Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    Just ordered the 1000Q book off amazon since its been so highly recommended. I've also tried some of the free questions on medic portal/ukcat official practice tests, but I keep getting around 90% of my answers wrong. It's really stressing me out with how fast you have to work in the exam, when I'm struggling on every question. Is this how it is for everyone? How do improve before August?? ://
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by raem.jpg)
    Just ordered the 1000Q book off amazon since its been so highly recommended. I've also tried some of the free questions on medic portal/ukcat official practice tests, but I keep getting around 90% of my answers wrong. It's really stressing me out with how fast you have to work in the exam, when I'm struggling on every question. Is this how it is for everyone? How do improve before August?? ://
    For a start, now isn't really the time to start working towards your UKCAT. 3/4 weeks of intense prep before the test will be more effective than a scattering of practice between march and august, it's way too early atm. The best thing you can do is review the techniques laid out in the book you bought, and practice implementing them. Don't get disheartened if you finding it hard, literally everyone does. Also the questions in the books tend to be difficult, I got an average of 590 across the sections in one of the book tests 3 days before my test, then got 730 in the real thing. So relax for now, put the work in closer the time, and do your best and you'll get the best score you can. If worst comes to worst, theres always the BMAT
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Should be focusing on your A levels right now Lol
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I recommend the Kaplan course for the UKCAT btw! it definitely helped me loads, but like other people are saying it's very early to practice! I think you'll burn out if you start any earlier than 4 weeks before the exam imo.
    I've got the 600Q book, 1000Q book, how to master the UKCAT, and Kaplan books that i'm looking to sell if anyone's keen, pm me
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chikkinn)
    I wish we could see last year's poll at different stages in the UKCAT period, it'd be interesting to see how the distribution of scores between bands progresses over time. As it stands, everyone scoring below 725 sit in the bottom half of the cohort; you'd assume that won't be the case by the end of the cycle! Anyway, the previous polls are quite interesting:

    Attachment 570544

    Plotting the distribution of scores from TSR poll respondents over the years, with entire cohort means by year overlayed with matching colour, its fascinating how consistent they are (bar the 2013 exam for 2014 entry, when I understand DA pulled everyone's score up significantly). Granted, these are crude representations of the real distributions, with scores grouped by 50 point bands (700-750 etc.) and simply centred on the median of the range. Nonetheless, it's an indicator of how consistent the complete polls are. Not only in the distribution of scores, but in the distribution's peaking relative to the mean score for the entire cohort (not just TSR) that year. It seems that the centre of TSR's most common score band sits 50 points above the average. You could even argue that the entire cohort mean can be predicted from that year's distribution, coinciding with the 17.5-20% range of the upward projection... Adding this year's poll so far is a complete mess; I'd suggest that if it's going to be anything approaching consistent with previous years, it's far from done.

    As you can see above, I took the UKCAT last year and was quite interested in how the TSR community's scores reflected the entire cohort's scores. Fortunately, I don't need to worry about it anymore as I'll be studying medicine from September, so I thought I'd round this evaluation off by adding the latest year's scores. I expected that TSR would perform far better than the national average, which can be worrying for people comparing their scores to TSR members rather than a more balanced population and maybe adversely influence their decisions on where to apply. So I plotted the score distributions over the years, taking the data from the annual polls, and overlaid the national averages, showing that TSR's most common scores routinely sit 50 points above the average for everyone.

    Name:  tsr ukcat.png
Views: 445
Size:  56.2 KB

    Last year, the national average remained about the same at 631, though TSR scored even higher than we normally do with a mean of 702 (while previous years, except for 2013 which was messed up by an aberrant decision making section, sat between 690 and 696). Prior to the 2016 test, the relationship between TSR's and the entire cohort's means was surprisingly consistent, but the gap between them was greater than normal this year. Also, in tracking the poll as it progressed, I was able to do something I couldn't with the earlier years' data; I could see how the score distribution and mean progressed over time, as shown in the bottom two charts. It's really clear that the earlier reported scores are higher than the later ones; on average, it appears that those who do the test earlier perform better, likely because they're more motivated. TSR's poll's mean score dropped from a maximum of 720 near the beginning to around 702 by the time 240 people had reported their scores, at which point it remained quite stable until the end of testing. The bottom left chart represents how the score distribution changed over time, with the leftmost bar in each range reflecting the poll with 41 respondents and the rightmost reflecting the poll at the end of testing (413 respondents). My interpretation is that extreme and middling scores remain consistent over testing, and that those in between shift to account for the decrease in mean (i.e. people with 600-700 increase over time, people with 726+ decrease over time).

