Get High NMAT Scores

Friday, September 12, 2014 Stef dela Cruz 126 Comments

The National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) is a series of exams you need to take to get into medical school. Are you about to take the NMAT? If you are, here are a few tips on how you can ace it.

NMAT updateHeads up, future doctors! Updates available!

Good news! I updated this post with reasons you’re NOT getting high NMAT scores, just in case you’ve already taken the NMAT before. More updates and other NMAT articles when you scroll down.

Remember, different universities offering medicine as a course will have different takes on what NMAT score is considered the “passing” rate. Some universities, for instance, will consider an NMAT percentile score of 65 as adequate. Others will consider applicants with a lower score of 50. In other words, if you want to get accepted into medical school, find out what the “passing” NMAT score is for every university you are eyeing.

Now, here’s what you’ve been itching to read: five tips on getting high NMAT scores! You’ve been very patient. You deserve to know.

Tips on Getting High NMAT Scores

You can take NMAT as many times as you want. Just remember that the scores of all exam takers are summarized in a booklet and sent to universities. Getting a high score doesn’t mean you’ll succeed in medicine, but it sure does get one foot in the door!

Even if you get an NMAT percentile score that meets a medical school’s requirements, other applicants might have scored higher. That can hurt your chances of getting accepted! I say, aim to get a high NMAT score from the get-go.

NMAT tip #1: Study physics.

Caveat: No, physics doesn’t get a higher significance in the exam. There are eight subtests in the NMAT: verbal, inductive reasoning, quantitative, perceptual acuity, biology, physics, social science, and chemistry - and all of them have equal footing.

The reason I recommend this tip on getting a high NMAT score is this: not too many people are very fond of physics and are probably going to score low in this test. Since NMAT gives out scores based on percentile, it is best to get really high scores on exams where majority of exam takers are bound to have really low scores!

You can take extra credits in physics if you wish; it's an extra two months of studying. But if you want a good chance of getting into a good medical school, it's worth it.

I remember memorizing all the formulas related to Physics, tacking them to my wall so that I see them everyday. Nerdy, I know, but hey, it worked!

Since NMAT gives out scores based on percentile, it is best to get really high scores on exams where majority of examinees are bound to have really low scores.

NMAT tip #2: Take an NMAT refresher course.

I did this before I took the NMAT, but I didn’t go back after the first day of lessons – I know, I’m not a very patient student! But I still recommend this because most NMAT review centers offer a trial NMAT exam right before they start with the lessons.

Those trial tests apply the same statistics and demographics as the actual NMAT exam, so you get a glimpse of how you'll fare in the actual exams. (In the trial test, I scored 98, which isn’t too far from my actual score.)

Three down, two more tips on how to get high NMAT scores to go. Ready?

NMAT tip #3: Pay attention to calculus, trigonometry, and other areas of math which you are totally unfamiliar with.

You probably hate math. Many do, so I don’t blame you! But you better learn how to love this tricky subject if you’re aiming for a high NMAT score.

Most colleges do not teach calculus and trigonometry to their students, which means that acing these will give you an edge.

NMAT tip #4: Take a lot of practice tests on inductive reasoning.

This part of the test may rely on your testmanship. Although your performance on the entire NMAT can reflect your testmanship skills, it is with inductive reasoning trial tests and reviewers that you learn about patterns you never even knew existed!

Before today, you might never have heard that there are predictable number patterns or that there are different shapes and patterns which are supposed to appear in series. You will learn many techniques that you otherwise would never have figured out without the help of reviewers that teach patterns in particular.

Of course, to ace the NMAT, you are going to have to do great on all subtests. But with the above tips on how to pass NMAT, you are on your way there. Before I forget, here’s one more tip on how to pass the NMAT: Be a good student!

Unfortunately, this suggestion might be too late. If you study hard from grade school up to college, you learn the ropes. You get a good background on grammar, math, basic physics, and basic chemistry in your elementary and high school years while you continue soaking up biology and social science during pre-med school. After all, NMAT is an IQ test and an achievement test rolled into one.

