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MedEntry

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How to Prepare for the UMAT in Year 11

So you ’ re in Year 11 and thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. You ’ ve got great grades as well as the people skills to become a doctor, so there should be no problem getting in. Then you find out about the UMAT. You hear that it is a major obstruction to your journey, and only a select few are able to succeed in it. You hear about all the people who have done poorly despite studying so hard. You may even hear about the people who passed that didn ’ t do much work.   It ’...
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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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The Section-By-Section Approach

Many students decide to tackle the UMAT by doing one type of question at a time, whilst others complete the questions from all three sections chronologically. It is important to work out which of the two methods works better for you, and this blog will discuss some of the factors which may influence your decision. The primary advantage of the section-by-section approach is that it allows you to maintain the specific mindset required for each type of question. Students often find that each of the three UMAT sections need different mindsets. For instance, Section 1 (Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving) requires...
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Improving your UMAT skills in Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving / Section 1

Rather than assessing your knowledge, the UMAT is an exam which isolates certain deductive skills that will be important in work as a doctor and requires you to apply them in various scenarios. Therefore, if you wish to succeed in the UMAT, you will need to nurture these skills, sharpen them and know exactly when to use them. If your eager mind has begun this uphill climb towards UMAT success and if you have thoroughly scoured the LMS and still seek ways to better your logical reasoning, this guide will show you how.   Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving questions in...
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How to identify and understand emotions in UMAT (Understanding People / Section 2)

Medicine is largely a people-oriented career, which is one of the reasons UMAT tests how well you can understand people in a personal and professional setting. Whilst you can try to “study” for this section of the exam, the best way to develop and refine your interpersonal skills leading up to the UMAT is via emotional reflection and understanding certain concepts. ‘Understanding People’ questions will frequently require you to assign a specific emotion a person might be feeling at a given time. This blog will cover how to approach such a question methodically, in various steps.   STEP 1: Recognise what...
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Planning time for UMAT preparation

A very common question asked by aspiring medical students is “ How do you balance your school work and UMAT practice?” Given that the UMAT can be equally or even more important as the ATAR in the medical school selection process, it is crucial that students devote sufficient time in preparing for the UMAT, without neglecting their year 12 studies. The key to finding this balance is planning your time. Many students attempt to fit in UMAT study in their ‘spare time’, which is hard to find in year 12. It is more productive to set aside blocks of time which...
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Only 3 weeks to UMAT - what should I do?

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...
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Applying mid-way through your degree

So you find yourself starting the first year of your degree. Your wounds from not getting accepted straight out of high school are still fresh but you know that medicine is the career for you. Graduation from your current degree is still years away so what can you do to try get in till then? Don’t worry, there’s still hope for you.   With most Bachelor’s degrees being three years, you will be sitting the UMAT in either your first or second year of university. Let’s be honest, you are not particularly wanted by medical schools. At this point you are...
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UMAT Test Technique: Section by Section or in order?

For many years, the UMAT was divided into three distinct sections, each covering a particular type of question (Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving, Understanding People and Non-Verbal Reasoning). Each section was divided in the UMAT booklet and was allotted approximately one hour. Regardless of whether you finished a section early, on time or late, you were only given a certain amount of time to complete each section, after which is was prohibited to look at other sections in that time slot. In 2013, the structure of the UMAT exam changed. Questions from all sections were mixed and you were given the...
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Pathways into medicine: UMAT vs GAMSAT

Living in our corner of the world and having a desire to pursue medicine will mean that at some point you will encounter either the UMAT or the GAMSAT. I experienced the former a multitude of times and the latter most recently, and have achieved success in both. This blog will guide you through both exams and pathways.   If you are a student pursuing medicine in New Zealand, the UMAT will be your only concern. It is not possible to directly enter medicine as a high school leaver at either Auckland or Otago, so the UMAT is a barrier you...
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Group versus individual study for UMAT

Should I prepare for the UMAT with friends or alone?  It’s a question many students ask themselves leading up to a major exam, including the UMAT. Although the answer will vary depending on personal preference, this article will endeavour to discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of both group and individual preparation. For most, the answer lies somewhere between the two – ideal preparation involves a combination of both individual and group work. Tackling practice questions on your own is an essential part of preparation. In the exam, you won’t have a group of friends with which to discuss the...
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Building the right mind set for success on the day of the UMAT

From the moment you first hear stories of the UMAT and how difficult it can be until the first step you take to enter that exam centre, only you can decide the mind set and approach that will embody your UMAT experience. There are two ways to view this exam; either as a roadblock that is there to hinder you on the path to success or simply a stepping stone towards getting you into your dream career. In the end, which viewpoint you adopt is up to you.   A distinct point that is often conveyed when describing the UMAT is...
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What actually happens on the day of the UMAT?