    So, the take home messages are:
    1. TSR is not representative of the national average; it has always been 60+ points higher, though how much higher it is can fluctuate
    2. TSR scores are higher earlier on in testing, at which point we have respondents which are fewer in number but seemingly among the most motivated and best prepared.

    So there you have it: there are a lot of competitive scores below TSR's average, don't be disheartened by the poll results!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pantego)
    I recommend the Kaplan course for the UKCAT btw! it definitely helped me loads, but like other people are saying it's very early to practice! I think you'll burn out if you start any earlier than 4 weeks before the exam imo.
    I've got the 600Q book, 1000Q book, how to master the UKCAT, and Kaplan books that i'm looking to sell if anyone's keen, pm me
    So did you actually use the full weekend course? I have heard mixed reviews about it and because it is fairly expensive I have been conflicted on whether or not I should take the course closer to the time. So what was it like compared to any other revision materials and was it useful enough to recommend? Thanks
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by harsev singh)
    So did you actually use the full weekend course? I have heard mixed reviews about it and because it is fairly expensive I have been conflicted on whether or not I should take the course closer to the time. So what was it like compared to any other revision materials and was it useful enough to recommend? Thanks
    I attribute my score (717) to the kaplan course I did - alongside medify, I wouldn't do the UKCAT again without them and I think they're the resources that most improved my score and prepared me for the test.. I didn't do the classroom course with UKCAT, which i also heard mixed reviews for, I did the online course instead, its called the self-study course. it involves videos and they send you books which you use alongside it and an online e-book. The course is active for 2 months since purchase so i could go through at my own pace and gradually build up my skills/confidence and learn the key strategies (after I went through all the kaplan stuff I practiced with medify about a week before the actual test). I do believe it was worth the money because I think it prepares you well, I also spent extra for UKCAT PLUS which gave me even more lessons and practice. I dont think I would've enjoyed the course in person where its only 3 days long because I think thats a bit intense and crams so much in!

    Overall, the course just gave me so many lesson videos (they teach you the strategies to tackle the test, like time-saving, how to spot patterns, how to approach VR..etc), practice questions and full-timed exams, that I felt really confident afterwards. They also have like fast-paced drills to build up speed and I liked that you could review all your wrong answers. They even show you graphs of how you're doing on particular types of questions so you know where to improve. So yeah I would definitely recommend the online course
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Everyone is saying it's too early but I disagree. Last year I started preparing 3 weeks before my test - HUGE MISTAKE, I needed way more time. My plan is to familiarise my self with the questions again by doing a couple a day until exams then after exams begin more intense prep then take the test towards the start of summer. Tip, don't do mock tests the day before your exam, it stressed me out so much and I got so disheartened I really believe it could have affected my performance/concentration on the day (abstract reasoning went from my best to worst section, because I couldn't concentrate. If you want to start preparing now do so, but just not intense practice yet and save the ukcat official mocks till a week or 2 before your test. My ukcat let me down so much this year, it was the reason for rejections from 2 unis. Lastly if anyone wonders whether to take the BMAT as well do. It was the best decision I made, there's a lot more to do for BMAT than ukcat but I much preferred it. Sadly I got rejected from my BMAT uni due to interview performance, my BMAT was more than fine though.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hi All,

    I have took the UKCAT last year, received a competitive score and will be beginning med in the autumn !

    I would suggest leaving about 3-4 weeks for solid prep.

    Good resources to use:

    -Medify (Very Good for drill exercise and test stamina)
    -Kaplan Book (Good for techniques and insight into methods used to obtain answers)
    -UKCAT 600Q (For extra practice- This book is harder than the actual questions especially in QR)
    -All official Mocks on UKCAT Website

    I have been to UKCAT course before Kaplan and a few others. I feel they are helpful but not a necessity as the other resources provided will get you test ready.

    I am also selling a range of UKCAT books and other resources obtain from courses I have attended at good value!

    Feel to ask me any questions or PM me.

    Best of Luck to all this coming cycle
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Hi guys!

    So, I just took the Kaplan UKCAT Diagnostic Test and I am quite shattered with my results. I know I have not done any preparation whatsoever yet, but I cannot help but feel like I need some good resources to improve on the AR and DA section - I am WAY below the average and it is kind of devastating. To be fair, I basically whizzed through the AR section, as I had about 3 minutes left of the 13 that I had when I got to question 55...

