Posted in Road To MD

Ace The NMAT With These Tips!

Planning to take that first step towards medical school? This post might be of help to you.

The NMAT or the National Medical Admission Test is a nationwide examination, given twice a year, and is required for the entrance to any medical school in the Philippines. Everything you need to know about the exam can be found here. Download also the BULLETIN OF INFORMATION and read it.

Now let me share to you some tips and tricks that helped me reached my target NMAT percentile score. Here we go!

For Part 1:

1. VERBAL

For the analogy part, learn the main types of relationships (cause and effect, part to whole, synonyms, antonyms, item to category etc). Familiarize yourself on words. If you are a bookworm, you’d probably find this section easy. If you are not, then you might want to consider spending your free time reading.

For the reading comprehension part, it helps to read the questions first so you’ll have an idea which part of the selection you’d focus more on.

2. INDUCTIVE REASONING

You’ll have Figure Series, Figure Grouping and Number and Letter Series.

Familiarity and practice are important!

I downloaded various abstract reasoning and figure grouping tests (with answer key and explanation) and answered each one of them. Don’t just stop in identifying your correct and wrong answers. Go through each item and understand the explanations for each.

For abstract reasoning, take the tests in this site.

For Number and Letter Series, write the alphabet and number them in ascending (1-26) and descending (26-1) order. You will know why when you start answering some items in the practice set.

3. QUANTITATIVE

Quantitative is easy, you’re only enemy here is time. So you got to do quick and accurate computations.

Open those college admission test reviewers and answer the Math part. DO NOT use a calculator even during the review. This way you would be accustomed to manual computation and would further improve your speed. Remember that calculators are not allowed during the test proper.

There are times that you need not finish the calculations because the answer is pretty much obvious from the choices. Say you got a division operation and you already solved for the first number of the answer which is 7 and the choices are 69, 72, 80 and 82. That would save you a great deal of time. So looking on the choices first could be helpful at times like this.

4. PERCEPTUAL ACUITY

For the hidden figures, look for the following:

Measurement – you may use your pencil to measure a part of the image
Angle – check if it is too sharp or too extended

Some images may have unnecessary lines crossing them making it harder to see the hidden figure. Cover or ignore these lines.

For the Mirror Image, your first tendency is to look at the right picture and compare the choice with that right picture. DO NOT DO THIS. I tried this strategy and it only strained my eyes. What you should do is COMPARE THE CHOICES WITH EACH OTHER.

Also, use the eraser technique to cover the wrong choices (some may use candies or sharpeners or whatever is available). This will help you eliminate distractions and help you focus on the remaining possible choices, thus, giving you more chances of getting the right answer.

So trying the above tricks, say for the mushroom image below:

Steps are:

  1. Compare a part. I’ll start with the stems of the five mushroom choices. Eliminate the ones with either too small or too big stems or those with the wrong curves.
    Eliminate C, cover it with an eraser.
  2. Compare the lines of the remaining four items. A and D are eliminated because of the highlighted differences.

3. Again, cover them with an eraser.

Cover the wrong ones!

4. Now we are only left with two pictures to compare. Check the cap portion of the mushroom, E has wider cap so that leaves us with B as the final answer.

This same technique was used for the Identical Information part. Compare the choices with each other. Not only the words are compared but always take note of the punctuation as well.

For Part 2:

These are the various resources and strategies that I used during the review. I did not enroll in a review center because I do not have the money for that (I’d rather save it for medschool fees and expenses). Instead, I used available resources online and on hand high school books.

1. BIOLOGY

2. PHYSICS

  • Physics Classroom
  • Khan Academy
  • Make your own index card for the important formulas (Motion, Force, Circuits, Electricity, Gas Laws etc). Memorize them and answer problems related to these formulas.
  • Know how to derive equations out of these related formulas.
  • Understand the underlying concepts because Physics is not just about computation.

3. SOCIAL SCIENCE

4. CHEMISTRY

  • Highschool textbooks
  • Crash Course Chemistry (Youtube Videos)

I retain information more effectively when I write them down. So, during my review, I basically wrote my own notes. I did this for Biology and Social Science with SparkNotes as reference. It was very time consuming and it is hurting in the wrists but I guess it was all worth it.

Organize the concepts/terms in a diagram like this one.
Illustrations are better remembered than just plain texts, right? 🙂

I also made sample questions for Physics and Chemistry (mostly computations) and answered them after covering all topics to make sure I remembered the formulas.

Make use of the Practice Set provided by the CEM. Answer each questions and google the underlying topic or concept.

Never take this exam for granted because your NMAT score will eventually help you get through the medschool of your dreams. 🙂

I hope that the above tips and links, along with self-discipline and hardwork of course, would get you to your target NMAT percentile score!

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