Archive for March, 2014

The UMAT Preparation Goals and the Study Plan

March 30, 2014

Before one can master UMAT strategies, it is important to know exactly what you are dealing with. Let us start with the basics. UMAT, among other things, is a test comprising three sections of questions designed to measure personal qualities. The questions do not test academic knowledge and do not require any special understanding of science or mathematics.  It consists of 180 minutes (three hours) of 134 multiple choice format questions with either 4 or 5 response alternatives from which you are asked to choose what you consider to be the most appropriate answer. All questions are of equal value, but will vary in difficulty.  Marks will not be deducted for incorrect answers and you should be aware that not all individuals will complete all questions or do equally well in each section.

The test itself is sat on the same day worldwide. Only if very special circumstances exist, candidates could be given a permission to sit the test on a different date. Due to the largely increasing number of students sitting UMAT each year, it is becoming more and more difficult for ACER to accommodate all of the candidates in one venue in each state. For that reason, students will be given either morning or afternoon session. 

UMAT can be a grueling experience, so if you cannot approach it with confidence and stamina, you may lose your composure. That is why it is important to take control. Preparation does work and in most cases is a must. Visit www.nie.edu.au for UMAT preparation Courses, UMAT Books, UMAT one-on-one tuition and workshops.

The test consists of the questions covering Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving, Understanding People, and Non-verbal Reasoning. The questions are mixed up and are no longer grouped into individual sections. All 134 questions are presented in one test book and there are no rest breaks. Students will be allowed to attempt questions in any order they want. 

The way that you plan and prepare is just as important as what you are preparing for. Think carefully about what the universities require and how important each component is. Entry for most of these courses follows three distinct steps:

  • Ranking in the top X% of year 12 (depending on course cut-offs).
  • Ranking in the top 10% of UMAT candidates (or higher depending on course cut-offs).
  • Excelling at an oral interview.

Once you know what the universities require you will be more able to plan out your preparation. Always remember though, in most cases a year 12 score of even 99.9 will not be sufficient without the required UMAT score!

Taking the above into consideration, your basic study plan should be as follows:

  • Prioritise and maintain an excellent and consistent general study ethic to maximise your Year 12 scores.
  • Start UMAT Prep as early as possible. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, prioritise and peak your preparation for the UMAT test closer to the test date.
  • Strictly limit interview preparation to before the commencement of year 12 and until after the UMAT or until you are notified of any invitations for interviews.

Of course, there are courses that fall outside the above guide (but not many). Also, the ways in which the UMAT results are used can be virtually different for various universities. Finally, the universities can change their selection criteria at any time, and hence, students should check the university website for any information updates.

The point being, if you understand what each university is after, then you will be in a far better position to prepare and apply, catering for their specific requirements.

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