    Here are my scores:

    VR: 650
    AR: 530
    QR: 850
    DA: 530
    SJ: Band 2

    This gives me an awful average of 640 Band 2. Clearly the QR saved me, and I think it's the section I feel most comfortable with. Since I haven't studied any techniques yet, there is still a chance for me to improve, right? I do not want to get my hopes up all to then have my score be in the 600s in the actual thing. From what I've read, 2017 is the first time that DA is being implemented, so there aren't many books I can use for it.

    Am I stressing out over nothing? I like to overcomplicate things for myself!
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mac117)
    Hi guys!

    So, I just took the Kaplan UKCAT Diagnostic Test and I am quite shattered with my results. I know I have not done any preparation whatsoever yet, but I cannot help but feel like I need some good resources to improve on the AR and DA section - I am WAY below the average and it is kind of devastating. To be fair, I basically whizzed through the AR section, as I had about 3 minutes left of the 13 that I had when I got to question 55...

    Here are my scores:

    VR: 650
    AR: 530
    QR: 850
    DA: 530
    SJ: Band 2

    This gives me an awful average of 640 Band 2. Clearly the QR saved me, and I think it's the section I feel most comfortable with. Since I haven't studied any techniques yet, there is still a chance for me to improve, right? I do not want to get my hopes up all to then have my score be in the 600s in the actual thing. From what I've read, 2017 is the first time that DA is being implemented, so there aren't many books I can use for it.

    Am I stressing out over nothing? I like to overcomplicate things for myself!
    640 for a first go is a great score ! You can easily improve significantly with practice which will build up your speed. Along with learning some techniques I'd say you could get a very competitive score. I recommend you get a subscription to medify closer to your exam date to practice, don't use up all your mocks early on


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pantego)
    640 for a first go is a great score ! You can easily improve significantly with practice which will build up your speed. Along with learning some techniques I'd say you could get a very competitive score. I recommend you get a subscription to medify closer to your exam date to practice, don't use up all your mocks early on


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thank you for the encouragement! It means lot

    Since I'm doing the IBDP (with 4HLs...) and finish school quite late (1st of July is my 1st day of summer!) and I want to take the UKCAT the first two weeks of July, I have bought a medify subscription yesterday. I am going to study daily for a bit, and then increase the intensity the 2-3 weeks before the actual thing. Do you think it's a good idea? I was going to take it when the summer ends, but I go back to school in August and IB2 will be rather challenging, especially since I want to take the BMAT as well!
    • Specialist Advisor
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mac117)
    Hi guys!

    So, I just took the Kaplan UKCAT Diagnostic Test and I am quite shattered with my results. I know I have not done any preparation whatsoever yet, but I cannot help but feel like I need some good resources to improve on the AR and DA section - I am WAY below the average and it is kind of devastating. To be fair, I basically whizzed through the AR section, as I had about 3 minutes left of the 13 that I had when I got to question 55...

    Here are my scores:

    VR: 650
    AR: 530
    QR: 850
    DA: 530
    SJ: Band 2

    This gives me an awful average of 640 Band 2. Clearly the QR saved me, and I think it's the section I feel most comfortable with. Since I haven't studied any techniques yet, there is still a chance for me to improve, right? I do not want to get my hopes up all to then have my score be in the 600s in the actual thing. From what I've read, 2017 is the first time that DA is being implemented, so there aren't many books I can use for it.

    Am I stressing out over nothing? I like to overcomplicate things for myself!
    Hey Mac117 :-) Honestly don't worry, for your first go, 640 is a perfectly decent score! Completely on par with what our students tell us about their first tries and, personally speaking, much better than my first attempt all those years ago!

    Many students find AR to be the trickiest section, the good news is that it's probably the easiest to improve on with structured practice! You're right, this is the first year of DA and we are working on some resources that should be available soon.

    It's great that you are already starting on the UKCAT now but remember that the earliest you can take the test is still three months away, don't do too much prep now or you might run out of good quality resources!

    Be encouraged and feel free to give us a shout if you any specific questions about UKCAT preparation and technique :-)

    Alex, 4th year UCL medic
    6med
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StationToStation)
    As ForestCat said, anyone thinking about starting prep before May or so, honestly - don't. You'll just end up running out of questions months before the test. Given how crucial it is to get routine just before the test, starting too early would probably just harm your score.
    Don't stress too much right now! Focus on your upcoming exams, and start to consider the UKCAT after that. You can always delay your test to late summer if you feel you need more time. And in terms of preparation time 6 weeks is optimum. As you say, you don't want to peak too early and run out of resources, or start to forget the theory you learnt early on.

