• ALL USERS: please familiarise yourself with the MSO Forum Rules (updated 03/08/20). The link to the rules is the first in the forum list.
  • UCAT PREP COMPANY DISCUSSION: Site administrators have implemented a rule that states there is to be NO mention of UCAT prep companies. This includes discussion, recommendations, questions, and reviews, and extends to allusions, acronyms, and other other attempts to get around the rule. Offending content will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be warned and may be banned.

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

Post-UCAT Discussion 2020

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

N182

Regular Member
Thank you! Nope, they let me start the exam by myself. But I was shook by how they kept on pushing me to register and enter the test room early. If anyone reads this next year - please avoid Pearson Professional Centres at Parramatta.
IDK I found it a much better experience than Pitt street last year as they were all around nicer but maybe that was just me.
 
Hiya guys! Took my UCAT yesterday for the second time in two years - here's my thoughts on it.


Subtest20192020
VERBAL REASONING830720
DECISION MAKING640830
QUANTITATIVE REASONING780780
ABSTRACT REASONING770700
TOTAL30203030
SJT725700

Date completed: 31st July 2020, 4:00 - 6:00PM
Venue: Pearson Professional Centres - Parramatta
General thoughts on results:
The result isn't anything to be disappointed at - it improved marginally from last year. But it was lower than my expectations - I was achieving north of 3300+ on most of my mocks. At the end of the day, it came down to nerves on the day (more on this later).
  • Verbal Reasoning - not pleased. This is one of my best subtests, and I always achieved 850+ on every single mock. I dropped here due to nerves on the day.
  • Decision Making - Pleased with this result! I managed the dramatic improvement from last year by focusing on gaining 'easy' marks on logic puzzle, Strongest Argument, and puzzle questions. I also got much better at drag n' drop questions.
  • Quantitative Reasoning - I'm alright with it.
  • Abstract Reasoning - This was my worst subtest by far. I'm just glad I didn't get a score in the 600s!
General comments on the exam/exam experience:
Wow, it's time to absolutely dump on Pearson Professional Centres at Parramatta.

I went for a walk before the test, and arrived at 3PM. The gentleman at the front who greeted me and asked me to use hand sanitiser was friendly enough - kudos to him for being nice, as was the invigilator. Unfortunately, mirroring EMPATHY's experience, the reception and locker staff were horrible. Although I stated that I would wait until 4PM to take my test, using the time in between to relax and calm myself, they kept on calling out loudly for me to register and put my belongings in the locker. In the end, they pressured me to begin my exam early. I had a pre-UCAT routine which involved meditating and clearing all nervous thoughts from my head, which I found made a lot of difference when I took mocks - I wasn't able to carry this out before the actual exam, and as a result I feel my performance suffered in Verbal Reasoning, although I took time to breathe before I started the test.

  • Overall exam: Compared to last year's UCAT, this year's UCAT seemed more difficult. This seems to be true judging from the results of friends who're retrying for Medicine who did well in the UCAT last year and conducted a lot of practice this year.
  • Verbal Reasoning: In terms of how I felt in this subtest, because of having to start the test early I felt really nervous when I hit some long passages with inference questions. I put a lot of my heart into succeeding in this year's UCAT, so I honestly wondered if I'd met the end of the line, and spiralled. It was terrible Thankfully, I regained my composure later in the subtest and sped through as much as possible, but didn't get to answer some passages properly and as a result my score suffered.
    In terms of the actual subtest itself, it was on par with official mocks, or perhaps a bit more difficult. Lots of inference and comprehension questions.
    TIP: Locating keywords in the question stem, then skimming the passage to match for them will get you a long way. I have a post on Verbal Reasoning on my profile with more tips.
  • Decision Making: I used the minute break before to do deep breathing and reset my mind. From here on, the UCAT passed by in a flash.
    The subtest itself is a bit easier than official mocks.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Easier than official mocks. The questions aren't particularly difficult, and multi-step calculations aren't complicated.
  • Abstract Reasoning: Honestly, I was a bit thrown off here, I think because of nerves. The patterns weren't particularly difficult, but there were one or two sets that I couldn't solve. That, in conjunction with additional rules on simple patterns that I most likely didn't catch, threw me off.
  • Situational Judgement: It's on par with any UCAT mock you'll do.
At the end of the day, I'm just glad that I got through the test with a decent result. It has been a stressful three months of preparation for me, with many of my friends who want passionately to get into Medicine not getting the score that they wanted, and ups and downs in terms of mental health. I expected there to be some huge surge of relief when I clicked the 'End Test' button, but instead it was just a feeling of 'It's done'. To be honest, I think the nerves waiting for the score report email are worse than the actual test :p

