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 exam - basically an insider’s perspective. This is incredibly useful for those tricky questions in Section 2, when sometimes two answers seem similar and you don’t know why B is right but C isn’t.
2. Practice exams and drills! How can you maximise your UMAT skill set in the weeks leading up to UMAT? With MedEntry practice exams and drills! Practice exams provide a full three hour simulation of the UMAT, while drills are conveniently timed at 15-20 minutes and give you a chance to hone in on your weak areas.
3. Keep a notepad. One thing I noticed on the day of the UMAT exam was that many students had piles and piles of UMAT questions. They were frantically flipping through, getting more and more stressed trying to see every question. Instead, I’d recommend a small notepad - jot down any tips or hard questions you encounter from now till the day of UMAT, and just have a quick flip through, before your exam.
4. Don’t burn out. This one’s really important. It’s natural, as the exam date looms closer to freak out and practice as much as possible. But in the same way you wouldn’t run a 7km marathon everyday just before City2Surf, you need to pace yourself now. The challenge is to peak on the day of the exam, not before! So if you last minute cram, it can make the actual UMAT seem dreary and boring. Instead, do a few drills and space out your exams, so on the day, you’re actually ready to perform at your peak.
5. Exam technique. Finalise how you are going to approach the exam. Many people ask me whether it’s better to go Q1 to Q134, or work section-by-section. Personally, I’d recommend going from beginning to end, for 3 reasons. Firstly, you don’t waste time going through the paper sorting. Secondly you don’t have to worry about missing bubbles on the answer sheet, and finally, mixing up the questions keeps it interesting and keeps you on your toes! It’s nice when you can break up two huge chunks of text in Section 2 with a short Pick The Middle etc. But if you’d rather go by section, go for it! Just remember to take extra care filling out the answer sheet.
So, if you’re feeling anxious, one last word - the key to the UMAT is not doing as much practice as possible, it’s actually about exposing yourself to as many different question types as you can. Be confident that you can tackle any question the exam throws at you with the skills you already have, and think on your feet!
Here’s wishing you the very best of luck in your upcoming UMAT exam!