Heads up! Surprised smile
There are important updates!

NMAT update #1: If you’ve already taken the NMAT and you’re not too happy with the results, you might also want to find out why you’re not getting high NMAT scores. It’s time to lay the cards on the table. Be warned: The truth might be hard to swallow.

NMAT update #2: If you’ve never taken the NMAT before, here’s a nice list of NMAT tips for first-time takers! Don’t take the NMAT when you’re not prepared. Read and be in-the-know.

NMAT update #3: If you suck at tests, it’s time you learned about testmanship skills. Be test-smart, starting today!

NMAT Scores: What They Mean

Subtract your score from 100 - that should indicate your ranking. For instance, if you get a percentile score of 75, subtract 75 from 100 and you get 25. You then belong to the top 25 percent of all NMAT examinees.

Here's another way of looking at it: An NMAT percentile score of 70 means that you scored higher than 70 percent of all NMAT exam takers.

If you get an NMAT score of, say, 99+, what does that mean? That is actually the highest possible score you can ever get in NMAT. Put simply, an NMAT percentile score of 99+ means you are among the top ten of 1000 examinees. If about five thousand people took the test, then you scored higher than the top 50!

I hope these tips on how to get a high NMAT score have helped you! If you get into the medical school of your dreams, then study like there’s no tomorrow! If you really want to become a doctor, give the NMAT your best. Let me know if you have any more practical tips; contact me!

You are probably asking why I am doling out tips on passing the NMAT. To answer your question, I got a percentile score of 99+ on the NMAT, something I am very grateful for.

I hope that based on the fortunate results of my NMAT experience, you get a better shot at getting high NMAT scores. But please take these humble tips with a grain of salt; these tips might have helped me, but they may not work for you given your circumstances.

I hope my experience will translate to useful tips for all aspiring doctors out there who want to get high NMAT scores! You can also read my more recent article on five NMAT review tips, in case you need more.

If you want to check your NMAT score online, you can check right here on my website! Just get your NMAT application form and take note of your application number.

Check the NMAT Results from December 2010 to April 2014 here.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. Hi miss stef... Congrats on your Nmat percentile rank.... I'm always dreaming of getting sAme rank as yours but unfortunately I only got 9. What does that mean? Pls reply.. Tnx?

  2. Hello, Ms/ Mr Anonymous. An NMAT percentile score of 9 means you scored higher than 9% of the exam takers. This means about 91% scored higher than you did. In UST, I believe they accept applicants with at least a percentile score of 60 or 65. :)

  3. Maybe I should take another NMAT test. How is that, do they average everything?

  4. hi! which among the review centers can you recommend?

  5. Hi! actually got a high score on my first take. I'm planning to have a second try, hoping to improve the score that I got. Anyway, any recommendations for review centers? :)

  6. Anonymous, I'm not sure what review centers still exist right now - I took my NMAT 12 years ago. :) And I didn't exactly attend the review that I enrolled for, so I can't vouch for any review center. Sorry I can't help you out there. But try asking your batchmates and schoolmates (esp those who already passed).

  7. hi! if I scored 90 in my first exam, and I want to take it again hoping that I can have a higher score, and eventually got a lower one for example 88, can I use the first exam result instead?

  8. Hi Ms. Stef. :) Wat are the areas in NMAT that needs refreshment? I actually believe I am weak in basics like Biology, Chemistry but my grades in school are good. What can you recommend me?

  9. It depends entirely on you. What subjects you need refresher courses on will not necessarily be the same as, say, your friend's. Try taking review courses for all subjects if you're not sure which ones you need work on - it's the only way to find out what topics are actually covered in the NMAT.

  10. Hi dra. stef. I'll b taking the NMAT this december 2.I really have a hard time studying chemistry and i also struggle with the Hidden Figure on the perceptual aquity part, any tips? thanks...

  11. It's usually harder to learn a subject if you have poor background knowledge. For instance, learning how to balance an equation will be difficult if you haven't mastered math. Learning how to write chemical formulas will be impossible if you don't know the charges and the free electrons present in common elements.

