I have been asked for a lot for advice recently on twitter so I’ve decided to prepare this Tool Kit to help all prospective medical and dental students (for 2017 entry) taking the UKCAT in 2016. This Tool Kit will be a series of posts that will cover everything you need to prepare and not only pass but score in the 90th percentile like I did. You can do it too! You just need to work smart. Be sure to follow me on twitter or facebook for updates in this series.
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MY UKCAT PREPARATION TOOL KIT STEP ONE
From my personal experience, I would recommend you fully understand the exam and it’s entire breakdown first. The medical and dental career is very rewarding but also expensive, the UKCAT alone is £65 and you have to also buy books and pay for courses to prepare, so you want to make sure that you understand the requirements and are fully committed.
The first step of my UKCAT Preparation Tool Kit is the ‘Official Questions And Practice Tests’, which you can find on the UKCAT website. You need to identify which part of the exam that you’re naturally good at as well as poor, then prioritize them accordingly. Your results from the practice tests will define how you prepare for the exam.
Note: The UKCAT has confirmed the Practice Questions will be updated in April/ May 2016.
Do not buy any books or courses at this stage! In fact, I recommend you do not have any prior preparation, use the only the practice questions provided to familiarize yourself with the format and style of item types for each of the subtests (do not time yourself), then take the three Practice tests to discover your natural capabilities. Do each Practice tests timed and record your score for each one. These tests mimic closely the testing experience and will familiarize you with the onscreen format, so take it seriously and tackle it like you would the actual test.
The point of this is to get an indication of how strong you are with little preparation so that you can use your practice results to know which subtest to spend more time on. For example, if you scored high on quantitative reasoning and low on verbal reasoning then you need to make verbal reasoning a priority during the course of your preparation, it wouldn’t make sense to spend the same amount of time practicing both. You can find a detailed breakdown of how I used my practice test results to identify and prioritize the subtests. Click here.
The next phase of my preparation Tool Kit will focus on improving your reasoning skills, the best place to start is by using books and online courses. I will run my strategy on picking books and my recommended online courses.
Stay Tuned for Step 2 and Goodluck!