by Unknown, 14 July, 2018
As we all know, much of the stress involved as part of the UMAT exam is due to the time pressure. Therefore, it is essential that you can effectively manage your time in order to be able to answer more questions and maximize your marks. Here are 5 quick tips to improve your time management.
Tip #1: Use the perusal time well!
Right at the start of the exam, you will have 10 minutes to just read through the exam. I found it useful to spend these 10 minutes getting a head start on the questions. As writing is not allowed during perusal time, I would end up doing just the Section 3 questions since they were relatively easy to do in my head - You might find it easier to do Section 1 or 2. Either way, my advice is to spend the perusal time doing easier questions in order to save some time for when the actual exam time begins.
Tip #2: Determine your exam approach
Next, you need to decide how you want to approach the exam. The exam consists of section 1, 2 and 3 questions shuffled in a random order. I found it quicker and easier to go through the exam from start to finish. However, some people prefer completing the exam section by section. They would mark each section differently (i.e. cross for section 1, dash for section 2 and no mark for section 3) before answering the questions, one section at a time. If you prefer working through the exam like this, make sure to check that you are filling in your answer for the correct question as you will be skipping questions frequently. Ultimately, your exam approach comes down what you find more comfortable.
Tip #3: Keep a mental clock
The exam contains 134 questions which you need to complete in 3 hrs (with no breaks). This gives you approximately 1 min and 20 seconds per question (though potentially a bit longer if you completed some questions during the reading time). It’s important to have a rough idea of how fast you are working through the questions. A simple way I check my pace is to see if I have completed 45 questions every hour. Therefore, if I finish the first hour and realize that I have only completed 30 questions, I’ll speed up the pace at which I complete my questions. This is to ensure I don’t get caught with 5 minutes and 20 questions left.
Tip #4: Stay hydrated
It’s a simple tip but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget when you are in a high stakes 3-hour exam. Remember to be hydrated throughout the exam. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and really slow down your pace. An easy way to stay hydrated is to drink before the exam. Additionally, you can fix a time (or times) when you want to drink water. I took a planned 30-second break to drink water halfway through the exam (i.e. after 90 minutes).
Tip #5: Short on time?
If you find yourself in the dreaded situation of completing 20 questions in 5 minutes, it is important not to just blindly guess. Scan the question and try to eliminate options that look obviously wrong. Even if you manage to eliminate just 1 or 2 options, your chances of ‘guessing’ the correct answer will increase.
Hopefully, you found these tips useful and best of luck with your UMAT Preparation!