MedEntry

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Why do universities need UCAT scores? Isn’t my ATAR enough?

Good university admissions officers will use your UCAT scores to help them assess your readiness to do tough medical school work. Although the UCAT does not assess broad subject knowledge, it provides a universal benchmark that your high school transcript can’t. It assesses skills that are essential to succeed in a competitive Australian medical school: problem solving, data interpretation, logical reasoning, critical thinking and abstract analysis. Universities need the UCAT because school grades are, unfortunately, far from objective measures of your academic ability. Teachers rarely give out grades consistently and without bias. We all know that every school has easy graders...
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Doesn’t the UCAT do a poor job of predicting medical school grades?

UCAT-bashers have long liked to claim that the UCAT isn’t valuable to universities because it doesn’t predict university grades very well. They miss two important points: first, smart university admissions officers don’t want it to predict grades, and second, it correlates very well with something more important than grades—real success in academic fields like medicine or in life ingeneral. Predicting grades is a wild-goose chase because grades are not objectively distrib­uted: almost any teacher/professor can give out grades any way he or she wishes. Many students, as we all know, get good grades without having great intellectual ability. They just learn...
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UCAT Tips: Learn to make intelligent guesses when necessary

Another tip in scoring well in the UCAT test is to try to eliminate as many responses as you can. Here’s why it is important to eliminate at least some choices when you’re guessing. If you get to a question and you’re not sure of the answer, of course you’ll have to guess. Whether you’re guessing among all four choices or you’ve eliminated a couple of obvious wrong answers, it still feels the same. But this is one time when you shouldn’t listen to your feelings. Let’s say that two test-takers each encounter questions they aren’t sure about during the exam. One of...
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UCAT: Speed Reading

The following reading efficiency techniques can boost your reading rate. But even if your rate is fine, these techniques will help you boost comprehension and concentration. (i) Mechanical Approach You’ve probably seen speed-readers moving their hands down a page as they rapidly read the material, the theory being that their eyes follow their hands. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t forceyour eyes to keep up with your hand. When your hand has reached the bottom of the page, your eyes may still be on the first paragraph. Of course, this approach is even more difficult on a computer monitor. Some reading...
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Medical Entrance and UCAT preparation

Throughout the ages and in most countries medicine has been a profession with special privileges, hence demand to study medicine is high. In fact the demand to supply ratio is higher for medicine than for any other course in Australia, which is one reason for the use of criteria other than ATAR (high school) scores for entry. Since medical knowledge is growing at an exponential rate, it is essential that future doctors have critical thinking, abstract reasoning, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Far from making the system sick, the selection process ensures that doctors are able, affable and adaptable. It is...
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UCAT Prep: Establish your personal scoring goals

Your main goal should be to maximise your potential on the actual UCAT test. Very few students get every question right. You have to be realistic. Strive to work within your own abilities. Students often ask: How does my practice test performance translate to how I will perform on the actual UCAT test? Questions are “graded” for difficulty throughout the MedEntry UCAT prep tests and in the actual test in July.  In order to get a high score (of above 95th percentile) generally you have to be nearly perfect on the easy questions, score at least 80 percent on the hard questions, 70 percent...
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UCAT test tips from MedEntry UCAT Prep

Tips for the actual exam: MedEntry UCAT Course Tips Pace yourself as you go. If you find yourself losing focus in the last subtest think “finish strong” rather than “I’m almost out of here”. Don’t allow yourself to switch off until that final answer is filled in. Never give up until the computer screen closes!Don’t change your answers without good reason, only change them when you’ve reviewed the whole problem and discovered a mistake. For example, “this answer can’t be A, the last two were A” and “it can’t be this one, it’s too easy” are not good reasons to change your answer.Don’t...
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Time management in UCAT

Timing is perhaps the most stress-inducing factor of the UCAT exam. If the UCAT were at take-home test, you would all score well. Managing time is the key. Most of your MedEntry UCAT practice will include timed sections, allowing you to become more familiar and comfortable with the pacing of the exam. The UCAT is not a test of intelligence. Although it is used as a predictor for success in medical schools, it isn’t infallible. A poor performance does not necessarily reflect ineptitude nor does a poor score mean you should not apply to the medical school. It may merely limit your choices. You need...
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Satisfaction with MedEntry UCAT Prep

The use of Year 12 results as the sole basis for med school admissions is problematic. History provides many examples of capable students possessing the ability to succeed at med school who, during their final years of schooling, have had their dreams shattered due to illness, family circumstances, personal misfortune or even natural disaster. These students need an alternate method of entry to med schools. This is one of the reasons for the use of UCAT. According to a report, 83 per cent of graduates from Private providers (such as MedEntry UCAT Prep) indicate high levels of overall satisfaction with their education, compared...
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Does UCAT coaching work?

