MedEntry

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How to Guess in UMAT

When You Need to Guess in UMAT, Beware of Your HunchesYou 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 of whether that choice “looks right”...
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In UMAT, Do Not “Read into” Things!

Warning, Warning, Warning! Do Not “Read into” Things in UMATOne 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 says that a university...
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UMAT Sample questions

Pick the Middle in the sequenceAnswer 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 be trained...
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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 letter, not...
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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 is only “unfair” if you allow it to be, by not...
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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 easy...
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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” of...
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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. One of the...
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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 ApproachYou’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 difficult on a computer monitor.Some reading centres have machines...
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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. It...
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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 to be...
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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 90th percentile) generally you have to be nearly perfect on the easy questions, score at least 80 percent on the hard questions, 70 percent on the Very...
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Medical entrance

Medical EntranceMedicine 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 costly for the...
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UMAT test tips from MedEntry UMAT Prep

Tips for the actual exam: MedEntry UMAT Course TipsPace 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 change your answer.Don’t waste...
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University of Sydney, Newcastle, UNSW or UWS?

Many students who live in and around Sydney will have to make decision about whether to study medicine at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Newcastle or Western Sydney.Follow this link for a simple comparison of UNSW vs. Usyd medicine.A blog which may be of interest can be found here.Apart from issues discussed in the above blog, the following may be of use:Newcastle is likely to have a wider diversity of student intake (including more mature students), which may be an advantageYou will probably get better grades for the same effort at UWS compared to that at USyd or UNSW (the grades...
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Time management in UMAT

Timing is perhaps the most stress-inducing factor of the UMAT exam. If the UMAT were at take-home test, you would all score well. Managing time is the key. Most of your MedEntry UMAT practice will include timed sections, allowing you to become more familiar and comfortable with the pacing of the exam.The UMAT is not a test of intelligence. Although it is used as a predictor for success in medical schools, it isn’t infallible. A poor performance does not necessarily reflect ineptitude nor does a poor score mean you should not apply to the medical school. It may merely limit your choices. You need to maximise...
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Monash or Melbourne?

Medicine at Monash or Melbourne?A dilemma facing high achievers wanting to pursue medicine is whether to choose Monash University (school leaver entry) or Melbourne University (graduate route).Our view is that Monash school leaver entry is superior for several reasons.  You can speak to one of our staff members during the UMAT workshop, during the Interview Training Sessions, call us or email us to get more details and discuss your specific situation.The reasons why Monash school leaver entry is far better for students are discussed in the medical entrance interview training session by MedEntry. These sessions are usually held in November/December/January of each year...
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Satisfaction with MedEntry UMAT Prep

The use of Year 12 results as the sole basis for med school admissions is problematic. History provides many examples of capable students possessing the ability to succeed at med school who, during their final years of schooling, have had their dreams shattered due to illness, family circumstances, personal misfortune or even natural disaster. These students need an alternate method of entry to med schools. This is one of the reasons for the introduction of UMAT.According to a report, 83 per cent of graduates from Private providers (such as MedEntry UMAT Prep) indicate high levels of overall satisfaction with their education, compared to...
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Does UMAT coaching work?

Psychometric tests such as UMAT are new in Australia, but in the US numerous such tests have been in use for nearly a century. Coaching organisations are therefore well established. The officials at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at Princeton (the equivalent of ACER) say that they have no objection to the coaching because what is important is that students learn the skills that are tested, whether it is at school, university or at a coaching college.It is to be expected that ACER would claim that the UMAT is a test that is not susceptible to coaching in an attempt to enhance its reliability and...
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