National Medical Admission Test

Tips and Techniques for Future NMAT Takers

1/21/2014,31 Comments

Cute clipart from kingmagic. Edited using Photoscape.

I interviewed my boyfriend who aspires to be a medical doctor. He already took the NMAT (National Medical Admission Test) and got satisfactory results. He willingly shared his experience before, during, and after the NMAT to me. Also he shared some valuable tips and techniques to help future NMAT takers.

Related: Tips for Medical School Interview

So let's begin with the transcribed version:

If you're going to take the NMAT, be sure that consequently, you'll be studying medicine so that you'll wholeheartedly prepare for the examination. Make sure that it's your own decision. Be mentally and emotionally prepared.

It is a psychological torture when you get a low grade. Why? Because the NMAT is an IQ test designed to filter those who want to go to medical school, thus it reflects what your IQ tells about you.‏

If you want to take the NMAT, be serious about it. Don't just take the exam for fun.

1. When did you start to prepare for the NMAT?‏

I started to prepare for the NMAT...‏  Well ideally, you must start while you're still in high school. The questions in the NMAT measure how well you did in high school.‏

As for me, I *forgot already what I have learned in high school so I took the liberty of integrating my study for the NMAT in line with my NLE review so that the momentum will be in sync. Sayang nung momentum kaya pinagsabay [ko]. Besides, NMAT is really the gateway to get into a great medical school.

Naturally, the NMAT represents 60% of your chance of getting into a great medical school, the other 40 can be divided among the other requirements: GWA, TOR, etc.‏

I started [reviewing] immediately after I passed the NLE. I did not study for NMAT right away after taking the NLE because I was preoccupied with the results.‏ I did try to study but it didn't work out because the thought of getting into the top 10 distracted me. It's best to take everything step by step.‏

I needed to make sure first that I'd passed the NLE so that my NMAT review effort wouldn't go to waste.‏

2. Did you enroll in a review center or did you study all on your own?‏

To be honest, I really hesitated enrolling in a review center.‏ Other people say that you could study on your own for the NMAT but since I have already *forgotten my high school lessons, I enrolled in a review center in EspaƱa.‏ It was really hard on my part because I had to pay 100% of the review fee before the first day of the review.‏

Besides, I originally thought that the results of all your NMAT takes are being averaged. So I worked really hard. Anyway, it's not being averaged.

You can retake NMAT maximum of three (3) times and is valid for 1-2 years. You can decide which NMAT score you want to declare/include in your Med School application requirements. So basically, you can choose your higher NMAT score.

3. Would you recommend enrolling in a review center or reviewing all by yourself for the NMAT?

I would recommend that you do both because that's what I did. And based on my result, it was pretty effective.‏

If you enroll in a review center, you'll be prepared because they will give you even harder set of practice tests.‏ The NMAT questions were easier as compared to the diagnostic exam, post review exams, etc. given by the review center. They'll prepare you to be over prepared so that when you take the actual NMAT, you'll be really prepared.‏

For reference, my post review result was 83 while my actual NMAT result was even higher so I think the review questions were really more difficult than the actual examination questions.‏ And that's an advantage in itself. The review will also help you if you're someone who wants to enroll in a medical school that requires MCAT.‏

Another thing is, when you're enrolled in a review center, you're obliged to self review.‏


Because topics given in the review or the lessons themselves were very spontaneous that you'll eventually get lost. Some concepts were so new (for a BSN graduate), and combined with a fast-paced instruction, I understood only bits. Those few concepts helped me when it came to my self review.‏

Besides there's Google and Wikipedia.‏

Related: Tips for Medical School Interview

3. Do you think the degree course (BSN) that you took also helped you during the review and the exam itself?‏

Siguro it helped me when it came to the sciences part of the exam, specifically the social sciences and the biology part.‏ But overall, nursing graduates are at a disadvantage when it comes to the whole exam itself.‏ Why?‏ Because I think the NMAT is specifically designed for BS Bio graduates. Besides, BSN is not really a preparatory for medicine.

As for the actual NMAT, since I've taken two board examinations already (MLE and NLE), I think my stamina in answering questions helped me a lot.‏

4. Among the 8 subjects, which is/are the most difficult for you?

Quantitative. Because we were not allowed to use a calculator so it was really a struggle. I answered the quantitative questions last. Besides, in addition to the number of questions, there's time limit so it was really a struggle.‏

5. Is there any books or references that you want to recommend?

I recommend that you read books on subjects you find hard to understand, or your weak points, and get the main ideas from them. Concepts only.‏ Additionally, I think when it comes to being objective during the exam, the MSE NMAT reviewer also helped.

6. So since you are in a relationship, how did you manage to budget your time?‏

Well, when I got too much intoxicated during my review, I called my girlfriend who was always available.‏

7. What specific subjects do you recommend future NMAT reviewees to focus on?‏

Since the NMAT is based on percentile rank, I recommend studying on subjects that most NMAT aspirants are weak on. So that would be numbers, specifically the quantitative and the physics part. And a little bit of computation in the chemistry part.‏ Also, bits of commonly used trigonometric algorithms.‏


Image source: davidicke.

