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UMAT : The morning of the UMAT test

Waking Up on the UMAT Test Morning   When you wake up, consider taking a shower or doing some brief calisthenics or other exercise to get the blood flowing—especially to your groggy brain! If someone is taking you to the test site, make sure he or she is up, too. Eat a normal breakfast, but not too much or you’ll be groggy. If you’re used to consuming some form of caffeine—tea, coffee, cola—then doing so is probably a good idea this morning. But only if you’re used to caffeine; if you’re not, now is not the morning to start. Make sure...
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The Day before the UMAT Test

The day before the UMAT   If you haven’t already, make sure you know the location of your test centre. If you don’t know how to get to the centre, print out directions from Google Maps. If you haven’t taken a test before at your test centre, ask around among the seniors you know or go and check it out before, to see whether there’s anything you need to know about the place. If someone is supposed to drive you to the test centre, make sure you have a back-up plan in case the person oversleeps, gets sick, or otherwise fails...
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UMAT sample question Section 2

The following passage is an extract from a novel. The narrator comes home to find her mother has attempted suicide. Hakkim is her mother’s live in boyfriend. One Sunday afternoon in late winter, after spending the weekend at Joanne’s, I arrived home to find out house surprisingly silent. Hakkim’s car was not in the driveway and, as I walked down the hallway, it seemed that everyone was out. I put my bag in my room. In the kitchen, I was puzzled to see my mother’s purse sitting on the counter, because she never left home without taking it. I ran to...
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UMAT Preparation: Getting into the Right Frame of Mind

At the end of a season and leading up to the championship, athletes go through a “tapering phase” to make sure they perform at their peak when it counts. In a sense you’ve been a mental athlete, and you want to make sure that you perform at your peak when it counts: on the actual UMAT. For you, tapering consists of scaling back drastically the amount of preparation you’ve been doing so you can give your mind a chance to rest and rev up your motivation. During this week you should do much less work, but of a much higher quality....
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How to Guess in UMAT

When You Need to Guess in UMAT, Beware of Your Hunches You know that whenever you can make a quick guess on a question to avoid leaving it blank, you should take the shot. The key word here is quick; you can always afford to guess, but you can never afford to waste time. So, how should you guess? Let’s be clear about something: guessing does not mean selecting a choice at random. But it also doesn’t mean selecting the choice that seems to be right. Guessing means selecting the choice that has the  greatest   chance  of being right, regardless...
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In UMAT, Do Not “Read into” Things!

Warning, Warning, Warning! Do Not “Read into” Things in UMAT One of the most dangerous traps smart students fall into while reading the UMAT passages is ‘reading into’ things. You should  re-read  in the context of what you’ve learned about the reading passage—you do not want to interpret what a passage says, or make any subtle assumptions. Restraining yourself from making unwarranted “leaps” on the passages may be something you must consciously remind yourself to do in Section 1. There’s a big difference between drawing a valid inference, and making an unwarranted assumption. Watch your step! For example, if a passage...
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UMAT Sample questions

Pick the Middle in the sequence Answer and Solution: Both dots start in the top position. One dot moves one space clockwise each turn. The other dot moves 1 space anticlockwise, then 2 spaces anticlockwise, then 3 spaces anticlockwise, then 4 spaces anticlockwise. The rectangle moves 90° clockwise, then 180°clockwise, then 270° clockwise, then 360° clockwise. Therefore the answer is D. The order is:

Doesn’t the UMAT just measure “test-taking skills”?

Unfortunately, some UMAT prep courses try to convince students that taking the UMAT has noth­ing to do with real academic skills. They prefer you to believe that it’s all about their test-taking “secrets.” This is great marketing for them, but little help for you. Although there are a few basic test-taking skills that you should know about—process of elimina­tion, intelligent guessing and checking, testing choices, and so on—these can be learned easily in a day, and don’t earn you too many points on the UMAT. So what does get you big score improve­ments? In the  MedEntry UMAT prep , you will...
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Speed Reading in UMAT

UMAT  is not just a test of speed reading: it is more than that. It tests your higher order thinking skills as illustrated by Bloom’s taxonomy. However, improving your reading speed will certainly be of help in UMAT. Speed reading is a collection of reading methods which attempt to increase rates of reading without greatly compromising comprehension or ability to recall and analyse. Methods include grouping or chunking and tracking. No absolute distinct “normal” and “speed-reading” types of reading exist in practice, since all readers use some of the techniques used in speed reading (such as identifying words without focusing on each...
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Why is so much weight placed on just one test, the UMAT?

It may seem unfair that a   three hour test is so impor­tant. Remember, though, that the UMAT is not a one-shot, all-or-nothing affair. Your standardised test scores account for about a third of your medical school entry, depending on which university you apply. The other essential components include your ATAR score and  medical entrance interviews . Further, if you score poorly in the UMAT (due to lack of preparation or other unfortunate event), you can re-sit the UMAT next year. As discussed  here , UMAT is an objective test of  medical entrance  in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The  UMAT ...
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Why do universities need UMAT scores? Isn’t my ATAR score (Final Year school score) enough?

