5 min read

The Truth About UCAT Preparation Courses: How to Choose the Right Material?

Published on
April 15, 2024

To study medicine or dentistry in Australia, especially at an undergraduate degree level, requires that you are familiar with the ropes of how to tackle the UCAT. The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) has been adopted by most Australian medical universities to choose distinguished candidates who understand the implications of being in the health profession from a very young age. This is precisely why most UCAT test-takers are students who have only recently completed their Year 11 or 12 schooling and are motivated to launch themselves into a career in the clinical health sciences.

UCAT’s effectiveness at distinguishing candidates lies in the exam evaluating you on your ability to rationalise and interpret situations in a logical manner. This is similar to how you would function within a fast-paced hospital environment. In order to be able to demonstrate these cognitive traits, it is crucial that the UCAT preparation materials you choose are not just built around attuning your theoretical understanding, but also improve your problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.

Moreover, you have to conduct background research before actually committing to a UCAT preparation course or trust previous student experiences. 

Well, to make things easier on your end, we have consolidated some filters that you can implement in order to determine the best UCAT preparation resources and courses to maximize your performance on UCAT test day.

UCAT Preparation Courses Should Have the Right Inclusions 

UCAT Preparation Questions

While choosing a UCAT prep course, it is important to examine the course inclusions before enrolling. As much as attempting UCAT question bank helps, it should not be used in isolation for your preparation as the provided questions may not meet the actual UCAT standards. At Fraser’s UCAT, our UCAT practice questions are constantly updated to simulate the latest UCAT exam format, giving direction to your UCAT study. But we stress, this is NOT all that we think you should be doing to prepare for the UCAT.

UCAT Learning Modules

Besides the inclusion of practice questions, we believe in teaching modules that incorporate skills training, such as improving your time management and critical skills analysis. Such themes compose the core of these course materials. This is exactly why we recommend you to be active in your UCAT preparation choices, rather than being a passive student working through past questions with an inexperienced UCAT tutoring company.

UCAT Mentorship

Having said that, whether you choose to study alone or in a group, the UCAT is difficult and requires external supervision to be on the right track. One of the most impressive factors about our UCAT ANZ prep courses, which cannot be found in other UCAT prep companies, is the presence of a ‘Personal Mentor’. Each student will be assigned a personal mentor whose sole purpose is to work with you on your UCAT journey. Basically, the assigned mentor observes your progress in understanding the UCAT and gives you personalized feedback to ensure that your cognitive skills are progressing to excel in the UCAT. Throughout your learning process, you will be consistently re-assured by the mentor and develop a rapport to discuss other concerns, beyond the UCAT. 

UCAT Problem-based Learning

Finally, and most importantly, Fraser's pedagogy is inclined towards making learning personalised. In our UCAT courses, each student not only gains access to over 2000+ practice questions and 20 mini-mock exams, but also engages with other motivated peers in PBL sessions.

These PBL sessions are routine in our UCAT courses, where students brainstorm and take inspiration from other’s UCAT strategies to develop approaches for success in the UCAT. In order to help you achieve that, we have ensured that after the completion of each mock exam, you receive a student report that is thoroughly assessed to highlight your strong and weak areas for improvement in the UCAT. 

UCAT ANZ Prep Courses and Obsolete Strategies 

The UCAT space is ever-evolving, making it a challenging endeavor to overcome each year. With the implementation of new question-types, and increasing competition to score in the top decile, practicing obsolete strategies cannot guarantee success in the UCAT. In fact, it is more important than ever that you keep up with the latest UCAT changes and continually evolve your UCAT practices to match the standard of the real UCAT.

The UCAT, as you know, occurs once a year so it is important that you make your UCAT sitting count.  To be up-to-date with the latest trends in the UCAT, you need to get hands-on with UCAT preparation materials that are led by UCAT experts who provide multiple strategies to match all thinking types. This way you can derive the best thought-process behind approaching different UCAT questions and understand the changes in the exam format over the years. Finally, you need to get your hands dirty by attempting multiple UCAT questions to be fully acquainted with the ropes of UCAT.

Amongst other UCAT prep companies, the Fraser’s UCAT domain has a sound reputation primarily because our UCAT tutors have faced the UCAT in the past and are now successfully enrolled into the medical curriculum. Not just that, our tutors have spent years perfecting a multitude of UCAT strategies that work in conjunction with your thinking style, so you are introduced to a plethora of UCAT approaches during your  UCAT study.

UCAT Courses With Experienced Tutors

A good way to determine the credibility of a UCAT course is if the staff leading the course have either begun medical school or are current practitioners. The UCAT is one of the primary prerequisite exams required for entering an undergraduate medical school, so a tutor who has tackled the UCAT in the past will have the skills and knowledge to be an authentic source delivering the UCAT seminars. Their expertise in deducing and interpreting the various UCAT questions can be a major influence to your UCAT preparation, helping you shape your mindset with improved critical thinking.

Our experienced mentor tutors are continually performing research on updating their UCAT strategies, and also further developing the way we teach. Additionally, problem-based learning is routine in our UCAT seminars. We strongly advocate for students to become self-learners and brainstorm fresh ideas to tackle the UCAT. Our tutors act as facilitators, who drive these PBL sessions with the intention to maximise individual learning experience and add on new perspectives to enhance overall UCAT smarts.

Besides gaining insights on the best UCAT strategies, you ought to also understand the day-to-day schedule of a medical student. As most of our UCAT tutors are also medical students, their lived experiences will provide insights and shape your interpersonal skills for when you need to undertake medical interviews in the near future.

Maintaining Your Well-being For Study

Getting into medical school is a competitive venture, but the sheer amount of knowledge and time management skills required for the subsequent medical curriculum will be a challenge. Our UCAT tutors are amicable individuals who are fully aware of the strenuous nature of a full medical school schedule. Furthermore, they know first-hand how these stressors can impact one's mental well-being. Hence, in our courses, the tutors are always there to assure you of ways to keep your mental peace intact so you can perform to your best all the time.

Free Resource Traps

Free resources are readily available for you to access, but there is often little to no guarantee on their usefulness. Similarly, there are numerous online resources available for the UCAT that are free, or rather, sold at a cheap rate but they may not have accurate UCAT question-types. If you see a Verbal Reasoning section without a passage or an Abstract Reasoning subsection without visuo-spatial patterns, then you definitely need to start questioning its credibility and start looking for better UCAT question banks alternatives.

Besides free online UCAT materials, you may also come across paid advertisements that are highlighting their company statistics of student performances or the success rate of students entering med school. A good strategy could be to conduct your own research and book an in-person appointment with a UCAT specialist to discuss your academic needs. The only way you can truly gauge a prep company’s objective is if you have a clear vision about what you need to achieve in the UCAT, and whether the company can get you to the standard you require.

If Fraser’s UCAT has popped up in your feed several times and you are considering us for your UCAT prep, then we strongly suggest that you book a one-on-one consultation  with one of our experts. Our experts have dedicated their time and efforts to improve your UCAT experience and they are the backbone of creating most of our freely available tools and resources. Hence, the content on our website is factually accurate and reflects a strong commitment to redefining the UCAT domain.