If you’re looking at a career in medicine, getting into the right school is the first and most crucial step in turning your dream into reality. What will it take to gain admission to top educational institutions such as University of the Philippines in Manila, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and Ateneo de Manila University?

Here’s the answer in four words: National Medical Admission Test or NMAT. It’s a nationwide examination required for admission into medical schools, such as those mentioned above. Here’s what else you should know about the NMAT:

Fact #1:
The NMAT is a two-part test. Part one tests your mental ability and part two tests academic proficiency. The four subtests that compose the first part are verbal, inductive reasoning, quantitative, and perceptual acuity.

On the other hand, the four subtests that comprise part two are biology, physics, social science, and chemistry. Since the answers to the subtests require the test-taker to use his skills in comprehension, analysis, and evaluation, the results give a good measure of his complex mental abilities.

Fact #2:
Proper use of your review time is critical. There are roughly two to four months from the time you register for the NMAT to the actual administration of the test, depending on when you intend to take it. There are two sets given during the year: in March or April, and sometime from November to December. Make sure you use your review time wisely so you can cover all the areas.

Fact #3:
Take advantage of the practice set during the review. This can be a good indicator of your weak areas, which you may need to spend more time on. It is best to answer all the questions in the practice set early to familiarize yourself with the directions on the actual test. Note that the directions on the practice set are exactly the same as those on the actual test, so you will spend less time reading instructions when you are taking the NMAT.

Mark the items where you encounter difficulty, and refer to your notes for further study. The actual test time is three hours for the first part, and two and a half hours for the second part. Take the practice set under the same time limit. If you get 75 percent of the items correctly, you are ready to take the NMAT.

Fact #4:
Here’s how you obtain your NMAT score. You get five scores for the first part of the NMAT: one for each of the four aptitude tests and their summative score. The same scoring system is applied for the second part. These are then converted to their equivalent standard scores from a common normalized scale. The General Performance Score, the summative score derived from the eight subtests, is converted into its equivalent standard score, and helps determine ranking.

Fact #5:
Choosing the right NMAT review program is key. AHEAD Professional Network (AHEADPro) offers a comprehensive review for the NMAT, boasting of an excellent team of lecturers who are honor students and academic scholars with high NMAT scores. The materials used for the review classes are well-researched, and the review strategies have been proven effective.The simulated exams are guaranteed to give reviewees a feel of the actual test, and the review program not only strengthens weak areas but more importantly, builds the reviewees’ confidence in their test-taking skills.

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