UCAT Verbal Reasoning: what is inference and what does it mean for my score?

UCAT

2021-05-06

Boosting your VR score

What is an inference? Types of connection between the text and the question in UCAT Verbal Reasoning 

Try this VR inference practice question (simplified)

How can I improve my VR inference skills?

Boosting your VR score

Looking to boost your UCAT VR score?

VR is generally considered to be the hardest section of the UCAT. Students tend to get the lowest marks and therefore it is where you have most to gain from targeted practice. 

For this reason, we created a new VR Inference Skills Trainer, included free with all UCAT packages. Identifying inferences quickly is an absolutely key skill for VR. 

The Skills Trainer is designed to drill your inference speed reading skills, over and over, under timed conditions, with points awarded based on correct answers and the level of difficulty. This microskill allows you to answer real test questions more effectively. By the time you get to the exam, inference scanning should be a reflex.

Keep in mind, inference questions make up around 20-25% of your total VR score - that’s up to one question per set! Mastering inference can be the difference between getting into your chosen university and falling short.

So what is inference, exactly? 

There are four types of connection between the text and the question in the VR test, inference is just one of these.

What is an inference? Types of connection between the text and the question in UCAT Verbal Reasoning

1. Direct match between text and question (no inference necessary)


Statement: Skype is owned by Microsoft

Text: ‘Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, recently signed off on a multibillion-dollar deal to acquire the technology firm ‘Skype’’.

 

2. Indirect match between text and question (inference)

Statement: Australopithecus share a gene with modern humans

Text: Australopithecus possessed two of three duplicated genes derived from SRGAP2 roughly 3.4 and 2.4 million years ago (SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C), the second of which contributed to the increase in number and migration of neurons in the human brain. 

3. A possible match (no inference possible) 

Statement: The Spanish colonised Rio de la Plata in the late fifteen hundreds.

Text: The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of what is now Argentina in Pre-Columbian times. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century. Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. 

4. No match between the statement and the text

Statement: The occidental hemisphere is also known as “the Old World” 

Text: The Eastern Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of Earth which is east of the prime meridian (which crosses Greenwich, London, United Kingdom) and west of the antimeridian (which crosses the Pacific Ocean and relatively little land from pole to pole). The Eastern Hemisphere may also be called the "Oriental Hemisphere". In addition, it may be used in a cultural or geopolitical sense as a synonym for the "Old World".

Mobile phone displaying Medify's UCAT VR Skills Trainer

Try this VR inference practice question (simplified)

‘Manchester School of Medicine is undeniably popular. With its incredible facilities - including a simulation clinic - and world-class lecturers, it is often considered to be a dream medical school’

Statement: Manchester medical school is one of the best universities in the country.

___________________________________________________________

The answer is: Can’t tell. Manchester could indeed be ‘one of the best’, but there is not enough evidence to infer this.

How can I improve my VR inference skills?

When the text is long and complicated, as it is in the UCAT, this process becomes considerably more difficult. Not to mention when under the stress of the exam time conditions. 

Improve your inference skills:

  1. Learn more UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips to make sure you are prepared.
  1. Use our VR Inference Trainer. It comes free with any UCAT package. The software was designed by UCAT experts to address the poor average scores in the VR section, and get you to where you want to be: medical or dental school.




 

 

 

 


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