    Develop a good background before you move on. You can't learn by skipping subjects, especially in Chemistry.

    And remember that we all have our limits. No matter how we try to learn as much as we can, there will be others who will find it easy and others who will lag behind. We can help ourselves only to a certain extent; we have to discover our strengths - and weaknesses - and capitalize on our strengths while minimizing our weaknesses. Never assume you will learn EVERYTHING you need to learn for NMAT.

  12. Hi...Your info is really helpful...i have a we need to study calculus and high level maths and physics for NMAT? or will basic knowledge of math and physics be enough?

  13. Calculus, trigonometry, and geometry are all part of NMAT. Make sure to study them. :)

  14. Hi Dr. Stef. Wow, awesome precentile rank!!!!
    I took the NMAT last March of this year, and boy I wasnt ready.
    I didn't finish the first part. I remember answering only 5 items in the math part and 2 to 3 items in perceptual acuity. :( I got nervous... I wasnt expecting it to be like this :( I finished the second part. My percentile rank is only 40 :( What happens to the unanswered items, would there be a big deduction?

  15. Hi miss stef, will stock knowledge do if I were to take NMAT? I never reviewed. Will all branches of chem be included in the test? Will the MSA reviewer be helpful too?

  16. Thanks a lot....but do people with a bio background really need to know all that?!!

  17. If it's a high NMAT score you're after, then yes. It doesn't matter what course you took if you want to get a high score. What matters is how much you know in all the NMAT subjects.

  18. Anonymous #15, the answer to your question depends on how much your stock knowledge is, of course. Your knowledge may be very different from another person's - there is no definite answer to your question.

    You ask if your knowledge is "enough". Again, it depends on what you mean. Enough for what? A mere 65? A high 99? Your efforts to study will depend ultimately on your goals. :) Good luck!

  19. Anonymous #14, our scores depend on how much we answer right and how much everybody else answered correctly. Sadly, it won't matter if you got an item wrong or if you hadn't answered it - it's still an X, if you know what I mean. :/

    In any case, the great thing is that you can be better prepared the next time you take the NMAT! You now know how tough the test is. Now, you know how exactly to prepare! Good luck. :)

  20. Hey:)...Does pre-medical include everything thats needed for NMAT or is it a different thing related to MD(in Philippines).

    Some people choose the type of pre-med that they want to do...I don't get it!!...isn't it a compulsory thing before MD(which includes a proper fixed syllabus)
    and people take NMAT after Pre-med right?!

  21. Hi Miss Stef! I just want to ask for an advice.hehe..I took NMAT last March without a proper review and only got a 60 percentile rank. My parents are urging me to take it this December but I'm not prepared. I'm planning to take it on March; however, i'm afraid that I won't make it in time for the submission of applications for med school. The exam will be on Dec 2 but I still can't make up my mind. What do you think? =]

  22. hi miss stef! im a bio student, currently in my 2nd year. if i take the nmat in my 4th year first sem, then have a retake on second sem, would they credit the score i got from my 2nd take? or would they take the average?
    also, they say that some med schools prioritize honor students. is that true? :D
    thanks and God bless!


  23. Hello Dr. dela Cruz. Are third year BS BIO students now allowed to take nmat? Thank you.

  24. hi ms. stef! i've been studying really hard for the past few months because i'm going to take nmat for the fourth time already this december. my past scores were only around 50 so i kept on taking the exam to get a higher score. unfortunately, i wasn't aware that they will average the scores if you take it for the third time. i really want to enter a good med school. but i tried to compute, if they will average my scores since this would be my fourth take already, the highest score i could get would be around 65 only. :(

  25. Hi Doc Stef..

    I chanced upon your blog and I sincerely find your tips in acing the NMAT really helpful. I would like to be a bit more inquisitive, though. I am having a hard time completing Part I of the test within the specified timeframe (3 hours). Would you be able to share a word or two on this? Did you have the chance to practice your shotgun shading skill or test the power of your psychic Mongol pencil? Did you follow any particular pattern in choosing which to answer first?

