Part of the journey towards becoming a doctor is taking the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT). NMAT is a standardized exam for aspiring applicants of medical schools. The test is administered by the Center for Educational Measurement, Inc. (CEM) in March and October every year. Any aspiring med school applicant in the Philippines is required to take the exam.
Because of quarantine restrictions brought about by the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NMAT is currently being administered online. According the the official website of CEM, the online NMAT is still timed and supervised by live proctors and AI-powered systems. To be able to proceed with the online examinations, you will need:
- A quiet, distraction-free room where you can stay alone to take the exam
- A laptop or desktop with Windows Operating System
- Working webcam
- Stable internet connection with speed of at least 512 kbps
- An application that you need to download and install on your computer to be able to take the exam securely, which will be provided to test takers
Despite preparing the listed exam necessities above, nothing compares to when you're actually taking it. Candy Rookie Isa Sarrosa, a BS Pharmacy student from the University of Sto. Tomas, shares her experience taking NMAT online, and here's what you can expect if you're planning to take it, too:
Online NMAT takes less time.
According to Isa, NMAT prior to the pandemic would take around five and a half hours. Exam takers will also have to take into account the travel time as they have to go to the designated testing site. Now that it's online, the exam only takes four hours.
The number of items is also less for the online version.
During the on-site NMAT, the number of items is 40 per subtest for Part 1 and 50 per subtest for Part 2. Now that it's online, the items are reduced to 30 per subtest for both parts. Online exam takers are given two and a half hours to accomplish Part 1 and one and a half hours to accomplish Part 2.
Questions appear one by one.
In the reading comprehenstion section, Isa explains that questions can only be viewed one by one during the online NMAT compared to having multiple questions in one test paper during the usual on-site NMAT. This is something you'll need to take into account especially if you're trying to finish the exam on time.
You'll need to be in a quiet place.
Because it's still an exam and there is still a proctor present to monitor test takers online, silence during exam proper is still implemented. Isa mentions that there were actually exam takers who got reprimanded for making noise. It's best to still follow the guidelines even though you're in the comforts of your own home.
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