Studying for the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

Now that A-levels results are out, UKCAT prep season is reaching its boiling temperature point. Get important tips for planning your prep journey effectively from JTP’s tutors. An important part of preparing for the UKCAT is constructing a study schedule. We advise you to clear two to three weeks at minimum to prepare.

Those who have been out of school for some time – travelling the world, saving a Rhesus Monkey’s life – are probably in need of a longer period of study. The following article will address which sections of the UKCAT to prioritise, and what is essential to create a winning study plan. This does not include the UKCAT situational judgement test which is not a factor in determining your UKCAT score.

Section-level analysis

It seems natural to break down the test into its main constituents which are the four subtests/sections. We would like to offer our recommended study flow with which you work through each section, leaving the full-length mock tests to the very final stage. So here we go.

A suggested prep flow for UKCAT sections:

A suggested prep flow for UKCAT sections

As you see, three key guidelines should be followed when studying for the UKCAT.

Where to start?

We suggest the following order of section analysis and prep strategy when studying for the UKCAT. We will now explore how to revise for each section taking Quantitative Reasoning as an example.


UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning - In-depth prep analysis

UKCAT quantitative reasoning – In-depth prep analysis

While the BMAT requires us to revise a lot of high-school knowledge in physics, biology and chemistry, studying for the UKCAT necessitates only very basic education-related skills; the rest is to be mastered through practise and habituation.

However, the quantitative reasoning section includes some core elements in maths that can be easily rehearsed and memorised. That is why we advise you to put this topic at the top of your to-do list.

For example, some students don’t take Maths for A-level, focusing on other science-related subjects. Such students may very well want to revise or learn some important numeracy-related concepts and tricks, i.e. averages, percentages, ratios and basic geometry.

Examples of tips one should try and collect for the QR section:

  • How to eliminate distractors and obvious traps
  • Working with the computer’s calculator
  • Shortcuts for percentage questions
  • Working with units
  • Reading the T’s and C’s of each question

For a full list of great solving strategies per section check out our UKCAT Practice Packs.