I focused on mindset a lot during my UCAT preparation, but it all got thrown in the drain as soon as I was made to enter the test room early and the nerves started to build. So here's my one takeaway from this year's UCAT for any future candidates: You can do as much UCAT preparation as you like, but at the end of the day it all comes down to your mindset on the day and how well you manage your emotions. Prepare for the absolute worst - if you get forced into the test early by unpleasant staff, what will you do? What happens if you hit a difficult question that you haven't encountered before? Think about ways you can make yourself snap into a state of calm quickly, such as utilising rhythmic breathing, or visualisation (one such visualisation I used in my mocks was an image of myself floating on a cloud, calm and present as I breezed through the test).

At the end of the day, I wish I had done better, because I know I had the potential to - but I got the result that I needed (hopefully), so I'm satisfied. The absolute best of luck to everyone on this forum with getting into Medicine or Dentistry this year, particularly to the Year 12s on this forum graduating this year - you have had it tough this year with COVID disrupting your studies, and trials are approaching, so study hard, but most importantly, take care of your mental health! Hope to see you guys in the Interview Offers thread. :)

Your VR score is incredible compared to the average, I am struggling badly what was your technique?(question or passage first?)
 
Your VR score is incredible compared to the average, I am struggling badly what was your technique?(question or passage first?)
Posting this up for reference for future UCAT takers:
---
  • Verbal Reasoning tests your ability to read and comprehend a range of literature, locate appropriate information accurately and rapidly, and compare and evaluate it.
    • This is relevant in a clinical context when you read research, patient notes etc. and evaluate information quickly.
    • Understanding what the subtest wants from you helps you guide your preparation better.
    • Note the emphasis on rapidly.
  • Key strategies
    • Check the question stem first to see if you have to do the work. It's usually the case that you'll have to skim the passage quickly before answering. But sometimes they'll ask you something that's fairly straightforward, instead of a "Which one of the four options is true?" type question, i.e. "threefivetwo was born in July 1928 in Sydney, Australia."

      The keyword here is 1928, as the place of birth will be located near this term in the passage. So all you need to do is skim the passage for "1928" here and verify that the stem is correct.
    • Speed reading and chunking. An important part of VR is being able to grasp what the text talks about, in addition to a sense of the tone of the passage quickly so that you don't lose time. So you need to read the text faster, but this cannot come at the expense of losing a decent understanding of the text.
      A fairly common problem with speed reading is that you read it out verbally in your head, which limits your speed. If you do this, suppress the urge to do so.
      Speed reading is basically reading the text faster, meaning that your eye will track across each line of the passage faster. A good way to keep your eye focused is to use your cursor to track across the sentence as you read it. The better way is to chunk sentences/the passage into groups. This link will give you a pretty good explanation of chunking. How to Read Groups of Words: Chunking | Speed Reading Lounge
    • Changing gears. In a passage, there's often information that wouldn't be particularly useful to the question (i.e. a long winded explanation of some concept). When you encounter this, change gears and speed up. When there is important information (i.e. birth dates, places, numbers, definitions), change gears and slow down. Know when to change your reading speed.
    • Locating information based on the type of passage. The location of information can often be inferred from the type of passage. For example, if the passage is a biography and the question asks for the birth date, that's going to be in the first paragraph. If it's a news article and the stem references a quotation, that'll most likely be in the middle or the end of the passage, as the beginning is usually devoted to explaining the topic of the article.
    • Timing. Look at your UCAT prep provider's LMS for tips on timing. Generally I like finishing with about 6-8 minutes left so I have time to go back for harder questions and anything else I flagged.
    • Passes. The same strategy for completing the subtest in passes that I talked about in QR applies here.
  • Tips
    • Practice speed reading and chunking beyond your UCAT practice. Although the most useful type of practice is timed practice and mocks, practicing these techniques beyond the UCAT will help immensely in applying them. You can practice on news articles, the introduction of Wikipedia articles, sections of course notes, Moodle discussion posts, emails, etc. Once you finish reading it, ask yourself what the passage was about overall, what the key points in it were and where you'd find them, and the tone of the passage. I feel that it'd help!
    • Reflect on your mocks and target your practice. You know that VR is your weakest subtest, but do you know why it's your weakest subtest? I encourage you to reflect on your mocks and categorise each wrong question by mistake type (i.e. Missed a qualifier word, ran out of time, silly mistake). And once you do so, write down specific actions that you'll take before your next mock to work on these mistakes (i.e. Timed practice of 40 questions to improve timing, drills on x UCAT prep company to improve ___).
Hope this helps :) It's over at the Verbal Reasoning thread.
 

