Undertaking the UMAT in sections

Discussion in 'UMAT Question Discussion' started by wannabedoctor, May 31, 2017.

  1. wannabedoctor

    wannabedoctor Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I was wondering whether it would be worth undertaking the UMAT in sections considering my strengths and weaknesses in each section, opposed to completing each question in order. My S2 and S3 are quite good, however, my S1 is ridiculously bad and ensures everytime I do a practice test, I go well over the time limit.

    I was thinking of completing my S2 and S3 under the time limit each should be given and leave the remaining time for doing my best in S1. Although, I have noticed valuable seconds will be spent flicking through pages and there is a chance I might mess up filling in the bubbles which will ruin my attempt.

    Given there are only a few weeks left and I have been practicing for several months, I feel my S2 and S3 can be further refined, but my S1 won't improve very much given I have uni exams in the next 2 weeks.

    I wanted to ask others who have already undertaken the real UMAT and used either test taking strategy of answering each question one after the other or doing each section one by one, how they felt and whether it was effective or not?
     
  2. nira

    nira Regular Member

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    well ive done umat only once, didnt go too brilliantly so im sitting it again. when i first sat it (2016) i did the exams in sections, where i played to my strengths. s2 then s3 and then finally s1. one of the issue that arose from this was the timing, by the time i got s1 i only had 45 minutes left, hence my section 1 suffered extremely badly. hence this year ive decided to adopt the method of doing the exam chronologically (1-134) at it has worked much better for me. im getting much higher scores in my practice exams than i used to. but as i say this, keep in mind each person is different. a majority of my friends did the exam chronologically and they did end up getting good scores, however there were few that did it in sections and ended up getting extremely good scores to0. so it varies. however my advice is give it a go with a practice exam, if your scores improve dramatically then stick to it but if it doesn't then go back to doing it chronologically.
    also how are s1 and s2 and s3 scores, raw score wise. it might not be as bad as you think as ME percentiles can be vastly exaggerated.
     
  3. rustyedges

    rustyedges Moderator Moderator

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    I did UMAT in sections (s2, s1, then s3) and it seemed to go well. It meant I could spend the 15 minutes reading time (do they still give you that?) to read all the S2 stems, so I could just start answering the questions once the exam started, and it also meant that I wasn't having to switch between styles of thinking. My uni weighted s3 the lowest, so getting s2 and s1 done first seemed logical.

    So long as you don't start putting the answers in the wrong circles it can be a good idea.
     
  4. LMG!

    LMG! Moderator! Moderator

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    It's 10 minutes now, I think, but yep, you still have some reading time. I also read the S2 stems in this period last year, and plan to do the same this year.

    To the OP, I did s2, s3, s1 last year, because UTAS preferences s2, and if guessing questions at the end, I decided it was better to be guessing 1/4 (s1) than 1/5 (s3) :D. This year, as I'm also planning to apply to JMP with its s1 preference, I'm going to do S2, S1, S3 because I did run out of time least year (had a couple of stems equaling about 10 questions that I had to guess). I'm doing much better, timing wise, in the practice exams this year, so hoping not to have that problem again. Also, I know I panicked in the last 10 minutes last year and was incapable of ~anything, so I'll hopefully be more prepared for that, too! You're right that this method runs the risk of screwing you up with colouring the wrong circles in, but to be honest, I don't remember finding this particularly difficult to keep track of last year.
     
  5. frootloop

    frootloop Not this time. Moderator

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    Do the exam however works best for you. Back when I sat UMAT, the test was physically divided up into sections anyway (which tbh made more sense to me than mashing them all together).

    Like has been said above though, if you're not sitting the test in the order it's written in, be 100% sure you're marking the correct boxes on the answer sheet! It'd be a bit of a nightmare if you got to the end and found you'd missed a bubble somewhere and there was a reading frame shift for half your answers.
     
  6. pi

    pi Monash MBBS(Hons) BMedSc(Hons) Moderator

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    I'd imagine this would be less likely if you did the UMAT by sections?
     
  7. LMG!

    LMG! Moderator! Moderator

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    I think it's more likely, @pi. The exam is set out from questions 1-134, with a random order of questions from each section. If you go through and do it by sections, you might be doing Q1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 14, 27, 28, 29, 30 etc... then get to the end, go back and start the next 'section' which would be Q4, 5, 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31 etc, then get to the end, then go back and do the last section... So you're effectively skipping questions and coming back to them and paging through the exam multiple times. You have to make sure you skip the same amount of spaces on the answer sheet.

