[APOLOGIES FOR THIS COMING LATE]
As the deadline for applications to medical school fast approaches, the hurdles needed to be jumped become more visible, including writing your personal statement, organising your UCAS application and sitting one of the dreaded admissions tests.
As I have always wanted to study medicine, I have become well aware of how the UKCAT works, having sat the test 3 times (soon to be 4). While I haven’t applied to medicine 4 times, I wanted to sit the test each year leading up to this one, the one that really counts, in order to ensure I get the best scores possible and make my applications to medical schools more smooth. I chose to sit the UKCAT oppose to or in conjunction with other admissions tests because I preferred the style, but this is entirely an individual preference and can be determined based on the medical schools you prefer.
Although there is not a syllabus to which to follow in order to revise for the UKCAT, I am a firm believer (having sat it multiple times) that practice really does make perfect. Each year I have ordered a revision book from one of many publishers offering the best book on the market and each year I have seen huge improvements to the scores I have come out with, proving (if only to me) that making the most of the summer to home-in on learning the techniques needed to ace the sections really does make all the difference.
Summer is meant to be a time to spend time with the ones you love, see friends near and far and chill out having had a stressful academic year, but setting aside a few hours a week to work on the skills and timing needed to tackle each section of the UKCAT is doable and you will thank yourself once you receive your score sheet. Trust me!
The structure I follow for my revision is to work on my skills for each section before I master the timing. This way, you can begin to work to spot patterns and become used to the questions styles before you work on ensuring you can answer as many questions as possible in the limited time allocated to each section.
While the admissions tests can be a large deciding factor on whether you are offered an interview to medical school, they are not the only thing which the admissions teams look at and hence you should not make yourself ill with worry leading up to test day. Some medical schools rank their applicants and invite a certain threshold to interview, some only require you to have sat it but do not take it into account and some do not require any admission test to be sat.
While getting a good score is important, it is not everything.
Practice, prepare and perfect.