Tips to Reduce UCAT ANZ Test Anxiety 2021
Most of you will have your UCAT test coming up in the next few months, so you might be starting to feel some pressure. I’m here to try and take some of that pressure off, by showing you that it’s honestly not that bad if you look after yourself and approach the admissions test in a good way!
During the UCAT exam season, it’s inevitable that those of you taking the exam are going to be quite nervous and possibly stressed out about the whole situation. In this article, I want to use my past experiences with the UCAT test to help you feel a bit better about the admissions exam and give you some more specific, useful tips to reduce anxiety during this time.
Sections in this article:
– Tips to reduce UCAT test anxiety during the lead up to your exam
– Tips to reduce UCAT test anxiety on the day of your exam
Anyway, back to this article! Nerves and stress aren’t fun for anyone, so I really hope you feel a bit better about the UCAT test after reading this article…
Tips to reduce UCAT test anxiety during the lead up to your exam
It’s completely normal to be slightly ‘on edge’ during this period of time. You’ve got admissions tests, personal statement deadlines and school work going on all at once and that might get overwhelming sometimes.
Despite this, it’s really important to find ways to manage your stress so that it doesn’t affect your ability to prepare and do well in the UCAT test. In this section, I’m going to try and give you tips which will hopefully make you feel better about your upcoming admissions test.
1. Take things one step at a time.
When I say this, what I mean is, don’t think about everything all at once. Like I mentioned before, you have a lot going on right now, so you want to be strategic about what you’re focusing on.
For example, if your UCAT exam is in August, have most of your attention on that for now, before moving onto your personal statement and then interviews later on.
Obviously, don’t neglect any parts of your application completely, but make a good plan and get your priorities sorted so that you don’t have a bunch of thoughts building up for no reason.
2. Create a clear revision schedule.
You need to have a good plan that will work for you. Make sure you consider other commitments like holidays or events, as well as getting breaks into your timetable!
By having a good schedule, you can ensure that you complete all the practise questions and mocks which you want to in time for the admissions test, so that you feel confident by the time your test date comes around.
If you need help with knowing how much revision to do, look into some of our UCAT preparation blog posts, or the articles with key revision tips for each of the UCAT test sections (e.g. decision making), for some guidance. Another good place for preparation tips is the official UCAT website itself.
3. Get into a regular daily routine.
Something which really helped me in the lead up to my UCAT exam was having set mealtimes and sleeping times. A daily timetable helped me structure my day, which then made it really easy to do some great revision and preparation.
4. Take care of yourself.
This ties in with having a daily routine and remembering to put breaks in your revision schedule, but it’s a very important point so I’d like to emphasise it.
Make sure that throughout this period, you are still doing things you enjoy or things which relax you. This could be a hobby, such as cycling, or it could be spending time with loved ones.
Also, always take a break if you need it – there’s no use in forcing yourself to revise when you’re really not in the mood because chances are, it won’t be going in!
5. Have a good support system.
Make sure that you spend enough time talking to your family or friends about any worries you have about the admissions exam. They might not be able to fix everything or completely understand what you’re going through but sharing your emotions can do wonders in a stressful time.
Personally, I found that speaking to my friends who were also taking the UCAT test really helped me, because they could relate to what I was going through and it felt like we were getting through it together, which felt nice.
It might also help to speak to a school teacher if you can, or a tutor, who you know will support you through this time.
6. Remember that you are good enough
Take a little time each day or each week to remind yourself that you’ve got this. Obviously, it’s not helpful to be overconfident but a good level of confidence can go a long way. You’re taking the UCAT exam because you are applying to a healthcare profession, and that means you’re smart and you can do this!
At the end of the day, this is an aptitude test which doesn’t require any A Level knowledge, so you’re probably already able to pass it… imagine how well you could do with some good revision!
Tips to reduce UCAT test anxiety on the day of your exam
So now you know what might help with your UCAT test worries in the coming weeks/months, but what about arguably the most important part… the test day itself!?
In this section, I’ll talk about what sorts of things helped me stay calm and collected on my UCAT exam day and hopefully, this could help you on your exam day too!
1. Get a good night of sleep beforehand.
I know that you’re probably always told this by teachers or parents before an exam, but it genuinely is so important! If you’re well rested, you’ll be able to get up without a fuss and your mind should be clear and well-focused for the admissions test.
It certainly worked well for me. I stopped revising quite early the day before my test and had a nice, relaxed evening with my family because I knew there was no point trying to cram extra revision in late at night. This meant that on my test day, I felt awake and I approached the UCAT exam with a clear mind.
So seriously, trust me on this one and get to bed on time the night before your UCAT test!
2. Don’t revise on the day of your UCAT test.
Obviously, this isn’t a strict rule (I don’t have the power for that ha-ha) and you can do revision if you really want to, but I would definitely advise against it.
By the time your UCAT exam date rolls around, you should be well prepared already, having followed your revision plan, so you shouldn’t need to do extra questions on the day of your exam. It probably wouldn’t help much and might even stress you out more if you get some answers wrong!
3. Know that you can do this.
You have most likely put lots of effort into your revision and preparation for this admissions exam and therefore, you’re most likely going to do brilliantly!
Remember all the hard work you’ve put in and remember that you deserve this.
Okay so this is a bit of a strange one, I know! You don’t have to literally meditate but the reason I’ve put this down is because before your UCAT test, I want you to try and stop thinking about the test.
There’s no need to overthink it before going into the exam room so try to clear your mind, either by meditating (if that works for you), or by using a different distraction method like speaking to a parent or thinking about something you love.
5. Once you’re in the exam room, take a deep breath and just give it your best shot.
Like I’ve said before, you’re prepared, and you know what you’re doing. All you have to do in that exam room is answer some questions which you’ve been answering all summer!
This is your time to shine, so use all your revision and any help or tips you’ve gotten from a tutor to go ahead and smash the UCAT exam!