What Happens if You do Bad in your Mocks?
A straightforward response to this question is, don’t let your motivation levels fall!
Your UCAT mock exam scores are intentionally created for practice purposes only. Therefore, poor exam results in this context should not have a detrimental effect to your future mocks or on the UCAT day.
Do Mocks Count for Anything during your UCAT Study?
The usefulness of a UCAT mock and UCAT mini-mock cannot be emphasized enough during UCAT preparation. One of the reasons behind their effectiveness lies in preparing you to be able to foresee the exam circumstances and the nature of question-styles you will encounter on UCAT test day.
After all, UCAT ANZ mocks or mini-mocks, created by the UCAT experts at Fraser’s stick to the standards of the official UCAT exams, exposing you to the ‘actual’ test difficulty.
Speaking of experts, our UCAT mentors often advocate students to attempt these UCAT mocks only after strengthening their theoretical knowledge in the UCAT, which gives students a fair chance at deploying the learned skills and techniques they have acquired over the months of preparation.
Therefore, in this article, our main objective is to talk about how to cope with disappointing UCAT scores in your mocks and be fully equipped before the official test.
How to Deal with Disappointing Exam Results during Mocks?
Poor Mock Results Due to Silly Errors
Disappointing UCAT mock scores can occur due to a large number of valid reasons. The important thing is to constantly remind yourself that ‘mock tests’ are meant for practice, and practice only. This signifies that you are allowed to make ‘n’ number of mistakes and really need to zero in on how to avoid those errors on your big day as opposed to being extra careful during practice sessions.
Having said that, not everyday can be your day to shine. A UCAT section you are generally confident in may be the cause of trouble on a particular practice session. However, this is just another aspect that you must inevitably accept because without making those ‘silly mistakes’ you are limiting your scope for improvement and learning.
It is a widely accepted notion that silly errors originate due to lack of practice. However, the UCAT exam format is an exception to this rule. Just imagine, the UCAT is not just unique in its testing style but has a wide range of questions that you have never been introduced to throughout your school life.
Not just that, it is a standardised test that gauges your aptitude, therefore, no matter how smart and academically profound you are, you can still make reckless mistakes after investing months preparing for the UCAT. In saying that, we believe anything and everything can be achieved with the right guidance and determination, even a confusing test format like the UCAT. Hence, to avoid errors, a neat approach is to keep track of your mistakes, consistently reflect upon and rectify them, and maintain a positive attitude at all times!
Do Not Create a Substandard Test Environment
Before we jump onto another possible circumstance that could hinder your productivity while sitting a UCAT practice test, we need to be familiar with the ‘WHY’ behind undertaking a UCAT mock.
A key role of utilising our UCAT diagnostic test is that it provides you with an accurate UCAT score, calculated in accordance with the real UCAT exam. As a mock exam sitter, your scores become reflective of your strengths and weaknesses. It also helps you plan a future course of action to reduce the errors you make one mock exam after another. However, all your hard work and preparation goes in vain if your test taking environment at home does not include realistic simulation of the UCAT test and has too many distractions for you to be fully active.
If you think about it, just by attending video tutorials and developing theoretical framework, you are not fully ready to handle a timed mock exam or the actual test itself. Particularly, while practicing at home, you may be too comfortable to take the practice test seriously. And sitting in an suboptimal environment can impede your concentration power and you are, therefore, prone to achieving a low UCAT score.
A great way to flip this type of a test environment is to first be accountable for yourself and second, have a friend or a family member act as an invigilator who can ensure that you are functioning without taking breaks during the 2-hours of your UCAT practice test. Replicating the UCAT test ambience at home can have a great effect on your performance on your test day.
Develop Resilience and a ‘Go-getter’ Attitude
One of the things that may discourage you from attempting numerous mock exams could be the UCAT practice test difficulty. As emphasised earlier, the real UCAT’s formatting and question-styles are often confusing, and UCAT mock exams largely aim to maintain this standard of difficulty to the best of their abilities. If you come across a mock exam that lacks variations in question-types or in any way does not challenge your problem-solving skills, it is a given that these tests are of a mediocre standard.
For this reason, the practice tests presented by the Fraser’s faculty are well-referenced and challenge your cognitive skills at the same level as the official test. In fact, our UCAT question bank gives you access to over 2000+ practice questions with a wide range of question variations that can rightly prepare you to tackle this intricate challenge.
Having said that, you need to understand that building resilience comes with building self-esteem first. Having confidence in your abilities and cultivating a positive mentality regardless of failure can assure success in this test format.
To become a highly resilient UCAT candidate, you have to forego the fear of failure first. In our years of training students in their UCAT study, we noticed that most of them underperform in their UCAT mock exams as they are scared of failing in the UCAT and succumb to excess levels of stress and anxiety.
In order to cope with this stressful feeling, a good strategy would be to identify what is the ‘reason’ for this exam pressure. Are you worried about why your UCAT performance is not improving or do you feel that one bad UCAT score can stop you from living that medical dream?
If you have such heavy thoughts in your mind, it is likely that your odds of success have already reduced a great deal before you appear for the actual exam itself. Besides, one poor UCAT test result is certainly not the end of your career goals and there are alternate options to enter the medical field in Australia, like the GAMSAT - postgraduate route or an non-UCAT - undergraduate medical route. Either way, one UCAT exam cannot be the determining factor of your future in medicine.
In simple terms, realise the cause for this exam stress and feel free to engage in stress-busting activities, like your favourite hobby or anything that can calm your mind. Only with a calm, composed and collected thought process can you undertake a tricky test like the UCAT, so remember to grow a thick skin and make the most of this opportunity.
How to do Well in UCAT Mocks?
By now, you may have surely gauged the validity and relevance of UCAT mock exams to your preparation. Before we conclude this piece, let us explicitly talk about the UCAT courses offered at Fraser’s and how you can succinctly apply the UCAT techniques in your mocks.
Our courses have a variety of inclusions, with our elaborate course packages delivering highly nuanced prep materials like skills workshops, online UCAT Atlas and over 40+ hours of PBL sessions. Amongst the range of course inclusions, a mandatory inclusion happens to be the UCAT mocks and mini-mocks, which comes at a much later stage in your preparation timeline. This paves the way for students to critically analyse and interpret their foundational learnings under simulated conditions, i.e., during timed mock exams that gives them an essence of the heated nature of the official UCAT.
In order to deliver a high quality performance in your mock exams, you need to be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. After completing each mock or mini-mock, we advocate for students to practice self-reflection to identify common mistake trends you are making and map out viable solutions for them.
Once you actively practice this technique and implement the aforementioned UCAT tips, you will notice that you are gradually improving your approaches and are more open to experimenting with fresh strategies under strapped time conditions. But remember, this significant development in your UCAT learning is nearly impossible to achieve if you lack patience.
Finally, you can always rely on the Fraser’s mentors to guide you through the ropes of the UCAT and help you devise personalised approaches to beat the UCAT in your own way. You can also speak one-on-one with a senior UCAT mentor who can walk you through the different stages of UCAT study and which UCAT course can maximise your learning!