July 2, 2015 by Emedica
If you think taking the UKCAT is a stressful and arduous thing then consider that I take it every year, on your behalf! I ask for no thanks (although flowers and chocolates can be sent through to the office!)
For the fifth time I presented myself for UKCAT yesterday – the first day of testing. It was the hottest day of the year and I was exceedingly grateful for the basement air conditioning of the Birmingham testing centre.
Check in was smooth – I am a pro and made sure that my phone was off (they check this), my ID approved, my belongings in my bag in the locker and my pockets empty. I actually arrived almost half an hour early having underestimated my walk time and they ushered me into the test room a full 20 minutes before my appointment. The only ‘new’ thing was that they gave me earplugs automatically instead of me asking for them – but I didn’t use them as I find the environment quiet enough.
Verbal Reasoning – I recognised a couple of questions from last year. I had 20 old style (true, false, can’t tell) questions and 24 long style. This was slightly different from last year when it seemed that the shorter VR questions were in danger of being phased out altogether. There were more questions which required you to make a judgement than I was expecting and fewer, correspondingly, where the information was clearly stated in the text.
Quantitative Reasoning – I’ve said it before and I will say it again PRACTICE YOUR PERCENTAGES! It felt like the vast majority of questions featured percentages in one way or another. I had 12 single data set questions (albeit four were on a theme). The onscreen calculator is a bit too big and it’s impossible to place it anywhere where it doesn’t obscure either data or the question. I needed to use my notepad a bit but was able to use mental maths and informed estimates to arrived at the answer very often.
Abstract Reasoning – the first set I thought I had spotted the rule immediately and it was only upon review I realised the rule didn’t work! Some of these were easy and I was confident and others I looked and looked at and saw absolutely nothing! I had one set of five type 4 questions.
Decision Analysis – these felt easier than they have in previous years (though don’t trust me on this – my score was not stellar in this section!) and the codes were a little shorter. The confidence rating hardly slowed me down at all and I finished in time.
Situational Judgement – some classic scenarios appeared featuring social media, unreasonable colleagues, dishonest friends!
And…. the vital statistics are:
Verbal Reasoning 740
Quantitative Reasoning 880 🙂
Abstract Reasoning 750
Decision Analysis 640
Situational Judgement Band 1
So a total score of 3010 – averaged to 752.5. I’m not complaining and my credibility as an ‘expert’ is not too endangered!
Advice to those taking it this year:
QR is definitely the section where I find it easiest to pick up points – hone your maths and get quick.
AR – if you can’t see where it goes then make a judgement as to which one it ‘looks’ more like and guess!
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