How to deal with those UCAT Nerves (Part 2 – On the day)

How to deal with those UCAT Nerves (Part 2 – On the day)

2 years ago by Rob

For some people sitting UCAT, those nerves may not hit until the day of or the night before UCAT. We get butterflies in the stomach and perhaps even the need to vomit. These feelings are natural and can even help us to do better. But, for those of us who have difficulty handling the nerves, there are a few simple things to do to minimise them.

Make sure you have everything that you need in advance

A few days before the UCAT, read through the instructions from Pearson Vue and make sure that you have everything you need. Make sure you have your ID prepared and you have everything you need. Put all of these essentials in one spot, so that when you leave for UCAT, you can just grab them and go and be happy in the knowledge that you have not forgotten anything.


If you are sitting UCAT in the morning, you may have to arrive at the venue quite early and, in the rush, it is easy to forget to eat. You will have to be at the venue for quite a long time, and it can be tough to get through without eating. You will be surprised how much eating a simple meal can lift your spirits and help to take away some of the UCAT nerves. You may even be able to convince your parents to cook you your favourite breakfast. If you are in the afternoon, make sure you eat a good lunch before you go to the venue.

Arrive on time

It may seem so simple, but there is no need to add any unnecessary stress by being rushed for time. Allow plenty of time for travel, especially if you are in the morning, as you will be in rush hour traffic.

Bring water and a snack

Being well hydrated will help you face UCAT nerves. You can eat a snack and have a drink of water before you go into the UCAT testing booth for a final boost of energy before the exam.

What to do if nerves hit mid-UCAT!

Sometimes, you can feel completely fine heading into the UCAT, and then those pesky nerves may hit you after a tough question in the middle of the exam. You may start to panic or feel anxious. A lot of people try to push through this panic and keep going in their anxious state. This can cloud your judgement and your answers may be affected. A helpful way to get through this is to simply take a minute, go to the bathroom and splash some water on your face. Us humans have this thing called the mammalian dive reflex, which causes our heart rate to drop and blood pressure to fall when we are underwater. Surprisingly, splashing water on your face has the same effect and in this case this will help you to calm down a little bit and you will be able to think a little clearer, the result will be that you will be able to answer better. If you feel like you may not have time to go to the bathroom, simply closing your eyes and taking a few long, slow, deep breaths can help calm your nerves.

Don’t be afraid of not finishing the exam

You may find yourself with 2 mins left to go in the UCAT with quite a few questions left. This is not a reason to stress! Many people do not finish the entire exam and still finish with a high percentile. You do not need to hurry through to finish the UCAT, simply finish as many of the remaining questions as you can, to the best of your ability, and then spend the final minute randomly answering the questions you miss. Completing as many questions as you can to the best of your ability, rather than rushing and not being completely sure of them, will be more beneficial to your chances. Hopefully with enough pratice on the MedEntry LMS, you would not have to do this and should be able tp pace yourself.

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