Tips for UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning

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August 6, 2012 by Emedica

Quantitative Reasoning Hints and Tips

 Anna Greathead

There’s a bit of VR in there too!

Often the maths is easy but the question catches you out! Examples of this might be finding out the volume of two identical vases – you take the data, work out the volume of one of them… and forget to multiply it by two! The ‘wrong’ answer WILL be among the options! Another common version of this is to ask for the ‘difference’ rather than the absolute figures.


Everyone has areas of maths which they find hard… if such a question comes up then take a guess (there’s no negative marking – you don’t lose any points for incorrect answers), flag it in case you have time to revisit that particular question, and move on to the next question set which might (hopefully) be about an area of maths you’re more comfortable with!

Practice with the calculator

You’re not allowed to take your own calculator (or watch, or phone) in with you and you are not issued with a hand held calculator. Instead you need to use the on screen calculator which is available when doing the QR section. It is a very simply calculator with only basic functions. There is a memory function but it’s probably best to use the whiteboard to keep notes. It’s quicker to use the number pad rather than the mouse.

Memorise some formulas!

The maths is only GCSE level but if you’ve not done any maths since your GCSE it may be worth revisiting your GCSE maths text books! Common formulas you may need pertain to geometry, volumes, conversions (such as currency), percentages and averages.

Eliminate the obviously wrong

Often you can discount two or three options with only basic mental arithmetic. Do this. Even if you have to guess then your odds of getting it right move from 20% to 50%!


Anna Greathead is part of the E-learning team at We have over 100 free UKCAT questions for you to try. We also have over 1700 UKCAT questions with the same screen layout as the real thing.

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