Swasti Shishodia - Ace the UCAT Success Stories
Swasti is a 2019 Ace the UCAT student who will be studying medicine at the University of Lancaster from September 2020. You can contact her at @swasti_shishodia on Instagram.
HOW LONG I SPENT PREPARING:
- I spent two months preparing for the UCAT. I studied for around two hours a day at a time of the day when I felt most productive. I regularly visited my local library to practice for the UCAT on the computers.
RESOURCES I USED:
I used the following resources to prepare for the UCAT:
- Ace the UCAT Course e-book (PAID):
- Medify (PAID):
- The UCAT website to understand what each section was testing and how this relates to the role of a doctor (FREE):
- ‘1250 UKCAT practice questions’ book (PAID):
https://www.waterstones.com/book/get-into-medical-school-1250-ukcat- practice-questions-includes-full-mock-exam/olivier-picard/laetitia- tighlit/9781905812264?awaid=3787&utm_source=redbrain&utm_medium=sh opping&utm_campaign=css&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4dr0BRCxARIsAKUNjWT1Wp- lBBF8MeOHX32gn5LP5grAjJuKXZAF4FUYHpsPLNR7G7HFLv0aAki5EALw_ wcB&awc=3787_1586950302_d75be974d759394ad4532216282f2f70
- Youtube videos – Kharma Medic; Magda Weronika (any that you can find!) (FREE):
- The GMC’s Good Medical Practice (FREE):
- ‘UCAT secrets’ Free Seminar (FREE):
(their course is quite expensive so probably not worth it – there are others which I’ve heard are better such as 6med. Instead, use this website for tips)
- The Medic Portal to understand the sections of the exam and it’s timings (FREE):
WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY IF I WAS TO TAKE THE UCAT AGAIN:
- Start preparing earlier – from the start of Year 12.
- Looked for a resource which was harder than Medify as I felt that Medify’s VR and SJT sections were much easier than the real exam.
- Asked for external help i.e. gone on an in-person UCAT course.
MY 3 TOP TIPS FOR UCAT SUCCESS:
1. Start preparing early! I would suggest beginning your UCAT preparation from the start of Year 12 – do little and often, perhaps 10 minutes a day or one hour on the weekend. This gives your brain a chance to think of new strategies to solve the questions. It’s playing your favourite game - strategy and regular practice boosts your score. Also, this would give you the chance of work on your weaknesses. For example, as soon as I found out that my lowest score was the verbal reasoning section, I would have started reading regularly to boost my VR score. The UCAT is a skills based test and this takes time to develop.
2. However, if you are preparing in the summer for the test and if you are not getting the results you want after three weeks of preparation, I think that you should seek external help, either from companies like Ace the UCAT or by going on an in-person course. This test is really important. Combined with good GCSEs, this is what determines whether you will get an interview or not so it’s vital that you give it your all!
3. Do the questions in the same environment as you are going to do the test i.e. under time pressure and with a keyboard and a computer. Also, set a timer for a single question to get a feel for the time i.e. 14 seconds for one abstract reasoning item.
Click here to view the Ace the UCAT Course e-book which Swasti used as part of her preparation. Some of the advice from our students may contradict the recommendations in our e-book. In these cases, we recommend that you prioritise following our guidance.