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UMAT FAQs

Please send any questions you may have to or phone 1300 974 187.

What is the purpose of the UMAT?

The purpose of the UMAT is to assess the skills and abilities developed over the course of your education and life experience that are considered by the universities to be important to the study and practice of medicine and the health sciences. To operate most effectively in these career areas graduates will need to be flexible; to have good thinking skills (critical and analytical); to be able to respond quickly to new situations and problems; and to have a well-developed ability to understand and respond to patients’ needs and individual situations. For these reasons UMAT has been developed as a test that is not based on learned academic curriculum or study of particular subjects, but as a test of your response to stimulus that will not necessarily be familiar.

What is the difference between NIE and other prep courses?

NIE has been preparing students for UMAT for more than 17 years, and are the ONLY providers of UMAT preparation textbooks. The advantages of one course over another may be perceived differently by various students, that is, every individual has its own learning styles and needs, one student may like to use online preparation, and one might prefer to use hardcopy materials to prepare.

NIE’s mode of teaching is via hardcopy textbooks, which includes theory for each UMAT construct and addition of brand new questions every year reflecting what was tested in the UMAT annually.

While it is every student's personal preference whether they would like to prepare via hardcopy UMAT materials or via online practice, one needs to remember that UMAT is a physical book text, and at NIE we facilitate our courses via unique series of hard-copy books, which gets you in the right frame of mind to sit this paper-based exam. Also, at NIE we do not charge seasonal UMAT preparation membership fees, whereas other online UMAT preparation courses might. NIE courses are taught by academics and teachers accredited by the Department of Education and Training as well as Australian Tutoring Association.

Sometimes we get asked: “How come I haven’t heard about NIE before? I wish someone told me about you earlier…”

Majority of NIE enrolments come through word-of-mouth and recommendations by parents, teachers and doctors, for that reason we do not feel that we need to heavily advertise ourselves and make ourselves known.

So, which UMAT preparation mode is best? Once again, it is a personal preference based on what works best for you and you only. Remember to do your research, and choose the UMAT preparation that will allow you to learn in the most efficient and affective way.

Do NIE 2016 courses reflect the 2015 UMAT changes?

Yes, absolutely!

Continuously researching, teaching and reviewing our UMAT preparation programs has put NIE at the forefront of UMAT preparation and tuition. For instance, UMAT 2015 Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving Construct (previously known as UMAT Section 1) shifted to a more visual analytical style questions. Non-verbal Reasoning Construct (previously known as Section 3) was a mix of older and newer style questions, e.g A relative positional rule was applied to some of the questions. As always NIE materials have been updated to reflect these new changes.

A core part of NIE programs are the hardcopy books that closely replicate the true UMAT. Students are treated as individuals, with a level of respect deserved by such high achievers, and the approach of our staff is to nurture their progress through a balanced program of self-directed learning and face-to-face teaching. The NIE programs are specifically designed to maximise a student’s preparation time without detracting from their other studies.

Do you provide online UMAT practice materials?

NIE does not provide students with any online practice materials. NIE strongly believes that for maximum UMAT preparation benefit students require physical books for their learning. In Section 3 of the test, it is difficult to gain the required knowledge and understanding of the essential concepts without being able to make notes, draw diagrams, sketches, etc. Similarly, in Section 1 and 2, you need to be able to make notes, underline, highlight, and cross check information in order to gain understanding of the stimulus' content and the question. For that reason NIE does not believe in the usefulness of Practice Questions delivered via online method where students are unable to perform the above mentioned learning tasks.

Furthermore, because our method of teaching is through the hardcopy books - you will own them forever. Books can be reused again if required and you will never have to pay for them again. With online preparation courses you only own a subscription membership time up to the date of the UMAT. At the event that you decide to study for the UMAT for another year, you will have to purchase the membership and pay again. Once again NIE does not believe in this system of preparation.

Who are NIE teachers and tutors?

We would like to emphasise that at NIE we never hire trainers or tutors who are simply past UMAT candidates or students, even if they scored highly in the test. Remember, scoring 100% in the UMAT does not mean the student got 134/134 in the test - in fact not even close to it. NIE's comparative analogy has always been that if you or your child got 100% on the Learner's Driving Test, does that mean they can now teach someone else to drive? More importantly, would you trust that tutor's experience in training your child for the upcoming critical test? Do not forget, to have the knowledge is completely different to being able to teach that knowledge. Teaching is an Art and requires special skills. Having knowledge in something does not mean it can be taught successfully unless the teacher has the skill of affective, motivational teaching and understanding of the student's individual learning needs.

