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Verbal Reasoning

IQ ™

Member
Hey, first thing I'd like to say is great job for how you've improved last year - really shows your determination and hard work. I hope your performance in VR doesn't demotivate you too much, because it sounds like you're a more than worthy candidate for medicine.

VR has notoriously been one of the most difficult sections in the UCAT, and for most candidates it will be their worst section. I feel, however, that you have spent most your preparation focussing on ways to improve your speed (as you've mentioned), which is fine of course as the exam is very time-pressured.

Given your situation, my advice may be this: I feel like there isn't any point moving onto methods improving speed unless you've mastered the fundamentals of the verbal reasoning test. What do I mean by this? Well, basically you should sort out your accuracy. Look through how to approach any T/F/C problem, and go through the basics of answering a reading comprehension problem. Make sure every question you answer - regardless of the time you are taking - is correct, and you know 100% the rationale behind answers. You mentioned that under the time pressure of the exam, you fail to process the question and stem properly. In this case, slow down - don't pressure yourself with time for the time being - and really hone in and process what each question asks you. Perhaps, once you've fixed your accuracy, ramping up the speed could limit the numbers of errors you make.

If that doesn't help, I tell people a lot to use the Flag button - it's very underused in VR in my opinion. Personally, I found T/F/C questions were the easiest to answer, and any reading comprehension about history were also generally not too difficult. So, I would do these questions first, then I begin to answer the rest, flagging any question my instant intuition tells me will take too long. This way, I was able to cut down on errors, and increase my speed.

I apologise if this post was a bit long haha, but I really hope this helps.
Hey,

To be honest you are right that from the get-go I have focused on answering the section with time-pressure (even while doing untimed I try do it as quick as I can). I guess that's a by-product of the work I had put in for the other sections, where I was already familiar with the question types and solving them but needed to focus on doing it within a time constraint. I'll definitely start adopting a different approach to this section using your advice and some of the others in this thread in the hopes that I can get some form of consistency going.

Thank you so much for the help!
 

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ucatking

Member
Hey,

To be honest you are right that from the get-go I have focused on answering the section with time-pressure (even while doing untimed I try do it as quick as I can). I guess that's a by-product of the work I had put in for the other sections, where I was already familiar with the question types and solving them but needed to focus on doing it within a time constraint. I'll definitely start adopting a different approach to this section using your advice and some of the others in this thread in the hopes that I can get some form of consistency going.

Thank you so much for the help!
Not a problem at all :)
 

MyHeadee

Member
I was wondering if getting a 44/44 is needed to get 900, surely not. I thought its a scaled score so it'd be dependant on what the students get? My gut feeling says it should be around 40/44 or something, can anyone correct me on this because I'm quite confused?
 

TKAO

oowah!
Valued Member
I was wondering if getting a 44/44 is needed to get 900, surely not. I thought its a scaled score so it'd be dependant on what the students get? My gut feeling says it should be around 40/44 or something, can anyone correct me on this because I'm quite confused?
You analysis is correct. A perfect score is not required to get a 900, all you need to do is to land ahead of the rest of the cohort to get that 900. It might possibly mean you could need a 44 but not guaranteed.
 

ucatboy

MD II
Valued Member
I was wondering if getting a 44/44 is needed to get 900, surely not. I thought its a scaled score so it'd be dependant on what the students get? My gut feeling says it should be around 40/44 or something, can anyone correct me on this because I'm quite confused?
You analysis is correct. A perfect score is not required to get a 900, all you need to do is to land ahead of the rest of the cohort to get that 900. It might possibly mean you could need a 44 but not guaranteed.
There are 44 questions in VR, 40 of which are marked and contribute to your score and 4 which are "trial questions", put there by Pearson to assess their difficulty before they are added to the question bank for future years'. These 4 questions don't count towards your score but are virtually indistinguishable from the other questions so you'll just have to answer all of them. From what I can tell, you WILL need 40/40 to get 900, as scores are given on the spot, so Pearson doesn't have a way of scaling scores so that the highest score that year = 900. The fact that some years the highest score obtained in a section was less than 900 is further evidence that Pearson doesn't scale scores and only full marks = 900.

"Scaled score" just means that individual questions are weighted differently because Pearson has past data on how the questions were answered (accuracy, time taken etc.), but they will always add up to 900 in the end.
 

