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How to answer the big question

First things first, congratulations on getting an interview! That’s a massive achievement all on its own! Now is the time to be prepping for that interview as it’s not the sort of thing you should be winging. There are already a couple of blogs on how to ace an interview (all of which you should read!) so this one is just about how to answer that one big question. So why do you want to be a doctor? Every medical school will ask you this in some shape or another. Here are a couple of ways it might be phrased...
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Top ten tips for the last 24 hours

So the big day is nearly here and you’ve been working up to it consistently for the best part of a year. Now it’s time to put everything MedEntry has taught you into practice. Here’s some advice to help you be at your prime in the last 24 hours leading up to the UMAT. Spend the day before doing something you enjoy, something relaxing, something fun and something that will keep your mind off the UMAT. You NEED some time to let your brain and body relax the day before so that you are in perfect condition. It can be anything,...
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Five tips for how to survive when you arrive in the UMAT Exam Venue

So with all things going well you’ve arrived at the UMAT exam venue with plenty of time and well rested, ready to put all the knowledge you’ve gained from MedEntry to use. However, now you have to make it through the last short while before you sit down and start the UMAT test. Here’s five tips to help you survive. Go to the bathroom. Make sure you head to the loo not long before you are due to start the UMAT because the last thing you need is to have to take a bathroom break in an already time constraining...
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Keeping Command over your UMAT

When you walk into the test centre on the day of the UMAT, you shed all responsibilities of day-to-day life, and for three hours (plus ten minutes of perusal!) it is just you, your pencil and the test paper in front of you. For those 3 hours, it is vital that you stay in control of the things you can control and understand that there are some things that you can’t. It is very easy to let you mind drift when you get into the second hour of the test, especially if you can hear pencils tapping to your left,...
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New LMS Feature – Exam Review Progress Tracking

After completing a practice exam on the LMS, we strongly recommend that you spend considerable time reviewing your answers. Since this process can take a long time, and may need to be done over multiple sessions, the LMS will now keep track of you are up to in each of your exam reviews. For example, if you were reviewing Exam 5, Question 73, and you close the LMS – the system will remember which part of the Exam you are reviewing, and the next time you continue the exam review, you will be taken directly to this question. You can...
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The UMAT – A Test of Endurance

The UMAT is so commonly viewed as a test of intelligence and aptitude, that we forget how crucial it is to improve our mental endurance for this exam. In fact, the endurance required for the UMAT is much greater than that required for any end of year school exam. Not only is the UMAT as long as or longer than any school exam (3 hours), but the nature of each individual question requires much greater focus. This need for enhanced application to each question is due to our inability to draw upon a year’s worth of content and knowledge, as...
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New LMS Exam Report Card

After completing a practice exam on the MedEntry Learning Management System (LMS), you will now be able to view/print a detailed report on your exam performance in comparison to other MedEntry students. The report can be accessed by clicking the "View Report Card" link on the exam attempt solutions page, or under "View Solutions" on the exam summary page: Some of the details in this report include: Your overall exam grade and percentile ranking, in comparison to other MedEntry students Your grade and percentile ranking for each of the exam constructs (Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving, Understanding People, and Non-verbal Reasoning). Details on...
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The Truth about UMAT prep

As a customer, it is difficult to choose from various UMAT course providers, especially when outlandish claims are made through slick and deceptive marketing strategies. As in most cases,  'Word-of-mouth'  recommendation is the best. Please ask around for the impressions of students who have attended a UMAT course. Quality of products Your performance in the  UMAT  will only improve if you practice on questions which simulate the real  UMAT . Practicing on questions which are unrelated to those in the  UMAT  or questions that have a different structure to those in the  UMAT  may adversely affect your performance. It is...
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You may have heard that stress negatively impacts on performance. You may have been told that if you are too stressed in the lead up to an important exam such as UMAT, you won’t do well. You may have been advised to look for ways to relieve your stress. While this may be true, in some cases trying to get rid of stress can actually cause you to become more stressed. A different approach, which might sound crazy at first, is to embrace your stress. The following three strategies will not only help you manage stress, but will also boost...
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 Students often find non-verbal reasoning questions the most difficult initially, especially if they have never encountered them before. Here are a few tips to help tackle these questions from an experienced UMAT tutor.  Tip 1: Keep it Simple. Non-verbal reasoning questions will require you to find the most simple and logical answer. It may feel like the questions are out to trick you, and that may lead to you trialling overly complex rules. However, in many situations, the simple pattern is the correct pattern. Having this in mind will help form your approach to the questions. For example, if you...
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To some lucky people it comes easy, but for many this is the section with some of the most difficult questions in the exam. Whether you are just starting your UMAT preparation or are deep in your practice so far, the following tips from an experienced tutor who scored highly in this section should help you maximize your score: Firstly, read the introductory text included in the passage.  • This appears before the actual body of the passage and is often written in italics or brackets. Although this may seem like an obvious tip, many students don’t take the time...
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3 tips to improve your score in Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving questions

