5 min read

UCAT Preparation During the Final Month

Published on
April 15, 2024

There are a series of common questions that are bound to appear in your mind while refining your personalised UCAT prep schedule, like ‘is 2 months enough to prepare for the UCAT’ or ‘how early is too early to start studying for the UCAT?’ These are both valid questions to ask yourself or an UCAT mentor you trust before creating a timetable for UCAT study

However, bear in mind that planning and strategizing does not stop once you have a study schedule up and running. For an aptitude test as tough as the UCAT, you are always amending the study schedule according to the progress you are making, up until the final days.

For instance, you may initially devote at least 5 hours to respond, revise and review your performance after completing a UCAT mock. Naturally, though, this designated time slot will reduce around the final month purely because you have improved levels of accuracy and pacing at that stage.

In saying this, the final month, or the last four weeks before your registered UCAT test date are some of the most important, defining weeks of study. But, how should you spend it? Is it best utilised attempting numerous UCAT practice questions without making errors, or pledging to only maximise on the available UCAT revision resources?

Before you make a swift decision, read further to figure out the best ways to prepare for the UCAT when you are little over a month away!

How to Study for the UCAT in the Last Month?

Strike a Balance Between UCAT Practice Questions and Question Drills

During the final month, your UCAT prep time should allocate adequate time for undertaking approximately 2 or 3 practice exams in a week, that are timed, and give equal preference to doing question drills.

Question drills, as opposed to UCAT practice tests, are largely dependent on the skills or subtests you wish to work on. Such drills could take the form of 10 random questions from different UCAT subsections in a day or 10 questions from individual subsections. The choice is entirely up to you, however, it is important to draw a balance between the UCAT mock exams and practice drills you attempt in the days leading up to the UCAT exam.

Assuming you have had the past couple of months to comprehend and recognise the types of questions that could appear in the UCAT, you have surpassed half the difficulty level. As with the UCAT, the emphasis is broadly given to how well you tackle a question variation, which again goes back to your understanding of the nature of questions

In simple terms, during the final stage of your UCAT study, you need to attempt practice exams with a 2-hour time constraint but ensure that you do not overload yourself in at the same time.  Our UCAT mentors believe that untimed UCAT sample questions or question banks can also serve the purpose of preparing you for the UCAT and providing a meaningful learning outcome during the final hurdle.

Try to Avoid Repetitive Mistakes in your Timed Mock Exams

UCAT, amongst other things, is primarily a psychometric exam that measures your ability to demonstrate skills like critical thinking, speed reading, and your capacity to be flexible at mental calculations. These cognitive traits may initially seem unachievable if set aside to the last-minute, and additionally, may decline if you are sporadically deploying these skills rather than being consistent in your practice. This is one of the reasons why UCAT applicants also tend to make repetitive mistakes.

The UCAT’s testing style is notably the factor that comes across as overwhelming to most students. Therefore, there is no point in aimlessly doing question drills or even timed mock exams as your improvement will quickly plateau if you are not aware of your mistakes.

A minor, avoidable mistake in the UCAT can cost you that one mark, which could make-or-break mark of your entire exam score. Nevertheless, your UCAT timeline towards the final month should really focus on undoing any of the bad habits you may have picked up throughout your study duration. This could include not paying attention to keywords in VR passages, spending additional time on calculating simple equations, or identifying AR patterns by looking at the provided solutions instead of the question itself.

Try to split your study hours to focus on UCAT mock exams followed by reviewing and rectifying the reasons for incorrect answers. If you give it a thought, deploying this strategy during practice can help you to avoid falling into the trap of making common UCAT mistakes on the test day.

There is Always Room for Improvement in the UCAT

As you approach your UCAT testing window, you may feel anxious and those unavoidable UCAT nerves. However, this exam pressure is commonly felt amongst all test takers. The only thing that can truly help you overcome this feeling is if you are consistent in improving and improvising your learned techniques while practicing at home. After spending months preparing for the UCAT, some students feel like they have reached a saturation point in their study. However, we would highly recommend you keep on pushing until the last moment - your future self will thank you!

It is imperative for you to understand that being stuck at a particular percentile after doing each mock exam is not an appropriate method to track your progress. In fact, even during the actual UCAT exam itself, your ultimate goal is to not receive a satisfactory score but to be amongst high scorers in the top decile. 

Be mindful that, at home you are your only challenger but on a broader scale, your scores compete with other fellow peers in your cohort, with varying levels of cognitive skills. Hence, it is really about how much you are willing to improve and go that extra mile during your UCAT study, and not to settle for a mediocre score.

Perfectionism is Not the Final Goal

Let us now establish an important goal you should steer clear from - Perfectionism

One of the things you should be comfortable doing by the end of each practice test is ‘Flagging’ a ridiculously hard UCAT question and moving on to another question that seems relatively on the easier end. As a perfectionist, this method would not be your optimal UCAT strategy, however, it can really help you in the big picture. What this means is that, by realistically working through different UCAT questions without giving in too much time than needed per question, you are completing a majority of doable questions first and setting ample time in the end to revisit the trickier ones.

We hope our article was beneficial and provided relevant information on how to effectively plan your final month of UCAT prep.

We at Fraser’s are always ready to have a chat and help students out with their UCAT queries. If you are looking for UCAT preparation courses, we have our comprehensive and concentrated course materials meant to provide you with tutorials, PBL classroom sessions, theoretical knowledge and mock exams to gain a wholesome learning experience.

Besides, if you are confused about how to prepare a suitable UCAT preparation plan that adheres to the everyday commitments you have, our senior UCAT mentors can guide you through this process, free of cost.