What is the UMAT?
The “Undergraduate Medical Health Science Admissions Test” or the UMAT as it is more commonly known, is one of the most crucial aspects of the selection process for many undergraduate Medical or Health Science courses throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Students wishing to enter many health science courses in Australia and New Zealand (such as Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy and others) need to sit the UMAT. In general, a student’s acceptance into a medical or health science course depends on the following three criteria: ATAR Score (or equivalent), performance in the UMAT and performance in an interview.
The UMAT is developed and administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on behalf of the UMAT Consortium universities.
More information on the UMAT can be found on the ACER website.
Do I need to sit the UMAT?
You will need to sit the UMAT if you are interested in any of the following university courses:
- Monash University (Medicine)
- University of Adelaide (Medicine, Dental Surgery)
- University of Newcastle/University of New England (Medicine)
- University of New South Wales (Medicine)
- University of Western Sydney (Medicine)
- Bond University (Medicine)
- University of Queensland (Medicine – conditional entry)
- University of Tasmania (Medicine)
- University of Western Australia (Medicine, Dentistry)
- University of Auckland (Medicine)
- University of Otago (Medicine, Medical Laboratory Science, Dental Surgery)
- Flinders University (Medicine)
- Latrobe University (Dentistry)
- Charles Darwin University (Clinical Sciences)
Do I need to train for the UMAT?
Even high achieving students stumble in the UMAT. Some students with perfect year 12 scores (99.95 / OP 1) have missed out on a place in medicine and related courses due to their low UMAT scores. In some cases, your UMAT score is more important than your year 12 score in securing a place in the health sciences.
Research shows training can significantly improve UMAT score by familiarizing you with the types of questions that will be asked and developing strategies to tackle them.
An all-too-common fallacy about preparing for UMAT is that all you need to do is ‘familiarise’ yourself with the test by doing some practice questions. That’s like saying the way to become a great basketball player is to familiarise yourself with a basketball court and practice taking a few shots.
Once upon a time, people were wrong. They thought that the automobile was an electric death-trap that would never replace the horse and carriage, computers were only for academic nerds, and people who used tuition were simply cheaters. Then, cars stopped exploding every time you started the engine, people realised that you could use computers for more than just calculating the digits of pi, and the ‘cheaters’ with the tuition… well, they started getting it. They got better grades, got into better universities and just plain old got better. Times change, rules change.
Start preparing now!
Can I sit the UMAT more than once?
If you have not been successful the first time you sit the UMAT, you can re-sit it without being penalised. However, universities will use your most recent results when considering your application. UMAT scores are valid for one year only.
How do I register for the UMAT?
You can register for the UMAT online at http://umat.acer.edu.au/.
Registrations for the UMAT open in early April each year and close in early June. If you miss the UMAT closing date there is usually a two week grace period, however, you will need to pay an additional late fee.
The UMAT is divided into three sections or constructs:
- Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving
- Interpersonal Understanding or Understanding People
- Non-Verbal Reasoning
Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving
These questions are all based on pieces of text or information presented graphically, drawn from a wide variety of general sources and aim to assess students’ ability to:
- draw logical conclusions
- reach solutions by identifying relevant facts
- evaluate information and data
- pinpoint additional or missing information
- generate and test plausible hypotheses
Questions in this construct of the UMAT are based on a scenario, dialogue or other text that represents different interpersonal situations and aim to assess students’ ability to understand and think about people through their ability to:
- infer the thoughts, feelings, behaviour and/or intentions of the people represented in the situations
The questions are all based on patterns and sequences of visual material such as shapes. There are a few different types of questions that can be asked in this section. For example:
- Complete the Sequence
- Pick the Middle
- Circular Segments
- Number Games
- Odd One Out
These questions aim to assess students’ abstract reasoning ability and problem solving skills in non-verbal contexts.