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Optimising your performance in UCAT: 5 Lessons from Sports Psychology

Preparing for the UCAT is like preparing for a marathon: it requires training, persistence and strategies to optimise your performance on UCAT test day. Just as an athlete prepares for a major sporting event, so you must prepare yourself to sit UCAT, which is one of the most important exams that you will face in your career. We can learn much from athletes about optimising performance in UCAT, as outlined in this TED talk by Martin Hagger: This talk discusses how highly successful athletes prepare themselves before a competition. The five key points are summarised below, with an emphasis on how...
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I didn’t get a good enough UCAT score – what should I do?

If you are in First year at Auckland or Otago and did not do well in UCAT: You can continue your degree and apply through the graduate category or you can apply to Australia after resitting UCAT in your second year.     If you are Year 13 in NZ and want to get straight into medicine in Australia but did not do well in UCAT:  The UCAT testing period is a big month for many students across Australasia and even other countries around the world. For information on what is a 'good' UCAT score, check out our dedicated blog. It can...
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6 COMMON UCAT VERBAL REASONING PITFALLS

  Without a doubt, most UCAT test takers find Verbal Reasoning to be the most challenging subtest. The combination of the stringent timing (~30s per question), the information dense passages and of course, testing nerves (being the first UCAT section!), can often result in lower scores in this subtest. It is important to note that participants tend to score lower in UCAT Verbal Reasoning – from last year’s UCAT test statistics, you can see that the mean for Verbal Reasoning is lower than that across the other subtests. During your UCAT practice, don’t be disheartened if you struggle with this section!...
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UCAT SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT: 5 TOP TIPS

Situational Judgement UCAT questions test a different type of non-cognitive aptitude, and can be challenging if you do not have an effective framework to answer them. This blog covers five key tips for success in the UCAT Situational Judgement test. 1.  Identify the key issue(s) in the scenario When reading the UCAT Situational Judgement scenario, it is important to read actively, identifying the key issues raised. This will help you to judge the relative importance of considerations, or the appropriateness of various actions. For example, a consideration is likely to be ‘very important’ if it addresses a key issue raised in...
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5 Tips For UCAT Timing

If you ask any candidate sitting UCAT what the hardest part of the UCAT is, they will inevitably say one thing: timing. All questions in the UCAT are do-able if you are given unlimited time. If sufficient time is given, most students would be able to score very highly in UCAT. However, UCAT is designed intentionally to give you less time than is required to answer UCAT questions. This is the only way the UCAT Consortium can distinguish the top performers from the rest of the pack. In fact, each year over one fifth of UCAT candidates fail to mark an...
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Is UCAT Stressing You Out? Here's How to Use Stress to Your Advantage

You may have heard that stress negatively impacts on performance, particularly in an intellectually challenging test such as UCAT. You may have been told that if you are too stressed in the lead up to an important exam such as UCAT, you won’t do well. You may have been advised to look for ways to relieve your UCAT-related stress. While this may be true, in some cases trying to get rid of UCAT stress can actually cause you to become more stressed. A different approach, which might sound crazy at first, is to embrace your UCAT stress. The following three strategies...
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Optimising your health for UCAT: What I learned from getting the flu two days before my UCAT exam and other lessons

Imagine you’re a hardworking student. You have consistently studied for the UCAT for several months and you are feeling pretty well prepared for UCAT exam itself (hopefully this is not too hard for you to imagine 🙂). Maybe you have a week before exam day and while you are beginning to feel the nerves of the situation, you are really not too worried. Because why should you be? You have studied hard. You have completed or come pretty close to completing your UCAT tuition course. You even went to one of those famous two day MedEntry workshops with the mighty Dr...
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5 Tips for UCAT Abstract Reasoning

Struggling with UCAT Abstract Reasoning questions? Check out this blog which outlines 5 top tips. 1.  Identify the pattern first When you are first starting out with Abstract Reasoning UCAT questions, it can be tempting to focus on the test shape and try to ‘match’ it to the sets. This wastes valuable time and is unlikely to lead you to the correct answer. Instead, start by examining the sets and looking for a pattern. Once you have identified the pattern, it will be easy to determine which set the test shape fits into.  2.  Choose your own perspective Some questions are...
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UCAT Scoring and Scaling: How does it work? Part 1

A common question among students preparing to sit the UCAT is how does UCAT scoring work? This blog answers that question. Practical implications for the UCAT test taker are covered in Part 2 of this blog. Many UCAT companies claim that they can predict UCAT scores and percentiles from the number of UCAT questions that you answer correctly. This is unfortunately completely misleading and inaccurate. Most UCAT preparation companies have little to no understanding of the scoring process and therefore their platforms provide misleading information regarding predicted UCAT scores. In reality, UCAT scoring is an extremely complicated process. In this blog...
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Tips for UCAT Test Day and the Night Before

The day before UCAT Ensure that you have everything you need for UCAT test day: importantly, a printout of your UCAT email confirmation from Pearson VUE and acceptable photographic identification (the name must match the one on your confirmation email, and it must be unexpired). Also ensure that you know where your UCAT testing centre is, and how you are going to get there. If you are ill or have extenuating personal circumstances, you can reschedule your UCAT test. You can do so at least 24 hours before your test appointment by contacting Pearson VUE directly.  The night before UCAT This...
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UCAT ANZ 2021: A STUDENT’S EXPERIENCE

