Train your Body and Mind for Peak UKCAT Performance

Prepare your body

It takes stamina to get through 2 hours of intense UKCAT testing. Taking mock tests is a great way to build up your mental strength and help avoid fatigue. It’s the cerebral equivalent of training for a 10k run: you would prepare your body by running similar distances beforehand.

However, it’s easy to overlook the benefits of actual physical exercise. As a student, you may want to stay sitting at your desk, but physical exercise can further boost your brainpower: oxygenating your brain, helping you learn and aiding sleep. Plus, activity makes your body release endorphins, which help you tackle anxiety and stress.

Prepare your mind

Here are some tips for removing possible cognitive friction in taking the UKCAT.

Study for your UKCAT at the same time of day you’ll be taking your test: this helps build a routine, ensures you are wide awake during your test and trains your brain to be at its best when you need it most.

Familiarise yourself with the layout of the questions on the screen. Processing how everything looks beforehand saves time (and brainpower) on the day. You can do this with the official UKCAT preparation material and also our UKCAT online course.

Practise the test with a computer rather than with books or notes. On test day you’ll be using a computer, so try to replicate the UKCAT environment as much as possible. Otherwise your brain has to process the ‘new’ way of answering questions.

Remember to rest: you risk burn-out if you study too hard. Your motivation may drop or you might ‘peak’ before the test. Your body needs rest too! Eat well, don’t miss meals, make sure you get a good night’s sleep in the days before the test (avoid late-night cramming or staying awake into the early hours) and keep yourself hydrated.

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