    What I'm planning to do is answer Part I this way: Perceptual Acuity, Inductive Reasoning, Quantitative and English. I am thinking the first three subtests may take more time but at least I know I can land the accurate answer if only I'd give it enough computation/thinking time. It's easier to have an initial inkling on what the answer might be when it comes to English and I'm hoping I'd be lucky enough to cramp all answers within the remaining minutes.

    I just want to hear your two cents on this. Please bear with me and the jittery-aspiring-medical-student syndrome that I seem to have.

    Thank you,

  26. Anonymous #20, nevertheless, try. If you really want to become a doctor, then pray that your grades, NMAT, entrance exam, and interview will help you get into a good school. :) Good luck!

    Neverlander, I believe it should be the other way around: take the EASY parts first. That means you get a higher chance of finishing more test questions, because you say that you always run out of time.

    Focusing on the difficult questions first might take way too much time; what's 20 correct answers which you think are difficult, compared to 50 correct answers which you deem easy? Remember that the goal is to get more items answered, regardless of difficulty.

  27. hi doc,

    i have a question,since i took up nmat dec 2011,i believe it still accepted to some schools with nmat cut off of 35 above,, my score is 36<<< since i work in a pharmacy, i have no time to retake,i think it will b eoalright for slu,perpetual and some toher school right??? hopefully i can enroll for 2013 school year

  28. DBZ, some schools are not very particular with NMAT scores. But just because you meet the cutoff does not ensure that you will get accepted. For instance, if you and your friends are fighting for slots in med school, the one with a better academic record/ NMAT score/ entrance test scores is going to have a better shot at getting the slot. Good luck!

  29. Hi Doc! I'll be taking the NMAT next week. We just had a simulation exam in our review class yesterday and I found out that by the time I got to the perceptual acuity section of Part 1, I almost couldn't think anymore. It was hard for me to decipher the mirror images and whatnot. In the actual NMAT, would you recommend answering the perceptual acuity part first over the rest? Or should it be the quantitative part? I do okay in Math.

  30. Nicolette, I always tell NMAT test takers to answer the easiest tests first. If you can answer the Math test without breaking into a sweat, go ahead! In the end, the order of tests should be made by you because you're the one who knows your strengths and weaknesses the most. :) Good luck!

  31. Do they give you scratch paper so you can write out the math problems?

  32. Hi Ms. Stef. Where did you finish your Bachelor's Degree and where did you finsih med school?

  33. Hi, Jolly, you may read about my educational background here.

  34. Hi doc! I took the NMAT yesterday for the 2nd time. And I wish to get a 90+ ranking. But I feel anxious about the results. So my questions are, as a 99+ ranker,how did you feel after taking the test? were you sure you answered all of the items correctly? If the perfect score for part 1 is 160, and 200 for part 2- how many correct answers did you think you got before seeing your results?

    I'm very anxious and frustrated since I wasn't sure of 40% of the answers I gave in the test. :(

  35. AT, I usually feel confident after exams - I know, I get too cocky sometimes and it's not good, hehe! But there really is no reason for you to be anxious for now; it won't change your score and it will just stress you out.

    Pray, relax, and hope that your NMAT score is just as you want it to be. :) Good luck!

  36. "Do they give you scratch paper so you can write out the math problems?"

    Yes, I believe they do.

  37. "Hey:)...Does pre-medical include everything thats needed for NMAT or is it a different thing related to MD(in Philippines). Some people choose the type of pre-med that they want to do...I don't get it!!...isn't it a compulsory thing before MD(which includes a proper fixed syllabus) and people take NMAT after Pre-med right?!" -- commenter #21

    But what is really "needed" for med school? If you say a good background in math, science, and a good sense of logic, then those are all the things that are "tested" in the NMAT. In the Philippines, students can choose whatever pre-med course they want AS LONG AS the needed subject credits and other prerequisites are met. :)

  38. "Hi Miss Stef! I just want to ask for an advice.hehe..I took NMAT last March without a proper review and only got a 60 percentile rank. My parents are urging me to take it this December but I'm not prepared. I'm planning to take it on March; however, i'm afraid that I won't make it in time for the submission of applications for med school. The exam will be on Dec 2 but I still can't make up my mind. What do you think? =]" -- commenter #22

    Here's what I think. I think you should learn to make up your mind, with or without pressure from your parents. YOU will be (or won't be) the doctor. And if you do become a doctor, YOU will be making decisions left and right. Start with making your decision on when to take the exams! :) Good luck.