At NIE our teachers sat the UMAT and GAMSAT in the past (and not once), all our teachers are academics and mature professionals with minimum of two degrees behind them. NIE is also a member of the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA). If you do your research you will find that this is very important, and is also recommended by the Australian Department of Fair Trading when hiring a tutor. Last, but not least, NIE teachers are accredited by the ATA, and are holders of the Working With Children Checks (WWCC).

I am in Year 12 and need to do UMAT this year, when is the UMAT date?

UMAT is held once a year, usually on the last Wednesday of July. The registration line for the UMAT 2016 opened early December 2015. The deadline for UMAT 2016 registration 3rd of June 2016. The final deadline for UMAT 2016 registration is 17 June 2016 (penalty fee applies)

I heard UMAT structure changed?

Yes. From 2013 onwards there is one major change, and this change is reflected in the constructs of the UMAT NIE 2013 / 2014 and 2015 course preparation materials and NIE UMAT workshops.

In all previous years there were always 3 separate sections in the UMAT, where students had to finish each section in a particular given time. Students were not allowed to go back to the previous section past the allocated time. The styles of questions for UMAT 2013 are still the same, covering Logical Reasoning, Understanding People and Non-verbal Reasoning skills. However, questions are no longer divided into three timed sections; instead all questions are randomly mixed up. Also, the three areas of UMAT questions, Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving, Understanding People, and Non-verbal Reasoning, are now knows as "Constructs" not Sections.

And so, from 2013 onwards UMAT is a 3 hour test consisting of 134 questions, the test is NO LONGER divided into timed sections. Students will also be given 10 minutes reading time to check the accuracy or printing error of the test. This will be followed by 3 hours of testing time without any breaks. Students can answer questions in any order they want. The Statement of Results will contain a score for each construct and an overall score "aggregate" for the test. Students will also be provided with information on their overall percentile rank.

Best UMAT course / Best UMAT preparation / Which UMAT course is best for me?

Which UMAT preparation method is best? Once again, it is a personal preference based on what works best for you and you only. Remember to do your research, and choose the UMAT preparation that will allow you to learn in the most efficient and affective way.

Remeber to do your research! Talk to your careers teacher, parents, siblings, or friends who perhaps did UMAT course in the past. Do you rresearch and ensure the UMAT course provider is based locally (not overseas). Ensure to call the provider and ask questions, tell them what you want to acheive and ask how can they help you?

Also be cautious of any websites that are using course comparisons of UMAT preparation providers in order to upmarket themselves. Suspicion should be raised if one course heavily promotes themselves as the best and down-rates everyone else. The question here to ask yourself, is if any such course is so popular and highly-rated why do they need to use such tactic of advertising where they upmarket themselves in the light of downgrading other courses?. Also, where do statistical information comes from when publishing any comparable data?

At NIE, we always highly recommend and encourage that you ask to talk to the teachers / tutors themselves form the organisation you are contacting and decide for yourself if you like what you hear. Afterall, they are the people who will be teaching you or your child. It should ring an alarm bell if you cannot get in touch with one of the teachers or tutors on the number that you call.

How can I choose most suitable and best UMAT preparation provider?

Department of Fair Trading in Australia sets guidelines when choosing a course or a tutor. Some of their points are as follows:

Tips for parents:
Tutoring can help enhance your child’s performance at school. However, choosing the tutoring service that’s right for your child can sometimes prove a little challenging. It is essential that parents do some research beforehand.

Questions to ask:
Parents should think carefully before signing up and/or paying for any tutoring service, no matter how good it sounds. Asking a range of questions about the service is a good way to help you decide if it is the right service for you and your child:

  • How long has the tutoring service been in business?
  • Does the service belong to a relevant industry association with an enforceable code of conduct eg. the Australian Tutoring Association? (Note: UMAT NIE is the only UMAT preparation provider who is a member of Australian Tutoring Association and has the teachers accredited by this association).
  • Have the tutors been interviewed face-to-face by the tutoring service?
  • What are the qualifications and experience of the tutor who will be tutoring your child?
  • Are the tutors trained specifically in the subject area in which they are tutoring?
  • Have reference checks been conducted on the tutors?
  • Does the tutor hold the appropriate Working With Children check?
  • If the tutoring service is at a specific location is there an opportunity to visit the location?