    Good Luck!

    Kunal
    Co-founder, Medic Mind
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mac117)
    Hi guys!

    So, I just took the Kaplan UKCAT Diagnostic Test and I am quite shattered with my results. I know I have not done any preparation whatsoever yet, but I cannot help but feel like I need some good resources to improve on the AR and DA section - I am WAY below the average and it is kind of devastating. To be fair, I basically whizzed through the AR section, as I had about 3 minutes left of the 13 that I had when I got to question 55...

    Here are my scores:

    VR: 650
    AR: 530
    QR: 850
    DA: 530
    SJ: Band 2

    This gives me an awful average of 640 Band 2. Clearly the QR saved me, and I think it's the section I feel most comfortable with. Since I haven't studied any techniques yet, there is still a chance for me to improve, right? I do not want to get my hopes up all to then have my score be in the 600s in the actual thing. From what I've read, 2017 is the first time that DA is being implemented, so there aren't many books I can use for it.

    Am I stressing out over nothing? I like to overcomplicate things for myself!

    Hey Mac,

    Don't stress buddy! I remember having the same worries many years ago when I did my first UKCAT mock! The tests can initially be very difficult to manage, because you are not used to them and are probably tackling them in the wrong way. For example, did you try reading the whole passage for VR? If so, don't do that, but instead skim read to find key words. After practice and revision you will adapt your approach.

    Also, Decision Analysis has been removed, but Decision Making will be there. It is the first time it is being marked, and if you want some help with it or any other sections just drop me a personal message.

    Good Luck!

    Kunal
    Co-founder, Medic Mind
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Some Abstract Reasoning Tips:

    If you see a large and small shape in one box, consider SIZE as the pattern.

    If you see grey, spotted or dotted shapes, consider COLOUR as the pattern.

    If you see lots of similar shapes, think of ARRANGEMENT. There may be subtle differences in arrangement ‘e.g. in Set A the triangle is always above the square, and vice versa in Set B’.

    If you see lots of triangles, think about DIRECTION as they can point, and also about ANGLES as some may be right angled and some isosceles.

    If you see arrows, think about DIRECTION as they are often pointing in a direction or at a particular shape (e.g. in Set A the arrow always points to a right angled shape).

    If you see clocks, don’t read them as telling the time. They are just shapes- think of ANGLES between the clock hands.

    If you see a few shapes, think of NUMBER. But don’t fall into the trap of always counting.

    If you see odd shapes, such as the crescent moon, think of curved vs. straight shapes. E.g. they can’t keep using a circle so then start to make new curved shapes such as the crescent moon.


    Kunal
    Co-founder, Medic Mind
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    Is it to early to start preparing. I will most likely book my test for august
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Earlofthegrey)
    Is it to early to start preparing. I will most likely book my test for august
    focus on your exams atm, but start practising as soon as they are over
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Medic Mind)
    Hey Mac,

    Don't stress buddy! I remember having the same worries many years ago when I did my first UKCAT mock! The tests can initially be very difficult to manage, because you are not used to them and are probably tackling them in the wrong way. For example, did you try reading the whole passage for VR? If so, don't do that, but instead skim read to find key words. After practice and revision you will adapt your approach.

    Also, Decision Analysis has been removed, but Decision Making will be there. It is the first time it is being marked, and if you want some help with it or any other sections just drop me a personal message.

    Good Luck!

    Kunal
    Co-founder, Medic Mind
    Thank you for your answer! Would you mind telling me which parts are therefore really on the UKCAT 2017? It's QR, AR, VR and...? My book has the Decision Analysis (with the codes to decipher) but I don't want to spend time studying for it if it's not going to be there... If DA has been removed, should I just ignore it?
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mac117)
    Thank you for your answer! Would you mind telling me which parts are therefore really on the UKCAT 2017? It's QR, AR, VR and...? My book has the Decision Analysis (with the codes to decipher) but I don't want to spend time studying for it if it's not going to be there... If DA has been removed, should I just ignore it?
    The DA with the codes to decipher disappeared two years ago so I presume you have an old book. Last year they piloted a Decision Making section which is a bit like logic puzzles. ISC are updating their book this year to include that new section - I see from Amazon that the new book is to come out on 15 May.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/19058122...keywords=ukcat
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Should Spain allow Catalonia to declare independence?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.