Lucy Bird - Ace the UCAT Success Stories
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Lucy Bird is a 2019 Ace the UCAT student who will be studying medicine at the University of Leeds from September 2020. You can follow her at @lucysstudy on Instagram.
I completed the UCAT last summer (2020 medicine entry) with a 745 average (2980 total) and band 3. Although I was really happy with my average, my band was not ideal, though the two UCAT universities I applied to (KCL and University of Nottingham) still gave me interviews for them, and later offers.
I started revising about 6 months before my exam, though for only an hour or so a week. Over time, I increased this to about 1-2 hours a day by 2 months before my exam. This will not be necessary for everyone though – I was on a month-long work experience trip that I arrived home from 4 days before my UCAT, so I did not have the hardcore month of revision that most people have before the exam, instead doing about 2 hours a week maximum. I started off by using a mix between the 1250 UCAT questions book and the free questions on The Medic Portal for the first few months to get a feel of the style of the exam, and then I got the Ace The UCAT book about 2 months before my exam, so I used a mix between that and Medify to refine my answers and increase my accuracy. If I were to take the exam again, I would definitely do more Situational Judgement practise, because I had a tendency to just see whether I got it right or not and not check why I got it wrong. I would also have done more Verbal Reasoning practise, as I had felt confident in it prior to the exam due to my results in practise, but it ended up being my lowest subsection, at 120 points below the next lowest.
My 3 top tips for anyone taking the UCAT would be: 1) If you get an answer wrong in practise, find out why you got it wrong, so you do not make the same mistakes again. 2) Do the practise papers on the UCAT website, as there were some things (eg: new question styles for SJT) that may not be available on websites such as The Medic Portal and Medify. 3) Learn rules! There are several rules and shortcuts in the Ace The UCAT book that you can take in the AR and QR sections that speed up your workings by up to 50%.
Best of luck to anyone taking it, it will be over before you know!
Click here to view the Ace the UCAT Course e-book which Lucy used as part of her preparation.