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For twenty years since UMAT has been in existence, the UMAT was divided into three, separately timed sections:

• Section 1: Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving

• Section 2: Understanding People

• Section 3: Non-Verbal Reasoning 

In 2013, there was a significant change to the structure of UMAT. Now UMAT is presented as a single three-hour exam with 134 questions. It still consists of the three broad types of questions outlined above (now known as ‘constructs’), but instead of them being divided into sections, the questions from each construct are jumbled up. For example, the first unit you encounter may be problem solving, followed by a few non-verbal reasoning questions and then an understanding people unit. 

What does this mean?

This means that timing is even more important than it was before. In the past, ACER allocated a certain amount of time per section which was strictly enforced. Now, you can spend as much or as little time as you like on any one question. This can be dangerous, as you can find yourself ‘stuck’ on a particular question for a longer period of time, without being told to ‘move on’.  Therefore, it is important to stay disciplined and do not spend more than say two minutes on any one question – guess and move on. 

It also means that identifying your strengths and weaknesses is even more important. Now that there are no sections, you have the opportunity to spend more time on constructs you find difficult, and less time on constructs you are good at. For example, if you find Understanding People questions easy, you can complete these much faster, and spend the remaining time on the questions you find more difficult, such as Non-Verbal Reasoning. When you have a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, you can allocate an appropriate block of time for completing each construct. 

There are two main approaches to the new exam: you can complete the questions in the order that they are presented, or complete the questions in each construct as a ‘group’. For more information, please read the blog ‘UMAT test technique: section by section or in order?’ link to:


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