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Access Into Medical School: Guide - Your community for widening participation in medicine: UCAT training, BMAT training, mock interviews and mentorship.
The UCAT decision making section is the second of 5 sections within the UCAT test. In total, It lasts for 31 minutes and you’ll have to answer 29 questions. The idea is to assess your ability to think logically about data and test your ability to separate information into distinct groups. Some of the data will be visual (IE venn diagram) and some will be text-based. It’s important to have a key understanding of the question styles for this section. Having a tactic for every possibility is a key marker for success.
For the UCAT, decision-making lasts for 31 minutes and has 29 questions. Each of these questions is separate from one another, hence it isn’t a question set like in verbal reasoning or abstract reasoning. However, There are a few subtle variations in the questions you can get out of Decision Making. There are two main question structures:
While there are only two question types, the data can also be presented to you in a variety of ways:
Within the UCAT, Decision making is usually people’s second worst section, next to verbal reasoning. Why? Well, the data is presented in a lot of ways. As a result, it’s easy to get confused as to what’s being asked of you. Remember – You can interpret the data in only so many ways. Practice is also key, because you need to be confident that you can understand HOW to read the data in various formats. the UCAT website has a nice little selection of questions for each section.
Another thing – Be wary of the yes/no questions. The examiners will mark each statement seperately, so they’re pretty high yield for marks. However, it’s easy to make assumptions about the data based on your previous answers. Let’s show a quick example:
Question: There is a boat with 3 groups of people on it: sailors, fishers and divers. All the sailors wear hats and all of the divers wear masks. Some fishers don’t wear anything on their head, but some do.
For a question like this, you might be given the statement “All sailors wear hats”. We know this is true because the question states this. However, you might then be given the statement “only sailors wear hats”. You might be tempted to say this is true since we’ve previously deduced all the sailors wear hats. However, we don’t actually know for certain if any of the fishers wear hats, so this is a false conclusion. Do you see how it’s important to not answer questions based on your previous answers?