Good university admissions officers will use your UMAT scores to help them assess your readiness to do tough medical school work. Although the UMAT does not assess broad subject knowledge, it provides a universal benchmark that your high school transcript can’t. It assesses skills that are essential to succeed in a competitive Australian undergraduate medical school: problem solving, data interpretation, logical reasoning, critical thinking and abstract analysis. Competitive universities need the UMAT because course grades are, unfortunately, far from objective measures of your academic ability. Teachers rarely give out grades consistently and without bias. We all know that every school has...
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Doesn’t the UMAT do a poor job of predicting medical school grades?

UMAT-bashers have long liked to claim that the UMAT isn’t valuable to universities because it doesn’t predict university grades very well. They miss two important points: first, smart university admissions officers don’t want it to predict grades, and second, it correlates very well with something more important than grades—real success in academic fields like medicine. Predicting grades is a wild-goose chase because grades are not objectively distrib­uted: almost any teacher/professor can give out grades any way he or she wishes. Many students, as we all know, get good grades without having great intellectual ability. They just learn to “play the game”...
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UMAT Tips: Learn to make intelligent guesses when necessary

Another tip in scoring well in the  UMAT  test is to try to eliminate as many responses as you can. Here’s why it is important to eliminate at least some choices when you’re guessing. If you get to a question and you’re not sure of the answer, of course you’ll have to guess. Whether you’re guessing among all four choices or you’ve eliminated a couple of obvious wrong answers, it still feels the same. But this is one time when you shouldn’t listen to your feelings. Let’s say that two test-takers each encounter questions they aren’t sure about during the exam....
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UMAT: Speed Reading

The following reading efficiency techniques can boost your reading rate. But even if your rate is fine, these techniques will help you   boost comprehension and concentration. (i)  Mechanical Approach You’ve probably seen speed-readers moving their hands down a page as they rapidly read the material, the theory being that their eyes follow their hands. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t   force   your eyes to keep up with your hand. When your hand has reached the bottom of the page, your eyes may still be on the first paragraph. Of course, this approach is even more...
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Medical-Entrance

Some people raise questions about the current medical selection process, but offer no solutions. As in most countries, the demand for medical places in Australia will always far exceed the number available. Therefore, any selection system used will have winners and losers, and will be controversial. Just because some doctors feel current entry procedures used may not have admitted them to medical school, it does not necessarily follow that the selection system is flawed. There are several reasons for this, one of them being that the advantages of medicine as a career compared to other professions has increased over the years....
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Medical entrance

Throughout the ages and in most countries medicine has been a profession with special privileges, hence demand to study medicine is high. In fact the demand to supply ratio is higher for medicine than for any other course in Australia, which is one reason for the use of criteria other than ATAR (high school) scores for entry. Since medical knowledge is growing at an exponential rate, it is essential that future doctors have critical thinking, abstract reasoning, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Far from making the system sick, the selection process ensures that doctors are able, affable and adaptable. It is...
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UMAT Prep: Establish your personal scoring goals

Your main goal should be to maximise your potential on the actual UMAT test. Very few students get every question right. You have to be realistic. Strive to work within your own abilities. Students often ask: How does my in-class performance translate to how I will perform on the actual UMAT test? Questions are “graded” for difficulty throughout the  MedEntry UMAT prep  tests and in the actual test in July.  In order to get a high score (of above 90 th  percentile) generally you have to be nearly perfect on the easy questions, score at least 80 percent on the hard...
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Medical entrance

Medical Entrance Medicine is seen as an attractive career in most countries for several reasons such as a satisfying job which involves you with the lives of those around you, making a positive difference to people’s lives, job security etc. Doctors help people in their time of need and use their knowledge to overcome their grievances so that they can get on with their life, whether they be a janitor or the chief executive officer of a major company. Dealing with people and helping them overcome their troubles would naturally bring one great satisfaction. However, training and practicing doctors are incredibly...
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UMAT Learning Forums

You will find numerous forums on the internet discussing UMAT and medical entry. Many of them are run anonymously and contain a lot of misinformation, posted by ‘nameless-faceless people’ with vested interests, so it is important to be sceptical when reading posts on such forums. MedEntry provides many authentic learning forums via our online Learning Management System (LMS). The content is monitored by MedEntry staff, and comments are posted by genuine MedEntry students, so you know they are trustworthy. MedEntry offers forums in various categories: social, UMAT (sections 1, 2 and 3, as well as general  UMAT forums ), interviews, university...
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UMAT test tips from MedEntry UMAT Prep

Tips for the actual exam:  MedEntry UMAT Course  Tips Pace yourself as you go. If you find yourself losing focus in the last section think “finish strong” rather than “I’m almost out of here”. Don’t allow yourself to switch off until that final answer is filled in. Never give up until you hear “pencils down”! Don’t change your answers without good reason, only change them when you’ve reviewed the whole problem and discovered a mistake. For example, “this answer can’t be A, the last two were A” and “it can’t be this one, it’s too easy” are not good reasons to...
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