The Scratch Pad in Action Part 3: Maximise Your Performance in the UCAT

UCAT Revision Tips

2020-07-20

Are you becoming more familiar with using the scratch pad for UCAT revision? Here is another blog article showing how to use the scratch pad to solve a UCAT question. We also show you when it may be better not to use the scratch pad.

If you haven’t already, we suggest that you read the previous articles in our scratch pad series:

Worked Example #3

1. Consider the Quantitative Reasoning question below from Medify’s Online UCAT Course:

A quantitative reasoning section question from Medify's Online UCAT Course

2. Like the example in our previous blog post, this is a simple question, requiring a number of basic arithmetic operations.

3. Use the shortcut ‘ALT + D’ to bring up the scratch pad and ‘ALT + C’ to bring up the calculator. 

4. Work out how many Euros you can get through a stockbroker for £500 using the calculator by entering [500][x][1.14][=]. Record the answer in the scratch pad (SR = stockbroker rate).

UCAT calculator pop up window and UCAT scratch pad pop up window, showing some working

5. Work out how many Euros you can get through a travel agent using the calculator by entering [500][x][1.12][=]. Record the answer in the scratch pad (TAR = travel agent rate).

UCAT calculator pop up window and UCAT scratch pad pop up window, showing some working

6. Now, simply subtract 685 from 700 to get the answer of 15 Euros.

A Bonus Tip - Don’t Overuse the Scratch Pad

If you look at the question above again carefully, you can see that there is another simple way to solve the question. All you need to do is to figure out the difference between the stockbroker rate and the travel agent rate (1.14 - 1.12 = 0.02) and multiply that difference by 500 to get the answer of 10. 

If you are confident with your mental maths skills, you may be able to solve questions like above even faster using mental maths skills without having to use the scratch pad or the calculator. Doing so can save 5-10 seconds per question.

Furthermore, you should not rely on the scratch pad for solving certain types of questions (e.g. Venn diagram questions) which are impossible or inefficient to be solved using a scratch pad. Remember, you are allowed to make physical notes for both the test centre UCAT and UCAT Online, so just use the whiteboard or laminated sheets for these questions.

The key take-home message is that the scratch pad is a useful tool when used appropriately but you should not overuse it.

Want to get some practice using the scratch pad? Head over to Medify’s UCAT online course now. 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 is here to support you, just reach out to us.

Succeed in your Medical School interview

Start today for only £10

Medify BMAT

Helping you prepare

Buy Now

Write Your PS

Try Medify Today

Improve Your UCAT Score

Try Medify Now

Improve Your UCAT Score

Try Medify Now

Medify BMAT

Helping you prepare

Buy Now

Write Your PS

Try Medify Today

Improve Your UCAT Score

Try Medify Now