    Though, that said, while I was worried about this last year, I didn't find it nearly as difficult to complete with confidence as I thought it would be, so, to the OP, have a practice and see what you think. If you feel more comfortable doing it in sections, don't let the transcribing onto the answer sheet part put you off.
     
  8. pi

    pi Monash MBBS(Hons) BMedSc(Hons) Moderator

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    Missing a bubble? Sure. Missing a bubble and creating a frame shift error? I think unlikely if going by sections.
     
  9. wannabedoctor

    wannabedoctor Member

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    Thanks for all your advice everyone :D I'll give doing a practice exam in sections a go. @rustyedges, that technique that you use of reading all the S2 stems during your reading time is super interesting, but isn't it a bit of an issue having to read + absorb all that content at once? I would have thought completing simple S3 questions in the reading time would be more effective time-wise as that's 10 questions out of the way given you do 1 a minute.

    Would love to hear more from you guys, thanks for the overwhelming help :)
     
  10. wannabedoctor

    wannabedoctor Member

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    @nire, thanks for your advice. I practiced using an ACER paper (which i've heard are usually easier) and resulted in scores of S2: 42/44 S3: 39/42 and S1: 24/48 completed in about 3 hours and 45 minutes (Thanks to section 1)

    Obviously that last score is atrocious, and at the moment my best options are Western Sydney (live in the GWS) and Newcastle (If it wasn't for that S1 score unfortunately) as I meet the GPA requirements for both.

    Any further thoughts?
     
  11. rustyedges

    rustyedges Moderator Moderator

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    I don't think it's an issue reading the S2 parts, since they tend to just be very short creative/fictional stories. You're not answering the questions at this point, just getting a feel for the stems so you know where to look once you start answering the questions. I would imagine it's harder to start doing S3 questions and remembering them/solve without writing etc.
     
  12. nira

    nira Regular Member

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    I'm assuming you did the exam s2,S3,S1. Keep in mind as much as I hate to say it S1 is kinda considered the most important section. As it's used as a tie breaker and in the case of jmp, cutoff for the interview. The problem with leaving S1 till the end is by the time you reach it, you will most likely be mentally drained. Even if it doesn't feel like it, your concentration level isn't as strong and will waiver. Hence this is a problem Since section 1 does require alot of mental power. So my advice is if you want to keep doing it by sections . Leave section 3 till the end, do s2,S1,S3 or S1,s2,s3. However doing an exam chronologically means you get a chance to try questions from all three sections, which may lead to a more balanced out score.
     
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  13. wannabedoctor

    wannabedoctor Member

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    @nire, excellent point. I completely forgot about how concentration eventually declines during the three hours we have. Thanks everyone for your responses and happy studying :D
     
  14. nira

    nira Regular Member

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    Good luck. And out of curiosity how are preparing for the umat. Have you bought any prep course or are you practicing on the Acer exams.
     
  15. A1

    A1 Certified Admissions Guru Moderator

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    The answer sheet shows the question number for each answer, you don't have to skip by amount of spaces.

    To give you a few more ideas we had a discussion on this two months ago
    [Undergrad] - UMAT 2017 Discussion Thread | Page 2 | Med Students Online
    [Undergrad] - UMAT 2017 Discussion Thread | Page 2 | Med Students Online
     
  16. LMG!

    LMG! Moderator! Moderator

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    You don't have to count them, no, but you do have to make sure you're actually doing it!

    That said, and as I already mentioned, despite worrying about this last year, I actually didn't find it all that difficult to manage with some brief double-checking every now and then, and will definitely be doing the same this year.
     
  17. faysapprentice

    faysapprentice Member

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    yeah i always do em in sections. 2/1/3. I feel as if it just helps you stay in the zone and keep the mindset. all my mates who did super good last year (98%ile plus) however didnt do it in sections. i did the worst out of all my mates and i was the only one who did em in sections so not sure whether reccommend or not.
     
  18. faysapprentice

    faysapprentice Member

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    hey LMG out of curiousity how did you go last year doing them by sections? I did the test in sections last year ended up getting 67/44/68 89%ile
     
  19. LMG!

    LMG! Moderator! Moderator

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    I did 2/3/1 and got 66/59/58 92nd%ile. I'm going to do 2/1/3 and hoping for 96+ this year, but feel I probably maxed out at 92.
     
  20. TheDarkKnight

    TheDarkKnight Member

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    famous last words hahaha
     
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