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Coping with UMAT stress and anxiety


We all know that sick feeling in the bottom of our stomachs just prior to walking into a big exam; we’re jittery, shaking and generally thinking that we’d rather be anywhere else but here. Nerves can be debilitating in the most terrible way for even the brightest of students. Thus, it is crucially important that your learn to overcome these nerves before the actual day of the UMAT test so that you can perform at your peak and ultimately succeed in the UMAT.


How do I know if I’m nervous about the UMAT exam?

Nervousness is generally marked by or having a feeling of unease or apprehension. It may appear on the day of, or before, the UMAT exam but for many students nerves start to build up much earlier than this and continue to increase more and more as the UMAT exam date approaches. A good indication of how nervous you may feel about the UMAT is your general state of mind prior to the UMAT exam. Do you think about UMAT often, in a negative way? Do you spend a lot of time worrying about UMAT? Have you been preparing and studying effectively for UMAT? The answers to these questions will help you understand your current state of mind. 


Aren’t nerves normal? And how nervous is too nervous?

Firstly, it is important to remember that nerves are normal; not even Usain Bolt looked calm and happy on the start-line for London 2012. Feeling a bit of anxiety will not be harmful to your performance. However, if you’re consistently having trouble sleeping and studying because of UMAT anxiety and nerves, then you need to address these issues. Talk to a friend, teacher or family about how they coped with nerves during their exam times - and remember UMAT study and practice exams are absolutely key to feeling calm and prepared come test day.  


How do I prevent myself from becoming overly nervous about the UMAT exam?

UMAT preparation is the most effective way to avoid stress. UMAT practice exams and general UMAT study are better broken up into small, manageable chunks - so try and do a little bit each day. One month out from the UMAT exam you should be doing at least an hour of UMAT questions every day including at least one practice exam per week . Use a timer to make sure you are working efficiently and effectively under exam conditions and practice with a watch on your wrist.


How can I stay motivated to do full practice exams in one sitting under test conditions?

An idea would be to organize a ‘practice’ UMAT with some of your friends or, if you would prefer, by yourself, at home or your local library. Do a full UMAT exam under complete test conditions in the exact time frame of 3 hours. Do not allow yourself breaks or time to dwell on questions - think of this a dress rehearsal - the more times you do a full UMAT exam, the less scary the real UMAT exam will be when it comes around.


What do I do if I feel like these UMAT nerves have already engulfed me?

If you’re sitting at your desk getting absolutely no study done, then please; break up your routine! Don’t waste time doing nothing. Get up and go for a walk or have a small snack and then start your study again. If you’re still struggling for motivation, read our earlier article “Mind games: motivation for UMAT study”. Remember the work that you put in for the UMAT now will save you having to sit the dreaded GAMSAT in the future. It is critical that you stay positive and put in the best effort that you can! Don’t dwell on negative thoughts and let them drag you down. Thinking like this gets you nowhere! Be confident in your ability to succeed.  

For more specific UMAT test tips please see our blog series UMAT test tactics and preparation by the team at MedEntry UMAT preparation. 

UMAT test tactics and preparation part 10: coping ...
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