UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning Tips

These UKCAT Quantitative Reasoning Tips are taken from The Ultimate UKCAT Guide: 1200 Practice Questions

Practice common question styles

Be especially comfortable with things like bus and rail timetables, sales figures, surveys, converting units and working with percentage changes in both directions.  These are commonplace in the UKCAT quantitative reasoning section–, but can prove awkward if you’re rusty.  Likewise be sharp on your simple arithmetic – it might seem basic, but a good knowledge of times tables will save you a lot of time.  Even if you’re not answering questions, you can hone your skills by practicing reading charts, graphs and tables quickly.

Pace Yourself

In this section you have an average of 40 seconds per question, and this is a very useful guide to have.  Of course some questions will take more or less time, but you should aim to work steadily forwards at roughly that pace.  So after 6 minutes you should be about 9 questions in, and after 12 minutes should have completed about 18 questions and so on.  By keeping a regular rhythm to your work, you ensure you don’t leave lots of potentially easy questions at the end untouched.  It’s far better to skip a few tricky questions with a guess to make sure you make a decent atempt at all questions, rather than wasting time with the hardest questions and missing out on easier marks.

Mental Speed

The main challenge in most quantitative reasoning questions is finding the right data and selecting the appropriate calculation to perform, rather than the actual calculation itself.  However, time is tight so you should be confident with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, as well as working out percentages, fractions and ratios.  Although there is an on-screen calculator in the test, you can save time by doing the basic sums in your head – being confident in your mental arithmetic ability will help you use the time most effectively.