1. “You cannot prepare for a test like the UMAT”
ACER does not support preparation because they say that the UMAT is not based on a particular body of knowledge and therefore no preparation or very minimal preparation is sufficient as the test measures skills acquired over time. Most psychometric and personality tests - like the UMAT rely on the fact that candidates do not prepare (ie. ‘an even playing field’), which is why preparation if often discouraged.
While the questions that arise in each year’s UMAT cannot be predicted. Most of the questions use similar methods or ‘tricks’ in order to solve them. This is where preparation can be very valuable. Any opportunity to practice the types of questions you will receive in the actual exam will help you become faster and more efficient at answering UMAT style questions – especially since you are under a time limit.
2. “I am a top student at school, so I will do well in the UMAT“
ACER states that the UMAT tests “general skills and abilities developed over the course of your education and life experience”. In order to succeed in the UMAT candidates will need to employ strategies, critical thinking and logical analysis that are not used in any of their usual academic studies. Students need to practice these skills instead of resting on their laurels.
3. “The UMAT doesn’t matter; it’s not that important”
The UMAT does matter, however its significance is often underestimated by many students. The UMAT accounts for a whole third of the selection criteria for entry into Medicine or Health Science courses (next to the ATAR and the interview) and determines whether or not students receive an interview offer. Without top UMAT scores, students will not be considered for most undergraduate Medicine and health science courses in Australia and New Zealand.
4. “UMAT refers to medical and scientific concepts and terms”
The UMAT has no required knowledge (unlike the GAMSAT). Subjects studied at school or University will not help you with the UMAT unless they involve critical thinking or logical reasoning as this will help you enhance your skills. The UMAT bases their questions on everyday examples and it is the interpretation and analysis that is important, not the content.
5. “Universities will know if I do a preparation course, it might jeopardise my position”
The only way that a University will know if you did a preparation course is if you tell them yourself. Good quality preparation courses will have their student’s records protected under privacy policies and laws.
6. “Universities will know if I do interview training, it might affect my score”
The only way that and interviewer will know that you have done an interview preparation course is if you spill out the same generic answers that students are told to say at all interview training courses. The purpose of an interview training course is not to provide you with a script to follow in an interview, rather they provide you with the tools to help you not only answer questions originally and efficiently, but to also express yourself in a clear manner and to present yourself well.