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My NMAT March 2012 Experience Plus Tips
I can only take this as a sign that I should really be a doctor.
This is my first hub for 2012 since I have been quite busy with being a writer, ironically. Alright, so I will be talking about my experience with NMAT, which would include my results and tips and all. For those who are not very familiar with this, let me give a brief background.
What is NMAT? It is the National Medical Admission Test which is a requirement to be taken for those who would want to apply to any Medical School here in the Philippines.
This test is held twice a year, typically, during April and December. This year, though, the test took place last March 25, 2012. The first examination for the year is held in Manila only. The one on December, on the other hand, is held nationwide. This means that more people from the province are likely to be able to take the test since not all are willing to fly to Manila just to take it.
Is there a difference? Personally, I think that it would be a tighter competition to take the test on December since there will be more people taking the test. I believe that a lot of people from the province are really industrious and will work hard to get a good score. Of course, your score will still highly depend on your efforts to prepare and to take the test seriously.
I'll just head on to my experience already since I will be describing the test through the process, anyway. The registration started during the last week of January, which had a deadline up till March 2nd. I got registered during the 2nd week of February. Once you have paid for your test fee, which costs P1,900 all in all, you will receive a payment confirmation as well as access to the review materials.
I was able to see the reviewer even before I got it since I have batchmates who are taking Med ahead of me, this 2012. I intend on starting in 2013, by the way. One of my batchmates who took NMAT during 2011 emailed to me the reviewer, which was exactly the same as the one I got for March 2012. This brings me to...
Tip # 1 Study the reviewer!
That's right. The reviewer is really helpful when it comes to preparing for the tests, specifically for Part 1. Going through the reviewer will help you be more familiarized with how the test feels like.
Tip # 2 Practice under timed conditions.
Another helpful way to be prepared for NMAT would be to time yourself while answering the test. Part 1 lasts for 3 hours. This would include the 4 subtests (Verbal, Inductive Reasoning, Quantitative, and Perceptual Acuity). Doing so will also help you to know your game plan - which to answer first, and which to finish last. Remember that Time Management is an important key when it comes to accomplishing Part 1 of NMAT.
By the way, I was not able to finish ahead of time so I ended up shading random circles, about 5 of them, on the Perceptual Acuity.
This was my game plan for both parts, by the way. You should know what's yours too depending on your strengths.
Part 1 : Inductive Reasoning -> Quantitative -> Verbal -> Perceptual Acuity
Part 2 : Biology -> Social Science -> Chemistry -> Physics
My NMAT Result (Electronic Copy Only)
Combined effort and faith paid off.
As you can see with my result, if it weren't for how I performed in Part 1 of NMAT, I may not have gotten the score I was aiming for. And yes, I was really aiming for that "much coveted 90+" (as others call it) since I need to land a scholarship, in addition to being able to apply in schools with high NMAT cutt-offs.
The test was held in UST, by the way. I'm from Las Pinas, which means that it will be a far commute. We were supposed to be there before 7:00AM. I left really early, at 4:30AM, and was able to arrive at 5:45AM. I felt like I was in HongKong that morning since the roads were quite damp from the previous night's raging storm, in addition to being completely spacious. Now, the commute back home was the exact opposite since the Quiapo mass caused a lot of traffic. I was feeling the pressure then since I had to play for the Church at 7:00PM that night.
Thankfully, CEM (Center for Educational Measurement - the company that hosted the exam) was very efficient in terms of starting and finishing on time.
Part 1: 8:00-11:00AM
Part 2: 1:00PM-3:30PM
I know that I am getting quite random with piecing my information with the tips and the events, but in a way, just take it as a means of not getting saturated over one category since this is actually quite long. Haha.
For your information, I was not expecting to get such a score, although, I was really hoping to end up with a 90+. The results arrived online the next Sunday, April 1, 2012. The wait was not that easy to go through. I kept rethinking how I did, just as how I do with most exams I take. I knew that I practically just made a bunch of educated guesses for Part 2, except for Social Science since I am a BS Psychology major. I also knew that I did really well with the patterns and the math part. True enough, the results reflected how I thought I performed. And thank God that I had patterns and math skills. Haha.
Tip # 3 Write The Alphabet-Number Equivalent
The answer sheet for NMAT is actually like a cardboard booklet. On the front page would be the applicant information as well as his test/booklet ID #. On the 2nd page would be the answer sheet, And then the 3rd and the back page could be used for scratch. You would not be given any loose scratch so work neatly. Going back to the tip, I got this suggestion from other test takers. And it did work for me, and probably even saved me. Once you get to start, copy the alphabet with its letter equivalent on the scratch part (A=1; B=2; C=3...). Try doing it on your practice set and the letter patterns will make more sense.
Tip # 4 Make Sure The Obvious Stuff Are Taken Into Account
With this one, I'm talking about you making sure that you are able to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier so that you would be energized and less frantic during the test. Make sure you have extra pencils and erasers. Bring a sharpener too. Make sure your watch is properly synchronized and try to bank as much time early on during the test. Bring packed lunch since it is VERY inconvenient to line up with the other people to buy food. Keep yourself calm throughout the test but see to it that you do not get too lax as well.
Tip # 5 Review Wisely And Just Do As Much As You Can
I honestly think that it is impossible to plug in your head all sorts of information regarding the subtests for Part 2. I mean some people study just one field for their entire college degree. So basically, you should just make sure you familiarize yourself with general terms and concepts so you can better your understanding and means of analysis. Remember formulas as well and note how they relate with other formulas if you would need to derive and do those sorts of things.
Part 1 -> You will improve with practice
Part 2 -> You will improve with reading and familiarization
I did not buy the MSA NMAT Reviewer since I thought that it would be too costly, plus it would not guarantee a good score. Besides, there are tons of ways to access information for studying (INTERNET). I was also able to borrow HS Science books from the Parish Library. My Mom was also able to borrow a Bio book and a bunch of Reviewers from the school where she works.
HONESTLY:Although I had a lot of materials to use, I was not able to maximize them, I feel. I actually crammed into reading the Physics, Chem, and Bio books 2-3 days before the test. I played "I have photographic memory" by flipping through pages for just 2-3 seconds each. Lol. At first, I was taking slow, but I realized that it would just take me forever. I just thought that I knew bits and pieces on these from my college education.
I could ramble about a lot more on this. But in the end, I'm just very thankful for what I got. Truthfully, I want to be a doctor so I could really help people on a daily basis, and as a career. I have this view that people should learn to live not just thinking about themselves and building their own lives and making themselves rich. I believe that this world can achieve so much more if we just learn to collaborate and meet a harmonious common ground amidst the inequality. YEEEP. And that made me want to be a doctor. Haha. Such insight would, I hope, serve as a model for others in rethinking what they want to do with their lives.
And yes, NMAT is the first step, and is a make or break one. Fortunately, I got a good score, though it's not 99 due to my Sciences. Obviously, I need a lot of effort to put into studying medicine since Science is not my strong suit. But I believe I can do it. After all, it had been said that what is more important with taking Med would be that you are industrious as opposed to just having a good IQ. In short, what matters more is using the brain actively. And seeking to be a scholar all throughout, I really need to be very consistent. Oh, by the way, I did a lot of praying for NMAT before and after the test and the results. It really helps in indirect ways.
LAST WORDS:I can only hope that you found this hub helpful and informative. If you have any questions, just ask it up in the comments section below. I would be happy to answer them since I'm sure I left out a hefty amount of info too.
Good luck to those who will be taking NMAT later on and to us, aspiring doctors.