After working tremendously hard for a whole year in school, summer holidays are the official time to ‘cool off’ and take that justified vacation with your family and friends. In Australia, summer break lasts from mid December to late January, which, although is a time of leisure for many, is also a crucial time of preparation for students eyeing to enroll into an undergraduate medical, dentistry or a clinical science degree.
How is your summer break relevant to your UCAT preparation, you may ask? To put it mildly, you can choose a testing window for UCAT within July - August and the ideal time to begin your UCAT preparation is 6 months prior to your UCAT test date.
You either get a head start on your UCAT study by rightly utilising your summer holidays or procrastinate until you begin Year 12, which can be very tricky considering the lack of motivation you will have after a long school day in your final year. For this reason, our UCAT mentors look at the ‘UCAT summer course’ in December as an accurate starting point to embark on your UCAT prep!
Summer UCAT Study Plan is Beneficial to Students
As discussed in the introduction, a headstart in your UCAT study is more advantageous than you can imagine, and a little reading wouldn’t disrupt the entirety of your vacation. If you put little thought into this, studying for the UCAT whilst juggling high school commitments is actually tougher, and calls for higher mental endurance. Instead, if you start preparing for the UCAT in your holidays, devoting 5 hours per week, you can relieve some stress when you are fully fledged at high school.
Most students that we have mentored feel confident when their UCAT study begins during the early summer break. Moreover, once high school starts, you will have to focus on achieving a high enough ATAR to be eligible for undergraduate medicine. Compromising on the quality of your high school performance for a good UCAT score is not a good move as it will prevent you from attending other key university courses that you may also have your sights set on.
Furthermore, you can always re-sit the UCAT in the next academic cycle, but you only get one shot at your high school exams, so it is important to make it count!
This is precisely why the Fraser’s UCAT courses have blended problem-based learning sessions into the courses to ensure you are underpinned by a constructive approach and are tailored to become active learners in your UCAT study as well at high school.
Besides, if you wish to start off by purely understanding the challenges you could face in the UCAT, you can book a private consultation with one of our expert UCAT tutors. They will be able to guide you on how to utilise your summer break for UCAT study and to strike the balance with your year 12 workload at high school.
How can you efficiently prepare for the UCAT while still in high school? Download the full infographic to create the perfect UCAT study schedule!
Learn UCAT Fundamentals with Study Resources
As a high school student, you are bound to feel under the pump considering how busy your timetable will be with assignments, exams, and regular self-studying. In saying so, we would like to reiterate the importance of your UCAT study timetable during summer, which will be necessary to ensure that your learning is meaningful, rather than a sporadic haphazard process.
Truth be told, the UCAT exam format as said in our previous blogs has no similarity to the traditional exam style, which is typically straightforward questions from the syllabus. UCAT’s five subsections are built on a broad spectrum of themes, each testing your problem-solving skills based on your lived experiences, personality, and logic. In order to succinctly demonstrate mature thinking in the UCAT exam, you will have to allocate ample time to improve and rectify your mistakes.
Besides, each question-type has more than one approach to deduce the solution, hence the start of your summer break, 6 months out from the UCAT, should be focused on strengthening your foundational skills.
It can be difficult to give up on your summer break to study for another exam, which is undoubtedly an intellectual challenge. However, this is a great opportunity to get familiar with the ropes of the UCAT, such as section timings and applicable strategies for question-styles. So, to sum it up, focusing on your UCAT study during the early days of summer vacation will pay dividends the following year when you come to study under a lot more pressure.
UCAT Summer Study Keeps You Stress-Free
One of the biggest obstacles to your UCAT study is getting into the loop of procrastination. Although we don’t realise it, our mind enters the relaxation zone, succumbing to laziness when there is a day off. Particularly having a summer break and knowing that the UCAT testing window is farther away, you are naturally misled to believe that UCAT prep can wait. This thought-process is inevitable but not worthwhile for a challenging exam like the UCAT.
It is important to have a disciplined study routine for your UCAT prep before and after school begins. This is because, once you are actively involved in your school curriculum, your timetable will become busier, leaving little to no room for extra-curriculars. This will only make you mentally and physically exhausted.
Hence, UCAT summer study gives you that assurance and helps you progress in the UCAT before your school timetable picks up.
Considering the fact that you have already invested up to 5 hours on a weekly basis before school commences, you are accustomed to the grips of the UCAT concepts and section timings. Now, you need to re-build a new schedule for UCAT that keeps the interests of your school as a priority. With a certain degree of prerequisite understanding of what the UCAT entails, you can reduce your UCAT study to 2- 3 hours in a week and drill 10 or 20 UCAT practice questions with subsequent revision.
Are UCAT Courses Worth It?
As someone noteworthy once said, “Quality is never coincidental, instead it is the result of an intelligent effort.”
Our UCAT courses take major inspiration from this quote and the team at Fraser’s continues to be at the forefront of research to provide a wholesome UCAT learning experience. In saying that, to answer the question, ‘Are UCAT courses worth it?’ Well, it solely depends on the course inclusions and the teaching philosophy. Our courses have a long standing tradition of utilising problem-based learning as the foundation of teaching, and it has been an effective method over the last 10 years.
Furthermore, considering the importance of the ‘UCAT Summer course’, our popular three-day ‘UCAT strategy weekend’ program is an excellent starting point for your UCAT preparation between early December and January. Our tutors will take an active interest in your UCAT performance throughout the three-day program to provide a personalised report that highlights your areas of weaknesses, giving better insights into your competency in the UCAT.
Once you get a headstart into the basics of UCAT concepts, and are aware of our commitment towards teaching, you can take the big step to enroll into one of our detailed comprehensive or concentrated course packages that includes,’Weekly skill workshops’, access to ‘2000+’ practice questions’ and upto ‘20 mini-mocks’, each contributing to an optimal study experience.
And to really understand the value of our UCAT courses, it is imperative you know about our ‘Personal mentor’ program. This is a Fraser’s exclusive that assigns a mentor to each student from the start to the very end of their course, and this mentor provides special attention and care towards your UCAT summer study and the subsequent phase of entering a medical school, stress-free.
We wish you all the best for your UCAT summer study! Let’s make it count!