Category Archives: UMAT Interviews

Motivation: without carrots or sticks

Are you having a hard time motivating yourself to study for the UMAT? The tools we often reach for when we need to get ourselves moving are carrots (rewarding ourselves once a tough job is done) or sticks (depriving ourselves of something we want if we fail to do it). These are “extrinsic rewards”. But such extrinsic rewards and punishments are not as effective as intrinsic ones. Intrinsic rewards come from your own person – you believe that if you do a certain thing, it will make you a better, more knowledgable person.  Here, six ways to find the intrinsic interest in studying for the UMAT:

1. Fine-tune the challenge. 

We’re most motivated to succeed when the task before us is matched to our level of skill: not so easy as to be boring, and not so hard as to be frustrating. Deliberately fashion UMAT drill or exam so that you’re working at the very edge of your abilities, and keep upping the difficulty as you improve.

2. Start with the question, not the answer. 

Reaching a known answer is boring. Discovering the solution to a question/puzzle is invigorating. Approach the UMAT not as a story to which you already know the ending, but as a live question begging to be explored.

3. Beat your personal best. 

The UMAT can sometimes not be interesting in themselves, especially repetitive drills. Generate motivation by competing against yourself in drills: run through the UMAT drill to establish a baseline, then keep track of how much you improve (in speed, in accuracy) each time you do it again.

4. Connect abstract tasks to concrete outcomes. 

Imagine how real people and real situations will be affected by what you do. Picture in vivid terms what would happen if you did the task at hand poorly or not at all, versus what would happen if you did a truly outstanding job.

5. Make it social. 

Put together a UMAT Study Group, or find a partner, with whom you can work together. Divide the UMAT into parts, and take turns coaching and motivating each other. Being coached will help you improve, as will being the coach: research shows that the teacher often improves as much or more than the student, because the teacher must pay close attention to how a task is being performed and point out how it can be done better.

6. Go deep. 

The UMAT is interesting once you get inside it. Assign yourself the task of becoming the world’s expert on one aspect of the work you’re doing—its history, its current state of development, its controversies and debates. Then extend your new expertise outward by exploring how the piece you know so well connects to all the other pieces involved in getting the job done.

By discovering the intrinsic interest in the UMAT, you’ll find yourself motivated to finish it for its own sake — without a carrot or a stick in sight.

Medical Interview Training Auckland

The UMAT is not the only selection criteria for undergraduate Medicine and Health Science Courses. Many courses around Australia and New Zealand also involve an interview component as part of their selection process. Depending on the institution, interviews could take the form of a traditional panel interview, an oral assessment or as a Multistation/Multiple Mini Interview. UMAT Interview provides a list of all of the universities in Australia and New Zealand that offer undergraduate Medicine, and the type of interview structure they use for selection.

It is just as important to prepare for the interview as it is to prepare for the UMAT and your final year exams. Medical Interview Training Auckland provides university specific sessions that assist students in anticipating the types of questions/scenarios they will be exposed to in an interview, practice their responses and also take part in a mock interview. Auckland Medical Interview Training sessions are conducted in small groups of between ten to twenty students, allowing personalised feedback and interaction to occur. An expert will facilitate the session and provide feedback on everything from interview technique to the intricacies of students’ answers. Medical Interview Training Sessions in Auckland are extremely valuable as most students exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise and  have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers in an interview situation or within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station (during an MMI). Some quality UMAT preparation organisations will include Medical Interview Training as part of their packages or services.

Medical Interview Training Auckland provides an example of and details regarding such Medical Interview Training Sessions in Auckland.

Medical Interview Training Adelaide

The UMAT and the ATAR scores are not the only selection criteria for undergraduate Medicine and Health Science Courses. Many courses around Australia also involve an interview component as part of their selection process. Depending on the institution, interviews could take the form of a traditional panel interview, an oral assessment or as a Multistation/Multiple Mini Interview. UMAT Interview provides a list of all of the universities in Australia and New Zealand that offer undergraduate Medicine, and the type of interview structure they use for selection.

It is just as important to prepare for the interview as it is to prepare for the UMAT and your final year exams. Medical Interview Training Adelaide provides university specific sessions that assist students in anticipating the types of questions/scenarios they will be exposed to in an interview, practice their responses and also take part in a mock interview. Adelaide Medical Interview Training sessions are conducted in small groups of between ten to twenty students, allowing personalised feedback and interaction to occur. An expert will facilitate the session and provide feedback on everything from interview technique to the intricacies of students’ answers. Medical Interview Training Sessions in Adelaide are extremely valuable as most students exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise and  have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers in an interview situation or within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station (during an MMI). Some quality UMAT preparation organisations will include Medical Interview Training as part of their packages or services.

Medical Interview Training Adelaide provides an example of and details regarding such Medical Interview Training Sessions in Adelaide.

Medical Interview Training Brisbane

The UMAT and the ATAR scores are not the only selection criteria for undergraduate Medicine and Health Science Courses. Many courses around Australia also involve an interview component as part of their selection process. Depending on the institution, interviews could take the form of a traditional panel interview, an oral assessment or as a Multistation/Multiple Mini Interview. UMAT Interview provides a list of all of the universities in Australia and New Zealand that offer undergraduate Medicine, and the type of interview structure they use for selection.

