COVID-19 Lockdown Coping Strategies & UCAT Plans: A Student Guest Post

UCAT Revision Tips

2020-05-12

There is only one phrase that accurately depicts the current global situation – a sea of uncertainty. All of us students were preparing for the looming examinations and entrance exams, yet most of them are now cancelled or postponed. It sounds like a magical fairy-tale at first thought; oh, how wonderful it is that our dreams of having no exams are finally coming true.

Well, think again, for students preparing for competitive university applications, a ravaging catastrophe would truly be an understatement. 

To make matters worse, I’m a college student aspiring to pursue medicine in the UK. I have had my study plan for A-level exams, UCAT and BMAT all laid out across this year. Initially, I wanted to book my UCAT exams in early July, but this might not be possible with the postponement. This means that my schedule towards the end of the year will be extremely packed as I’m taking the winter series of AS exams and the BMAT

To cope with the stress, I have come up with a few mechanisms:

Creating a daily timetable:

As I normally adhere to strict timetables in my boarding school, my level of productivity in school is relatively high compared to at home. Therefore, to avoid slagging in bed all day, a personal timetable (plus a hint of discipline) is much needed.

Exercising regularly:

You have probably heard this phrase a thousand times during this pandemic, but it is more important now than ever that we stay active and there is a myriad of ways to do so. Personally, I tune in to the PE with Joe trending livestream every day on YouTube to sweat off the stress. 

Online volunteering:

During this period when the world is filled with suffering and loneliness, one of the simplest ways that I gain fulfillment from life is by dedicating my time to a cause that I feel passionate about. Thus, I have been connecting with the Rohingya children in my country remotely through an organisation. 

To spare myself some time at the end of the year, I decided to start preparing for UCAT exams early. Following the advice of my seniors, I started my practice on Medify

Looking ahead:

After reading the tutorial videos, one of the first things I did on Medify was the diagnostic test. It gave me a clear view on how far I am from achieving my dream UCAT scores. Personally, I struggle a lot with verbal reasoning. I’m not one who can scan a rather long passage quickly and understand the general concept. 

On top of that, UCAT passages are very tricky, especially when done in a timely manner. Besides that, I find decision-making difficult, particularly when tackling long and winding questions. 

I have made plans to surmount these UCAT obstacles:

Practising UCAT regularly:

I try to spend 2-3 hours every day practising some questions. One of the features I find very useful on Medify is the timer as I get to know my timings after I finish each stem of questions. 

Keeping track of your UCAT progress:

After I completed several rounds of practice questions, I realised I tend to commit some similar errors. Therefore, I have been making comments in my notebook for future reference. For example, after doing so, for verbal reasoning, I realised most of my mistakes stem from assuming information that is not given in the passage to be true and I could easily correct that. 

Understanding your UCAT mistakes:

As Medify provides detailed explanations for each question, it is easy to review my mistakes. To improve my score, I try to interpret and understand the explanation given to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future. In addition, when encountering similar questions, I will get the hang of it quickly to save time. 

Final thoughts:

All in all, one thing this pandemic has taught me is that humanity’s future lies in the hands of doctors, nurses, scientists and community workers; not politicians and celebrities. Although viral pictures of healthcare workers’ facial imprints and tear-jerking stories about their pressure sores cause fear trickling down people’s spine, it fuels my passion to one day be on the front-line to serve our community. If not us, then who?

To keep up-to-date with the COVID-19 and medical school admissions situation bookmark Medify's Live update page Live Updates: COVID-19 and Medical School Admissions.

Words: Zara Smith


If you’re still to start your UCAT revision and fancy improving your chances of gaining a great score check out our UCAT 2020 Online Course.

We have a bank of over 10,000 questions, a decision-making section, and 8 full mock exams and 18 mini-mock exams; we even give you performance feedback too.

We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009. Medify’s here to support you, just reach out to us.

Note: In response to COVID-19, Medify has rolled out a COVID-19 guarantee scheme for those purchasing a UCAT season pass. This means that even if the UCAT exam is delayed, we will guarantee access to the Medify platform until your exam date.

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