As you complete more and more practice UMAT exams you may start to notice the following UMAT trend: Easy UMAT questions have obvious and popular answers, whilst hard UMAT questions have unexpected and unpopular answers.
It helps to think of UMAT questions as popularity contests. The answer to an easy question is the most popular choice. The answer to a difficult question is the least popular choice. In other words, popular UMAT answer choices on difficult questions are traps.
If you think about the UMAT for a moment, you’ll realise that questions have to be designed this way. Since a multiple-choice question provides the answer, the only way they can make a UMAT question difficult is to camouflage the correct UMAT answer and make the wrong choices more appealing. Another way to look at the UMAT multi-choice options is whether they are attractive or unattractive. The answer to an easy question will be an attractive choice; that’s why it’s an easy question. The answer to a difficult question is an unattractive choice; that’s why it’s a hard question.
What makes a UMAT choice attractive or popular will depend on the type of UMAT question. On a UMAT problem solving question, any easy numbers that seem to solve the problem will be popular choices. Sometimes a question will have more than one attractive UMAT choice; sometimes it won’t have any.
If you’re stuck on an easy UMAT question, remind yourself that the answer should be easy and obvious. If you’re stuck on a hard question, remind yourself that the answer should be hard and unexpected. And if you’re stuck on a medium question, remind yourself that the answer shouldn’t be too easy or too hard.
Knowing the difficulty of the UMAT question you’re working on is a powerful clue for checking your work. If you’ve solved a difficult UMAT question but your solution is an obvious UMAT answer choice—one that would attract other students—you’ve probably made a mistake. Knowing the difficulty of the UMAT question is also a powerful tool when you’re forced to guess a UMAT answer.