The UCAT is just one of the essential steps for a successful application to Medical and Dentistry School. You want to make sure you get the most out of your study sessions and perform to your full potential on the day of your exam. Eating and drinking healthily can really help to reach that full potential, provide you with more energy and aid focus, all while making you feel fabulous.
Although sugary drinks and snacks can be excellent in fueling our brains with glucose, giving us a rush of energy, the effects are short lived and our minds can become "foggy". This reduces our performance when practising UCAT questions as they require focus and concentration. Plus, sugar is very addictive and craving for more can disrupt our train of thought and reduce the quality of our study sessions.
Do you forget to drink sometimes? We all do. While we are engrossed in our study, our body is probably screaming at us to be replenished and by the time we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can lower our mood and mental cognition, which affects our ability to effectively study.
Dehydration causes a lot of headaches in our day to day lives, so next time you have a headache think: Have I drank enough? It is medically recommended we drink 1.2 litres a day. To make sure you drink enough water regularly, to avoid getting a headache, set an alarm as a reminder for every half an hour, telling you to DRINK! Being hydrated really can improve your concentration.
Fat is one of the most critical parts of our diet; when consumed within a balanced diet, it helps us repair our body and even improve our performance. However, there are many unhealthy forms of fat which can be terrible for our health and lower our mental productivity. Saturated fats, typically from animal products, and artificial trans fats, usually in commercially prepared fried foods and hydrogenated vegetable oil, can make you feel sluggish and tired after eating. Studies have shown there is a link between loss in mental ability and consumption of unhealthy fats. Although in moderation, they do us little harm, it is best to avoid consuming these fats.
Good To Know: It is important to mention, although consuming cholesterol has been negative in the past, recent studies have shown dietary cholesterol does not have a direct impact on blood levels in healthy individuals.
Love cooking? Great. Don’t love cooking? Give it a go. Preparing nutritional meals at home, although it may seem time-consuming and a lot of effort, it can help. When we eat out regularly, it can be difficult to monitor what we are putting into our bodies. There are many preservatives within ready-made meals which can make us feel sluggish and tired throughout the day. Through preparing our meals at home, we become more conscious of what we eat and take control of our performance as a result. If you are finding it difficult, you can always ask your family members to cook for you or help with preparing your meals.
Preparing for and sitting the UCAT can be extremely stressful for some. Therefore, coping strategies are important to have and to actively be put into action. Meditation can help calm your nerves, collect your thoughts and relieve any stress or nagging doubts. If you have not tried meditation before, give it a go next time you are feeling anxious. Just find somewhere quiet, warm and comfortable and follow these easy steps:
1) Deeply breathe in
2) Hold it for a few seconds
3) Slowly let it out
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious right now? Please don’t worry, head over to our UCAT Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process step-by-step.
We have a bank of over 10,239 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.