Lowering your UMAT exam anxiety
Let’s face it. From here on in, we will be surrounded by exams, the UMAT, end of year 12 exams, not to mention all the University exams looming not so far into the future. So with all these exams, it is important to develop techniques to reduce and deal with UMAT anxiety. Below are some helpful techniques to help you deal with anxiety in the lead up to the UMAT.
Set up a UMAT study group
Studying with others is an effective way of lowering UMAT anxiety. However, the people you choose to be in your study group influence how effectively the study group will function. Be wary of choosing your friends to be part of your UMAT study group as you may get easily distracted and lose sight of your purpose. Instead, choose people with similar goals and aspirations as you.
Plan a revision schedule for school and UMAT
Make sure you include all your extra-curricular activities such as work commitments. You also need to allocate time for re-revision and going over any areas of the UMAT exam that you are unsure of. The key part of making a revision schedule work is ensuring that the goals you hope to achieve are manageable and realistic.
Planning a UMAT study sessions with breaks
Set a goal for each UMAT study session. Breaking down revision into more manageable goals makes revising less overwhelming. Most people can only concentrate for 20 minutes. Once you fail to absorb any more information, it’s time for a break. Short frequent study periods with breaks helps retention and recall.
Also, half hour time slots are useful for quick revision. If it takes a half hour train trip to get to school in the morning, why not try to work through some UMAT questions you have been having difficulty with or memorising techniques that will be useful for answering certain types of UMAT questions.
Find out the exam details
This will make you feel more comfortable before actually sitting down to do the UMAT. If you learn the details before hand, you won’t be thrown on the day.
Find out what to do if you get stuck on a UMAT question.
If you get stuck on a question during the UMAT, your anxiety level will rise. Fortunately, the UMAT consists of multiple choice questions. If you get stuck, choose an answer, mark the question and move on. If you have time at the end, go back and try to work through the question again. If you run out of time, at least you have a 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 chance of getting the right answer. Don’t let being unsure throw you, the answer is there, you just have to deduce which one it is.
If you are, then you need to sit the UMAT. The UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions) test is required for entry into most undergraduate medical courses and health science courses.
The UMAT is not a test of knowledge. It tests your skills in three different areas: Logical reasoning and problem solving, understanding people and non-verbal reasoning. These three areas used to be divided into three separately timed sections and completed sequentially during the exam.
However, since last year, questions from the all three areas have been mixed together to form one large exam. This change actually makes the test harder, so it is even more important now to go into the UMAT with an effective test taking strategy.
Should you prepare for the UMAT?
Would you go into your end of year exams without preparing? Entrance into some universities usually have 3 equally weighted criteria: your UMAT score, ATAR score and performance in an interview. So your UMAT score actually plays a significant role as to whether you get into medicine.
Even though the UMAT isn’t knowledge based, you can dramatically improve your scores by learning new thought processes and familiarising yourself with the types of questions. This will also lower your nervoursness on the day, because you have already encountered UMAT-styled questions. Many other students are treating UMAT preparation as another school subject, except it has an exam earlier in the year! You’ll be at a huge disadvantage if you don’t prepare yourself.
In fact, UMAT prep is even more important now with the new changes to UMAT. Speed reading, and learning how to decode patterns quickly are essential to doing well in the UMAT.
Considering a career in medicine?
Then you need to know about the UMAT.
UMAT stands for Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test.
It is a three hour exam administered by ACER (The Australian Council for Educational Research), and it tests your ability in three areas:
*logical reasoning & problem solving
*understanding people, and
Most Australian and New Zealand Universities use your UMAT score, together with your high school results and your performance at an interview, in their selection of students for medicine, dentistry and health science courses.
There is help available to students who want to get the best possible results in the UMAT. Online courses such as those offered by MedEntry can greatly assist your preparation for the UMAT.
Registrations for the July 2013 UMAT test are already open, so you had better get your skates on!
University of Auckland
(Auckland, New Zealand)
Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
It is anticipated that there will be approximately 219 government funded places available for entry in 2013.This includes up to 37 places under the Regional Rural Admission Scheme (RRAS), and up to 53 places under the Māori Pacific Admission Scheme (MAPAS).
Entry Categories: http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/medicine
Overlapping Year 1 (OLY1) Entry: Applicants must complete the 8 required courses in either the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) or Bachelor of Science (BSc-Biomedical Science specialization) programmes at the University of Auckland in 2012 (1st and 2nd semester). Each applicant must achieve a minimum GPA of 6 (B+ average) across their 8 required courses in order to be eligible for entry consideration into MBChB Part II in 2013.
All applicants deemed eligible will then be ranked on their grades achieved across 4 common courses that are offered in both the BHSc and the BSc (Biomedical Science) programmes.
Graduate Entry: Applicants who achieve a minimum GPA of 6 (B+ average) across a full degree (on a full-time basis) from a New Zealand university will be eligible for consideration for an admissions interview. All graduate applicants deemed eligible will then be ranked based on their GPA from their last two academic years of full-time study only. The last year of full-time study must be no more than five years prior to application.
Final selection from the Overlapping Year 1 and the Graduate Entry categories will be based on the following:
- Academic performance at University;
- Performance in UMAT (most recent results used); and
- Performance in a personal semi-structured interview.
All prospective applicants should obtain a copy of the current Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences Undergraduate Prospectus, available from the University by calling 0800 61 62 63 (NZ only) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to apply:
New Students: If you are not enrolled at the University of Auckland in 2012, apply online at: http://www.auckland.ac.nz and click on “Apply Now”.
Returning Students: If you are currently enrolled at the University of Auckland and would like to change your existing programme, apply on SSO: http://www.studentservices.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/student-services-online/sso-apply
Application closing date
Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. No exceptions.
- International graduate applicants – 31 August 2012
- International OLY1 and Domestic applicants – 1 November 2012
Supplementary Information Form (MH03–Medicine). The form can be completed online at: http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/faculty/undergrad/forms/default.aspx
*The information is provided as a general guide for students and is subject to alteration. Applicants should consult the faculty website for the latest information: www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/medicine
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.