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MedEntry

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Keeping Command over your UMAT

When you walk into the test centre on the day of the UMAT, you shed all responsibilities of day-to-day life, and for three hours (plus ten minutes of perusal!) it is just you, your pencil and the test paper in front of you. For those 3 hours, it is vital that you stay in control of the things you can control and understand that there are some things that you can’t. It is very easy to let you mind drift when you get into the second hour of the test, especially if you can hear pencils tapping to your left, or...
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Balancing the UMAT and Hobbies

With the UMAT around the corner, as well as school assignments and exams, it can be quite a stressful time for students. Many students will spend the majority of the day practising UMAT- style questions and completing practise exams, as well as devoting a large amount of time to UMAT preparation. However, this does not mean your hobbies and interests should be forgotten about. After a long day of lessons, it can be quite daunting to sit at a desk and prepare for the night. Sometimes, motivation to ascertain a place in university to study Medicine can flicker as the late...
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WHY IS UMAT SO HARD?

UMAT is probably the hardest test you will ever have to sit. Many students, especially those who do not prepare, are shocked by the difficulty of UMAT. Some who do prepare become disillusioned. So why is UMAT so hard? And what can you do about it? Read on!  1. UMAT is very different to every other type of test you have sat Why?  School and university exams test your knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge. UMAT is not a test of knowledge; it is a test of your generic skills. You most likely have never sat a test of...
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WAITING OUTSIDE THE UMAT VENUE

Your venue for the UMAT can become a very scary place very quickly. While being academically prepared is extremely important for UMAT, it is also useful to know what to expect when you get to the venue. Firstly, you’ll see a range of different students at the UMAT venue – while some are great to have a conversation with before the exam commences; others, not so much: 1. The Downplayer – This is a student who will consistently talk about how they have not done any practice for the UMAT, keep reinforcing that they’re going to fail and claim to have...
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ATTENTION PARENTS: 5 WAYS TO HELP YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER IN THE LEAD UP TO THE UCAT

  Year 12 is a stressful time. Add in UCAT and the pressures of getting into medicine, and stress levels can rapidly sky rocket. As a parent it is easy to succumb to feelings of powerless as you watch your son or daughter struggle to prepare for such an important and difficult exam. However, there are many things you can do to boost their performance and have a positive impact on their wellbeing.  1. Provide a sound working environment   UCAT is a two-hour test requiring extreme concentration. The best way to prepare is to complete full length trial exams under...
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WHAT TO DO IF YOU COME ACROSS SOMETHING UNEXPECTED IN THE UMAT

Life isn’t the only thing full of surprises. The upcoming UMAT exam could hold a range of new, never-before-seen questions and it is important to know how to deal with these in an exam situation.  The first step is to identify these types of questions in reading time. When looking through your UMAT exam booklet, mentally note these questions and have them simmering away in the back of your mind. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared for these “surprises” and less likely to panic when you go on to attempt these questions. When writing time begins, start doing the questions...
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Managing UMAT with other commitments

As many of you would have noticed, UMAT preparation takes time. And I mean a LOT of time! It’s often overwhelming trying to get those practice exams you’d promised yourself to get done as well as study for that first chemistry quiz if you’re in Year 12 or dealing with a cranky boss at work.    In many cases, students often lose time, confidence and their interest in UMAT since it simply adds to their already overwhelming workload. So before you start stressing about the UMAT exam, let’s just take a quick look at how you can manage studying for the...
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How to deal with those UMAT Nerves (Part 2 – On the day)

For some people sitting UMAT, those nerves may not hit until the day of or the night before UMAT. We get butterflies in the stomach and perhaps even the need to vomit. These feelings are natural and can even help us to do better. But, for those of us who have difficulty handling the nerves, there are a few simple things to do to minimise them. Make sure you have everything that you need in advance A few days before the UMAT, read through the admission ticket and instructions and make sure that you have everything you need. Print out your...
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How to deal with those UMAT Nerves (Part 1 – In the lead up)

Most people find sitting the UMAT a nerve racking, stressful experience, but that does not mean you should allow those nerves to get the best of you.  There are some simple ways to help you get through this period and come out feeling great about your chances.  Take some of the pressure off of yourself.  If you’re anything like me, you expect a lot from yourself and that can result in a large amount of unnecessary pressure. That pressure can prove to be your undoing, but there are simple ways in which to take some of that pressure off. Remember that...
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Set your mind on your mindset

Preparation is key for any exam, and UMAT preparation is no different. But we’ve all had that horrible experience when the nerves hit, and all that preparation is thrown out the window because your brain is more interested in stressing itself out than answering the exam questions. But you can, of course, prepare for that too. 1.    Practice Since I’m supposed to be telling you what to do when it feels like preparation isn’t working, you might not expect a synonym for “preparation” to be the top tip. But it is, so hear me out. Nothing is as reassuring as...
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Optimising your performance in UCAT: Lessons from Sports Psychology

  Preparing for the UCAT is similar to preparing for a marathon: it requires training, preparation and strategies to optimise your performance on the test day. Just as an athlete prepares for a major sporting event, so you must prepare yourself to sit UCAT, which is one of the most important exams that you will face in your career. We can learn much from athletes about optimising performance in UCAT, as outlined in this TED talk by Martin Hagger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG7v4y_xwzQ This talk discusses how highly successful athletes prepare themselves before a competition. The main points are summarised below, with an emphasis...
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UMAT PHOBIA Don’t get Scared, Stay Motivated!

Does the thought of UMAT day make you cringe and consider hiding in your room? That ’ s how I felt in the weeks that led up to UMAT. Being a year 12 student I had rarely been in a position where I was sitting an exam which was so important for determining my future career pathway. Sure I had been through many school exams and academic competitions, but I felt that no test or assignment I had previously completed could compare to the importance of the UMAT. In my fresh teenage eyes the UMAT was the be all and end...
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Effective Learning in the UMAT

Learning is not just about sitting in front of a text book and hoping the content will diffuse into your mind through osmosis. In order to learn effectively, you must learn actively, not passively. Active learning will allow you to engage with what you are learning and absorb it faster. New study strategies will also be introduced in this article so you can in-corporate them into your UMAT study. This will give your UMAT study sessions a direction and allow you to set goals.  What is active learning? Active learning is all about engaging with what you are learning and how...
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Effective Learning in the UMAT

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...
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UMAT stress – friend or foe?
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