Psychometric tests such as UCAT have been in use in Australia for the last 25 years, but in the US numerous such tests have been in use for well over a century. Coaching organisations are therefore well established there. The officials at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at Princeton say that they have no objection to the coaching because what is important is that students learn the skills that are tested, whether it is at school, university or at a coaching college. It is to be expected that some would claim that the UCAT is a test that is not susceptible to coaching in an...
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UCAT is different from School tests

I am sure you know kids who don’t do so well in school, yet somehow manage to ace tests like UCAT. And you probably know other students who do really well in school, yet when it comes to UCAT, they don’t do nearly as well – and sometimes even bomb the test completely. Why do so many bright students have so much trouble on the UCAT? Because taking the UCAT is nothing like taking the tests at school. Some examples: School tests rarely last more than an hour. In the UCAT you’ve got to stay mentally focussed for about two hoursOn school...
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Do girls do better in the UCAT?

Girls in general get better grades in school and university in general than boys - so come on guys, get your act together! But here’s a surprise: boys in general outscore girls in aptitude tests. There may be several reasons for this such as: Boys treat aptitude tests as a game to be beaten and strategiseBoys are less likely to be risk averse: an advantage in aptitude testsSchool and university tests/exams reward hardwork, whereas aptitude tests reward skills But wait a minute: In the UCAT however, there is no discernible difference in the overall UCAT scores between boys and girls because the Verbal...
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Is UCAT a fair test?

Every year, debates continue about UCAT.  Is it fair? Is it biased? Is it an achivement test or an aptitude test? Is it good? Is it evil? Does it measure intelligence? Does it measure anything? Does it measure how well you will do in medical school? Does it predict whether you will be a ‘good’ doctor? When a test of similar nature was introduced in the USA in 1926 debates raged on for decades. It is now accepted as a necessary part of medical school selection criteria. These questions come up every year for one good reason: Nobody can answer them. But...
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UCAT and careers teachers

Careers teachers knowledge of and interest in UCAT Preparation varies quite markedly. There are those who go to the trouble of inviting UCAT MedEntry  to come and deliver a course in-house at their school. At the other extreme, there are those who do not have time to research UCAT Preparation, and may be critical of its value for various reasons. If you are in a school where the careers teacher is helpful with regard to UCAT Preparation, you are fortunate: your careers teacher will ensure you get all the necessary information about the UCAT and UCAT training. If your school has a careers teacher who is...
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UCAT test day: Tips from MedEntry UCAT Prep

MedEntry UCAT Course Tips Relax the night before the UCAT. All of your MedEntry UCAT study should be behind you – cramming at this point will probably do more harm than good. As long as you get a good night’s rest you are allowed to have some fun in the evening before the UCAT.Lay out everything you are going to need when taking the UCAT the night beforehand. This will allow you to have a more peaceful rest that night, and a less stressful time in the morning.If you are taking the UCAT at an unfamiliar location, make sure you get directions well ahead...
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Smart Test Taking tips from MedEntry UCAT Prep

Smart Test-Taking tips for UCAT: MedEntry UCAT Course Tips Make your MedEntry UCAT practice tests feel real – try your best to replicate the conditions in which you will be actually taking the UCAT. Take the UCAT test in one sitting with only 1 minute break in between subtests. If you have difficulty concentrating for two hours, it is worthwhile building your UCAT test-taking stamina: you might want to take just one or two subtests at first, and gradually build up until you are taking the full MedEntry UCAT practice tests in the months/weeks before the UCAT.Aerobic exercise will supply your brain and body with...
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