  39. Commenters #23 and 24, oh, I think it's best if you asked the exam body your questions. They have more authority when it comes to answering technical questions regarding the NMAT. I aced the test, but I didn't make the rules, hihi! ;) Good luck!

  40. Dr. Stef, I have read your blog a few days before I took the NMAT last December 2 and I found your tips very useful and logical. Btw, I am an ECE graduate and have no pre-med course as a background. I was told by the Assistant Dean of the College of Medicine here in La Salle Bacolod that a pre-med course as a prerequisite for Med School has already been abolished. That is great news for me because I can finally pursue my dream to become a Physician.

    To be honest, I am very anxious about the results whether I aced it or not. I am just hoping and praying that my efforts were more than enough to get me into Med school. :)

    Reading through all of the comments of your readers and your respective replies to them, it is just very admirable how you answered them! It is full of wisdom. You're not only intelligent but blessed with a gift of giving out logical, helpful, and wise advice. :) And for that, I thank you for your passion towards helping other people and making such great effort to inspire others to do their best! Your words inspire me! ^_^

    God bless you and Happy Holidays! :)

  41. Thank you, Boris, and I hope you fared well in your exams. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

  42. Thank you so much Dr. Steph for your useful tips..I successfully passed last December's NLE, with that, it is then my fervent hope that I made to pass the NMAT conducted last December 2 (with fingers crossed).Continue inspiring others and be a blessing always to everyone. You're an inspiration to all of us doctor-wanna-be's..I just wanted to be like you, a registered nurse and a licensed physician in profession.

    God speed and season's greetings to you doctor....:)

  43. Thank you, Jarelle, and best of luck to you! I am just a lucky girl, sharing her luck with others through my articles. :) If they serve as an inspiration, that's great! At least my writing is not for nothing.

    Advanced Happy Holidays!

  44. hi stef how many hours did u in a day for ur NMAT........iam feelin 2 lazy to start.....its not that i cant do its just that i find it a bit boring.....especially the abstract part......

  45. hi! I took the nmat exam last dec 2, its my third exam already. Will they average my nmat grades with my 3rd grade? btw, who will average it? is it the admission committee of the school or the NMAT org itself? Thanks!

  46. hi, its pangga..I love your tips..thank you so much, I wanted reviewers especially subjects on part I of the NMAT..I hard the hard time looking for it..what can you recommend? thank you so much. God bless you

  47. Hi Doc, I'm so glad i found this article, and I have just but one query, I took my 1st NMAT last 2011 and scored 86 then I took it again last Dec 2 in hopes of getting a higher percentile rank, and unfortunately, I only got 73, badluck indeed :(. Is it required to give out my latest NMAT score or is it okay if i get to choose the higher one so i can end up in a much better school? Thanks In advance!

  48. Perhaps it's alright to give your first test score. But they might ask how many times you took the NMAT and what your scores are for all your attempts. If they do, be honest and show them you've got integrity! :)

  49. Anonymous, I can't recall how long I took the NMAT. But I finished it quickly. I tend not to review my answers, that's why. Of course, you should always review your answers - don't follow what I did! :)

  50. Hello, I took the NMAT this month and I only got a 75. I'm pretty bummed about it because I wanted to get an 80 or 90+ score. I'm planning to take it again next year, and is it true that the March test is easier than the December one? How did you study for it?