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

guys just a question what do you think will happen if Melbourne goes into complete lockdown before my ucat test?
Taken from the UCAT COVID-19 update page:

Update 8 July 2020
Melbourne metropolitan lockdown restrictions


From 11:59pm on 8 July, Stage 3 restrictions will be reinstated across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire VIC. Education is exempt from these restrictions and the Melbourne test centres will remain open.

Candidates should attend their scheduled test as usual.

(this doesn't apply to now)

I'd expect that you'd still be able to attend your UCAT exam. Whatever the case, don't worry too much about it since whatever happens will happen - focus on preparing yourself for your UCAT, and if you have any mocks scheduled for yourself soon, take them wearing a mask to simulate the environment as that's required now. :)
 

Nardwuar

Member
Hiya guys! Took my UCAT yesterday for the second time in two years - here's my thoughts on it.


Subtest20192020
VERBAL REASONING830720
DECISION MAKING640830
QUANTITATIVE REASONING780780
ABSTRACT REASONING770700
TOTAL30203030
SJT725700

Date completed: 31st July 2020, 4:00 - 6:00PM
Venue: Pearson Professional Centres - Parramatta
General thoughts on results:
The result isn't anything to be disappointed at - it improved marginally from last year. But it was lower than my expectations - I was achieving north of 3300+ on most of my mocks. At the end of the day, it came down to nerves on the day (more on this later).
  • Verbal Reasoning - not pleased. This is one of my best subtests, and I always achieved 850+ on every single mock. I dropped here due to nerves on the day.
  • Decision Making - Pleased with this result! I managed the dramatic improvement from last year by focusing on gaining 'easy' marks on logic puzzle, Strongest Argument, and puzzle questions. I also got much better at drag n' drop questions.
  • Quantitative Reasoning - I'm alright with it.
  • Abstract Reasoning - This was my worst subtest by far. I'm just glad I didn't get a score in the 600s!
General comments on the exam/exam experience:
Wow, it's time to absolutely dump on Pearson Professional Centres at Parramatta.

I went for a walk before the test, and arrived at 3PM. The gentleman at the front who greeted me and asked me to use hand sanitiser was friendly enough - kudos to him for being nice, as was the invigilator. Unfortunately, mirroring EMPATHY's experience, the reception and locker staff were horrible. Although I stated that I would wait until 4PM to take my test, using the time in between to relax and calm myself, they kept on calling out loudly for me to register and put my belongings in the locker. In the end, they pressured me to begin my exam early. I had a pre-UCAT routine which involved meditating and clearing all nervous thoughts from my head, which I found made a lot of difference when I took mocks - I wasn't able to carry this out before the actual exam, and as a result I feel my performance suffered in Verbal Reasoning, although I took time to breathe before I started the test.

