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UMAT test tactics and preparation part 2: Process of Elimination in UMAT multichoice

Process of Elimination or POE in UMAT: the best of a bad bunch.


Comprehensive advice from the team at MedEntry UMAT preparation.


Once you have established what the UMAT question is asking you need to act efficiently and narrow down your options to reach the correct answer. Using the Process of Elimination or POE method can greatly improve your chances of scoring highly on the UMAT because it provides a way of tackling questions where there seems to be no ideal answer.


Firstly, be wary of simply picking what you perceive, at first glance, to be the correct answer. There are often several choices that are ‘distractors’: They are designed to look appealing but actually contain artfully concealed flaws.


Secondly, Read the options critically and carefully and ask yourself: ‘is there anything wrong with this option?’.

  • If there is, then you may have just picked up on one of the many artfully concealed flaws designed to go unnoticed behind the seemingly ‘correct’ façade of an answer.
  • If there isn’t, this answer may be the correct one, but you should check the remaining options first by using the same process.


Finally, having applied this method for all the available answers, you may find that you are left with one that wasn’t appealing, but didn’t have anything wrong with it.

This is the winner because it is the best answer out of a flawed group of answers.


Putting POE into practice: POE with “Could” and “Must”:


Could Be True/Must Be False

POE strategy: Try to make the choice true; make an example.

For could be true and must be false EXCEPT:

If you can make the choice true, pick it.

If you can’t, eliminate it.

For must be false and could be true EXCEPT:

If you can make the choice true, eliminate it.

If you can’t, pick it.


Must Be True/Could Be False

POE strategy: Try to make the choice false; make a counterexample.

For must be true and could be false EXCEPT:

If you can make the choice false, eliminate it.

If you can’t, pick it

For could be false and must be true EXCEPT:

If you can make the choice false, pick it.

If you can’t, eliminate it.


In summary, if you can find a reason to cross off a choice, you’ve just improved your chances of getting the question right. So be aggressive about finding the flaws in answer choices that will allow you to eliminate them. If there is nothing critically incorrect with the answer, the answer may well be correct!

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


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