Give Your Eyes a Break: Effective Ways to Prepare For the UCAT Away from the Screens

UCAT Revision Tips

2020-06-07

We are increasingly spending time in front of various devices including phones, laptops and tablets. This became more pronounced with the COVID-19 and various lockdown measures. Here, we provide great tips on preparing for the UCAT away from the screens.

A monitor showing two people talking to each other online

Why Spend Some Time Away from the Screens?

As the UCAT approaches, it is vital that you stay as healthy as possible to maximise your performance on the testing day. Apart from the obvious benefit of giving your eyes a break to improve ocular health, reducing the amount of time spent in front of screens improves your physical and psychosocial health

Therefore, it would be advisable to reduce your exposure to screens in general, such as reducing the amount of time spent watching Netflix or YouTube. You can also apply this principle when preparing for the UCAT.

It is true that the UCAT itself is sat in front of a screen and emulating this environment in your UCAT revision is very important. However, we would like to assure you that you can still do some preparation for the UCAT away from the screens, as outlined below.

A cartoon-style illustration of the cover of the "Good Medical Practice"

Read the Good Medical Practice and Unfamiliar Texts

The Good Medical Practice, published by the General Medical Council, is featured in the official UCAT website as a valuable resource to prepare for the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) section of the UCAT and we’ve emphasized this point too in a previous article.

If you’ve been putting off doing this for a while, now is a great time to print a copy for yourself and start reading it.

Reading unfamiliar texts is a great way to prepare for the Verbal Reasoning (VR) section of the UCAT. Develop a habit of reading newspaper articles (e.g. The Times, The Independent and The Guardian), magazine articles (The Economist, New Scientist) or new books, and summarizing the key points to test your understanding of the text. 

You can then use a timer and get yourself to read unfamiliar texts within a set time. Through repeating these processes, you will be able to develop both comprehension and speed reading skills, both essential for success in the VR section.

Arithmetic symbols floating between two hands

Work on Your Mental Maths Skills and Memorize Key Formulae 

Mental maths skills are critical for saving precious time in the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section of the UCAT. Why not give these tips a go, but using a pen and paper?

Memorizing common formulae used in the QR section of the UCAT can be very useful too. These include formulae relating to currency exchange and distance/speed/acceleration. Use flashcards, sticky notes, memos, scrap papers or whatever works for you to get these formulae into your brain.

A headphone

Listen to Podcasts

Sometimes you may want to give your eyes a rest, regardless of whether you are in front of a screen or not.

Podcasts (for example, these ones published by University of Oxford) are a great way to gain insights and knowledge into various dilemmas faced by medical doctors. They may be helpful in preparing for the SJT section of the UCAT, as well as for medical school interviews.

Puzzles floating on top of a hand

Mix in Some Fun Activities

Not all UCAT preparation has to be serious and intense. Head to the nearest bookstore to find brain teasers like puzzles, riddles, Sudoku and spot-the-difference. While they might not be directly relevant to the UCAT, they are excellent for developing flexible thinking skills and will be beneficial for the Abstract Reasoning (AR) section of the UCAT.

If accessing the nearest bookstore is a bit problematic or you are short of funds, you can always look for free resources online and print them out yourself to try.

Medify’s UCAT helping hand in a blue circle with a yellow smiling emoji

Need help with preparing for the UCAT? Please don’t worry, head over to our Online UCAT Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process. 

We have a bank of over 10,000 questions, a decision-making section, and 8 full mock exams and 18 mini-mock exams.

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

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