Charlotte’s tips on UKCAT section types!

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November 14, 2012 by Emedica

Having spent some time now practising the different areas I have found my view has changed quite a lot! Though the maths questions are quite straight forward, the main issue looks to be the timing. The onscreen calculator is quite hard to master and sometimes there can be data to analyse and paragraphs to read before you can try the question, again using up more time. Mental maths is definitely the trick to answering more questions quickly!

Verbal Reasoning, though I had expected to be simple comprehension is actually really quite difficult, with some of the questions being really ambiguous, and many of which I am sure that True, False AND Can’t Tell could all arguably be the correct answer (unfortunately only one is right, and I often pick the wrong one!). Here, again, the timing is quite difficult to stick to with a minute to read the text and a minute to answer the questions. I definitely think preparing an action plan for this section is important, regarding whether you are going to scan read the text, then look back at it after reading the questions or alternatively taking time over the text and answering the questions by memory alone. I am currently finding this section the hardest!

After practising the decision analysis I have found that it is so much more straight forward than I had first anticipated, with the answer being very logical. Once you have read some advice on how to approach this section, it can be understood quite clearly and simply. Whatsmore, this section is the only section where you can really take your time and think about the other options, without strict time limits and as much pressure.

Finally, the abstract reasoning… Being quite uncreative and unimaginative, I immediately found it quite tricky to find any pattern at all and when I finally found one, it wasn’t the correct one! Either it was more complex than the pattern I had found, or I had managed to find a pattern which wasn’t the one I was meant to find. The thing with this section is that with more and more practice you become aware of all the patterns to look for and they become much easier to identify because of this. Whether you are faced with a series of arrows or an assortment of shapes you gradually learn whether to be counting the number of sides, the number of different shapes, the number of same shapes or the number of black/white shapes – eventually it does become easier. Particularly with the vast number of practices available on, you can really get to grips with this section. I would say that of all the sections, this is the most important to continue practising.

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