The IMAT is just around the corner, and what you do these days will likely determine what your next whole year will look like. This is going to be scary for everyone, but do not worry. Stress can be destructive to your score even if you are fully prepared regarding your study. These next 2 weeks will be about trying to minimise your stress and making your test-taking experience as easy as possible.
New IMAT Simulators
We have released new IMAT simulators in the exact same format as the new IMAT 2023 so that you can get a feel for how the new format will impact you. Remember to do these simulators as if they were the real exam. They will give you the ability to better understand how to manage your time in the real exam, and what sections to start with.
How to Boost Confidence in the IMAT
Confidence is one of the most underrated factors determining your IMAT success chances. Let’s say you started the exam, got stuck on the first question for 2 minutes, and then realised you could not answer it. You will feel awful for having wasted your time, and panic will set in. In the back of your head, you feel like this exam is already over, and you now start worrying about not getting into med school. You are now not focusing on the IMAT anymore, and even things you know start to confuse you. You have now sabotaged your chances of getting into med school this year.
Let’s now look at another scenario. You start the exam and the first question you do is easy. You feel great! You just got an easy mark in no time at all. You then move to the next question, and it’s fairly easy as well. Another easy mark! You feel great, your confidence is up, and even when the hard question shows up, you skip it for now and move on to something easier. You save the question for later. By the time the exam is over you have confidently answered all the easy and intermediate questions quickly, and have had time to tackle most of the hard questions. In this scenario, confidence worked for you, not against you.
Hopefully, these two scenarios show you how important confidence is in the IMAT exam. How can you boost your confidence in the IMAT?
Answer the Easier Sections First!
The way to have confidence work for you is to start the exam off well, this gives you momentum and you start to feel the exam is going great. It becomes a positive feedback cycle that keeps you feeling great and clear-headed in the exam.
What is the easiest section? This is something only you can answer. If you have put most of your study in biology, it will likely be this section. Thus you should in this case start with biology. If you are a physics master, then start with this section. Basically, do the sections and also the questions that you feel you can answer the quickest and in the easiest way.
While this choice varies between test takers, in general, most people find that logical reasoning sometimes involves very time-consuming questions. This is of course not the case for every question, but you should be able to look at a logical reasoning question and tell whether you will be able to solve it quickly or not. If it looks very foreign and new to you, leave it until the end. This same logic can in fact be applied to all sections of the IMAT.
After having practised our IMAT simulators, and all the past IMAT papers, you should know which sections of the exam you will attempt. Do not decide this on the day of the IMAT! You must have a clearly planned-out strategy before the day of the test, which includes which order you will attempt the sections! This will remove a tonne of stress on the day itself.
Print IMAT Past Papers!
The IMAT is a physical paper exam, so you should be prepared to write the exam on paper. Thus you should print off past IMAT papers and make sure you are used to solving them as if they were the real thing. This will avoid feelings of unfamiliarity on the actual test day.
Visit the IMAT Venue Beforehand!
Many of you will be taking the exam in a city or country that is different from the one you live in. Thus, it is important that you do not get lost on the actual day of the exam. Not being able to find the venue is a sure way to elevate your stress levels. Thus you should visit the venue at least the day before, and make sure you know how long it takes to get to that venue. On the actual day, it means you will arrive on time, and not be worried about not finding the exam.
One thing that worries everyone is the possibility of failure. This kind of stress can unfortunately also impact your grades on the day. While it is hard to remove completely, remember this… You can always do the IMAT 2024. This is not the end, and medical school is probably the hardest university program to match into. It will not be the end of the world if you do not pass the IMAT 2023. There is always next year!