Top Tips for each type of UCAT Decision Making Question
3 months ago by Chris
In UCAT Decision Making, there are six different question types:
- Conclusions (Yes/No) - Interpreting information
- Conclusions (Yes/No) – Syllogisms
- Logic games
- Recognising assumptions
- Venn Diagrams
In this blog, I will be going through tips for each type of UCAT Decision Making question.
In my opinion, UCAT Decision Making is the easiest section to keep track of your timing. There are 29 questions to answer in a span of 31 minutes, leaving just over 1 minute per question. Most questions in UCAT Decision Making should take you approximately 1 minute to complete, with the exception of probability and recognising assumptions questions. Probability and recognising assumptions questions tend to be slightly easier, and students should aim to complete these questions in less time. Using this timing strategy, students should be able to comfortably complete the UCAT Decision Making subtest in time.
Conclusions (Yes/No) – Interpreting information
This question type is similar to a True/False/Can’t Tell UCAT verbal reasoning question, except there are five questions in one. My major tip for these questions would be to understand when you should answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and stay within the scope of the UCAT question.
Answering ‘yes’ in these questions means that the statement is definitely true, whereas if we are unsure if the statement is true or know that it is false, we should answer ‘no’. As for staying within the scope of the UCAT question, if a statement describes something that is not covered in the question in a definite manner, then we have to answer ‘no’. However, if there is a qualifier that adds uncertainty, we may be able to answer ‘yes’.
For example, assuming both of these statements are not discussed in the question (that is, outside of the scope), “Frogs are omnivorous” would be answered ‘no’, whereas “Frogs might be omnivorous” would be answered ‘yes’.
Conclusions (Yes/No) – Syllogisms
My top tip for UCAT syllogisms questions would be to really understand the definitions of different keywords. A list of the official definitions of UCAT Decision Making keywords can be found on the UCAT official website.
Ensure that you do not use the colloquial definitions of these words (for example, ‘some’ colloquially means an undetermined number, but the official UCAT definition of ‘some’ is more specific – an undetermined number being more than one but less than all. Having this solid understanding of all the UCAT Decision Making keyword definitions prevents you from needing to second-guess yourself and from making errors.
UCAT Logic games
When completing UCAT logic games questions, make sure that you use your UCAT noteboard effectively. Most, if not all, students will use their UCAT noteboard for logic games questions. However, only some will use their UCAT noteboard effectively.
Effective noteboard usage involves being liberal with how you use your noteboard. There is a lot of information being presented to you in UCAT logic games questions, and being able to organise this information on your noteboard in a way you can easily understand is a must. Note down information as you read it, but make sure that it is legible and easy to read. As an extension of this tip, you should formulate a notation for how you represent information, and stick to it. It is extremely important that you are consistent with your notation so that you don’t get confused.
For example, for questions where you have to organise people from first to last place, consistently make the left side first, and the right side last. For questions where you have to find who belongs to a certain category, you could use an arrow to represent a potential relationship, whereas an arrow which has been struck through could represent the lack of a relationship.
Please note that these examples are from my notation system - it is perfectly fine (and encouraged) to develop your own system that works for you.
The most important thing to keep in mind for UCAT probability questions is that the probability is from the perspective of the person in the UCAT question. If the person is unaware of a certain factor in the question, then the UCAT question functions under the assumption that this event has not occurred.
For example, if a counter is removed from a bag, but the person is unaware of it, then when assessing probability from the perspective of the person, you should answer the question as if the counter were never removed from the bag.
As for the other style of probability question, which involves assessing the likelihood or benefits of certain events, make sure you note down all appropriate information and perform your calculations on your UCAT noteboard. This will ensure you don’t make a mistake due to incorrect calculations.
For UCAT recognising assumptions questions, ensure you identify the key points of the UCAT question. There will usually be two key points in the UCAT question, so make sure that the answer option you choose appropriately addresses both of these key points. These UCAT questions can often be tricky because you may be stuck between two answer options which address both key points, so make sure you go back to the question and see which one more appropriately addresses the question.
UCAT Venn diagrams
For Venn diagram questions, the best tip I can give is going to be quite obvious: draw a Venn diagram! Most Venn diagrams questions can be made easier with the assistance of a Venn diagram. Once again, make sure your Venn diagram is sufficiently large, and legible. Beyond that, make sure you are careful in constructing your Venn diagram. Venn diagrams questions are not inherently difficult, and the main reasons students lose marks in these questions is from reading or interpreting the UCAT question incorrectly.
You can gain many more strategies for answering UCAT Decision Making questions from the MedEntry UCAT Course.