Persisting Through Underwhelming Marks
7 months ago by Rob
Many of you may have started your preparation on MedEntry and found that you may not be achieving the scores you hoped for, and let me tell you, you’re not the only one! Many people lose confidence during their UCAT preparation and can’t see themselves achieving the scores they hope to attain. I know this for a fact because I was one of those people not too long ago.
When I first started my UCAT preparation with MedEntry, I was doing quite poorly for a significant period of time. When doing UCAT subtest mocks I was consistently in the lower range of marks, and in UCAT practice exams I was getting in the 40th percentile or lower. I found that these poor scores persisted through the first couple of months of my preparation. During this period my confidence was low and I thought there was no way I was going to get the 90+ percentile that I had hoped for. It was quite difficult to stay motivated for UCAT as I wasn’t seeing any improvement and didn’t see the point in spending effort for a test I believed I wasn’t going to succeed in. However, it was so important that I worked through that period and kept getting better bit by bit.
If you are in the same boat that I was in (which will probably be quite a few of you), all I can say is don’t give up hope. No one will be able to succeed at the UCAT without doing any preparation at all, and those that tell you otherwise may be those pesky secret studiers! Many people say that the UCAT is a test that you cannot prepare for but let me tell you, that is a complete myth! I know from experience that if I had not prepared for the UCAT or had given up after getting low scores then I would not have succeeded in the UCAT.
If you find you’re starting to lose confidence in yourself, remember this - you are your own biggest critic! Try not to be too hard on yourself and instead work on what you can do to improve. Maintaining hope is not only about persisting through tough experiences but understanding why and understanding how to stay positive.
Practice = Improvement
It is vital that you keep doing simulated UCAT practice exams and UCAT subtest mocks when you can because trust me, it will get easier and you will get better. It is important to make time for UCAT preparation rather than trying to squeeze in practice when you can, otherwise you can easily fall in the trap that is procrastination! I utilised the MedEntry calendar to organise regular, distributed practice and achieve steady progress.
After that difficult first period I noticed improvement over the next few months. I started achieving 60th-70th percentile on practice exams and my confidence bolstered. By the last couple of months I was consistently achieving very high scores in UCAT subtest mocks and UCAT practice exams which will be the case for you as well if you remain dedicated to your UCAT preparation.
In essence what I am trying to say is that while you may not be happy with your scores right now, you just have to keep working hard, practicing and believing in yourself as this will set you up with the best chance of succeeding in the UCAT.
Written by Vinay, a 99th percentile MedEntry student who is currently studying medicine.