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The University Clinical Aptitude Test, or UCAT, is the younger, meaner version of the UMAT. It's a computer based test from the UK used by Universities as a standardised intelligence and aptitude test for Undergraduate Medical Degrees and Dentistry Degrees.

Who is the UCAT for?

Many undergraduate Medical and Dental Schools across the country require a UCAT result to be considered for an interview/entry, and often there will be a high cutoff depending on the university and the cohort of applicants. A list of universities can be found here, and each university will make it clear whether or not it is a requirement. So, if you’ve got an inkling to do either medicine or dentistry, I would highly recommend looking into the requirements for the Universities you’re looking to apply for.

Preparing for your UCAT

Now unfortunately the UCAT is a nasty nasty test and you’ll be competing against some of the most driven people in the country; meaning that you’re going to need to give it a red hot crack. The UCAT isn’t a test you ‘study’ for, it’s more about developing strategies, perfecting processes, and mentally preparing yourself for it. There are 5 sections to the UCAT, 4 of which the Universities will actually consider.

Verbal Reasoning (VR)

VR is all about extracting information accurately and efficiently from a passage of text. There are multiple question styles and a huge array of topics that these passages will be about. There are 44 questions in this section, with 21 minutes to complete the test, leaving you with 28 seconds per question. Each section of text is between 200 and 300 words which might take you 60 to 90 seconds to read if you read it fully. Everyone knows the feeling of getting to the end of a paragraph you’ve skim read and need to read it again, which will set you back even further. My point being? You need to skim read for keywords as per each question, and use the flag and return strategy (i’ll talk about this later). This one is a mental stretch, its 20 minutes of pure focus, forcing yourself through 44 questions that are trying to trick you is very difficult. My one take away? Learn to skim read well, and develop this skill.

Decision Making (DM)

DM is your logic section. If you’ve got a good intuition this one could be your bread and butter, but many people also find it the hardest. There's not as much time pressure here –around a minute per question– but be careful not to get caught up. Use diagrams, flow charts, anything that is going to help you. DM has the biggest array of question types, many that you’ll find a breeze, and some that will absolutely stump you, again, flag and return.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

Quick Maths. QR is all about reading the question, understanding what they want, and getting the answer as fast as you can. This is the other section that you’ll face serious time pressure for; trying to use the clunky UCAT calculator while holding numbers in your brain under serious time pressure is very hard. The trick here is knowing what you’re gonna do faster in your brain, and what you're gonna do faster in your head. There are a few simple formulas you’ll need to know, but usually this will be stuff you’ve learned all through early high school, so don't worry too much. You’ll get a keyboard during the UCAT, so I’d recommend practising with a keyboard if possible to get used to using the shortcuts and calculator function. It’s a fine motor skill just as much as a mental skill.

Abstract Reasoning (AR)

The first time you see the AR you’ll think it’s stupid, you get 13 seconds per question, and you’ll be sending photos to your mates, who’ll try and show you up but get it equally as painfully wrong. Not to worry though, this is a great section for marks, and the easiest section to get good at. The main strategy? Develop a systematic approach to each question, and use it every single time. It’s like a golf swing. There’s dozens of youtube videos going into the details of what to look for, definitely watch them, and develop your own strategy that you’ll use each time. Something alot of people do is make a list of all the patterns they’ve seen, they’re gonna come up again, and if you’re lucky it’ll be in your test.

Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

This is a weird one, most universities openly admit that they don't care about the SJT, and that it might only be used to split 2 applicants with the same UCAT, ATAR and Interview (if applicable). Pretty much everything in here will be common sense, give the answer they’d want to hear, and if you can read up about medical ethics you’ll smash it. I’d personally say it’s not worth dedicating as much time and effort to, but if you’re tired on a Sunday afternoon it’s still worth it.

The UCAT is nasty, it's intimidating, and it’s highly competitive; but if you want it badly enough then put in the time, and you can be proud with whatever the result you get knowing you’ve given it your all.  If you ever need some assistance with UCAT studies or even ATAR help, KIS tutors are able to provide materials and teaching on how to prepare for the UCAT exam. Learn about our UCAT tutoring and book a free study skills consultation with a KIS Academics tutor.

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As a year 11 student doing ATAR, I was looking for a tutor that could help me with French. KIS Academics was incredibly helpful and fast at finding me someone who could assist me with my studies. My tutor Eliza Carey over the past few months has helped me so much not only in French but in biology and maths as well. I’m incredibly grateful for the effort and commitment she has put into helping me be more comfortable and less stressed about the subjects I was having difficulty with. It’s been nothing but an honour to be tutored by Eliza and I strongly recommend her as a tutor

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Rating of 4.9 stars

Meet some of our amazing

UCAT Tutors

😍

Warren Du

-

99.15

ATAR

Hello!

My name is Warren Du and I am a provisional medicine student currently undertaking my Bachelor of Science majoring in Mathematics with a current GPA of 6.9.

