Day 19 National Medical Achievement Test (NMAT)

Hi! Today is Day 19 out of 1000 days blog challenge.

What is National Medical Achievement Test? It’s a pre-requisite exam prior to taking Medicine proper in medical schools here in the Philippines.

I first took NMAT back in 2013 during in my third year BS Microbiology. My aim medical school back then was St. Lukes (SLCM). And that school wanted an NMAT score of 90+. I was pressured to reach that goal. At that time too, I was just a baby Christian. After first semester of that third year, I fasted from facebook and internet for that whole semestral break. And I did self study! I didn’t enrolled in any NMAT reviewer classes because those extra classes cost Php7000+ to Php10,000. And aside from financial burden, it also consumes time. So to save time and money, I studiously studied on my own. My supplemental study books were MSA NMAT reviewer which was not personally helpful for part 2 but trained me for part 1. And the other one was the reviewer or should I say a mock test given by CEM who organizes NMAT exams. After the exam and after waiting for more than a month, by January 2014 I got my results mailed to me in my provincial address. My first take score was 95! I reached my goal. I may not be as smart as my ex-classmate/ex-crush/ex-love who got 99+. 

But the sad thing with this score (95) is that it only lasts for two years. After I graduated, I didn’t study immediately. I took a one year rest from study and I didn’t work. And that’s the reason why I needed to take another NMAT.

So I paid another Php1900 for the NMAT application. As usual, I self study again BUT not as studious as I did in 2013. So the NMAT exam was October 25,2015. And it was held in my Alma Mater, UST! Just as it was in my first take. It is always held in UST for Manila NMAT exam takers. But definitely I was assigned into a different building. During my first take, I was assigned at the high school building. And at my second take, it was in accountancy building. So going back to self study, unlike my first take which I studied for a whole semestral break. In my second take, I only studied for like 1 to 2 weeks and not as studious as I was before. I practiced myself more on perceptual acuity (which I developed a strategy) and more on Social Sciences (like Psychology) and Physics. 

Prior to the exam date, I was still cramming to study my own notes. I decided to end that night and I told myself I can’t cram the next day morning which was prior to taking the exam. The worst thing that happened to that night and to the exam day was I got VERY VERY ANXIOUS I DIDN’T GOT A DECENT SLEEP! I disciplined myself that night not to walk around but to just lie down if I can’t sleep. Because I needed to wake up by 3am, I got very anxious of not getting late and trying to get a good night rest. To cut it short, I slept for like 1 hour. I got occasionally waken up by few sounds. Adding to not getting a decent sleep was I GOT NO DECENT BREAKFAST! Good thing I boiled eggs the night before my NMAT exam so that 1 piece of hard boiled egg was my breakfast. Stress, lack of sleep, no energy, waking up so early (3am!) added up all in one day! So if you think about it, I would not get a decent score because of the many stresses which happened to me that night and early morning. But I was wrong and you are wrong. Believe me Yahweh was with me all throughout! Yahweh fought the battle which I was too weak to fight! Yahweh continue to give me strength to walk and commute. Yahweh gave me a clear mind to think and strategize during the exam. Yahweh gave me a sense of time management! Because the travel from my house to my alma mater takes 1 hr and 30 minutes, lack of sleep and lack of energy, IT WAS VERY TIRING! When we arrived near my school, I only ate chocolate muffin and oats milk energy drink. I was taking note of my calorie intake that day so that I could strategize how long can my body stand and be awake. And when I arrived to my assigned building, the line is so long. I can’t believe Yahweh gave me the strength to be in that line standing still and considering the assigned room for me is at the fourth floor with no elevators BUT STAIRS! Whew! What a day it was! And because they said the call time was 7am that doesn’t mean the exam started immediately. It actually started past 8am. For more than an hour since I ate that muffin, I waited in lines. And I DIDN’T USE MY TIME TO REVIEW. I just waited and sang worship songs in my mind. And prior to taking the exam but I was already in the room, I ate a lot of sweet bubble gums to give me small boosts of sugar! I needed sugar that morning so badly! Then the first part of test came which consists of verbal, inductive reasoning, quantitative, and perceptual acuity. I find it just fine but there are many tricky questions. I thank Yahweh for helping me to think. As I answered my exam, I would silently sang worship songs in my head again. As if those worship songs are my spiritual food for the day! Then lunch break came, good thing the accountancy building is the same building for fast foods which was on the ground and second floor. I immediately went for McDonalds because I know their food is HIGH IN CALORIES! So I ate cheeseburger, fries and hot fudge sundae. It gave me the sugar I needed. Then came the second part of the exam which was biology, social sciences, physics and chemistry. I thank Yahweh that during my second take, the second part of the exam is purely principles especially for physics and chemistry. Unlike my first take, it had a lot of problem solving for physics and chemistry which I had a hard time. 

During lunch break and after the exam, I wondered at how many people like me who wanted to be a medical doctor. There were lots of foreign nationals like Koreans, Nigerians, Indians, Iranians, etc. I even saw one elderly man taking the exam (because I saw he had an exam permit too) in my assigned building. So there were a variety of ages and races jam-packed in UST. For me, so many students are advantageous because if I was good enough than the rest, a huge population would give me a higher percentage or score than the rest of them. Truly there were many NMAT applicants. 

After the exam, I asked my dad to meet me and treat me food at Isetann. We ate bulalo. Then I thought we would take LRT 2 again but I was wrong. We took a bus from Recto towards Cainta Junction. I didn’t slept all throughout the trip but I had a decent nap (for a few minutes!) while the bus was in San Juan City. 
Also that day, October 25,2015 I was trying to walk more 10,000 steps. So imagine the huge stress on me that day. And the sad thing, I didn’t reach my goal of 10,000 steps because we took the bus rather than the train. So that day I only had 9071 steps. 😟

Then I had it indicated in my exam ID that I like to send my score through courier. So I waited more than a month. During my first take, I had it sent my results through courier and it reached the house safely. But the second take result is so grueling, I didn’t receive my score at all.

I was trying to patiently wait for my score to be mailed to my door. The results were finally released November 27,2015 through online. But I put my self control so that I could be old fashioned getting excited over a mail. The sad thing is it never arrived at my door and CEM NMAT emailed me my score and I saw my score! It was 93. Not bad for someone who was extremely press to the limits during the exam day. And I am not kidding around or lying. My score for my second take is really 93!

And though I know my score already, but I desperately needed my score on paper. I decided to go to CEM Makati after the Christmas break. And that was January 8,2016 the day I finally got my score on paper. There were no excitement. The excitement was spoiled because the courier failed to deliver my score to my house! So I bought my results on paper for Php50 per copy (more likely a dollar). I decided to take two copies because of the stressful day just to go to Makati City even though I would just apply to ONE medical school only. 

screenshot of google map which helped me navigate in Makati City

©Rina, CEM’s office facade in Makati City



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