I Took NMAT Thrice

by - June 06, 2024

        National Medical Admission Test or commonly known as NMAT is a standardized test for students who wish to enter medical school in the Philippines. NMAT is being conducted by the Center For Educational Measurement, Inc. to test the students mental ability in order to determine if one is fit to study medicine. The exam is consists of 2 parts. The first part is more on Verbal, Inductive Reasoning, Quantitative, and Perceptual Acuity and the second part is about Biology, Physics, Social Science, and Chemistry.

        As the title says, I took NMAT thrice. Crazy, but it is the truth. I got a percentile rank of 46, 47, and 76 respectively.

      On my first try last January 2022, I actually enrolled in a known NMAT Review Center. However, I think they are not effective enough because they do not teach the students a test taking strategy. Test taking strategy is very important especially that the exam is a time pressured one. Imagine, you have subjects that require solving (Quantitative, Physics, and Chemistry) but that review center actually teaches you the step by step process in solving the math problem that usually takes 5 minutes to complete. Though, I commend them for teaching the whole process but it is not really that helpful because I wasted my time doing the tedious solution just to get the answer where in fact there is an easiest way to solve it right away. As I remembered, I lack time in answering the exam resulting in me getting a low PR.

        On my second try last January 2023, I got low PR again which is 1 score higher than my previous one. I enrolled again to a different review center and they just provided us with pre-recorded videos and a little bit of sample questions. As far as I remembered, some of their Inductive Reasoning sample questions came out in the exam. To be honest, I think it was my fault why I got such a low grade because I did not take my review session seriously since my head is still in vacation mode as I was just a recent board passer at that time.

        The moment I received my second PR, that was the time that reality sinks in. Med school application is finishing and yet my PR is not high. I cannot bear to take another gap year again because time is so precious to me. There are schools that can accommodate me with that score but I said to myself that I will not settle for less and will only enroll in my alumni school. So with great determination, I reviewed again for the May 2023 exam and finally, I got my desired PR! It is not high compared to what other students got but still, I am proud of myself for reaching it.

        For this third and last try, I enrolled in another review center again but I only attended a few of their lectures because I think NMAT is not their forte. During that time, they are still starters so I think they are not familiar with how NMAT works. For example, they used calculators in solving problems entirely which are useless because calculators are not allowed during the exam. What actually helped me in jumping from a score of 47 to 76 is doing a lot of practice tests. I was lucky that I stumbled upon a compilation of video materials and sample questions for NMAT. I only self-reviewed on my third try and used the material that I got which actually helped me to be prepared for my exam. So for those who are planning to do self-review, I think it is effective as long as you have the right materials with you.

        In conclusion, if you got a low PR on your first NMAT exam, do not down yourself. You can still try and try until you get your desired PR. However, you must also think that every time you will take the exam you still have to pay both the registration fee and test fee which costs 1,950 pesos during that time. Honestly, I’m just thankful that I have the financial capabilities to take the NMAT thrice because if not, I will really study hard on my first try so that I do not have to spend money again for the exam.

For further reading, you can check Strategies in Studying NMAT to help you prepare your upcoming exam.

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