How can I get better at reading UCAT questions

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Medic. wannabe
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Hi,

I struggle in the QR section of the UCAT, mainly because of the timing. I don't read the questions properly and subsequently have got most of my attempted questions wrong. I've been using the official UCAT website questions and I can confirm that I HATE QR with a passion. I've been revising for 2-3 weeks now and I'm not seeing any improvements.

What do I do? I probably only get 20% of the questions right and I also don't take A-Level Maths. Has anyone got any tips? I used to be good at maths at GCSE and now I'm terrible.
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AB27
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Hi,
I have sat my UCAT twice, and both times I have got scores in the top 10th percentile. Yes, the QR section is quite time pressured, as on average you have about 40 seconds per question (including reading/looking at any graphs or tables. Don’t worry about not doing A level Maths, as the maths skills needed for QR are all covered at GCSE.
My tips for the QR section would be:
1. You get given a whiteboard in the exam. Write down any important numbers on this so you don’t need to read the question again. It is ALWAYS worth reading the question properly at least once!
2. Improve your mental maths skills.
3. Make a note of which types of maths questions you are getting wrong. For example, if you are only getting percentage questions wrong, then practicing percentages should help you improve.
4. I used a website called passmedicine, which is really good because it has timed tests for each section.
5. Start off by practicing QR questions without a time limit, just focus on getting them right, then start doing timed tests, as it is fairly easy to improve speed.
6. Don’t get hung up on solving really long questions, just guess, flag for review and move on.

Hope these tips are helpful!
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Turning_A_Corner
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Also if you don’t know an answer, always answer it the same way. You’re guaranteed to scoop up around 20% of right answers then as opposed to just randomly guessing. This is basically how I manage to get above 600 on the QR!
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GANFYD
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(Original post by Turning_A_Corner)
Also if you don’t know an answer, always answer it the same way. You’re guaranteed to scoop up around 20% of right answers then as opposed to just randomly guessing. This is basically how I manage to get above 600 on the QR!
I have set tests where the right answer is always the same letter before, so all d) or b)! So your method would not guarantee you 20% correct then!! I would be very surprised if the answer distribution in UCAT was even.
I would say rule out the obviously wrong ones - there are usually a couple that are miles too big or too small and then guess of the remaining answers. But mainly, be aware of which questions are likely to take too long and immediately triage and guess, rather than spending 2 mins trying to work it out

(Original post by Medic. wannabe)
Hi,

I struggle in the QR section of the UCAT, mainly because of the timing. I don't read the questions properly and subsequently have got most of my attempted questions wrong. I've been using the official UCAT website questions and I can confirm that I HATE QR with a passion. I've been revising for 2-3 weeks now and I'm not seeing any improvements.

What do I do? I probably only get 20% of the questions right and I also don't take A-Level Maths. Has anyone got any tips? I used to be good at maths at GCSE and now I'm terrible.
Lots of QR tips discussed on the UCAT thread
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6864776
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Turning_A_Corner
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(Original post by GANFYD)
I have set tests where the right answer is always the same letter before, so all d) or b)! So your method would not guarantee you 20% correct then!! I would be very surprised if the answer distribution in UCAT was even.
I would say rule out the obviously wrong ones - there are usually a couple that are miles too big or too small and then guess of the remaining answers. But mainly, be aware of which questions are likely to take too long and immediately triage and guess, rather than spending 2 mins trying to work it out


Lots of QR tips discussed on the UCAT thread
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6864776
I only use this if I’m running out of time or if I look at a question and I know that working out the answer is going to cost me more time than it’s worth to try and get to it.

Generally with QR I try to make sure I bank as many questions as possible that I’m certain of in the first five minutes and then I aim for 3/5, 2/5. Anything after that or anything where I struggle before hand I use this method and flag. Sometimes I do get to go back and either change answers or leave them the same, but most of the time I’m out of time. I’ve never dropped below 630 for this even though it’s my weakest section. I once got over 730 using this method.

I know it doesn’t absolutely guarantee 20%. But you know by guessing the same that you’ll have snagged a certain number of right answers. I generally find that doing this gives me a better return than if I guess more randomly.

It’s only for the ones where the only strategy behind your answering is guessing, where there’s no time to read or think through the answer in any great detail.

I used to use it in AR as well where this method had a higher return (when it was just a b or neither). Still did use it in the last cycle but now they’ve mixed up the questions it’s not as high yield an approach as it used to be. Generally with AR, though, it’s easier to make a more reasoned guess than in QR where there often simply isn’t the time do do the reasoning if you’ve lost time elsewhere.

Not foolproof but i find it mildly reassuring to know that my guesswork might have yielded at least a certain number of right answers. Helps me not dwell on the fact that I had to guess and lets me move on to the next section. My first ever UCAT I got incredibly flustered about the fact I’d guessed my way through QR and AR and it did affect my performance. My next cycle it helped me compartmentalise the guessing to know there was method to my madness!
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