Looking for some tips on how to improve your score in Logical reasoning and Problem solving?  Terrified by long passages with scientific jargon and perplexing puzzles? Worried about running out of time? Remember the following advice and you’ll be well on your way to maximising your score.    1. Read the question stem first This construct can often be time-consuming due to lengthy passages that may contain complex ideas or complicated technical terms. Although it might be tempting to start reading the passage straight away, it’s always a good idea to read the question stem first. Sometimes, you’ll be able...
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UMAT Countdown: Musings from an experienced tutor

This impending Wednesday is without a doubt one of the most terrifying – yet unusual days of the year. Throughout the past seven years, I have uttered the phrase “The UMAT is a game” innumerous times, and now, on the brink of becoming an actual doctor (finally!) and exiting the world of UMAT, I thought I’d pass on my suggestions for this game.    Suggestion 1: Your mood is your top priority. The UMAT is designed in such a way that your mood greatly impacts your performance. Why? Because it’s an exam of emotions, of empathy and of understanding. Feeling...
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The Last Lap

It’s July which means the UMAT is less than a month away. This is a crucial time for all students and what you do in these final days will greatly impact your performance on the actual exam. Many of you would have started completing or already completed many practice exams on LMS and possibly ones provided by ACER too. If not, it is especially important that you do these as they can significantly boost your confidence, and hence your score. Additionally, these practice questions will also help you finally polish your skills as well as improve your time-management. Identify any...
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Your venue for the UMAT can become a very scary place very quickly. While being academically prepared is extremely important for UMAT, it is also useful to know what to expect when you get to the venue. Firstly, you’ll see a range of different students at the UMAT venue – while some are great to have a conversation with before the exam commences; others, not so much: 1. The Downplayer – This is a student who will consistently talk about how they have not done any practice for the UMAT, keep reinforcing that they’re going to fail and claim to...
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Life isn’t the only thing full of surprises. The upcoming UMAT exam could hold a range of new, never-before-seen questions and it is important to know how to deal with these in an exam situation.  The first step is to identify these types of questions in reading time. When looking through your UMAT exam booklet, mentally note these questions and have them simmering away in the back of your mind. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared for these “surprises” and less likely to panic when you go on to attempt these questions. When writing time begins, start doing the...
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Only 3 weeks to UMAT - what should I do?

There are three weeks left until UMAT! Are you completely freaking out? Feeling utterly under-prepared? Never fear! These 5 simple steps are sure to make you ready for any UMAT question thrown at you.   1.     Practice ACER exams and read their worked solutions. ACER offers 3 full-length practice exams; these are a must-do before the exam! They ’ re a little bit easier than your average MedEntry exam, so they ’ re great for that last minute confidence boost. ACER also gives you worked solutions to every question, which lets you see how they come up with the...
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Making Friends with UMAT Practice

In the game of UMAT practice, consistency beats brilliance. It is important that we not wait until we have lots of motivation before we start practicing. Good UMAT skills come about in the context of practicing in a more routine and ordinary manner, rather than sporadic bursts of insight. The goal should be gaining meaningful and valuable UMAT skills every time you practice. Expecting anything more may create too much pressure and lead to debilitating blocks and limitations. To be successful at the UMAT, you need to develop UMAT practice as a practice or discipline. UMAT = Meditation? In this...
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Springing back from adversity: Resilience

To be mentally tough is to resist the urge to give up in the face of failure, to maintain focus and determination in pursuit of your UMAT goals, and to emerge from adversity even stronger than before. Everyone can benefit from strengthening their resilience skills.  Mental toughness comes from thinking like an optimist. People who don’t give up have a habit of interpreting setbacks as temporary, local and changeable. When in the face of adversity, try to say to yourself, “It’s going away quickly; it’s just this one situation, and I can do something about it.” Analyze your beliefs and...
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The Dangers of Stereotype threat

Stereotype threat can affect the way students perform in the UMAT.  Some students are vulnerable to “stereotype threat.” This is being aware the group they belong to is often stereotyped as intellectually inferior. The fear of confirming the stereotype by doing poorly on a test actually creates an anxiety. It is this anxiety that poorly affects their performance on a test, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Consider this study conducted at Stanford:  A group of undergraduates — some athletes and some not — was given a test made up of questions from the Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.), the admissions test for...
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