1. Register early because from my experience, when the date is already too close to the deadline of registration, the system lags. Therefore, I recommend early registration.‏

2. Know thyself. Know your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the NMAT review or studying (know when you can focus and learn best), and also during the actual exam.‏

3. Get enough sleep.‏

4. Never cram on your review because I have this cousin who actually read the practice sets five minutes before the exam. It didn't really work out well.

5. Bring at least 2 pencils, an eraser and a sharpener. The first pencil should be used for computations while the other pencil should be used for shading (only).

6. Don't forget your application form.‏

7. Be early. I came to the testing site at 6:30 and at 7:45, the testing site was already crammed with vehicles so it's wise to come early in order to avoid hassle.‏

8. Know your room assignment and how to get there.‏

9. I recommend wearing T-shirt, pants, rubber shoes and jacket. It's not a fashion show and the room's air conditioned. Be comfortable.‏

10. Once you get there, familiarize yourself with the place.‏

11. You can bring foods. Although there are lots of fast food chains and stores, there are also too many examinees. To save time, effort and hassle, bring your own food and water.‏

12. Don't drink too much before the exam.‏ The least thing that you need is a last-minute trip to the bathroom.

13. Bring at least one valid ID for verification purposes.‏

14. Based on my MLE, NLE and NMAT experience, time management is highly essential. To be more specific, I answered the practice tests while wearing my wristwatch so I was more conscious of my speed. That way, I was able to divide my time more accordingly.‏

15. Wear a wristwatch. If you're a left-handed person, remove your watch and put it on a place where you can readily refer to it.


Image from: sweeps.


You'll be needing a wide vocabulary so I recommend that you read classic novels so that you'd be familiar with uncommon words.‏ Commonsense is also important.‏


Be mentally alert and focused. Write A-Z on a scratch paper with their corresponding numbers (1-26) so that you can easily distinguish patterns for questions that include letters and numbers.


Practice a lot. It also needs a little bit of reading comprehension.‏


Aside from keen eyesight, you also need to master the process of elimination. This is the part where you can allot the least amount of your time during the exam.‏

For the mirror images part, practice and eliminate. Never apply the power of C (which means that if you don't know the answer, choose letter C) because it doesn't really work (based from my experience); the final decision is still yours.‏

Related: Tips for Medical School Interview


Broaden your scope in reading because there are concepts that you can't find in High School books.‏


Do a lot of practice when in comes to the formulas and concepts commonly used in Physics 1 and Physics 2‏. And it also helps a lot to master the physics concepts in the practice sets.‏


For me, read Nursing psychiatry books. There were concepts taken from there.‏ Reading comprehension and commonsense are essential.‏


I took the liberty of reading a text book in chemistry. Title: Chemistry Demystified. I read the book from cover to cover and it really helped.‏

I know that my weakest subjects were Physics and Chemistry so I concentrated on them. You need books, not bullets, because books give you concepts and explanations.‏

You need a little bit of both memorization and understanding.‏ If you understand the concept, it's not hard to put it in memory. Chemistry is essential in the practice of medicine so I really took time to read a chemistry book. It'd be a great help in medical school.‏

Read a lot. A LOT.

Image source: pearlfectchassi.

Take some aptitude tests.‏

Image source: psychometric-success.

To achieve optimum potential, I reviewed for both the CSE (Civil Service Examination) and the NMAT. I was able to practice and evaluate my examination-taking skills when I took the CSE. Taking the CSE is also a good way to practice for the NMAT.‏ It's like hitting two birds with one stone. :)‏

You can also take sample aptitude tests from the internet.

Time tracking.

Image source: silverdoctors.
Also, speed during examination is so important.‏ Keep track of your time while answering review questions so that you'd be aware of your pace. If you're going slow, adjust.

Reason why time is so limited during the NMAT:

According to our NMAT review director, since the NMAT is an examination required of future doctors, it serves to make sure that those who will get into the profession are speed-thinkers and decisive in order to give the best solution or treatment in the shortest time possible.‏


The result is given EXACTLY "AFTER" 15 working days.‏

After the exam, forget about it. Since the result is released after 15 working days, leave it at that. You did your best naman eh.‏

Related: Tips for Medical School Interview


The tips and techniques I shared here are the ones that helped me. However, I can't assure you that these apply to everybody.‏

Visit the official website of CEM for more information.

*forgotten, forgot - well, of course he forgot because he did not do his best during his high school days so in order to make up for such insufficiency, he really studied hard for the NMAT. That's why we were so happy when he got his NMAT results, presenting with a very high percentile rank. :)

Image source: iipmchdacademics.

And for my own personal note, please do practice your shading and don't forget to pray. Although I didn't take the NMAT, I have taken several examinations myself and prayer really works wonders. :)

Image source: caribtots2teens.

I hope you also learned something from this post. You're welcome to share your comments. Have you also taken the NMAT? Share your experience! :)

Related: Tips for Medical School Interview

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