10 Top Tips for Decision Making
In this series of articles, we take you through the medicine application process for UK universities. Through this series of comprehensive blogs, you will know absolutely everything you need to stand out from the crowd during the application process.
The Decision Making section, as the name suggests, tests your decision making and problem-solving skills. The section includes complex questions - often requiring you to analyze information both in the written and numerical form. The questions in this section also include tricky language and distracting information. Despite all of this, the section is actually one of the best-timed sections of the UCAT exam, with around 65 seconds per question.
This article is written by one of our top tutors, Arisma, who scores 3080 in the 2019 UCAT, putting her in the top 1% of the world. She scored 750 in the Decision Making section.
In this article, we take you through our Top 10 Tips to score high in the Decision Making section.
📖 Read the Questions Carefully
Decision Making questions often include tricky language. Since this is one of the better-timed sections, take time out to understand the question.
❌ Do Not Use Your Own Knowledge
Make sure you’re only using the information you’re presented with when coming to an answer – don’t make assumptions based on your outside knowledge. This is especially important in the syllogisms and interpreting information questions.
🖋 Use the Drawing Board
You will often need to analyze lots of information in the Decision Making section. Take note of key information on the whiteboard - this makes analysis much easier. Using the whiteboard is especially useful in Logical Deduction questions.
🧮 Revisit Common GCSE Math Topics
Revisit common GCSE maths topics such as probability (especially using the AND and OR rule), percentages and Venn diagrams. Also, revise how to analyze graphs, pie charts and others ways of representing data.
🚩 Flag, Don't Panic and Move On
It is completely fine if you can't finish attempting all questions. If you're spending more than 1 minute on a question - it may be useful to simply flag it and move on. Remember that all questions in the UCAT are equally weighted.
⚖️ Be Strategic
Determine which question type you're best at. If you're struggling with time in the exam, skip the question type you're worse at.
Additionally, while practising you can focus more on the question type you're worse at, so you can get better at it!
🔍 Look Up Common Terms Used in the Section
Common terms used in the Decision Making section can be found on the UCAT website or Page 16 of our free UCAT Guide!
Remember, they wouldn't release this list of words and what they mean unless it was important!
✍️ Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice is key to performing well in the UCAT. Practice both your speed and using the calculator.
🗳 Think Outside the Box
Do not limit yourself to practising with only UCAT resources. GCSE maths and A Level Biology past papers can be used to practice interpreting information from graphs and BMAT section 1 past papers will help you to develop the skills necessary for the evaluative questions.
✅ Use Checklists
This is especially for 'Analyzing Arguments' type questions. Here are a few questions to ask yourself while deciding on the right answer -
Does the argument directly link to the question?
Is the argument objective or unbiased?
Does the argument cite evidence?
Can you find any loopholes in the argument?
Be objective and do not let your personal beliefs influence your answers in these questions.
Prefer watching videos to reading? Watch our #Shorts video on YouTube! We take you through 6 top tips in 60 seconds!
For more comprehensive tips and worked examples, check out our Verbal Reasoning webinar.