With this year’s UPCAT not too far away, it’s not surprising to see student hopefuls cracking their books. Everyone seems ready to shed blood, sweat and tears for the sake of passing that exam.
Unfortunately, merely reviewing hard for the UPCAT isn’t enough—smart reviewing is the key.
Tricks of the Trade
One effective way to review is to take advantage of the time when your mind is at its freshest. For example, I tend to review best before dawn, while others may prefer late evenings. It doesn’t really matter when you do it, so long as you stick to that time.
Keep Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule) in mind. This means that twenty percent of what you need to review will constitute eighty percent of the UPCAT content (and eventually, your grade as well). Find that all-important twenty percent and know it by heart.
One method that can help you do that is SQRRR—Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. First, scan through the material you need to study and formulate questions about it. Read your notes and locate the answers to your questions. Recite them out loud to yourself, and then go back and review the questions and their answers again.
When attending UPCAT review classes, BE in the room. Don’t waste your time making googoo eyes with that cute guy in the back row. Take some notes, summarize key lessons, recite in class, invite your classmates to form a study group, make little cue cards and carry them in your pocket at all times, anything that will help you maximize your time and energy.
Take the time to review the results of your simulation exams. Find out why some of your answers were wrong and more importantly how to arrive at the correct answer. Sit at the front row, the better for asking questions about things you didnt understand about the lessons. Don’t be meek or shy! remember that your parents are paying good money for your review and to understand lessons you didnt get before is precisely the purpose of the review.
Also, do whatever it takes to get you focused and in the mood, no matter how unusual it may be. My mother used to spray lavender aromatherapy scents in my room to help me focus. One person I know listened to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto while studying.
Finally, it helps to think of the UPCAT as a brainteaser that requires a strategic, puzzle-solving approach. People tend to learn best when they’re having fun, so turn your UPCAT review into a game and ace that exam!