Bogus offers:
Question any deal, including tutoring services, that sounds too good to be true because it probably is. In particular:

  • be wary of overseas or interstate institutions promoting their services on the internet
  • be cautious when dealing with a company that relies on web-based communication and doesn’t offer telephone numbers or office locations.

Computer-based tutoring:
If you decide to go with a computer-based tutoring course for your child make sure that it is compatible with your computer hardware and software.

Many computer based training packages are made overseas and may not be applicable to Australian schools.

Ensure that you know exactly what the course involves and how it is expected to help your child. Check whether technical and/or educational support is available for the course and how and when this is provided.

For example, a common aspect with internet-based UMAT preparation courses is that you are only paying for the username and password which has an expiry date (students and parents often might not be aware of this). Should you wish to repeat the course you are usually required to pay the fees again. Do your research and ensure to carefully read the contracts, terms and conditions before making a purchase. Do not forget that if you are starting UMAT preparation early, for instance in Year 10 or 11, or you might need to do the UMAT again, you want to make sure that you are aware of what you are paying your money for. Before you make your decision, find out if you will own the resources that you are paying for, or is there a time limit to how long you have access to the course content.

Online tutoring:
Before deciding on online tutoring ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the age of my computer matter?
  • Is my internet connection fast enough?
  • How often will I be required to download?
  • Are the system requirements of the online course materials compatible with my computer?
  • Does it make a difference if I’ve got a Mac instead of a PC?

False and misleading advertising:
Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics as well as false advertising. Advertising can be a useful source of information but it can also mislead the unsuspecting.

You should receive accurate information about the tutoring service you want to purchase. It is illegal for the tutoring service to:

  • make misleading or deceptive claims about their services
  • advertise products or services with false endorsements
  • claim benefits they simply do not have
  • make false representations about the standard, quality or value of the service.

Are the NIE materials similar to the new UMAT structure?

Absolutely. At NIE we ensure that our workshops and selected UMAT books reflect the new structure of the UMAT every year. That is why NIE students are always ahead of any other candidate who uses preparation materials that are only relevant to the previous year UMAT.

What if I missed out on the UMAT NIE workshop date?

DLP or Platinum DLP is your next option for succesfull UMAT preparation.

I was reading your website and I am interested in joining NIE but I am still confused about the packages your institution offers...Can you please explain more about them to me?? How long will the course run? And when will be a suitable time for me to enrol for a course? Thanks in advance

There are a number of packages:

  • The Premium package offers 8 books plus the workshop.
  • The DLP is the Premium but without the workshop.
  • The Platinum is the Premium plus another $900 worth of practice questions (2300 extra questions), and one-on-one personalised and catered to individual needs Skype tutorial.
  • Platinum DLP Course is the same as Platinum Course minus the workshop.
  • The Concession is any package with a discount of $65 to help low income families.

What score do I need to get in the UMAT to be ranked in high 90s percentile?

Please remember the raw score is not the number of questions you answered correctly. The scores for each section are probably scaled to achieve an accurate system of UMAT marking and scaling. ACER keeps their system of marking and scaling confidential and they never disclouse it to anyone. Nevertheless, here are some statistics from UMAT 2015 that you might be interested to check:

  • Total UMAT raw score 173 = 82%
  • Total UMAT raw score 182 = 91%
  • Total UMAT raw score 183 = 92%
  • Total UMAT raw score 201 = 99%

Also, note that the scores are different every year, but from what we have seen over the years, they do not deviate significantly.

I would like to register for UMAT preparation this year and so I wish to enquire as to the date at which applications and payments must be made by?

We don't really have any deadlines, it is simply up to you when you choose to start. That said, our advice is to always start as soon as possible as there is a lot to get through. We have already sent out many course books this year, so the students already booked in are hard at work and as others enroll, their material will be sent straight out. When it does come down to the wire though, if we have any spots left, we do allow students to pay on the day to attend the workshop and receive their material. But if you have a choice it is always far better to start as early as possible.

