The UMAT is not based on any academic curriculum or study of particular subjects rather it tests a student’s ability to respond to stimuli that they may not be familiar with. Some of the most important attributes of professionals in the areas of Medicine and Health Sciences are the ability to be flexible, to have great thinking skills – both critical and analytical, being able to respond quickly and appropriately to new situations as they arise as well as the ability to understand and respond to a patient’s needs and different situations. These qualities are foreshadowed by the questions that you will find on the UMAT.
ACER which administers the UMAT test claims that it is not necessary to use the available UMAT preparation products. They say that because the UMAT is not based on a particular body of knowledge. 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. There are a number of preparation courses available, for example, MedEntry who aim to teach students the methodology behind solving UMAT style questions, as well as providing them with numerous questions and trail exams so that they can practice these skills in preparation for the actual UMAT.
Medicine and Health Science have become extremely competitive fields and most students are now opting to prepare diligently for the UMAT. This means that students who do not prepare are now at a disadvantage.
There are numerous organisations which offer preparation courses for the UMAT. Most of them are scam websites, beware of using their services; you will not receive the services promised.
The following are some of the popular UMAT preparation organisations:
- face 2 face
See a comparison between these four UMAT preparation organisations here.
Helpful tips for parents and students
The process of applying for undergraduate study is stressful for both students and parents.
Here are some helpful tips for how you can help your child throughout this process:
1. Understand what is needed to get into medicine:
- Discuss what career path your child is interested in
- Encourage them to speak to health professionals and other medical students
2. Map out a timeline and enrol in UMAT preparation
- The UMAT is the first hurdle – make sure you are aware of the application deadline
- Research the requirements for each university your child is interested in with them
3. Allocate time for UMAT
- UMAT preparation is critical to keep you in line with other candidates as entrance into health professional courses has become very competitive
- Help your child allocate time each week for UMAT training
4. Tell them they have your support
- We know as parents you will want to ensure your child has the best opportunity for reaching their potential and attaining their desire to study a health degree. Knowing you have the support of your family makes the leap into tertiary education much smoother.