How I scored 900 in UCAT Quantitative Reasoning
8 months ago by Chris
Eassen scored an incredible 900 in UCAT Quantitative Reasoning (the highest score possible). In this blog, he shares how he scored 900, including his five top Quantitative Reasoning tips.
Tip 1: Familiarise yourself with the UCAT keyboard shortcuts
As we all know, the UCAT is infamous for its immense time restraints. One way students can help to ease the time pressure is by using the UCAT keyboard shortcuts. Although these keyboard shortcuts will only shave a few seconds off your time per question, this time can potentially be used for other UCAT questions. Given medicine is so competitive, you should use every possible way to maximise your marks. This tip isn’t solely for the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning subtest, it can be applied throughout the UCAT exam, raising your score across the different UCAT subtests.
Here are the UCAT shortcuts I found most helpful:
ALT-N Next question
ALT-P Previous question
ALT-C Open calculator
ALT-F Flag question
Tip 2: Use the UCAT noteboard liberally
In the UCAT, you will be given a noteboard and marker pen. Space out your working and ensure that you note down any information you may need, as previous calculations may still be relevant to other questions within the same UCAT Quantitative Reasoning unit (set of 4 questions). This will also prevent you from having to redo calculations for the same question if you made an error when using the calculator. If required, you can also label what each number represents, but I found that with enough practice, writing down just the numbers would greatly reduce the time I spent on each UCAT Quantitative Reasoning question.
Make sure any working out for separate questions are spaced appropriately to avoid any confusion. One more thing that may seem obvious, but many students do not do, is to write sufficiently large sized text and write legibly. There’s nothing worse than losing marks because you misread your own scribbles, so take the extra second or so to ensure all your writing is readable. Don’t be scared that you will run out of space, because you can always ask the invigilator for additional noteboards before or during the exam.
Tip 3: Familiarise yourself with Quantitative Reasoning question timings
There is a total of 36 questions in the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning section and there are 25 minutes available to answer these questions. Thus, you have an average of 40 seconds per question. After sufficient timed practice using either the MedEntry Quantitative Reasoning QBank or simulated UCAT exams, you should have a good feel of how much time you should allocate to each question, or even to each specific category of question. Different types of Quantitative Reasoning question can require drastically different amounts of time to answer correctly. This can be gauged with enough experience and may vary dependent upon the strengths and weaknesses of the student sitting the exam.
A solid understanding of the timing of the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning section will ensure you are more confident when answering questions, ultimately leading to fewer mistakes and a better performance.
Tip 4: Understand the question and know what to calculate
Avoid panicking and take your time reading UCAT Quantitative Reasoning questions. This is obviously easier said than done, given the monumental stress of sitting the UCAT, but calming down in between UCAT subtests and clearing your mind will prime you to answer more questions correctly. It is a much better use of your time to thoroughly understand what the question is asking of you rather than diving into it straight away and having to constantly refer back to the question.
The MedEntry workshop helped me immensely with this, as it went in-depth with how to approach each different question style. By knowing the different types of UCAT questions that can be thrown at you in the Quantitative Reasoning section, the element of surprise is taken away and you can walk into the exam room knowing what questions you will come across, and how to approach them.
Tip 5: Practise!
In my opinion, MedEntry’s interactive online learning platform is the single best tool to facilitate success in the UCAT. I found that the Quantitative Reasoning questions of MedEntry, although more difficult than the official UCAT exam, were consistent in style and reasoning. MedEntry is known for ‘overpreparing’ students in the UCAT (and the Quantitative Reasoning subtest), which I found gave me an immense confidence boost, knowing that my scores on the MedEntry platform were likely to translate into equal or greater scores in the official exam, which held true.
Another thing that I found especially useful on the MedEntry online platform were the learning modules, which gave in-depth insights into different strategies, shortcuts and common pitfalls students may encounter in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest, essentially enabling me to understand and prevent any mistakes before they happened.
The MedEntry UCAT keypad trainer was very useful. In this trainer, a string of numbers and arithmetic symbols are displayed, and students are expected to accurately type them within a given period of time to progress to the next level. Daily practice with the MedEntry keypad trainer for 5 minutes allowed me to dramatically increase my speed and accuracy in performing calculations with the UCAT calculator, to the point where I was comfortable using two hands on the keypad. As a side note, if you are using a laptop without a keypad to practise, like I did, you can buy a cheap USB keypad online or in-store.
Finally, as with any other section in the UCAT, consistent practise is vital to your success. However, consistent practice using the right preparatory materials and training tools is just as important, and MedEntry’s simulation of the UCAT experience is second to none.
I used MedEntry’s interactive calendar to keep me on track with my UCAT practice, and I believe that my decision to use this tool was one of the most vital contributors to my success. The ability to schedule different learning modules, questions, full UCAT exams and subtest mocks on the platform, and being able to sync this to my phone with the click of a button held me accountable for my own UCAT preparation. I really had no excuses, and the satisfaction of being able to check off different activities from my daily schedule really helped to keep me going, and ultimately achieve success in UCAT Quantitative Reasoning. You can too!
Eassen scored 900 in UCAT Quantitative Reasoning and is currently studying medicine.