The UMAT consists of 134 multiple-choice questions that are to be completed in 3 hours or 180 minutes. These questions fall into 3 different sections, each testing different abilities that are essential in a career as a medical practitioner.
The most essential thing in the UMAT is time. Attempting to complete 134 questions in 180 minutes gives you an average of 80 secs per question. This is difficult task and is the reason why the majority of students attempting the UMAT are unable to finish. That’s why it is vital that every one planning to attempt the UMAT follows these two tips.
Tip #1: Practice under timed conditions
Practicing under timed conditions every time you do a mock paper or even a 10-15 question drill helps you get comfortable with the amount of time that you will have on the actual day. Also it helps you learn how to pace yourself so that you have an adequate amount of time to have a go at each question. It also helps you prepare for the real exam where the high-pressure of the test and stress will play a huge role.
Tip #2: Learn to skip
The UMAT is, by no means, a perfect exam. This is because there are questions in the UMAT that are incredibly difficult to do and there are others that will take much too long to solve. Time is a precious commodity in the UMAT and spending 5 minutes on one question could mean that you leave the last 5 questions blank. In the UMAT, getting that one question right will not affect your final mark as much as leaving 5 questions blank. This is why it is essential that you learn to understand when you have ‘hit the wall’ on a particular question and it is time to cut your losses and skip.
There are two keys to preparing for the UMAT exam. The first is Exposure and the second is Practice.
Tip #3: Do as many different types of UMAT questions as you can
Doing a large variety of UMAT questions for each section is of the utmost importance as it allows you to see the different types of questions that the UMAT could throw at you. This ensures that on the actual day of the UMAT you do not come across a type of question that you haven’t prepared for.
Tip #4: Develop an approach for each type of question
While doing these questions, it is good to develop an approach to solve the question. This means that even in the high-pressure environment of the UMAT you have a base method that you can fall back upon even if you find the question difficult. While practicing UMAT questions, it is also important to practice good habits, such as circling the key words in the question and underlining when you go through a passage. By doing this, all these good habits become second nature and in the UMAT, you drastically reduce the chance of making silly mistakes.
The last thing that is paramount to doing well in the UMAT is to have confidence in your own abilities. When you walk into the testing centre for the UMAT exam, there will be a lot of people and a lot of students panic, resulting in them not doing as well as they expected or hoped. If you walk in knowing that you have put in the hard work and believing that you can do it, there is no one in that hall that can stop you from ACEing the UMAT.
Tip #5: Believe in yourself and you will do well