  • Overall exam: Compared to last year's UCAT, this year's UCAT seemed more difficult. This seems to be true judging from the results of friends who're retrying for Medicine who did well in the UCAT last year and conducted a lot of practice this year.
  • Verbal Reasoning: In terms of how I felt in this subtest, because of having to start the test early I felt really nervous when I hit some long passages with inference questions. I put a lot of my heart into succeeding in this year's UCAT, so I honestly wondered if I'd met the end of the line, and spiralled. It was terrible Thankfully, I regained my composure later in the subtest and sped through as much as possible, but didn't get to answer some passages properly and as a result my score suffered.
    In terms of the actual subtest itself, it was on par with official mocks, or perhaps a bit more difficult. Lots of inference and comprehension questions.
    TIP: Locating keywords in the question stem, then skimming the passage to match for them will get you a long way. I have a post on Verbal Reasoning on my profile with more tips.
  • Decision Making: I used the minute break before to do deep breathing and reset my mind. From here on, the UCAT passed by in a flash.
    The subtest itself is a bit easier than official mocks.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Easier than official mocks. The questions aren't particularly difficult, and multi-step calculations aren't complicated.
  • Abstract Reasoning: Honestly, I was a bit thrown off here, I think because of nerves. The patterns weren't particularly difficult, but there were one or two sets that I couldn't solve. That, in conjunction with additional rules on simple patterns that I most likely didn't catch, threw me off.
  • Situational Judgement: It's on par with any UCAT mock you'll do.
At the end of the day, I'm just glad that I got through the test with a decent result. It has been a stressful three months of preparation for me, with many of my friends who want passionately to get into Medicine not getting the score that they wanted, and ups and downs in terms of mental health. I expected there to be some huge surge of relief when I clicked the 'End Test' button, but instead it was just a feeling of 'It's done'. To be honest, I think the nerves waiting for the score report email are worse than the actual test :p

I focused on mindset a lot during my UCAT preparation, but it all got thrown in the drain as soon as I was made to enter the test room early and the nerves started to build. So here's my one takeaway from this year's UCAT for any future candidates: You can do as much UCAT preparation as you like, but at the end of the day it all comes down to your mindset on the day and how well you manage your emotions. Prepare for the absolute worst - if you get forced into the test early by unpleasant staff, what will you do? What happens if you hit a difficult question that you haven't encountered before? Think about ways you can make yourself snap into a state of calm quickly, such as utilising rhythmic breathing, or visualisation (one such visualisation I used in my mocks was an image of myself floating on a cloud, calm and present as I breezed through the test).

At the end of the day, I wish I had done better, because I know I had the potential to - but I got the result that I needed (hopefully), so I'm satisfied. The absolute best of luck to everyone on this forum with getting into Medicine or Dentistry this year, particularly to the Year 12s on this forum graduating this year - you have had it tough this year with COVID disrupting your studies, and trials are approaching, so study hard, but most importantly, take care of your mental health! Hope to see you guys in the Interview Offers thread. :)
Just to back up what you said. I also did my test at Parramatta. First off they asked me to pat down my jacket, but then wouldn't let me where it in the exam because "it wasn't the right type" and they also asked me to start as soon as I arrived rather than giving me time to wait. Plus they only provided one laminated booklet at a time even though they had tonnes of spares. My advice would be to expect to do the exam as soon as you get there. That way you prepare for the worst case scenario

Thank you! Nope, they let me start the exam by myself. But I was shook by how they kept on pushing me to register and enter the test room early. If anyone reads this next year - please avoid Pearson Professional Centres at Parramatta.
Although there are some things that aren't ideal for Parramatta I wouldn't say that you have to stay away from it. I took my exam in the city last year and in Parramatta this year. I found Parramatta to be a much more ideal location with regards to spacing in the room. When I took the exam in the city I could see other people's screens out of the corner of my eye and it slightly distracted me. Whereas in Parramatta I had a whole mini room to myself and it felt just like taking a mock at home.

- This is just to give another perspective on the exam centres. The complaints that 352 brought up are valid and comfort is an important factor that can affect your test performance
 

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

N182

Regular Member
Although there are some things that aren't ideal for Parramatta I wouldn't say that you have to stay away from it. I took my exam in the city last year and in Parramatta this year. I found Parramatta to be a much more ideal location with regards to spacing in the room. When I took the exam in the city I could see other people's screens out of the corner of my eye and it slightly distracted me. Whereas in Parramatta I had a whole mini room to myself and it felt just like taking a mock at home.
That's not necessarily due to the venue but rather due to covid and social distancing.
 

