The UCAT is a computer-based exam, and as such it is important that you learn to be familiar with the set up so that on exam day you are primed to ace the UCAT.
The Keyboard ⌨️
Whilst studying for the UCAT, the keyboard should become your best friend. The keyboard is essential in your quest to save time during the test. The keyboard will be different to the keyboard found on most laptops, as it will have a number pad on the right, which is significant and useful in saving time. Note, that not all UCAT testing centres will have these keyboards (so you will need to practice using the mouse as well), but if your centre does, then use the keyboard to your advantage whilst calculating. There are numerous keyboard shortcuts that you should be aware of to leverage to your advantage during the exam.
- Alt + C = Calculator
- Alt + N = Next Question
- Alt + P = Previous Question
- Alt + F = Flag Question
- Num Lock = Activate Number Keypad
Additionally, when using the calculator, the, ‘+’, ‘-’, ‘*’ and ‘/’, found on the number pad, all work on the on-screen calculator.
These keyboard shortcuts are essential to saving time in the exam.
The Calculator 🧮
The other key computerised component in the exam is the calculator. The on-screen calculator is provided for the Quantitative Reasoning section and can be used to help with calculations. The calculator is useful in solving some questions in the section, however is not vital for every question. Using the calculator excessively in the section rather than mental mathematics or the notebook provided, results in loss of valuable time. The calculator is hard to work with, and you only want to really use it in questions where it is absolutely necessary.
Notebook and Marker Pen 📝
I know it isn’t a computer skill, but the use of the notebook is an essential component of the UCAT exam. You will be given a notebook and marker pen to make notes during the test. If you need another notebook during the duration of the test, raise your hand and you can request one. Remember to ask for one if the invigilator forgets to give you one. I suggest requesting additional notebooks during the one-minute instruction time before the subtests, if you require one. This is so that you do not waste time during the subtest when you should be answering questions. The notebook is where you can do quick math, write down certain notes and aids in keeping track of calculations.
These are the three main skills that you need to master before your UCAT exam to ensure that on exam day you are ready to ace the UCAT. You can practice using the calculator and keyboard shortcuts by trying out the practice exams on the UCAT website.
Let me know if you have any questions about these skills and tips or about the UCAT in general down below! 👇🤓