Imagine ball bearings dropping into a metal bucket. As each one drops it clangs and pulls your attention away from your task.
Your heartbeat quickens and your eyes just can't help glancing over to the bucket.
That's what the UCAT feels like if you walk in unprepared for the time pressure. In fact, given that only around ⅓ of applicants get into medical school in the UK (¼ for dental school), getting on top of this is essential.
The key to UCAT timing is a solid preparation plan. Read up on how to create a plan and prepare for the UCAT. This one is worth pulling out all the stops for, so you get it right first time.
Try some free diagnostic tests and UCAT practice questions to help you with your preparation
The UCAT is a 2-hour computer-based assessment with 5 sections. Some are more time pressured than others, but all require speed of thought and strategy.
The key to timing in Verbal Reasoning is how quickly you can interpret written information. This is arguably the most time-pressured section, with only 28 seconds per question and very large texts to read.
Decision Making has some easy questions you'll breeze through and others that could trap you and waste your time. The main issue is the variety of possible questions. This is a great place to focus your practice and work on creating solid routines.
One of the keys to QR timing is mastering the UCAT calculator and knowing when and when not to use it. Part of this is improving your ability to guesstimate answers at speed to save time.
Once you have mastered the different types of recurring problems in this section, it shouldn't pose a timing issue. The article below outlines the SCANS mnemonic and some other tricks to save time.
Some questions may just be reading a short text and marking an action as “appropriate” or “inappropriate”, others take more thought.
Medify's Online UCAT Course features mock timing statistics, where you're able to view all your timings and scores for each question:
This allows you to compare your time-per-question data across all sections of your mock exams and gives you a comparative view of the average time Medify users take to reach a correct answer.
Your weaknesses can easily be spotted via this new feature that shows your exact strengths and weaknesses.
Unanswered questions? Try our UCAT FAQs article.
Timing is critical to performing well in the UCAT.
VR is often considered to be the hardest section in terms of timing. Read our tips and tricks articles above to create your revision plan, as targeting your weaknesses and sticking to routines increases your speed.
Ultimately, the best way to improve your timing is by doing timed UCAT practice questions. Medify has over 20,000 - the largest UCAT question bank in the world.