This is a guest post written by Emma, incoming medic and founder of Study Doctor
Hi! My name is Emma Davison and I am the founder of Study Doctor, a service working to help students achieve their academic goals! I will hopefully be starting medical school in September! This blog post is aimed at compiling all my favourite UCAT resources to target your preparation and aid you in achieving the best possible UCAT score for you!
The Best Resources For UCAT Preparation
There is so much uncertainty surrounding the best resources you should use when preparing for the UCAT. Some people use only free resources, some buy a couple of bits and pieces, and a few will spend hundreds on multiple courses, in order to maximise success.
The most important thing to remember is that expensive courses don’t always render results. You can attend a course, but unless you put the work in afterwards, you will still flunk the UCAT. In today’s blog post, we will be outlining loads of different resources, our thoughts on them, and how to use them effectively to maximise your chances of scoring well in the UCAT.
- The UCAT Consortium Website – an obvious choice in terms of preparation. Made by the makers of the UCAT, these resources reflect exactly the format and content of the exam. There are four mock papers available on their website, however you should be careful in how you use these as they are limited. We recommend using these to monitor your progress. At the beginning of your preparation, take the first mock exam as this will set your baseline. Split the next two up at intervals between your preparation to monitor your strengths and weaknesses and leave the last paper until just before your exam date! You can find these past papers here.
- The Medic Blog – a website designed specifically to help students pass the entrance exams for dentistry and medicine. On their website, you will have access to a few mock papers as well as question banks grouped into each of the different sections. Similar to the previous advice, we recommend breaking their free resources up dependent on the amount of time you have to prepare. You don’t want to have 0 resources left with 2 weeks until the exam. You can find out more about their free resources here.
Paid For Resources
This section can be split up into 2 different sections; paper resources and online resources. I think using a mix of both is ideal as paper resources are better initially until you have gotten used to the types of questions and the working methods required, whereas online resources are essential to mastering the format of the exam, and the pesky calculator tool that must be used!
- The Ultimate UCAT Collection – such a brilliant book jam packed with thousands of questions from each topic area as well as 6 entire mock papers! You shouldn’t rely on this as your only resource though as it obviously doesn’t prepare you for the online format of the exam. We recommend using this book for your initial practice and it is also great for gauging your strengths and weaknesses so you can target the remainder of your preparation! You can purchase this book from Amazon for £26.70 here.
- Ace The UCAT E-Book – a brilliant resource designed to be used alongside the Medify question banks. This e-book combines all the must-know tips and tricks when it comes to approaching the UCAT in order to maximise your chances of scoring well. This e-book was created by a medical student who scored an average of 835 and a band 1 in the situation judgement and can be bought for just £14.99 (full bursaries are offered for those who receive free school meals and/or universal credit)! The e-book can be purchased here.
- Medify – a classic option, used by thousands of exam takers each year! The online subscription based packages give you access to over 10,000 as well as 8 full mocks and 18 mini mocks. Medify also allows you to track your progress by enabling you to gain performance feedback – this is particularly useful when tailoring your preparation time to you! The Medify subscriptions also give you access to video tutorials to enhance your learning.The packages range from £30-70 dependent on the length of the desired subscription and can be purchased here.
- Kaplan Courses – the only UCAT course we would recommend, as it combines a 2-day classroom learning experience with an online question bank subscription and a super thick paper booklet with worked examples, tips and tricks as well as extra questions. Kaplan courses occur around the UK and provide you with loads of unknown tips to improve your UCAT test taking, from learning to prioritise correctly as well as tips for saving time and for using the online interface effectively. Their website also has loads of other UCAT features including online courses and some free resources. To find out more about Kaplan UCAT course click the link here.
Hopefully this blog post has given you lots of food for thought in terms of targeting your UCAT preparation. It is important to remember, that you can prepare without spending money, and that by spending hundreds and hundreds, you still need to put the work in! The main point to think about is that practice makes perfect. Cliche, I know, but in this case, the more questions you do, the more familiar you become with the question types and the online interface and thus the better you will perform in real life!