The UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is crucial for medical school and dental school admissions, and every year aspiring medical students from the United Kingdom and elsewhere spend many stressful hours preparing for the UKCAT exam. To make your journey a little easier, our team has compiled this selection of the best UKCAT books and test preparation guides for 2018-2019 (note that we also provide a list of the best BMAT books).
Those looking for the most popular of the best UKCAT books need look no further than Get Into Medical School, published by medical school entry specialists ISC Medical and now available in an updated edition. This comprehensive tome contains more than 1250 questions in the style of the latest UKCAT, ensuring a rich supply of material for students to work with. In terms of sheer volume of information, this guide is unrivaled.
It boasts an additional 400 brand new questions to the previous edition of the book, which it supplements with excellent explanations and plenty of helpful advice. All the different areas of the exam are covered in commendable detail, and the book’s clear structure serves to make the learning experience a pleasant one.
The questions are undoubtedly challenging, and in some cases even exceed the difficulty level of the exam itself, but students should not be daunted by this. This guide is a rigorous but extremely thorough and useful source, and an excellent preparation for both the UKCAT and medical school itself. This study guide is with good reason the best-selling title among the best UKCAT books available on the market.
In terms of UKCAT preparation volume, The Ultimate UKCAT Guide: 1200 Practice Questions (subtitle: Fully Worked Solutions, Time Saving Techniques, Score Boosting Strategies, Includes new Decision Making Section) cannot be beat. This guide comes packed with an astonishing 1200 questions, covering all sections of the test and reflecting the style and difficulty of the real exam.
The book, written by Doctors David Salt and Rohan Agarwal (with the input and assistance of 20 UKCAT tutors), provides fully worked solutions for each of the questions, allowing students to correct their own answers with confidence and view examples of what works best. What’s more, the guide is fully up to date and includes some of the newer style decision questions, ensuring a comprehensive resource for preparation.
On the other hand, there are a handful of errors with the material, and the formatting may appear a little strange in some places which can hinder understanding. Despite these issues, the Ultimate UKCAT Guide remains a well-structured and reliable source of advice and strategy. Due to these qualities, and given its impressive depth and breadth in terms of practice opportunities, this title easily makes our list of the best UKCAT books.
Combining expert knowledge with a strong range of questions and useful advice, Score Higher On The UKCAT is a must-have for prospective medical students. This book is published by the trusted educational experts at Kaplan (they also offer UKCAT prep courses).
Written with the help of teachers and doctors, this guide contains over 1000 questions alongside useful techniques and guidance. It looks at each section of the UKCAT in turn, and reflects the level of difficulty that students can expect in the real exam. Readers can take a diagnostic test at the beginning of the book to gain an idea of where their problem areas lie, and then focus their energies on these sections. The guide also comes with an online mock test.
Reliable and straightforward, students can be assured that this guide will prepare them well for the challenges of the UKCAT. Despite a slightly weak abstract reasoning section, the book still qualifies for our list of the best UKCAT books given that it provides a very solid grounding in most of the exam sections and a wealth of practice questions. The authors have worked hard to make sure the questions are as similar to the real exam as possible, making it a strong resource students can rely on.
For a useful source of tips, valuable strategy and general guidance on how to prepare for and excel in the UKCAT, this from The Medic Portal (an official partner of the Royal Society of Medicine) is an excellent starting point.
This guide isn’t a huge book, with a small database of questions compared to some of the other prep books on this list, but it still manages to squeeze an impressive amount of knowledge into its 216 pages. This UKCAT study guide also gives a good overview of the different sections of the exam, laced with original and helpful commentary to give students that all-important edge.
The main shortcoming of this test study guide book is its size and shortage of questions. It works best when used in combination with one of the more question-heavy study guides, so students can test out the strategies a sufficient number of times. Used in that way, however, it is a highly useful resource for prospective test-takers.
Delivered in a format that will be familiar to many readers, the UKCAT for Dummies provides a thorough and clearly explained breakdown of the exam alongside lots of useful information, practice questions and tips to succeed.
Written by two medically qualified psychiatrists from the reputable Get Into Med School, readers can be sure of accurate and reliable guidance with this book. As well as test-specific advice, the guide also provides a more general overview of the Medicine application process, including the preparation of a personal statement and information about different universities.
Although this guide does contain a small amount of inaccurate information, it generally gives a handy overview of many different parts of the UKCAT process, explained clearly and in a way that is accessible to people from all backgrounds. The questions are plentiful and a similar difficulty level to the UKCAT itself and readers can expect a book that is strong in all areas. As so many other titles in the “Dummies” series, this is a serious resources that we recommend as one of the best UKCAT books.
Focusing on general strategy and broad skills, the UKCAT success toolkit stands apart from other study guides on our list of the best UKCAT books with a refreshing new approach. This preparation book is geared towards building skills for success, and equipping students with the cognitive skills that will allow them to do well in the exam and beyond. As such, the book doesn’t focus on simply forcing readers to memorise repetitive question styles and formulas, instead working to give them the tools they need to answer any question with confidence and ease. As such, it has some value even beyond the UKCAT.
Another impressive feature of the UKCAT Success Toolkit is that it is linked to an online resource containing over 2000 questions. Conversely, a downside to the guide is its diminutive size – there are only 100 questions inside the book itself. However, with access to the vast online library of questions, readers shouldn’t let this discourage them from buying a great learning resource that offers a fresh approach to mastering the UKCAT.
Although it has since been replaced with the updated version mentioned above, Get Into Medical School by ISC Medical is still an extremely comprehensive and effective tool in preparing for the UKCAT exam. It contains a substantial amount of questions, and all the information and coaching students will need to give themselves a strong chance in the exam. This guide also contains one mock exam, allowing readers to test themselves in exam-like conditions. The difficulty level of the questions is close to that of the final exam, if a little harder. This provides a challenging preparation for the test without lulling students into a false sense of security.
Nevertheless, readers should note that the guide is an older version, and contains fewer questions than its successor. This means that some question types are omitted or dated, although most are covered in great detail. Get Into Medical School is now, however, extremely affordable, making it a fine choice for anyone on a tight budget. Even without the low cost, this is a sturdy and highly useful supplement to the library of any aspiring doctor.