UMAT advice: Analysing a UMAT question
To analyse, you must look closely at a problem, break it down into parts and understand how they all fit together. It is important to develop a way of keeping track of the mechanics of the problem so that you can recall how everything fits together as you work through long problems or a problem with several associated questions. This can be done through writing out a formula on the side of the problem, drawing little mind maps or diagrams, underlining key phrases or simply putting a line through what you have already worked through or determined to be wrong.
UMAT advice: UMAT Section 1 is about problem solving, logical reasoning and crtical thinking. This section includes some problem solving questions. To answer a question like this, you have to break it into parts. You should be able to separate any unknowns, variables or concepts and understand how they make up the problem. It’s not just about a straight forward maths problem or comprehension. Instead, this section is all about using critical and logical reasoning to determine an answer.
UMAT Advice: UMAT Section 2 is about reading passages and answering questions. While this may seem like simple comprehension exercises, there is far more to this section than it appears. The questions purport to test your ability to read other people’s emotions and feelings. Sometimes there are questions that ask for over arching elements of the whole passage like tone or views of the author that can only really be grasped from understanding the passage as a whole. In addition, many people overlook the little introduction to the passage or other information included that may not seem overly important but may give you clues to help you answer questions such as what the authors intention is. Having an excellent knowledge of emotion vocabulary is of great help here. Having wide life experiences is also useful for this section.
UMAT advice: UMAT Section 3 is all about the patterns. This section is often seen as the hardest or the area where people have the most trouble. However, you know that it’s all about the patterns. Each problem must have a logical solution. How you analyse the problem and break down the components will determine how easily and correctly you answer the problem. There are a range of different types of pattern questions that can be asked; from finding which is the next in the series to finding which is the missing segment. The analysis and technique to answer these questions is the same for all.
To answer a question you need to be able to analyse it. As you begin to break down more and more problems, you will find that the skill becomes easier and takes less time. Analysis is crucial for not only all the sections of the UMAT but for other exams and everyday life as well.