Saturday, 25 June 2011

UKCAT and U2

A lot of blogs tend to turn into soapboxes for their proprietors to become amateur art/music/fashion critics. I have tried to resist from doing this, but watching U2's performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday at Glastonbury a few hours ago has made me change my mind, just this's simply amazing!!

Seriously, try and tell me that that does not blow you away! Coldplay are on tomorrow, quite frankly these two headliners guarantee that the festival will be brilliant, especially compared to last year when Muse (the mother of all overrated bands) was leading the show. Excellent stuff, I only wish I were there!

Back on topic, I've still not quite got over the miracle that is my getting a 2:1. Stressing about my grades has been a pretty big part of my life for the past two years, so it's kind of a habit now. I still find myself having the occasional panic about it. But then I remember that it's all over and I've got the grade. And then I relax. More than anything I feel very content and relieved, able to finally say I've had a results day that went well! I have no doubt that getting an offer from medical school will be very tough, since nearly everyone else will have excellent applications, but I can't help feeling a little bit hopeful now that I've surmounted the academic hurdle anyway.

Last week I ordered the 600 UKCAT Practice Questions book, and have been steadily working my way through it. It's a very thorough book and provides lots of tips and explanations. I last did the UKCAT in year 13, i.e. 2007. That was only the second cycle in which the UKCAT had been used, so there were no practice questions or guidebooks available. So I couldn't do any preparation for the exam and got 625, which is above average, but not by much. Actually I think 2007 was the year where one of the sections was discounted so my average went up to 650, but meh, it's still not an amazing score, especially for the GEP degrees.

This year I'm aiming for a score of 700 so I can be well above all the cut-offs. I'm hoping that all the extra preparation will help boost my score by 75 points! I've booked the exam for August 26th, so I've got two months to prepare for it. Once I finish the 600 questions book, I'll no doubt move onto another, does anyone have any suggestions? Or generally any UKCAT revision tips? Cheers!

Hope you're all well and enjoying the Summer (apparently the weather's going to turn nice this weekend)!


  1. You only need the 600 book mate. That and the practice tests on the website are more than enough practise.
    Good luck :)

  2. I did the UKCAT last year and got 710 using the 600 question book. The section that people have the most difficulty on is the maths section, not because the questions are particularly difficult, but because of the time restraint. My advice is don't spend too long on the maths questions - look at the answers first and when you then read the question, some of the answers will automatically appear wrong and you're left with 1/2 and then just go with the most obvious answer. Just try and get through the entire section and don't leave any questions out.

    The next hardest section is the abstract reasoning - the ones in the book are stupidly difficult and the real thing is going to be nowhere near as hard. Just look for the obvious things; they're not going to have ones where the number of edges is equal to a prime number or something stupid like that. Just keep in mind the basic colour, shape, orientation, number of sides, etc. Just looking at the pictures will give an indication of what it is about and then you can fine tune it then. The other two sections you can't prepare hugely for.

    Anyway, hope it helps. Good luck!

  3. Dear Anonymous 1 and 2:

    Thanks a lot, your advice is very appreciated. Anonymous #2, I definitely know what you mean and looking through my 2007 UKCAT score, AR was the section I did worst in, followed by QR. Congrats on getting 710 by the way, that's amazing!

    Luckily QR is something you can revise for, and you're right, the maths is basic, but it's the timing which needs to be right. So I'm hoping that by August, with lots of practice, my QR mark will be just as good as the other sections. As for AR, well, I'll prepare for that too, but really I just have to hope that some nice questions come up. It's definitely not something you can study for!

    Luckily verbal reasoning is my forte, I got 760 for it in 2007, so hopefully I'll do just as well, if not better this year. Cheers again for that very detailed post!