|Verbal Reasoning||44||22||300 to 900|
|Decision Making||29||32||300 to 900|
|Quantitative Reasoning||36||25||300 to 900|
|Abstract Reasoning||55||14||300 to 900|
|Situational Judgement||69||27||Band 1 to 4|
The “Verbal Reasoning” subtest of the UKCAT tests your skills in critcally evaluating written information by assessing your logical-thinking skills. This section requires to be very discerning in order to understand exactly what information the passage gives you. However, test takers may feel considerably better once they know that:
- they just need to have the right approach when determining whether specific conclusions can be drawn from the information presented in the passage.
- if they keep track of the limited time and pace themselves well, comprehending information from the passage becomes easier.
- the passages can cover various topics (occasionally even fiction) and need not be related to medicine or science. So that means that the test-taker does not require any background information about any topic or work that is mentioned in the passage.
The table below shows certain details of the UKCAT Verbal Reasoning Subtest:
|NUMBER OF PASSAGES||QUESTIONS||LENGTH OF PASSAGE|
|11||4||200 to 350 words|
|TOTAL, IN 21 MINUTES (+1 minute to read instructions)||44||2200 to 3850 words|
It will be counterproductive to go into tedious detail about every skill that the UKCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest evaluates. Essentially, a test taker should be able to:
- Look/Skim for keywords in the passage pertaining to each question to be able to extract relevant information
- Identify whether a statement accurately restates the information given in the passage, i.e. evaluate a statement, by looking into specific detail required to answer the question.
- Draw a conclusion based on information given in the passage, i.e. being able to draw inferences.
Here are some basics about the UKCAT Verbal Reasoning Test that you must know:
- All questions will be multiple-choice
- No prior knowledge of any subject will be required
- There is no negative marking for incorrect answers, so you want to make sure you answer all the questions – take your best guess if you are not sure!
- You will not be required to calculate or do math
The Decision Making Test evaluates the application of logic to arrive at a conclusion, as well as consider arguments and statistics. There are a total of 29 items that need to be completed in 31 minutes (+ 1 minute for reading instructions). Questions will be associated with either text, charts, graphs, tables, or diagrams, with additional information embedded within the question itself.
Questions are distinctively of 2 types in terms of structure:
|Multiple-choice Questions||These questions have 4 options with only one correct choice|
|Yes or No Questions||In these questions, you will have to place Yes or No next to five statements|
Here are some basics about the UKCAT Decision Making Test that you must know:
- No prior knowledge of any subject will be required
- There is no negative marking, so make sure you attempt every question
- You might be required to do some math – a simple on-screen calculator will be available for use in this section
- You might have to work out certain questions on paper – use your booklet and pen for this
Since this component has been recently added into the test, it would be a good idea to visit the official UKCAT website for sample questions. Try to make use of all possible material available, especially for this subtest, since it is new.
This test was piloted in 2016. From 2017 onwards, it will become a scored subtest.
The UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning Test assesses logical-thinking abilities with regards to critically evaluating information that is presented in quantitative forms.
The section itself covers three major topic areas. They are:
- Problem Solving: This area assesses a candidate’s ability to use numerical skills such as number properties, percentages and ratios to solve problems.
- Medical and Research Applications: While this section seems like it requires you to have knowledge of chemistry or biology laboratory mechanisms, all you need to develop are quantitative skills required for calculating dosages of drugs etc., as well as being able to create and interpret any form of statistical data used or processed because of research.
- Data interpretation: This area tests skills that you require for interpreting test results in tabular/graphical format.
The table below specifies the mathematical topics that fall within each topic area. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
|CONTENT AREA||TOPICS INCLUDED|
|Problem Solving||Number properties
Factors; Multiples; HCF/ LCM; Prime Numbers; Equations; Expressions
Increase/ decrease by a percent; Percentage change; Converting to math equations/ expressions; Approximations
Comparisons; Direct/ Inverse relationships
Plane Figures; Solid Figures; Similar Figures; Surface Area; Volume
Distance-Speed-Time; Work-Speed-Time; Combined Rates
|Medical and Research Applications|| Statistics
Mean; Median; Mode; Range; Sum/ Average of Arithmetic Sequences; Currency Conversions
Tax Allowance; Taxable Income; Tax bands
|Data Interpretation||Graphical Interpretaion
Line Graph; Bar Graph; Stacked-bar graph; Pie Chart
You need to keep in mind that for this test, there are 36 items you will have to tackle in 24 mins (+ 1 min for reading instructions). You have 5 options for each question from which you will have to pick one.