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MyHeadee

Member
There are 44 questions in VR, 40 of which are marked and contribute to your score and 4 which are "trial questions", put there by Pearson to assess their difficulty before they are added to the question bank for future years'. These 4 questions don't count towards your score but are virtually indistinguishable from the other questions so you'll just have to answer all of them. From what I can tell, you WILL need 40/40 to get 900, as scores are given on the spot, so Pearson doesn't have a way of scaling scores so that the highest score that year = 900. The fact that some years the highest score obtained in a section was less than 900 is further evidence that Pearson doesn't scale scores and only full marks = 900.

"Scaled score" just means that individual questions are weighted differently because Pearson has past data on how the questions were answered (accuracy, time taken etc.), but they will always add up to 900 in the end.
I see, so the approximate conversions i can find on some websites or in my book, should be approximately correct? (they assume you need to get 44/44 to get 900)
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
Some questions will be more difficult and award more marks, but some will be easier and award less.

On average the formula ( x/44 * 600 ) + 300 is good enough of an indication
 

MyHeadee

Member
Some questions will be more difficult and award more marks, but some will be easier and award less.

On average the formula ( x/44 * 600 ) + 300 is good enough of an indication
If they award more marks for harder questions, does it still tally up to /44? And also, whats the average mark if you know? Thank you.
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
I’m not sure what you mean sorry?

There are 40 marked questions and 4 unmarked questions. Some may be harder, some may be easier but on average, because you don’t know which questions are unmarked, and you get 300 if you score 0% and 900 if you score 100%, then the average is (x/44 * 600 + 300)
 

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MyHeadee

Member
I’m not sure what you mean sorry?

There are 40 marked questions and 4 unmarked questions. Some may be harder, some may be easier but on average, because you don’t know which questions are unmarked, and you get 300 if you score 0% and 900 if you score 100%, then the average is (x/44 * 600 + 300)
Haha, sorry, I worded the question very poorly. I was just wondering the average mark out of 44 which students get. Would it be around ≈21 ?
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
In the UK last year it was 21-22 out of the 40 tested items... UCAT ANZ doesn’t release the technical reports unfortunately

530E21D0-7951-48A9-AFC3-028AD635D7AD.png
 
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Shifty95

Lurker
Hey Guys, im having trouble with the inferred from the passages questions, as i'm taking to long with understanding what to look for after reading the question. Any tips on how to speed up? Cheers
 

Don Carlo

Member
Hey Guys, im having trouble with the inferred from the passages questions, as i'm taking to long with understanding what to look for after reading the question. Any tips on how to speed up? Cheers
In verbal reasoning, they are essentially asking a question and you just need to answer it using evidence from the passage. So, no matter what question they are asking, whether it be inference based questions or according to the passage questions, they are all just assessing your understanding of the passage.

Hence, I think your issue is understanding the passage itself. If you cannot answer the question because you don't understand what it's asking, that could possibly mean you didn't understand what the passage was about.

Thus, focus on understanding the passage before speeding your reading up.

Look, I am no master at VR but I too have trouble understanding certain types of passages, like passages about laws and constitutions or sciency stuff sometimes. So the ways I am currently dealing with this problem is:

1. Reading those certain types of passages I encounter slowly, and actually processing what each paragraph means. Then, I kinda look away and try my best to summarise the gist of each paragraph. You could also ramp it up and try remembering some key words you noticed in each para.

2. Going to random websites (wikipedia for e.g.) and reading about those types of passages so my brain doesn't go panic mode. I also just try reading other types of passages on the internet (so like maybe some historical politics, biographies). And I repeat number 1 (1.) with those passages.

I have found that the more I understood a passage, I understood the question and the answer options.

In terms of my speed - I only started preparing about 2 weeks ago so I'm kinda slow still. So far I am just getting used to VR but I reckon I'll start practising my speed reading soon!

I'll try my best to update!

There are also so much advice on this thread and other threads about VR and UCAT in general so have a look of those! They're very helpful!
 

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SmartWorker

Member
After completing VR mocks, how do you review your mistakes? Do you read through each passage again and try identify where your rational went wrong or is there a more efficient way of rectifying your mistakes, because it seems some on the mistakes i make a really specific in that case would it be better to write them down?
 

Don Carlo

Member
After completing VR mocks, how do you review your mistakes? Do you read through each passage again and try identify where your rational went wrong or is there a more efficient way of rectifying your mistakes, because it seems some on the mistakes i make a really specific in that case would it be better to write them down?
Well I usually attempt the question again and justify why the answer I chose was wrong and why the correct answer is correct. And I time myself doing that as well....not sure if my way if efficient. Good question tho, I've kinda been thinking the same.

Also wdym when you say the mistakes you make are specific??? I mean if you feel you need to write it down then write it down and always keep a conscious note not to make that mistake again...
 
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