MedEntry

Trusted UCAT prep.

UMAT stress – friend or foe?

UMAT stress – friend or foe?

So you have bought a package and started your practise. Well done! You are on your way to improving your UMAT score already. Now it is time to develop effective revisions skills that prepares you mentally and physically. Practise is no good if your nerves let you down. Even elite athletes at the Olympics who practise for years crumple due to nerves. Don’t let that be you!

Don’t save your exams! 

The most important thing to remember when doing UMAT practise is – DON’T “save” your practise exams until the last month. Doing that basically leaves you with one month of real preparation. Space your exams out evenly. Use them as markers for achievements and improvements – How much have I improved since my last exam? What kind of skills should I be developing now? 

In our previous article, we recommended that you set “assessment weeks” where a practise exam must be done that week. We reinforce it again here as we believe constant exposure to practise exams allows your mind to prepare for the actual exam. 

By doing practise exams throughout the year, you are also fine-tuning the way you approach the exam. Is it faster if I do all the logical reasoning questions first or if I do it chronologically? 

Doing drills and doing practise exams are completely different things: 

In a drill you are only doing one type of question, whereas in an exam, you may not know what type of question you are going to encounter next. Your mind will have to switch between different thought processes very quickly. 

You are generally more relaxed during a drill. During an exam, you will generally experience more pressure and nervousness. 

How do I get rid of test stress? 

While familiarity with test content is undoubtedly helpful, sometimes just doing practise exams is not going to make the stress go away. Some common causes of test stress include: anxiety, lack of confidence, being distracted and pressure to do well.

The truth is you are going to be stressed on the day of the UMAT, but that is not all bad news. A little bit of stress can actually be beneficial to your performance.

Consider the Yerkes-Dodson Curve:

b2ap3_thumbnail_yerkes-dodson_20140227-060725_1.gif

We perform best when there is a moderate amount of stress placed on us. It allows us to think rationally, and actually enjoy what we are doing. On either side of that we have under-stimulation and over-stimulation, where negative emotions and general dissatisfaction take over. Don’t think of the UMAT as a draining experience, after all, it is part of the journey to achieving your dream career. 

Whilst this “optimum performance zone” may be different for everyone, we all have one and it is through practise and developing certain test tactics that allows you to find the zone where you are both calm and alert. 

Knowing vs Performing: 

Knowing and performing is not the same thing. “Knowing” is how well you understand the content. “Performing” is what you do with what you know. No doubt by the time you do the UMAT, you will know a lot of skills. But the real question that remains is how well you perform – that is, how well you utilise what you know. 

Keeping Calm: 

Your performance on the day hangs significantly on how your mindset is. 

You can be the nervous person who only thinks about failing or you can approach each question on the UMAT calmly. Don’t let external factors you can’t control affect you – the ticking clock, questions presented to you on the page, the weather, etc. Stress is caused by an individual’s interpretation of the events around them. In other words, you create the stress for yourself. 

A good question to ask yourself is: “what am I doing to myself that is making me feel so stressed out?” . This is the first step to recognising that you are causing yourself stress so you can identify the factors and fix them.

Common stress reactions: 

Knowing what some common stress reactions are can help you identify how you react to stressful situations, like the UMAT.

  • Physically tense
  • Thinking negative thoughts
  • Being continually distracted

When you are physically tense, your body is agitated so you can’t think clearly. 

Negative thinking can be the killer to the confidence boost that you need during demanding times like the UMAT. When you say you are not good enough, you are not supporting yourself. During the UMAT, your mind needs encouraging messages, rather than messages of failure. When you think negative thoughts – it is like giving up on yourself! In fact, these negative messages can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, if you think you are not going to do well and you keep insisting on it question after question, you probably are not going to do well on the UMAT! 

Don’t let yourself let you down. 

When you get distracted during the UMAT, your mind cannot properly focus on the questions. This is decreasing your level of performance. 

What now? 

There is still time to mentally prepare yourself so you can get into that “optimal zone” where are you are alert and calm during the UMAT. When doing practise exams, try to sit in a way that relaxes your muscles so you are not physically tense. Instead of thinking negative thoughts, give yourself some encouragement. It does not have to be “bring it on! I am so good at this”. They can just be little things like, “I’ve done this before, so I know the method.” Finally, stay focused. Ignore other things happening in the room. Rather than worry about time ticking away, or other questions, just focus on the question you are working right now.

A final word: 

Remember, stress is going to be there during the UMAT no matter what, but if you remember to keep calm, focused and confident. You can at least make your UMAT experience a good one. 

 

Improving your Critical Thinking Skills
I don’t have time for the UMAT during year 12, sho...
UMAT Motivation UMAT Test UMAT Courses New Zealand UCAT Test Tips UCAT Booking UCAT Free UMAT questions Resilience HPAT Pearson VUE Psychometric tests GAMSAT Interview Questions UMAT Forums UMAT Tutoring UCAT advice Medical Interview UMAT Test tactics Which Uni? UMAT advice UMAT Stress UMAT Courses Darwin UMAT Study UMAT Practice UMAT resources UCAT Results UMAT Training UCAT App UCAT Date UMAT Workshops Medicine at Melbourne UCAT Preparation Courses Speed Reading in UMAT UCAT Anxiety HPAT Preparation UCAT Course UMAT Practice questions Sample MMI Online UMAT Prep mmi sample question UMAT Exam Sample UMAT Questions UMAT vs ATAR Study Tips UMAT Courses Toowoomba UMAT Discrimination UCAT Test 2019 UCAT Registrations Multiple Choice UMAT Problems Speed Reading in UCAT UMAT Preparation UMAT compared to school UCAT Tips mmi sample answer UMAT questions UCAT Situational Judgement Test UCAT Scores USyd UCATSEN UCAT 2019 UMAT scores Applications Medicine UMAT Queensland Probability UMAT Skills UMAT anxiety UNSW Situational Judgement Test UCAT Coaching Process of Elimination English UCAT Stress Year 12 UCAT Abstract Reasoning Interview UCAT Registration Careers Teachers Time Management Percentage questions UMAT Preparation Courses UMAT Coaching University Rankings UCAT Training UMAT Section 3 Non Verbal Reasoning umat 2019 UMAT Test Tips mmi ethical dilemma UCAT Practice Test Medical Entrance Multistation Mini Interviews MedEntry LMS Update UMAT tips Studying Medicine UMAT Prep mmi scoring UCAT Prep Medicine at Monash ACER UCAT Test Date UMAT Results LMS Update UMAT Section 1 Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving UCAT exam UMAT Section 2 Understanding People UCAT Practice UMAT Tuition Ethical Dilemma Questions University fees UMAT Coaching Sydney MMI Video Blog UCAT Study University Entrance Active learning Sample Interview Questions UCAT Exam UMAT Courses Counting Problems UCAT Preparation UCAT workshop

trhdtre tre



Get our new Free UCAT Practice Exam!