The reason why you should be focusing on the VR subtest is it is consistently the test that pulls everyone’s grades down.
An average score of 650 is considered pretty good for the UCAT as this will put you in 60+ percentile so you are already doing better than the majority of test takers.
650 is quite attainable for each subtest with a bit of practice, except VR. Verbal reasoning seems to be the test that everyone struggles to break 600 on.
And for good reason, this subtest requires a ridiculously fast reading speed and stellar memory.
There are however ways to “fake” having these 2 things.
Tips for VR
READ THE QUESTION FIRST AND FIND KEYWORDS (USE OUR SKIM READING TOOL!)
The best VR strategy is to read the question first, then find the appropriate keyword, and use this to interrogate the answer options.
A very simple strategy but hard to execute if your skim reading is terrible! This is why I wrote a simple program to help with this.
It’s so simple, but quite a powerful little tool! Best of all, it’s completely free to use. All it does is show you a keyword to find in a passage, and once you click it you move on to the next keyword.
You can see your average speed for finding keywords and work to improve this.
This is quite similar to the actual test because to interrogate the answer options quick enough, you should be picking out keywords from the options and finding them in the passage within seconds!
In our tool you can see how long you took on average, when finding the right keywords, and you must improve this to somewhere between 2-5 seconds to be competitive in the UCAT VR subtest.
TRIAGE (MOVE ON DON’T LINGER)
Immediately you start your exam you should be going straight for the “true, false, can’t tell” questions! These are the easiest to interrogate as you only have to find a few keywords to answer the questions.
The open answer questions are a bit more tricky so with the knowledge that all questions are worth the same amount of points, the questions that are quickest to do will be the most valuable, and should be tackled first.
Don’t bother flagging questions, just skip open answer questions entirely (unless you see an easy one) and come back to them at the end using the “incomplete” button.
Passage length triage
You should also be skipping questions with long passages. These are strategic ploys to test your triaging skills.
There is always a number of shorter passages amongst the bunch and these are the ones you should be doing first.
PICK OPTIONS WISELY
If you can’t find it, probs cant tell
The power of the keyword method is if you can’t find your desired keyword, chances are the answer is “can’t tell”.
Pick cant tell and move on. If you are hesitant, hit CTRL+F to flag and move on.
If its not there, probably not that answer option
If you are searching for a keyword from one of the answer option on an open question, and the keyword isn’t present, it is a safe strategy to eliminate that option.
If you end up eliminating all options except one, pick that answer and move on.
If you end up eliminating everything, pick the answer option that sounds most logical and move on.
This isn’t a good strategy for “true, false, can’t tell” but it might work for open answer questions. Try it when you practice!
Only false when its a direct contradiction, else cant tell.
For an answer to be true, it must be in direct (or implied) agreement with the passage. For it to be false, it must be in direct contradiction to the passage. For anything else, it’s probably can’t tell.
Whenever there isn’t enough information, or any direct information relevant to the question, the answer will be can’t tell.
Common mistakes are choosing “false” for questions that are “can’t tell”. False is only for direct contradictions!
Remember these tips and hopefully you can score 600+ this year in VR.
Do you want some extra UCAT tips?
Get a list of 20 secret UCAT tips used by the best students to improve their scores on test day!