I would like to order one of your UMAT course and pay by Money Order. How can I do this?

Australia Post Money Orders may be purchased at any of over 3,800 Australia Post outlets nation-wide. Have the Australia Post staff draft the money in the name of 'UMAT Australia' and mail it out to NIE. Our mailing address can be found under the Contact Us link. As soon as we receive the payment we will post out your books immediately.

How do I apply with a group of students ?

Get great discounts for applying in groups. Three or more applications in the one group each receive a student discount of $75 off the Platinum, Premium or DLP Course fee. Groups of 5 or more students will attract bigger discounts, call or emails us for further information.

To apply as a group, when completing your online application form select 'Yes' in the field which asks you about applying in a group. List the names of your group memners. You will still need to make a full non-discounted payment. When the rest of your group members sign up, we will refund you with the applicable discount amount. Group applications can be done individually and must be received no longer than within one week of each other. Alternatively you can post all of the applications in one envelope with one Cheque covering all students.

I was wondering what the cost of the UMAT workshop is and how I can apply for one?

Answer:
If you are one of our Platinum or Premium students then the workshop is already included in your package, if you are one of our DLP students, then it is just $100 to upgrade.

I completed my nursing degree in 2015. I am wishing to apply for Medicine. I want to sit the 2016 GAMSAT or 2015 UMAT exam. I am unsure of which test to sit right at this moment. I have been reading about all of the preparation I need to complete. I was told by a friend that you run a pre-course to help with this test. I was wondering if you could help me with this?

There are many options open to you and it may well pay to just give us a call and discuss what you are looking at but we will try to give you some of the basics.

UMAT is for undergrads whilst GAMSAT is for grads. UMAT will get you into a 5 - 6 year med course whilst GAMSAT will allow you to only do 4 years (4.5 for some universities). Every universities has different selection requirements/protocols but there is some merit to sitting both UMAT and GAMSAT to broaden your chances.

Basically 90% of students fail the UMAT and around 80% fail the GAMSAT. So covering your bases, making the most of it, being prepared and understanding what you are up against will all help. With UMAT you will be limited somewhat as you already have a degree. While some universities will still let you enter via the undergrad pathway, some others won't.

If it is no drama to study interstate then I would consider sitting UMAT and GAMSAT next year to give you the best shot at both options.

The UMAT and GAMSAT tests are very different and are only similar in the fact that they are highly speeded multiple choice formats. The UMAT is a non-knowledge based exam (personality/IQ/psychometric) whilst the GAMSAT is directly knowledge based (CHEM, BIOL, PHYS, essay writing, Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences). UMAT is three hours and GAMSAT is 5.5 hours. Around 25000 will sit UMAT every year and around 15000 for GAMSAT.

I am emailing regarding the UMAT preparation packages that you provide. Which do you feel is the best UMAT course and also the best value? How does NIE rank with other institutions that offer UMAT packages?

Here at NIE we do things very differently to any of the others.

NIE is the only provider that employs teachers and especially full time teachers for each individual section. All of the others usually have just one person who presents at the seminars and having sat UMAT many times we can comfortably say that you should never rely on one person to be an expert in each area of the UMAT. The sections are so vastly different that you need a specialist teacher for each and that is exactly what we have done since 1999 for UMAT.

NIE is a member of the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA). If you do your research you will find that this is very important, and is also recommended by the Australian Department of Fair Trading when hiring a tutor. Last, but not least, NIE teachers are accredited by the ATA, and are holders of the Working With Children Checks (WWCC).

We also offer ongoing support. No one else can match this because they don't have the staff (or don't choose to spend the money to employ them). Some of the others are run by med school students...how much support will you get from them?

We also rewrite and update all of our curriculums every year plus we author updated practice questions. We do this for many reasons.

The UMAT changes a little each year (sometimes a lot, like in 2013) and our course improves each year. We do extensive research and gather feedback to keep NIE ahead every year. This ensures that students who do our program over a number of years always have fresh, up to date and relevant materials to work with plus we are always ahead of the changes to the test. An example of this was 2006 and 2013 when the UMAT went through drastic changes. Most providers sent their students hundreds of questions (they had been using for years) that were not on the UMAT at all. Only one provider had the staff, the ‘know how’ and the ability to publish 100% relevant books and questions - UMAT NIE!

