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What can you do now to enhance your UCAT performance? Tip 2: Brush up on your maths skills

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UCAT will take place in July 2019. However, there are a few things you can start doing now to enhance your UCAT performance. Our second tip is to brush up on your maths skills.

UCAT is not a maths test, it is a test of your reasoning skills. However, many of the questions in the Quantitative Reasoning and Decision Making subtests of UCAT require mathematical manipulations.

Although you are provided with an on-screen calculator in UCAT, it is cumbersome and time consuming to use. It is much quicker to make calculations in your head, or on the noteboard you are given in UCAT.

Remember that timing is of the absolute essence in UCAT. It is not sufficient to get the question right; the aim is to get the question right as quickly as possible. Even high performing students run out of time to answer all questions in UCAT.

Therefore, it is important that you brush up on your maths skills to save time and enhance your UCAT score.

Here are some top tips:

  • Practice your ‘mental maths’ skills. Whenever possible, avoid using your calculator. Try to make calculations in your head if possible, or on a piece of paper. Use every opportunity to practice your maths skills – for example, try to calculate the total cost of items when you are at the supermarket.
  • Practice making calculations quickly. When you are solving a maths problem, set yourself a time limit and try to stick to it. Put yourself under time pressure to get you used to making calculations quickly and accurately. If you do this, making calculations in the UCAT will be much easier.
  • Read mathematical literature. Many of the stimuli in the Quantitative Reasoning section of UCAT is taken from magazines and newspapers. So pick up the Economist or the Financial Review and get used to reading about numbers, and interpreting data presented in graphs. Think about the main conclusions that can be drawn from the data, and any limitations.
  • Brush up on basic mathematical concepts. UCAT will not involve complex mathematics, but a basic understanding of probability, percentages/ratios/fractions, algebra and geometry will be useful in answering UCAT questions.

The highest performers in the UCAT are able to identify relevant mathematical data, set up the right equations, and solve them quickly and accurately without relying on the calculator. So brush up on those maths skills!

More tips and strategies for all subtests are available in MedEntry UCAT Courses. 

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