The practice tips below should be read by all candidates preparing for the UCAT. By becoming familiar with these essential tips you can save yourself valuable time on your test day.
A simple on-screen calculator will be available for the decision making and quantitative reasoning subtests. To access this click on the icon in the top left hand side of the screen. The calculator will look similar to this:
The calculator is integrated into the practice tests and we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the functionality. There are slight differences between the way the calculator works in the practice test environment and the live test.
In the live test the calculator closes when clicking away or moving to another question. It can be recalled by clicking on the icon; current calculations should be retained. To clear the calculator click the ON/C button. The calculator can be operated by using the mouse or the number pad on the keyboard; ensure that 'Num Lock’ is on for the number pad to work.
Please note that due to limitations with the web browser format the practice test calculator does not retain calculations when clicking away or moving to another question. In the practice test calculator decimal numbers need to be entered in full (e.g. 0.5 not .5). In the live test calculator decimal numbers can be entered either way.
If you require assistance with the calculator during your test you should raise your hand to attract the invigilator.
Keyboard shortcuts can be used to navigate through the test if you find this preferable to using the mouse. Wherever there is a letter underlined, the Alt key can be used with the underlined letter as a keyboard short cut. An example would be Alt + N = Next (as displayed below) and Alt + P = Previous.
The shortcuts available at any time during the test depend on which screen is currently being viewed. Keyboard shortcuts cannot be used to select answers to questions; this has to be done by using the mouse to select the desired response, and in some cases to drag and drop an answer. You can familiarise yourself with this, and other aspects of navigation, by using the practice tests available on our website.
Noteboards and Pen
You will be given a marker pen and a set of noteboards to make notes during your test. If another noteboard is required, you should raise your hand and request one from the invigilator. The invigilator will have checked the pen is working before giving it out. You may wish to check this before your start to avoid the need to seek assistance during testing. If you are not given noteboards and a pen when you enter the test room, you should request them by raising your hand. Not requesting these items will not be considered a mitigating circumstance.
Commercial Preparation Materials
Candidates should be aware that whilst there are many commercial companies publishing books and offering coaching for our tests, the UCAT Consortium does not work with any of these companies or endorse the use of their materials. Taking advantage of these opportunities can cost candidates a great deal of money and we would advise you to be sceptical about claims they can help you do well in the test by coaching.
Commercial organisations will be using questions that are not necessarily of the standard you will encounter in the UCAT and this may distort your performance whilst practising. Screen views may be different and commercial organisations are unlikely to include the new question types which you may encounter in your test. They may also not replicate the UCAT scoring and banding accurately and may give misleading indicators of your anticipated UCAT score.
There is also lots of advice available for free on the web regarding approaches to the test and many sources of free practice questions. However, unless the material has been published very recently it is unlikely to include the correct test content, test questions, etc.
We therefore strongly advise candidates to use the official Practice Tests and Question Banks on our website, and to be cautious about using resources from any commercial providers as these are not affiliated with UCAT in any way.