We also publish our books as hardcopy (two are emailed as printable PDFs whilst 6 or 8 are supplied as printed hardcopy books). This has huge advantages over the on line courses. With books you can underline, highlight, make notes and you can study anywhere at any time. You can take the books to bed, to school, on holiday, read in the car, etc...when you want/need to study you have access. With online courses you actually own nothing; you just rent access to the materials for a period of time. Come the UMAT date you are locked out of the system and have to pay to get access again. Let alone that you need access to a computer, a secure connection, good broadband, etc... and of course the fact that UMAT is a paper test sat flat on a desk with a pencil. Not an online document approached on a screen with a mouse.

The reason that you may not have heard of us is because we don't do a lot of advertising. Most of our students are word of mouth referrals based on our success. Think about it this way: We pay for full time staff, why don't the others? We pay for printing, packaging, research and development every year. The online courses that use the same questions don't have any of these costs. We fly, feed and accommodate our staff all over the country, the others send one person only, or worse cancel the workshops if they don't get enough students.

And yet our course fees are some of the lowest...

OK...so in regard to packages: the Platinum package is exquisite and contains 3 years of different editions of our practice questions. If you are desperate for med, have the time and the budget, then you can't beat the Platinum for value and prep diversity. That said the Premium course is still excellent value with 1600 questions, the workshop and expert teachers.

I would like to know more about the DLP: Will I be receiving all the material as hard copy (printed paper), or are there some items that are limited to online access via the internet?

There are 8 books in DLP and 10 plus a tutorial in Platinum DLP. Two UMAT books are supplied as printable PDF documents and the remaining 6 or 8 are supplied as hardcopy books. All books can be viewed on this link.

Whilst we could save tens of thousands in printing and postage costs by going online, we refuse to as we don't believe it is the most efficient way to prepare for UMAT. So none of our materials are limited by access, servers, location or bandwidth. You can utilise the resources anywhere any time, underline, highlight and jot notes in the margins and enjoy the benefits of reading in any position.

All of our material is based on sound distance education principles and all students receive the starter pack as soon as they apply and the hard-copy materials within a few days of applying. The only difference with the courses is that some will attend the workshop and those doing the DLP only will not.

If I choose the DLP option at this stage will this mean I may not attend the workshops subsequently. I would like to go through the books now and then have the option to continue with the workshops - by paying the difference, or a bit more, but not having to pay a second set of complete fees.

Yes we will be able to upgrade you to the workshop for a fee of $90.

We highly recommend the workshop (it's not really that much more in cost). It is a chance to have expert teachers there in front of you for questions and a completely different perspective on each section than what we present in the books. The teachers make themselves available on an individual level to answer all questions during the breaks and after class and you also get the full feedback and comparison on the trial test. Even just for that it is invaluable let alone everything else we squeeze into the day. Seeing how your peers are coping with the exam, being put to the test yourself and experiencing the UMAT test conditions are all very worthwhile.

I am a New Zealand student interested in purchasing the NIE UMAT preparation course. Is it possible to pay for it by a Cheque from ASB (of New Zealand)?

There is no drama with paying by any Cheque but you will be charged an extra fee when your bank changes the amount from NZ$ to AUD$. The simplest way is to do it via PayPal. This system of paying is the cheapest and simplest in the world. Or another option is for you to do it yourself via electronic (online) banking. This would be the quickest too and save you on any fees.

I purchased the distance learning package in 2013 and thought it was a useful resource in helping me prepare for UMAT. After taking 3 years off, I've decided to try out for UMAT in 2016 (for the second time) but I noticed the stimulus and structure for UMAT has changed in the last 3 years and feel the package I purchased in 2013 from NIE is quite different to the "real" UMAT. Therefore, I am willing to purchase the premium package this year and hope the package is a lot different to what I purchased 3 years ago. Just to make sure before I make a purchase, whether significantly different changes have been made.

We go to great lengths to ensure that our material is 100% current. We have many students who train with us over a number of years and the main reason is because we do write aupdated questions and tests every single year. Once again, the 2016 UMAT NIE materials have been updated to reflect all new UMAT changes for the UMAT 2016 season.

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