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As many of you would have noticed, UMAT preparation takes time. And I mean a LOT of time! It’s often overwhelming trying to get those practice exams you’d promised yourself to get done as well as study for that first chemistry quiz if you’re in Year 12 or dealing with a cranky boss at work.    In many cases, students often lose time, confidence and their interest in UMAT since it simply adds to their already overwhelming workload. So before you start stressing about the 2016 UMAT exam, let’s just take a quick look at how you can manage studying for...
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For some people sitting UMAT, those nerves may not hit until the day of or the night before UMAT. We get butterflies in the stomach and perhaps even the need to vomit. These feelings are natural and can even help us to do better. But, for those of us who have difficulty handling the nerves, there are a few simple things to do to minimise them. Make sure you have everything that you need in advance A few days before the UMAT, read through the admission ticket and instructions and make sure that you have everything you need. Print out your...
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Most people find sitting the UMAT a nerve racking, stressful experience, but that does not mean you should allow those nerves to get the best of you.  There are some simple ways to help you get through this period and come out feeling great about your chances.  Take some of the pressure off of yourself.  If you’re anything like me, you expect a lot from yourself and that can result in a large amount of unnecessary pressure. That pressure can prove to be your undoing, but there are simple ways in which to take some of that pressure off. Remember that...
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Many students sit the UMAT for the first time thinking that they must to do well in UMAT because it is the only way for them to be accepted into their dream uni degree, medicine. This is untrue! This thinking places an enormous amount of unnecessary pressure on students. The reality is there are numerous ways to be accepted into medicine. Sitting UMAT, getting a good ATAR and smashing an interview may be the easiest and quickest way to get into medicine, but it is not the only one. Other options to be accepted into medicine can include:  • Taking a...
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With the exception of the Non-Verbal Reasoning component (section three), UMAT is primarily comprised of written – rather than pictorial – questions. Thus, it stands to reason that your UMAT preparation should include improving your reading skills. With that in mind, here are some of the many strategies you can use to develop your reading efficiency for UMAT.  Firstly, you must ensure that you read every single component of the stimulus, particularly for section two (Understanding People). A past UMAT stimulus, for example, described a middle-aged man. This information was included in the introductory stem of the stimulus, but nowhere else....
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I was fortunate enough to have jumped through the hurdles that lie on the way to medical school, and there are quite a few benefits on the other side. One of these is being able to talk to doctors, health professionals or community members that have had previous experience as interviewers. The following is an excerpt from a conversation I had with a past interviewer to understand what they are looking for in medical interviews.    1. As a community member are you concerned about the medical/dental focus of some of the scenarios? “The scenarios in the MMI (multiple mini interview)...
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In preparing for something as mammoth as a medical school interview, there are a lot of things to consider. When preparing you have to understand what type of language the interviewers might use, what to include in your answers and how you can respond both verbally and through your body language.   General advice for medical interviews • Walk into the room with a big smile. • Be confident, honest, friendly, understanding, respectful and empathic. • It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you decide to adopt, take your stance and defend your arguments until the end. Give reasons to...
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Preparation is key for any exam, and UMAT preparation is no different. But we’ve all had that horrible experience when the nerves hit, and all that preparation is thrown out the window because your brain is more interested in stressing itself out than answering the exam questions. But you can, of course, prepare for that too. 1.  Practice Since I’m supposed to be telling you what to do when it feels like preparation isn’t working, you might not expect a synonym for “preparation” to be the top tip. But it is, so hear me out. Nothing is as reassuring as the safety...
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Many of the personal qualities that the UMAT aims to assess in prospective medical students are the same qualities that are required to be a good doctor. Whilst the UMAT can only assess what you put on a paper in multiple choice format; the medical interview that will follow, can look for these qualities in person.    Your choice of words, body language, attitude and way of thinking will all be up for examination in the medical interview. Without some internal self-reflection, you will not be able to paint a detailed enough picture of yourself. A lot of these qualities we...
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Year 12 is a juggling act between all-important tests and exams with your other commitments, be it sport, music or a part-time job. On top of this, you have to squeeze in quality time for your family, friends and personal relationships. Well, once you leave Year 12, you may find the added pressures of medical school can be overwhelming at times! Here are my trialled-and-tested tips for reining in the chaos that University can be at times. Honestly, if someone had given me these three pointers in my first few weeks at UNSW, it would have made the transition immeasurably easier!...