It is just as important to prepare for the interview as it is to prepare for the UMAT and your final year exams. Medical Interview Training Brisbane provides university specific sessions that assist students in anticipating the types of questions/scenarios they will be exposed to in an interview, practice their responses and also take part in a mock interview. Brisbane Medical Interview Training sessions are conducted in small groups of between ten to twenty students, allowing personalised feedback and interaction to occur. An expert will facilitate the session and provide feedback on everything from interview technique to the intricacies of students’ answers. Medical Interview Training Sessions in Brisbane are extremely valuable as most students exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise and  have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers in an interview situation or within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station (during an MMI). Some quality UMAT preparation organisations will include Medical Interview Training as part of their packages or services.

Medical Interview Training Brisbane provides an example of and details regarding such Medical Interview Training Sessions in Brisbane.

Medical Interview Training Perth

The UMAT and the ATAR scores are not the only selection criteria for undergraduate Medicine and Health Science Courses. Many courses around Australia also involve an interview component as part of their selection process. Depending on the institution, interviews could take the form of a traditional panel interview, an oral assessment or as a Multistation/Multiple Mini Interview. UMAT Interview provides a list of all of the universities in Australia and New Zealand that offer undergraduate Medicine, and the type of interview structure they use for selection.

It is just as important to prepare for the interview as it is to prepare for the UMAT and your final year exams. Medical Interview Training Perth provides university specific sessions that assist students in anticipating the types of questions/scenarios they will be exposed to in an interview, practice their responses and also take part in a mock interview. Perth Medical Interview Training sessions are conducted in small groups of between ten to twenty students, allowing personalised feedback and interaction to occur. An expert will facilitate the session and provide feedback on everything from interview technique to the intricacies of students’ answers. Medical Interview Training Sessions in Perth are extremely valuable as most students exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise and  have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers in an interview situation or within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station (during an MMI). Some quality UMAT preparation organisations will include Medical Interview Training as part of their packages or services.

Medical Interview Training Perth provides an example of and details regarding such Medical Interview Training Sessions in Perth.

Medical Interview Training Sydney

The UMAT and the ATAR scores are not the only selection criteria for undergraduate Medicine and Health Science Courses. Many courses around Australia also involve an interview component as part of their selection process. Depending on the institution, interviews could take the form of a traditional panel interview, an oral assessment or as a Multistation/Multiple Mini Interview. UMAT Interview provides a list of all of the universities in Australia and New Zealand that offer undergraduate Medicine, and the type of interview structure they use for selection.

It is just as important to prepare for the interview as it is to prepare for the UMAT and your final year exams. Medical Interview Training Sydney assists students in anticipating the types of questions/scenarios they will be exposed to in an interview, practice their responses and also take part in a mock interview. The sessions are conducted in small groups of between ten to twenty students, allowing personalised feedback and interaction to occur. An expert will facilitate the session and provide feedback on everything from interview technique to the intricacies of students’ answers.  Preparation like this is extremely valuable as most students exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise and  have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers in an interview situation or within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station (during an MMI). Some quality UMAT preparation organisations will include Medical Interview Training as part of their packages or services.

Medical Interview Training Sydney provides an example of and details regarding such Medical Interview Training Sessions in Sydney.

UMAT myths

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.

UMAT VS. GAMSAT

As a student who wishes to study a course like medicine, you may find yourself debating whether to follow the undergraduate or graduate pathway. The undergraduate pathway involves entering the relevant course at an undergraduate level, whereas the graduate pathway requires students to have an undergraduate degree before they enter a course like Medicine at a postgraduate level.

Immediately we can see the benefits of the undergraduate pathway. Through the undergraduate pathway students can enter their desired course straight away, they don’t need to worry about acquiring a degree before they enter their desired course – year 12 students can begin studying Medicine straight away. Universities generally prefer the graduate pathway which is at least 2 years longer than the undergraduate pathway as it means that they keep students longer, thus generating more income.

The demand to study Medicine is ever increasing (with the demand to supply ratio higher than any other course in Australia). It is because of this strong demand that it is necessary to use other selection criteria as well as the ATAR score (or equivalent) like the UMAT and often an interview or oral assessment. Medical knowledge is always growing and is far more accessible than it once was, however doctors do not only require knowledge (as tested through their academic results), but they also require critical and abstract thinking, problem solving and good interpersonal skills (as tested through the UMAT).

Not only are there differences between the two different pathways into Medicine, there are also conflicting opinions about the tests used as part of the selection and screening of candidates. In order to be considered for undergraduate Medicine students must sit the UMAT (The Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admissions Test).

For graduate Medicine students must sit the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test). It is important that students are aware of the fact that the UMAT and the GAMSAT are quite different. The UMAT is not a test of knowledge or curriculum, rather it is a test of generic skills, such as, problem solving and critical thinking, that one gains from experience, however the GAMSAT does require a level of what some call irrelevant knowledge which leads people to question the validity of the test.

Unlike the GAMSAT, the UMAT can yield results that are accurate predictors of success in any professional endeavours. Students should ensure that they are appropriately prepared for whichever test they are taking, for example, there is no point in learning specific content if one chooses to sit the UMAT, their preparation should focus on honing the skills that are tested.

An article provides a comparison of UMAT and GAMSAT.