Is My UMAT preparation on the Right Track?
As UMAT draws closer and closer, people get more and more worried about how their UMAT preparation is coming along. UMAT is such an important test to get into medical school, it is only right that you want to know if you are on the right track. However, has all the UMAT preparation and practice brought you to a level that you are confident with achieving good results in UMAT? Here are some guides to show you at which stage you of preparation you are at and also what you should be doing in order to progress to the next stage.
You are in the initial stage of UMAT preparation if you have done the following:
Recently registered to do the test for the first time.
Has not begun serious UMAT preparation.
Done practice questions but has not learned the techniques to do the different question types.
Gone through a UMAT preparation course that does properly break down or teach UMAT.
UMAT is daunting. After registering for the test and attempting to do the free questions that ACER gives you, it becomes obvious that help is needed. Unfortunately there’s just not much good help out there. If you haven’t gotten help yet, you’re at the right place. If you have already purchased a UMAT course, ask yourselves if they properly teach you what you need to succeed. and they his initial stage below.
There are so many students who have chosen the wrong UMAT preparation course. Not many courses dive deeply into what UMAT is assessing and even fewer are properly teaching the techniques required to succeed. Some students spend over a thousand dollars only to be awarded a percentile close to 50. Does you UMAT course tick all the requirements to get past all the stages below? Here is what you should be doing during the initial stages of preparing for the UMAT exam:
What to do during these initial stage of preparation:
Find what UMAT is accessing. It is a logical reasoning test that is split into 3 sections. Different sections test logical reasoning in a different way. Take a look at the links below for more detailed information.
Get a curriculum or syllabus that actually teaches UMAT. In all your academic subjects, you are always given a curriculum/syllabus that breaks down how the subject will be taught. This is because it is extremely important to break down a subject into sizeable chunks for you digest all the information. UMAT may be a different type of subject but to process you go about learning is still the same.
Learn the techniques to do all the question types. Currently, there are 15 question types in UMAT. Each of them has its own particular techniques to overcome and makes the questions a lot easier to do. See the links down below for more information.
Purchase the ACER questions. These questions are at a relative low cost compared to private UMAT questions created by companies. Also, you know that since it is created by ACER, the style of questions are quite accurate for the UMAT test.
Leave one ACER practice exam to do just before the UMAT.
We recommend that you spend at least 2 months at this stage. Learning the techniques can be quite tricky because there’s 15 questions type and but once you remember how to apply these techniques, you are qualified to move onto the middle stages. If you have planned more time to learn UMAT then it’s great to spend more than 1 month. But because of the limited amount of time people have, it is still possible to learn this stage of UMAT in a week (but we do not recommend this).
You are in the middle stage of UMAT preparation if you can do the following:
Able to pick up a UMAT question and identify which question type it belongs to.
Familiar with the techniques behind how to do all the UMAT question types.
Done a moderate amount of UMAT practice questions.
Now that you have learned all the techniques to do UMAT questions, it is time to begin applying these techniques ourselves. This stage focuses on getting UMAT questions right, without bothering about time restrictions. At the beginning you will be slow, and you will not get the correct answer each time but that is only natural because you have started to learn something new.
What to do during the middle stage of preparation:
Practise questions without timed restrictions.
Apply the techniques across learned to UMAT practice questions. Now that you have learnt the theory behind doing the questions, it is time to practice.
Identify and correct areas where you make common mistakes. Analyse where you go wrong and take care not to do it again.
Get active on Facebook groups and forums. If you are stuck on a particular question, you can always ask people on Facebook very easily. There are also many people who post hard questions and information on those sites, so it’s access to valuable information and questions. An active group is “UMAT Discussion Space 2017” (which will probably change title in the following years): https://www.facebook.com/groups/UMATdiscuss/
Take note of how quickly you are doing questions but don’t restrict your time just yet – that is for the last stage.
We recommend that you spend at least another 2 months at this stage. Again, it’s better if you have more time but if you find yourself short on time, you can cram to learn UMAT but the results wont be as effective, just like with high school subjects. You move on to the late stages when you realise that you are getting most questions correct and you noticeably quicker in doing questions compared to when you first started.
You are in the late stage of UMAT preparation if you can do the following:
Able to instantly apply techniques to a question once you pick it up.
Get most UMAT questions done correctly without timed restrictions
At this last stage, you can now correctly do UMAT questions so now all you need to worry about is to get questions right within a certain time. UMAT is designed to be a 3hour (plus 10minutes reading time) exam, which means you only have an average 80seconds for each question.
What to do during the late stage of preparation:
Practise questions and mock-exams under timed conditions.
Refine your highlighting skills. You will need to highlight to do a question efficiently. Unfortunately you are only allowed a pencil in the exam. Ensure that you have different strategies of highlighting to make sure the information that you highlight will stick out. (eg: using an underline and a circle to distinguish two characters in a section 2 question).
Refine test-taking strategies that help you do UMAT questions quicker. Some people do questions from 1 to 134 in order. This is not recommended as you are constantly using different techniques because the sections are in a jumbled up order so switching question types may slow you down. It is often quicker to do all section 3 first, then section 2, and then section 1. This is because, if you know what you are doing, section 3 is quickest to do, followed by section 2 then section 1.
In the exam, skip questions that take too long or look too hard. You only need about 70% raw mark to get 100th percentile. Often people do not properly finish the UMAT test so it’s better to skip a difficult question rather than waste precious minutes that you could have used to answer the easier questions.
Do an ACER practice exam. Hopefully you’ve saved one exam for this stage. Doing it now with all your equipped techniques will give you a confidence boost as you realise you can do UMAT questions quite well.
This late stage is like the end of the year when you have a study break to consolidate your knowledge and refine your test-taking skills for you ATAR exams. It shouldn’t take any longer than 2 weeks so it is good to begin this during your July holidays. Completing this late stage preparation will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for the UMAT exam and also give you the confidence you need to do well. Good luck!