Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Medicine Application: UKCAT Preparation

Hey guys,

So my UKCAT is just over a month away and I have been doing some prep for a while now. I just wanted to talk about the different resources I've been using so far.

N.B: Everything written in this post about these different resources is my PERSONAL opinion.

1. Get into medical school: 600 UKCAT practice questions:

The newest version I know about for this book is the 2013 version. I don't know if a new version was published this year and I'm not too sure if the new versions have Situational Judgement practice questions. If they do, then they would probably be more useful than the older versions.

Pros:

  • It is very informative and it provides you with possibly all the information you need to know about the UKCAT.
  • It has very good tips, techniques and explanations about how to strategically tackle the questions in the different sections and I found this information really useful.
  • There are enough questions for practice.
  • Answers to questions are explained in detail.
  • It has a mock exam as well.


Cons: 

  • When I went through the book last year, I found the Quantitative Reasoning questions a little bit more complex- not difficult, just not as straightforward as the questions in the actual exam. Going through them again this year, I have actually found them easier than I did last year. Maybe it's because I'm going through them for a second time.
  • The fact that the questions aren't on the computer makes it even more difficult to practise timing. I have tried to time myself but it's just not the same when you are using pen and paper. 

2. UKCATHELP.ORG
Pros:

  • The questions are free.
  • Questions are timed so it helps in practising timing.
  • Also includes SJT practice tests.
Cons:

  • Has only one test for Abstract Reasoning.
  • Maybe it's just me, but some of the tests always seem to end a few seconds earlier which can be annoying.
  • Either gives you too many questions for the time allocated or gives you more time for the questions given.
  • It doesn't have the online calculator for the QR section.
  • Sometimes, when doing the QR questions, you'd have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find the answers and doing this can waste time.
  • Some of the answers to questions are messed up for e.g in the Q.R section, it'll ask for ratio but answers will be given in percentages or vice versa.
  • It always tell you you've passed the quiz even if you get all the questions wrong.

3. Getintomedicine.co.uk 

Pros:
  • I actually do love this website in terms of the amount of useful information it has. Not just about the UKCAT but about personal statements, UCAS, work experience, interviews and everything to do with the medicine application. It even has some applicant stories which can be motivational. 
  • Has free UKCAT practice questions and UKCAT tips and advice.
Cons:

  • It doesn't really have too many practice questions.
  • Questions are not timed.
  • The format of the questions aren't like those of the real exam and so you would have to use a pen and paper. 
  • Doesn't have the online calculator.



4. UKCAT Official website:

Pros:

  • Questions are of the same format as those in actual exam.
  • Has online calculator.
  • Questions are timed.
Cons:

  • The only thing I would say here is questions tend to be a bit more complex. But then again, you wouldn't be able to say for sure unless you do the actual exam.
I haven't gotten a Medify subscription yet but when I get it, I will do another post about what I think about it. For those doing the UKCAT exam, are there any other resources I haven't mentioned that you have used and found useful? Please leave a comment. I would like to know.
Thanks for reading.