UCAT Tutoring

Chris Street of My Master of Science Tutor (MMoST.org) was awarded a Masters of Science (MSc) in Medicinal Chemistry in 2015. In addition to tutoring ‘A’ level Biology & Chemistry, Chris tutors students in the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT).

Prior to 2019 the UCAT was known as the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). Whilst the name has changed, the test content remains the same.

Chris will travel to Bournemouth, Christchurch, Lymington, Southampton, Fordingbridge and Poole (and all other towns within this hexagon) to give 1-1 UCAT tutoring.

MMoST will recommend several UCAT books and online UCAT resources (in addition to the official UCAT website).

The UCAT is 2 hours long and has 233 questions so on average one question must be answered every 31 seconds. Timing is critical!  Chris will tutor timing tactics including ‘flagging’ of difficult questions to review later.

Each UCAT has 5 subtests (note: each subtest has an additional 1 minute to read instructions). Chris Street at MMoST tutors strategies and tips for the five UCAT subtests:-

1. Verbal Reasoning (VR)

Verbal Reasoning (VR) is the first subtest of the UCAT. This assesses your ability to read and think carefully about information presented in passages.

This is important because doctors and dentists read research papers and clinical protocols. The ability to make inferences, judgements and conclusions rests on their verbal reasoning ability.

You will be presented with eleven passages of text, each associated with 4 questions. You have 21 minutes (1 minute 55 seconds per passage) to answer the 44 questions in this subtest.

For the first attempt, if for example, you allocate max. 1 and a half minutes per VR passage, you will have 5 minutes to answer flagged passages at the end of the VR subtest. 

2. Decision Making (DM)

The second subtest is Decision Making (DM) which assesses your ability to apply logic to reach a decision or conclusion, evaluate arguments and analyse statistical information.

This is important because doctors must make good decisions despite being given complex information, and do so in a timely manner.

You will be presented with 29 questions that may refer to text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams. You will have 31 minutes (64 seconds per question) to answer the questions in this subtest.

For the first attempt, if for example, you allocate max. 50 seconds per DM question, you will have 5 minutes to answer flagged questions.

The six question types are: drawing conclusions, logical puzzles, interpreting information, venn diagrams, evaluating arguments and probability.

Chris Street will tutor Graphs, Statistics and Probababilty for the DM subtest. 

3. Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

Quantitative Reasoning (QR) is the maths subtest which assesses your ability to solve numerical problems. Proficient data handling is important in medical science for interpreting clinical data.

You will be presented with 36 questions associated with tables, charts, and/or graphs. You will have 24 minutes (40 seconds per question) to answer the questions in this subtest.

For the first attempt, if for example, you allocate max. 30 seconds per QR question, you will have 6 minutes to answer flagged questions. 

Chris Street will tutor you in Number, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Statistics topics for the QR subtest.

4. Abstract Reasoning (AR)

The fourth subtest is Abstract Reasoning (AR) which assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes.  Pattern recognition is important in medicine because symptoms of diseases often overlap with one another and therefore it is an important skill to recognise not only similarities but also differences between diseases so that one can correctly diagnose patients. 

You will be presented with 55 questions associated with sets of shapes. You will have 13 minutes (~ 14 seconds per question) to answer the questions in this subtest.

For the first attempt, if for example, you allocate max. 10 seconds per AR question this will allow 4 minutes to answer flagged questions.

There are four question types: Set A, B or Neither; Complete Series; Complete Statement and Set A or B.

5. Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

The fifth and final subtest is the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) which assesses your interpersonal skills and ethical values (rather than knowledge or clinical skills). This is important because doctors must be ethical and work effectively in a team.

You will be presented with 69 questions associated with 22 scenarios (consisting of between 2 and 5 questions). You will have 26 minutes (22 seconds per question) to answer all questions.

For the first attempt, if for example, you allocate max. 15 seconds per SJT question, you will have 8 minutes to answer flagged scenarios. 

 There are two question types: Appropriateness and Importance.

References

  1. https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/test-format/ (accessed 25th July 2019)
My Master of Science Tutor.org