• Amy van Dongen

Top tips to score highly in Quantitative Reasoning in the UCAT

The quantitative reasoning (QR) test will examine your mathematics ability. Some people look forward to this test, and others dread it, but preparation and practice for this section will help you score highly regardless of your maths ability!

It’s important you practice for this test even if you’re a maths whizz! There isn’t much time for each question, and there can often be a lot of information to take in. This article will help you to score well in the section


So, here are our top 5 tips for scoring highly in QR:


1. Practice with the UCAT online calculator


In the QR test, you will not have access to a scientific calculator like you use at school. Instead, there will be an on-screen calculator that can be quite cumbersome to use. You can click on the individual numbers on the calculator, but this can be very slow. In the UCAT test center, the keyboard will have a numeric keypad on the right-hand side that you can use to input into the calculator.


2. Brush up on basic maths


The QR test will be of GCSE maths difficulty, so it’s important that you revise the core concepts of GCSE maths. For example, percentages, graph readings, ratios, perimeter area and volume, and rates (speed/distance/time) could all come up.

Even if you are taking A-level maths, you should refresh these basic concepts, as using your A-level knowledge may sometimes overcomplicate things! Many people studying medicine didn’t take A-level maths. So don’t worry, advanced knowledge isn’t required here.


3. Don’t be afraid to estimate


To save time in QR, it is helpful to use mental maths as much as possible. However, this can be tricky when doing calculations with complicated numbers! In some questions, estimate to speed things up. By rounding the numbers in the calculation up or down, the maths becomes easier to do in your head. This way, you will get close enough to the correct answer to select it from the options presented.


4. Make use of the whiteboard


The test centre will provide you with a ‘whiteboard’ (a few pieces of laminated paper) so that you can take notes. In the QR test. Utilise this to note down any key numbers from the passage that will be important for your calculations.

The calculator available to you in the test also cannot save any numbers like a scientific calculator, so it would be useful to note down any answers you may need to remember in a multi-step calculation as well.


5. Unit conversions


UCAT examiners will try to trip you up by using one set of units in the question but expect the answer to be in different units. To combat this, make sure you take particular note of all units used, and also practice your unit conversions so that you know you can convert quickly in the exam.


Did you know that the UCAT has changed for 2022?


For more information about the QR test for 2022, check out this article: https://www.mastermedprep.com/post/how-has-the-ucat-changed-in-2022


Want to boost your UCAT score even more? MasterMedPrep can help you: