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Majorly freaking out about UKCAT... Watch

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    So it's that time of the year. I'm booked for my UKCAT on the 9th July, and I am absolutely FREAKING OUT. I'm still very hit-and-miss with the questions, and abstract reasoning is going diabolically. I'm revising like hell now and have been using the 600 Qs book for about a month now, but I'm just sitting down and straight up panicking about it before I've even attempted a question.

    So I guess what I want to hear is your opinions, experiences and advice on the UKCAT. If you've taken it, what was it like? How much work did you do and what scores did you get? If you had a brain block with one of the areas, how did you overcome it? If you're taking the UKCAT this year, how's it going? I'm the only one of my friends taking it and I feel that they just don't understand how important it is. How are you managing with the pressure of it? I feel like if I fail this then my chances of getting into medicine are completely shot. Are there any units out there that don't really care about UKCAT yet?
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    I did the UKcat last year, and to be honest the 600 question book is way harder in difficulty than the questions in the actual test, especially in the quantitative reasoning part. Abstract reasoning is what everyone finds hardest at first, but the more practice you do, the more patterns you learn. The patterns in the test were pretty basic patterns, there weren't really any extremely weird patterns like the ones in the book. I thought that the free kaplan test available on the kaplan site most resembles the Ukcat in terms of difficulty. Also, don't rely too much on the 600q book for the verbal reasoning part because they've completely changed that part.
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    I took it last year towards the end of July and the best advice I can give you is to take deep breathes and avoid stressful situations on the day. For me, the day went **** from the start but I forgot about it all as soon as I was at my computer. While you're at the start, instead of starting straight away, just sit in quiet and prepare yourself. Make sure the desk is organised in a way you feel comfortable and put the keyboard away if you don't use/need it. I'll just let you know that QR and AR questions in the real thing are so much easier than they will be in practice material so if you're prepared for the worst, you should be able to take them on but also don't over complicate things. If you can't do a question in like 10-20 secs or you think it's a long one, guess, flag and move on.. DO NOT WASTE YOUR OWN TIME. DA and SJT are your basic 'easy scorers'. They're the two that are most identical to practice but even still, you shouldn't have too much problem as these two aren't as stretched for time as the others are. I had like 11 minutes at the end of DA (got 790) and like 7 at the end of SJT. Can't advise with VR as I got the new style questions and just ****ed it up but as it's the first section, if it doesn't go to plan for you either, don't dwell on it. Take each minute interval to prepare yourself for the next section. If there are certain techniques you want to write on the whiteboard, use that minute to do it so for like AR if you use SCAN method or whatever else.

    Make sure you have all your documents ready, and turn up early! This is because you have to read and familiarise yourself with the procedures and get checked in and other stuff and you don't want to be worrying that you'll be late during it all. And when you're waiting for your results (they should be ready for you as soon as you finish) don't worry about it. Just be glad that you'd have done it and you hopefully won't have to think about it again. You can start making decisions as to whether you'll take the BMAT and where you'll possibly apply.

    Anyways, good luck for the 9th


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    Its really not the be all or end all.


    Remember that !! Lots of good applicants get into to Uni to study medicine with poor/not amazing scores, some unis don't use it or hardly use it.

    I did badly last year in VR and it screwed me over and stopped me applying to UKCAT extremely heavy places like Newcastle/durham. So just apply tactically... also Ukcat is hard to guess what a good score is until like the deciles are released in November. i thought my Ukcat would be ok for leicester.. I scored 57/60 which last year would have got me an interview but this year it didn't because the average increased.

    Whats the rest of your application look like ? the ukcat is just a small bit of the puzzle. If you do amazing great and it can get you almost guarantee interviews, but this is the same for a strong PS, a Strong set of GCSES/As results / A2 predictions.

    Good luck and remember you can still study medicine and flop the Ukcat.
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    How did it go? Hope all went well!
 
 
 
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