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The University of Newcastle (UoN) has taken a unique teamwork approach within their Bachelor of Medicine course, collaborating with the University of New England to create the Joint Medical Program. Although this joint effort represents a new modelling of the course, UoN has offered an undergraduate Medicine course for almost forty years, and has gained an unofficial reputation for creating doctors with superior clinical skills. Their use of ‘Problem-Based Learning’ to train students to think critically and integrate concepts has been extensively harnessed by other medical schools. In this article, 4th year medical student Emma gives us further insight into the...
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So you’ve decided to spend x hours per week preparing for the UMAT. Well done on making a commitment! But it doesn’t end there. The next step is to squeeze as much as you can get out of those UMAT preparation hours. One way of doing this and making the questions work for you is to carefully review solutions. When going through UMAT practice questions, it’s very tempting to avoid reading the solutions for one reason or another. As someone who achieved 100th percentile in the UMAT, I’ll try to make a case for reading the solutions all the time.  ...
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Delivering coherent answers in a medical interview is no easy feat, but unfortunately, that is only half the battle. The interviewer is trying to see if you have the qualities that would make a good medical student and more importantly, a good doctor. These qualities can include being resilient, motivated and self-aware. And thus, the questions and/or activities they ask of you are all trying to assess if you possess these qualities. The first step in you presenting desirable qualities to your interviewer is you being aware that they are looking for them instead of blindly answering each question. A good...
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Amidst the stress of preparing for the UMAT and studying for your other exams, it may be tempting to not spend time on extra-curricular activities, so that you can focus on getting the marks you need to get into medicine. After all, they won’t contribute directly to your score, right?    However, participating in extra-curricular activities, whether it be joining your local cricket team, volunteering for a soup kitchen or being captain of the chess club, will help you not only be a better person, but be a better candidate for medical entry. Don’t believe me? Here are three reasons to...
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For many students, UMAT preparation begins with enrolling in a UMAT tuition program such as MedEntry. But boy, there sure is a lot of stuff on here, isn’t there? How exactly should you use all of the resources, such as Practice Exams, Drills and Eureka? In this post, I’ll share how I navigated the MedEntry LMS to ultimately achieve 100th percentile in the UMAT.   The UMAT is important. It is worth approximately one third of your application to most medical schools. Obviously it is unfeasible to spend as much time on the UMAT as you do on schoolwork, so I...
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Have I prepared enough for UMAT? As school assessments begin to pile up and the date of the UMAT exam looms closer, this one question can create great anxiety. As a MedEntry workshop helper, questions like, “when did you start preparing for the UMAT?” and “how much practice did you do every night?” are amongst the most frequent that I receive. With such a high-stakes exam like the UMAT, it can often feel like no amount of preparation is enough. This feeling can become increasingly dominant as the exam approaches, and you may find yourself ‘hitting a wall’ with your UMAT-related...
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There are many different approaches to problem-solving that have been established in psychology. Firstly, there’s the Thorndike paradigm, which involves blind trial and error1. More purposeful approaches are the Gestalt approach, and the cognitive approach.  The Gestalt approach involves solving problems as a whole2. You see the problem, you see what you have, and then you try to see how everything fits together. If the question is routine, it’s very easy to figure it out. If it isn’t, well, sometimes you gain insight, but sometimes you come up with an idea based on what you’ve encountered before and you get so...
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The Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) is the newest addition to NSW's undergraduate medical courses, opening its doors for the first time in 2007. UWS has a particular commitment towards providing health care and education for the Western Sydney region, including a focus on the area of Indigenous health. To find out more about the UWS medical course, I caught up with Jess, a third year medical student at Western Sydney.   Evie: So Jess, you're now more than half-way towards graduating from UWS! Could you share with us what the Medicine...
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Preparing for the UMAT is similar to preparing for a marathon: it requires training, preparation and strategies to optimise your performance on the test day. Just as an athlete prepares for a major sporting event, so you must prepare yourself to sit UMAT, which is one of the most important exams that you will face in your career. We can learn much from athletes about optimising performance in UMAT, as outlined in this TED talk by Martin Hagger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG7v4y_xwzQ This talk discusses how highly successful athletes prepare themselves before a competition. The main points are summarised below, with an emphasis on...
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Are you all aboard the express train to Procrastination station? Are you experiencing a motivation crisis? Are you just about ready to give up?       Well you’re not going to give in to the internet, not this time. I am here to remind you WHY you should be studying for the UMAT right now.   The UMAT is one test. If you do well in the UMAT, you will have significant leeway with your high school results, which is not one test but a result based on a series of assessments and a number of different subjects over an...
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