A little about myself,

✔️ Currently studying Mathematics and Medicine

✔️ 99th UCAT Percentile

✔️ 99th GAMSAT Percentile (100 Section 3)

✔️ Achieved ATAR of 99.15

✔️ Sydney Boys Graduate

✔️ Have 3 years of Private Tutoring experience

While I am all of the above, this is far from myself back in high school. I had to work through trial and error to see which studying habits work and what didn't. Furthermore, I was caught off guard by the changing syllabus. I also didn't really know what I wanted to study at the time, but I wanted options to be available.

But I pulled myself from being ranked 125 to a Top 10 student in a Top 10 selective highschool in NSW to averaging a 6.65 GPA in one of the most competitive universities in Australia.

Well how?

Realising that taking notes and brute forcing them into your memory a few days before the exam is not only highly inefficient but also stressful. Understanding the principles and absorbing the content via active recall principles.

I'll be constantly testing you and giving you my cues and tips - exam time management, weekly time management, avoiding careless mistakes and written responses.

It's incredibly important that your learning is supplemented by a encouraging and empathetic teacher that can understand what you are going through. However, a student's success is determined 70% by the student and 30% by the teacher. I guarantee my 30% but you must give me your 70% and together we can succeed.

Sophie Pisani

-

99.75

ATAR

Hi, I'm Sophie! I absolutely adore maths and science and I would be delighted to have you as a student!

My aim for tutoring is to help all students achieve their best and be proud of themselves! I do this by ensuring you feel comfortable and confident with your subjects through offering comprehensive sessions tailored to your learning style and needs. As someone who has always been dedicated to learning, I will strive to help you do your best and achieve your goals. I believe my enthusiasm and positivity towards these subjects, combined with my logical and structured approach, will help you to reach your full potential!

I graduated as dux of my school achieving an ATAR of 99.75 with VCE study scores of 50 in biology, 48 in further maths, 47 in both chemistry and maths methods and a 99th percentile score for the UCAT. I am now studying Dentistry at La Trobe University.

Throughout my high school years, whilst I undoubtably worked hard on my school work, I still ensured I made time for extra-curricular activities such as music, debating and dancing (as well as a full night’s sleep!). I continued this all the way through to year 12, where I was elected music captain. I found that involving myself in all these activities helped me study much more efficiently and effectively, requiring me to develop better study techniques and habits, and gave me a break from the stress of high school and VCE! 

Madeline Rorie

-

99.75

ATAR

Hi there! I'm Maddie and I'm a student at Griffith University. I'm currently studying a Bachelor of Medical Science, and am looking forward to progressing to the Doctor of Medicine. When I'm not studying, I enjoy playing saxophone, volleyball and catching up with friends.
I was Academic Captain of my high school and graduated with a 99.75 ATAR. Throughout high school, I was quite busy with various extra curricular activities, so acquired a lot of handy tips and tricks about efficient and effective study. I was also lucky to have a group of intelligent peers who were able to give me advice and help out when I was stuck, so I really understand the value of a helping hand. Whether it's providing strategies to tackle that confusing assignment, or helping you nail those dreaded exam questions, I'd love to be that helping hand for you so you can conquer ATAR and get into your dream course, all without giving up the things you love doing!

I understand there are countless different learning styles and methods, and am all about finding what works best for you so your schooling journey is as stress free and enjoyable as possible.

Want some more info? 🙆

What is the UCAT?

The UCAT stands for the University Clinical Aptitude Test and is one of the criteria used by a majority of the Universities in Australia to select students for medicine and dentistry. It is a two-hour-long exam that you complete on a computer and it focuses on different skills and abilities that universities have identified as being pivotal to success in practising medicine or dentistry. There are 5 sections in this exam: verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement. The UCAT, alongside your year 12 results and a rigorous interviewing process is what will ultimately determine whether you will be given a place in an undergraduate medicine or dentistry course, so this exam is very important. For more information have a read of the official UCAT Consortium’s website.

Should I get a UCAT tutor?

The UCAT can seem like a very daunting exam to prepare for, and going into the exam without preparing at all is not advised. A tutor for the UCAT can be of great assistance as they can guide you through each of the sections and help you improve the speed and accuracy of your answers. Without this guidance, it could still be possible to self-learn the techniques and skills required, but it would be a harder journey to travel and having someone there to support you along the way is an invaluable resource.

Should I do UCAT tutoring in a group or individually?

This is ultimately dependent on how you learn best. If you feel that you are a student who can learn effectively in small groups alongside other students and learn together, then a group setting would be ideal. This would allow you to learn from the questions everyone else would be asking as well and ultimately broaden your understanding as well. Whereas, if you are a student who prefers the individualised tutoring approach, one-on-one sessions will work best. However, for the UCAT, generally, tutoring can entail discussions on how to best approach questions and how to focus on the skills and techniques the UCAT Consortium wants future medical students should have. Due to this, a group setting would facilitate deeper and more meaningful discussions due to the variation in thoughts and points that would be raised.

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