests, because no one from my family, and no one I know, has sat these tests before - so I am unaware of what to expect, and how I should prepare efficiently.


Any help and experience would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Ferrari Lexus
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oh and roughly what are the marks out of for both ??
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woodpecker
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(Original post by Ferrari Lexus)
Going to apply for the UKCAS now at a centre. Do you just ring them and tell them you want to do the UKCAT or something else???? And for the BMAT at school, do you have to enrol yourself or does your teacher do it?????

THANKSSSSSSS!!! and when are your UKCAT tests?? I believe some people have already done them????
I don't know anything about the BMAT as I'm not doing that, but for UKCAT there's a link on their website and you have to apply online. You can then choose which test centre, what day/time etc.
Here's a link to the UKCAT website; you have to click 'sign in' and then 'create a new web account'. http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/registration/.../#.UeaoVSlwbIU

There are 5 sections in the UKCAT and the first 4 are scored out of 900 with a minimum score of 300 in each section. The fifth section is the situational judgement test which is banded from bands 1-4 with band 1 being the best.

My UKCAT test was yesterday, but testing goes on until 4th October.
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TheGeneral95
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If Im only going to apply to medical schools that want UKCAT do I need to bother with the BMAT ?
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Ferrari Lexus
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(Original post by woodpecker)
I don't know anything about the BMAT as I'm not doing that, but for UKCAT there's a link on their website and you have to apply online. You can then choose which test centre, what day/time etc.
Here's a link to the UKCAT website; you have to click 'sign in' and then 'create a new web account'. http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/registration/.../#.UeaoVSlwbIU

There are 5 sections in the UKCAT and the first 4 are scored out of 900 with a minimum score of 300 in each section. The fifth section is the situational judgement test which is banded from bands 1-4 with band 1 being the best.

My UKCAT test was yesterday, but testing goes on until 4th October.
oh ok cool! hey, im currently in year 11 and will be starting year 12 in September. so do you think I would be allowed to do the test this year like in august?

im just asking as my supply teacher said i can, but im not sure???
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purplefrog
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(Original post by Ferrari Lexus)
oh ok cool! hey, im currently in year 11 and will be starting year 12 in September. so do you think I would be allowed to do the test this year like in august?

im just asking as my supply teacher said i can, but im not sure???
You can, but it won't be of any use to you as the score will only be valid for that academic year's UCAS cycle (Oct 2013 - Aug 2014). You'll need to resit it again at the end of Y12 to have a score that counts for your UCAS application.
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woodpecker
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If Im only going to apply to medical schools that want UKCAT do I need to bother with the BMAT ?
Nope! I'm not going to sit the BMAT as I'm not applying to any universities that want it.
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mrhedgehog
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Hi

When can we start to book our BMAT from?
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Coke Or Pepsi
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You need to get your exams officer at your school to book on your behalf.

(Original post by mrhedgehog)
Hi

When can we start to book our BMAT from?
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mrhedgehog
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(Original post by Coke Or Pepsi)
You need to get your exams officer at your school to book on your behalf.
But I am on a gap year so I have left college now.
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