  51. Hi DOC STEF! Im from Nikko from Davao. I only happen to read your blog this afternoon. Had I read it months BEFORE the NMAT, I think I could get a good score (for my chosen medschool offering low tuition fees because we dont have much money but i REALLY want to become a doctor like you someday). I only got 55 percentile rank (not good, twas my fault for not reviewing at all) but Im really dedicated on pursuing this dream.

    I would just like to ask:
    After taking the December NMAT, I will take risk on having the April exams (from Davao to Manila because only Manila is offering during April) hoping to get higher score. Are the speculations true that April exams are more easier than Dec because of LESS number of takers or the QUESTIONS are lot more easier? And is it possible to tkae the NMAT THREE times? Hoping for your help! Thanks a lot! :)

  52. I'm planning to take the nmat for the 4th time. Are they gonna average that along with my first three nmat scores?

  53. "if i take the nmat in my 4th year first sem, then have a retake on second sem, would they credit the score i got from my 2nd take? or would they take the average?" - Josh

    Please ask the school you want to enroll in. Different schools will have different policies.

    "Also, they say that some med schools prioritize honor students. is that true? :D thanks and God bless!" -josh

    Hm. If you own a med school, would you prioritize students with failing grades or honor students? :)

  54. Oh wow, so many questions! :)

    Let me start with questions regarding the April and December tests. Many say the April tests are easier, but I don't think that's the case. With standard deviation, a small number of exam takers will mean a greater deviation from one score to another. That means high test scores become way higher and low test scores run the risk of becoming much lower. I can't seem to explain it clearly, but look up standard deviation on Google so that you may get a glimpse of how it works.

    I've also received requests for links to NMAT reviewers or sample tests. Sorry, but I can't provide any. The easiest way to try an NMAT test is to take a trial test at a review center. I wouldn't recommend looking for leakage, either; please don't ask me for leaked tests! :)

    As for having all scores averaged, please ask the school you want to enroll in. In the end, the standards and requirements will depend on the school. Some medical schools even accept a score of 50! I've tried to answer this question several times but more people ask the same question, so here's a great solution: please ask the school you're interested in if they are willing to credit ANY of your NMAT scores or if they will average them all. I'm sure they can provide you answers that aren't hearsay, yes?

    Good luck to all of you! Remember that the NMAT is just a small step towards becoming a doctor. Don't forget to read about these NMAT review tips as well. And Merry Christmas! ^_^

  55. Hi Ms. Stef!! :) I took the NMAT last dec 2 and got a percentile of 89 :( I want to retake the exam next april/march and see if I can make my score higher because I want to apply in UP med. But I'm not sure on how I can make my score higher :( I enrolled in a review center last time... should I enroll again or just stick with self-reviewing (read books)? :( :( I scored low on math and inductive reasoning :(

  56. Hi! When did you take your NMAT? March/April or December? Tnx!

  57. Happy New Year!!!! I found ur answers to my queries extremely Helpful!!!.... thanks a lot!! where are you in Philippines?

  58. hi, im 33 years old licensed non-practicing med tech. been thinking of going back to med school. haven't taken my nmat yet. frankly, im nervous bec i've been out of school for so long. feel ancient already..anyway, i hope to get on with it hopefully ace the exam.. question is, im a working mom, i there a review book that i can use or you think is better if enroll in review center instead.. thanks so much and good day..

  59. I recommend enrolling in a review center because they will make you take a test at the start of the review that tells you your standing. When I took that test, I got 98 (which was close to my real NMAT score of 99+). That way, you can gauge how well you will be doing in your actual NMAT.

    Sitting in on the classes is another matter, however. It all depends on your learning style. In the end, only you can answer your own questions best when it comes to attending reviews. Good luck!

  60. Hello po. I kinda wanna take the NMAT again. Is it really given twice a year? I've been checking the sched date online, and it's not up yep. It's really making me very anxious and I don't know if I should start hitting the books now. When is the 1st exam of the year usually given? I'm thinking of enrolling this year and reading in advance but I don't wanna bum myself if there wouldn't be any before June. Hoping for your response. Thanks.

  61. i got 8, planning to take the nmat again. so stressful. which area should i focus on?