Following are tips on how to approach this subtest:
- Make sure that you are thorough with all the common topics that can be tested on this section as detailed in the table above.
- Since there is less than a minute to do each question, you want to maximize your score by doing questions that take lesser time (as all questions are equally weighted). Rates questions are quicker; graph questions take more time.
- All questions are based on information presented to you in the question in the form of tables, charts, graphs, and/or direct information. You need to use this data to solve the questions.
- If you can’t think of a starting point for a question, flag it, mark something and move on.
- You are not allowed to bring your own calculator to the test. Instead, a calculator is provided on-screen. To get compliant with using on-screen and simple calculators, practice using them.
The Abstract Reasoning Subtest examines convergent and divergent patterns to recognise patterns and relationships from the presented patterns.
Following is a detailed breakdown of the types of questions you will be confronted with on test day:
|QUESTION TYPE||COVERED IN||DESCRIPTION|
|TYPE 1||Session 1||You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled "Set A" and "Set B". You will be given a test shape and asked to decide whether the test shape belongs to Set A, Set B, or neither.|
|TYPE 2||Session 2||You will be presented with a series of shapes. You will be asked to select the next shape in the series.|
|TYPE 3||Session 2||You will be presented with a statement, involving a group of shapes. You will be asked to determine which shape completes the statement.|
|TYPE 4||Session 1||You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled "Set A" and "Set B". You will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B.|
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind as you tackle this section:
- You need to be able to develop the ability to not only infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking, but also re-direct a line of thought. This can come only with ample practice on each of the type of questions.
- This is probably the most toughest section in terms of time-management. If you manage to develop the abilities mentioned above, the test will seem less intimidating in terms of timing.
The Situational Judgement test checks your ability to recognise important factors in real world situations and comprehending ways to resolve conflicts; the test determines how closely your responses align with the General Medical Council’s values.
The test does not have points, but rather bands, Band 1 being the highest and Band 4 being the lowest. The following table lists out what is expected to secure any of the bands:
|Band 1||Candidates perform exceptionally and well above average, showing similar judgement in most cases to the panel of experts.|
|Band 2||Candidates perform well and above average, showing appropriate judgement for most questions with many matching model answers.|
|Band 3||Candidates perform lower than average with appropriate judgement shown for some questions but significant differences from ideal responses for others.|
|Band 4||Candidates perform poorly with judgement differing significantly from ideal responses to questions in many cases.|
Following are the answer choices for 2 question types that you will have to deal with on this subtest:
|QUESTION TYPE||ANSWER CHOICES|
|Question Type 1||A very appropriate thing to do
If it will address at least one aspect (not necessarily all aspects) of the situation
Appropriate, but not ideal
If it could be done, but is not necessarily a very good thing to do
Inappropriate, but not awful
If it should not really be done, but would not be terrible
A very inappropriate thing to do
If it should definitely not be done and would make the situation worse
|Question Type 2||Very important
If this is something that is vital to take into account
If this is something that is important but not vital to take into account
Of minor importance
If this is something that could be taken into account, but it does not matter if it is considered or not
Not important at all
If this is something that should definitely not be taken into account
Here are a few other details about the test:
- Every answer choice can be used multiple times or not at all.
- Try not to compare responses; consider them independently of each other.
- A very appropriate response may not be the complete responses that one should do. In fact, an issue with the test is that you have to see if the actions you take are right from a medical perspective. You need to train yourself to do that.
- Remember that whatever you do may not be what you might do instinctively or is likely the action you will take.
- Make sure you are compliant with the question types and options you will see for those questions.