I have just completed UCAT 2021! What a relief to have it done. There were no surprises and I felt well prepared thanks to MedEntry’s UCAT preparation. Here’s how the day went: Arrival and registration I sat UCAT in a morning session. My confirmation email from Pearson VUE said that I should arrive at least 30 minutes before my UCAT testing appointment, which I did. The building was well signed and when I arrived there were already some other UCAT candidates sitting in the waiting area. I was asked to have a seat and read through some UCAT test instructions. After...
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5 Tips for UCAT Exam Day

1. Don’t panic This might sound like another one of those easier said than done things that people around you might say, but it’s actually so important on the day itself! Plan ahead in advance for transportation to and from the UCAT exam centre. If you are taking public transport, keep in mind the possible delays caused and try to adjust for it. Better yet, get your family members to drop you off at the UCAT testing centre. This will reduce your worries and allow you to reach the UCAT centre smoothly. Even though this might sound like a negligible tip,...
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UCAT 2021: Top Tips for Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning subtest of UCAT can be challenging, even for those who are proficient at maths. This is largely due to the extreme time pressure placed on students in this UCAT subtest. The commonest mistake made by students in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest is to approach it like you would approach a high school maths test – by calculating everything perfectly, checking your working and not being aware of common wrong answer traps.  To do well in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest of UCAT, you need a strategic approach. This blog outlines five key tips. Tip 1: Use the UCAT calculator...
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CHECKLIST: ARE YOU UCAT READY? 10 ESSENTIALS FOR UCAT SUCCESS

With UCAT rapidly approaching, it is important that you take a few moments to check whether you are UCAT ready. MedEntry has compiled a checklist of 10 essential tasks to complete before UCAT test day.          1. Register for UCAT and check your ID Ensure you have registered for UCAT and scheduled a UCAT testing date/time. If you have done so, you will have received a confirmation email from Pearson VUE. Confirm that your identification document is acceptable and that the name and date of birth on the document exactly matches the details you provided to Pearson VUE....
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What is a Good UCAT ANZ Score?

Students who sit UCAT ANZ receive their UCAT Score Report on the same day, often within an hour of sitting the test. Students will be notified via email once their UCAT Score Report is available. The format of UCAT scores can be confusing. This blog answers some common questions about UCAT ANZ scores. How are UCAT ANZ scores calculated? UCAT ANZ scores are calculated by converting the number of questions you got right into a ‘scaled score’. Scaled scores range from 300-900 in each subtest. Pearson VUE do not publicly release details of how they calculate scaled scores, but they use statistical tools...
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UCAT INTENSIVE CLASSES START SOON!

Feeling the pressure of UCAT? Need more personalised support? Then check out MedEntry’s online, live-streamed UCAT Intensive Classes.  Classes are run by an experienced tutor who has achieved the highest possible score in UCAT (99th percentile).  Your tutor will work through the five sections of the UCAT, covering each of the UCAT question types, demonstrating key UCAT strategies and providing tips to optimise your performance on UCAT test day. Intensive Classes also provide the unique opportunity to discuss UCAT questions that you find difficult, and have any queries you have regarding UCAT answered. The 2021 schedule is designed for you to...
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5 UCAT Tips from a student who scored >3500!

Tim was a MedEntry student who achieved a whopping 3520 in the UCAT last year, which was the highest score achieved. Tim is now studying medicine at the University of New South Wales. In this blog, Tim shares his top 5 UCAT tips. 1. Periodically Check Your UCAT Timing While doing the UCAT, it’s very easy to get lost in the questions, focusing on reading and answering each one correctly. However, this carries the risk of running out of time, or not getting as many questions done as you would have hoped. Learning to quickly see if you’re on pace to...
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UCAT 2021: Top Tips For Verbal Reasoning

  Verbal Reasoning is one of the most difficult and time pressured subtests of UCAT. In fact, up to 20% of students each year fail to answer every question – that is, they run out of time to even randomly guess some questions! This blog describes five key strategies to help you boost your speed and performance in the 2020 UCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest.   Increase your reading speed Speed reading is a key skill that is required to succeed in the Verbal Reasoning subtest of UCAT. Not only will you be faced with lengthy passages of text, but you will...
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Is It Too Late To Start Preparing For UCAT 2021

The short answer is: no. Improving your performance in UCAT is possible, no matter how late you start (unless you start preparing the night before UCAT, of course!). The long answer is: it depends on how you prepare for UCAT. At this stage, it’s important to study smart. This involves being focussed, and preparing in ways that will make a difference to your UCAT performance. Trying to do as many UCAT practice exams as you can will take up a lot of your time, and may not be the most efficient way to prepare. You are also likely to be busy...
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HOW WILL UCAT ANZ 2021 BE DELIVERED?

With the continued COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing threat of last minute lockdowns and travel restrictions, you may be wondering, how will UCAT ANZ 2021 be delivered? How did UCAT ANZ 2020 take place? Last year, UCAT proceeded mostly as normal, despite the fact that there was a Victorian lockdown during the UCAT testing period. The vast majority of candidates sat UCAT as planned, in a testing centre, during the month of July. There were some additional precautions taken by Pearson VUE relating to hygiene measures and social distancing, which led to some students having to reschedule their UCAT testing date and...
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