Nardwuar

Member
That's not necessarily due to the venue but rather due to covid and social distancing.
I would disagree, I highly doubt they built separate little rooms just in time for Covid, its just the way the building has been structured. Plus they encourage you start early at most testing centres from what other people have said, this year and last.
 

hazell

Regular Member
I would disagree, I highly doubt they built separate little rooms just in time for Covid, its just the way the building has been structured. Plus they encourage you start early at most testing centres from what other people have said, this year and last.
last year I took the exam at ITIC Sydney and I was really pressured to start the exam early as soon as I got there. However, this year at Parramatta they didn't let us in till 20 mins before the actual exam time (9am) and we all started at the scheduled exam time as a big group. So it really does differ based on venue and also the time slot in which you take your exam
 
I'm going to do mine at Footscray Vic. Do the centres allow you to check for technical errors in regards to the computers before the exam? I've heard that people that have done theirs at other centres have experienced technical difficulties(glitchy calculator in particular) which brought their score down. Did anyone experience the same type of problem?
 

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

Nardwuar

Member
last year I took the exam at ITIC Sydney and I was really pressured to start the exam early as soon as I got there. However, this year at Parramatta they didn't let us in till 20 mins before the actual exam time (9am) and we all started at the scheduled exam time as a big group. So it really does differ based on venue and also the time slot in which you take your exam
Thats true, timeslot might play a factor as both you and 352 took the exam at Parramatta but had different experiences with being let in so venue wouldn't necessarily dictate your experience as it can literally differ for anyone (you and 352 having different experiences). I took my exam at 10 and people went in one by one depending on whether a computer was available. and because I got there so early I ended up starting much earlier than my scheduled appointment at 10 but because that happened last year I prepared for it and didn't really mind. For future test takers the best practice would be to not worry about the invigilators and how they pressure you to start an exam because it is not only out of your control but the people there might change each year or possibly change during this very testing cycle.
 

someday

Member
I'm going to do mine at Footscray Vic. Do the centres allow you to check for technical errors in regards to the computers before the exam? I've heard that people that have done theirs at other centres have experienced technical difficulties(glitchy calculator in particular) which brought their score down. Did anyone experience the same type of problem?
i don't think anyone knows that an error will happen before it is actually happening - i guess the only thing you could check is making sure your keyboard, mouse, and monitor are all up to standard but as for glitchy calculator, etc it's a bit of a lucky draw :(
 

hazell

Regular Member
Thats true, timeslot might play a factor as both you and 352 took the exam at Parramatta but had different experiences with being let in so venue wouldn't necessarily dictate your experience as it can literally differ for anyone (you and 352 having different experiences). I took my exam at 10 and people went in one by one depending on whether a computer was available. and because I got there so early I ended up starting much earlier than my scheduled appointment at 10 but because that happened last year I prepared for it and didn't really mind. For future test takers the best practice would be to not worry about the invigilators and how they pressure you to start an exam because it is not only out of your control but the people there might change each year or possibly change during this very testing cycle.
very true, we were the first group to go in for the day so we all had to start at the same time. However, while I was still doing my test, people from the next timeslot were coming in one by one to begin testing as the computers freed up.
If you have concerns about getting pressured into starting early, just hang around outside or go for a walk till you're ready to start- or if it's getting close to your testing time.
 
last year I took the exam at ITIC Sydney and I was really pressured to start the exam early as soon as I got there. However, this year at Parramatta they didn't let us in till 20 mins before the actual exam time (9am) and we all started at the scheduled exam time as a big group. So it really does differ based on venue and also the time slot in which you take your exam
Last year I took the exam there too at 4-6PM, and I found them pretty friendly - I was one of the last people to sit the UCAT that day so they allowed me to chill in the reception before I went in. Anyways, I agree with all the advice here! Best to just take it easy before the exam and not arrive too early.
 

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

ucatboy

Regular Member
Valued Member
Do you guys get to know how many marks your lost on each subtest? Because I'm wondering what a 30 is in VR (in terms of score)
Nope, you never see the questions or the questions you got right/wrong ever again. A 30/44 in VR will vary by quite a bit depending on which 30 questions you got right (questions are worth different marks depending on difficulty) but I'd estimate that to be close to 700.
 
Nope, you never see the questions or the questions you got right/wrong ever again. A 30/44 in VR will vary by quite a bit depending on which 30 questions you got right (questions are worth different marks depending on difficulty) but I'd estimate that to be close to 700.
Oh i thought all questions are marked equally...
 

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

Registered members with 100+ posts do not see Ads

Top