If you’re a student who likes being prepared and in control, you’ve probably tried to imagine what the actual day of the UMAT will be like. You might be asking yourself some of the following questions – How early do I need to get there? What will the venue look like? Where can I leave my bags? It is best to be as prepared as possible, but spending too much time ruminating on the answers to these questions can detract from your preparation for the test itself. Therefore, this blog will attempt to answer some questions that you may have about...
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Sample MMI question: A Contemporary Issue Scenario

Scenario: Vaccinations are an important part of an individual’s immunity and keeping a community safe from disease. It is ideal that all children get immunized at the appropriate age to prevent contraction of preventable diseases. However, there are some in Australia that oppose vaccination. They argue the harm of vaccinations outweigh the benefits, and the lack of freedom of choice in how their children should be raised. Their claims often have no scientific basis, and create unnecessary fear in society. You are on the advisory board of the Australian Government looking to change the laws on how to deal with improving...
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Discrimination in university admissions?

What is discrimination? Discrimination can be defined as unwarranted unfavourable treatment towards an individual or groups of individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category. Such treatment is usually in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated. Discrimination could be based on someone’s gender, race, location, or socio-economic basis, etc. Discrimination is against the law under the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT), Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), Anti-Discrimination Act 1996 (NT), Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD), Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA), Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (TAS), Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic) and Equal...
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Making Friends with UMAT Practice

In the game of UMAT practice, consistency beats brilliance. It is important that we not wait until we have lots of motivation before we start practicing. Good UMAT skills come about in the context of practicing in a more routine and ordinary manner, rather than sporadic bursts of insight. The goal should be gaining meaningful and valuable UMAT skills every time you practice. Expecting anything more may create too much pressure and lead to debilitating blocks and limitations. To be successful at the UMAT, you need to develop UMAT practice as a practice or discipline. UMAT = Meditation? In this sense,...
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Famous Australian Doctors: Great Models for Aspiring Students

Medical interviews Congratulations to those who got a medical interview. It is a good idea to prepare for the interview. You may need to have examples of role models during the interviews. If you need some some inspiration for finding your role model, we have found some inspiring doctors below. These short biographies of their notable work will be great for medical interviews.  Remember, MedEntry offers great medical interview training packages  and medical interview guide .  Frank Macfarlane Burnet An Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology . He won the Nobel Prize in 1960 for predicting acquired immune tolerance...
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Springing back from adversity: Resilience

To be mentally tough is to resist the urge to give up in the face of failure, to maintain focus and determination in pursuit of your UMAT goals, and to emerge from adversity even stronger than before. Everyone can benefit from strengthening their resilience skills.  Mental toughness comes from thinking like an optimist. People who don’t give up have a habit of interpreting setbacks as temporary, local and changeable. When in the face of adversity, try to say to yourself, “It’s going away quickly; it’s just this one situation, and I can do something about it.” Analyze your beliefs and emotions...
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The Dangers of Stereotype threat

Stereotype threat can affect the way students perform in the UMAT.  Some students are vulnerable to “stereotype threat.” This is being aware the group they belong to is often stereotyped as intellectually inferior. The fear of confirming the stereotype by doing poorly on a test actually creates an anxiety. It is this anxiety that poorly affects their performance on a test, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Consider this study conducted at Stanford:  A group of undergraduates — some athletes and some not — was given a test made up of questions from the Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.), the admissions test for graduate...
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Motivation: without carrots or sticks

Are you having a hard time motivating yourself to study for the UMAT? The tools we often reach for when we need to get ourselves moving are carrots (rewarding ourselves once a tough job is done) or sticks (depriving ourselves of something we want if we fail to do it). These are "extrinsic rewards". But such  extrinsic  rewards and punishments are not as effective as  intrinsic  ones. Intrinsic rewards come from your own person - you believe that if you do a certain thing, it will make you a better, more knowledgable person.  Here, six ways to find the intrinsic interest...
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