The Ultimate Verbal Reasoning Guide
📑 11 sets of 4 questions
🛠️ 21 minutes
🏛️ Tests your understanding of written language
For instance, the doctor will need to note the severity, duration, and onset of the pain more so than what the patient was shopping for in the supermarket when the pain began.
Consider a patient presenting with a fall resulting in a painful swollen arm, for instance. A doctor should order imaging to in the form of an X-ray on the arm. They should use this to see if a fracture has occurred and perform a thorough examination to see if other structures have been compromised (e.g.; blood supply and nerves). It would not make sense for the doctor to also scan the patient’s shoulder since this has nothing to do with the presenting complaint and would result in unnecessary radiation exposure.
For example, it does not mean much to a patient if you tell them they have an elevated blood CRP - they want to know what that means in simple terms, i.e. they may need medication to clear an infection which has been causing them to have a nasty fever.
Tips and Tricks
Practice your speed reading using this test: http://www.readingsoft.com
You can also download the Chrome extension 'Spreed' which helps improve your reading speed while you're reading articles on the internet
To answer the question’s use only what is provided in the text (do not use your own outside knowledge or make assumptions).
This is important because the passages may be long and written in language that you may find confusing. There is simply not enough time to read over all of them individually. You must be able to glance over the text quickly and get a general understanding of what it entails. However, be careful not to be thrown by statements that may be preceded with a negator or phrase like “it would be unreasonable to assume…” or such like.
It is much easier to find relevant information for answering the question when you know the question already. If anything, you will be able to utilise skim-reading more efficiently as you will not be taking mental notes of irrelevant information within the passage.
It is completely fine if you can't finish reading all passages or attempting all questions. If you're spending more than 2 minutes on a passage - it may be useful to simply flag it and move on.
Remember that all questions in the UCAT are equally weighted. Take care to not waste time on the longer passages of text and miss out on answering the shorter questions.
Make sure to come back to these unanswered questions in the last minute and guess answers!
Determine whether you're better at True/False/Can't Tell type questions or Drawing Conclusions type questions. If you're struggling with time in the exam, skip the question type you're worse at.
Additionally, while practicing you can focus more on the question type you're worse at, so you can get better at it!
When answering the ‘True/False/Can’t tell” questions look out for words such as ‘sometimes’, ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘possibly’, ‘rarely’. These words can help to critically determine whether something is explicitly stated or implied.
Practice is key to performing well in the UCAT. Practice both your speed, as well as reading comprehension skills.
Practice at any given opportunity - read articles online or in the newspaper (these do not need to be scientific) and summarise the content into a couple of bullet points for practice.
If you feel that you have found the answer, move on. Do not finish reading the text as this simply wastes time.