Your child will be competing against 60,000 or so UPCAT applicants for a slot in UP. UPCAT Practice Tests are essential to your child’s success.
Practice makes perfect. The UPCAT is far from an exception. If you want your child to pass UPCAT, you should encourage him/her to take as many full-length, timed exams as possible.
Why are UPCAT practice tests so important?
1. Mental endurance. If your child has never practiced for more than an hour in a day, how do you expect him/her to perform on the actual UPCAT? Your child’s brain is an adaptive mechanism – it gets good at what you ask it to do frequently. So if your child practice for an hour every day, his/her brain will get really good at taking the UPCAT in August. What happens when your child is not practicing on a daily basis? He/She is going to start fading. Your child NEEDS to teach his/her brain to stand up to the actual UPCAT (which is a grueling 4-hr exam).
2. Familiarity. Your child’s level of confidence and familiarity with the UPCAT are two of the most important influencing factors on his/her UPCAT score. I would argue that they might be the most important factors (no math trick or UPCAT grammar strategy is going to make more of a difference). If your child has practiced at least an hour everyday and his/her fellow UPCAT applicants have only practiced say once a week, who do you think is going to be less stressed and more comfortable?
3. Timing. A lot of students practice without timing themselves. This is an enormous problem. If your child gets every UPCAT Practice problem right, but it takes him/her 4 minutes a question, he/she is going to fail. Taking full-length practice tests gives your child a better idea of pacing and allows him/her to practice effectively, taking into account both the quality and the speed of his/her work.
4. Tracking. Your child can't make a good plan for himself/herself unless he/she knows how he/she is performing. Your child needs to stick with a solid program and track his/her progress frequently, and he/she will know where he/she needs to improve. When your child knows where he/she needs to improve, he/she will also know where he/she needs to focus his/her attention. Getting exact scores and tracking where your child needs to focus most is absolutely essential.
5. Skill Acquisition. All of the above benefits leave out the fact that your child is going to be doing at least an hour of daily UPCAT practice. Doing this will make your child better at all four sections of the UPCAT. However, this doesn't happen automatically.
The key to gaining the most from each UPCAT practice test is in evaluating your child’s exams question-by-question after he/she takes them. Once he/she is done grading his/her exam, he/she must circle every single question that he/she got wrong. Your child should star every question he/she thought he/she got wrong but didn't.
Then, once your child has marked all these questions, he/she must go through one by one and figure out what he/she did wrong. This is the key to proper learning. If your child experiences a problem, gets it wrong, examines it, looks at the right answer, and views an explanation, he/she will learn WAY more than he/she would be simply trying the problem and getting it wrong.
If your child doesn't evaluate his/her wrong answers and explain them to himself/herself, he/she is missing a HUGE opportunity for improvement.