  62. QUESTION: "i got 8, planning to take the nmat again. so stressful. which area should i focus on?" -- Anonymous

    ANSWER: Dear Anonymous, I think you should focus on Reading Comprehension. That's because the very first tip in this blog post has already answered your question and you obviously didn't read it - or if you did, you didn't remember it! :) Just kidding; I hope you don't take offense. But kidding aside, you should learn to assimilate information before you can answer test questions correctly. Good luck on your second try! :)

  63. Hi, Doc Stef. I'm currently a graduating Biology student at UST. UST Med admission results are just recently out and unfortunately..i failed to get a slot... :(

    I plan for a reconsideration....
    my GWA are quite fair, although below the required grade of 2.0 and above...I also already took two NMATs last March 2012 and Dec 2012 and garnered a percentile rank of 82 and 96, respectively.
    What do you think, Doc Stef? Is there a good chance that I'll be reconsidered by UST med? What do they usually look into during a reconsideration? :)

  64. In my time, I remember the dean making marks on a piece of paper. She would make one mark each time a non-qualified candidate came to her office to appeal for reconsideration. I guess she was giving points for determination. :)

    But that was OUR dean, who has long retired her post. The current dean may have a different criterion for reconsidering candidates.

    If you don't get into med school, what are your plans? I don't want to be negativistic, but there are MANY applicants who have met all the requirements yet didn't get in. Of course, they will be reconsidered before other candidates who didn't meet the requirements.

    For instance, if there are 200 other candidates who didn't get in but have better qualifications than you, then the dean might think of reconsidering their appeals before he/ she thinks of reconsidering yours. There is a ranked list that the dean looks at, in case any of the previously accepted candidates does not push through with his enrollment.

    Good luck! You're at a crossroads in your life and I hope you find the answer you've been looking for. :)

  65. Hi miss Stef what does it mean when i got a percentile rank of 7?

  66. Hi, Kathleen. Thanks for dropping by. I discussed the interpretation of grades under this blog post; all you have to do is apply what you've read and you'll get it. :) Good luck.

  67. Hi Doctor,
    I have been reading your blog on the NMAT, and it has proved most helpful. It is very hard to find information about the NMAT (possibly because I am in the US).
    Like I stated above, I am currently living in the US. I am recent college graduate. I did slack off a bit in college so my understanding in the pre-med requirements (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) is too solid. I have a couple of questions that hopefully you can answer:

    1) I remember in one of your posts you said that you memorized physics equations. Two questions: (a) How were you able to practice after you memorized? And (b) exactly what parts of physics should I know (i.e. Mechanics, Waves, Electricity, Lights, Fluids, etc.)?

    2) Chemistry - same two questions as above

    3) Biology – same two questions as above (this subject I am somewhat decent in that I majored in Micro/Molecular Biology/Genetics)

    4) Are you familiar with the MSA study guide by Allan Paul I. Carreon sold in some Philippines bookstores (I bought it because it was the only study material I could find regarding NMAT)? If so would you recommend it as a useful study tool?

    5) How can I prepare for Inductive Reasoning? I am pretty terrible at the shapes questions. Would you recommend just goggling for some kind of practice?

    6) Is scratch paper provided for any/all parts of the test (you may have answered this already, but I do not recall)?

    7) Being born here in the US (both of my parents are from the Philippines), I do not speak a word of Filipino. In a practice question in the MSA reader there was one question in the verbal that had a Filipino text; there was also a translation. But they asked me about a translation mistake in the text, and not speaking Filipino I did not know. My question - will I be at a major disadvantage not speaking Filipino?

    8) How exactly can you study specifically for the NMAT? I understand you can review Physics, Chem, etc. But How can you practice answering actual NMAT questions accurately and quickly with lack of practice tests (Maybe they are more available in the Philippines, but there are next to none here in the US. All the practice material for med school, here, is MCAT study material)?

    9) I also wish to attend CIM or Cebu Doctors. I have tried researching for cut offs for NMAT, but I cannot find any. Would you happen to know or be able to refer me? Any other information/tips regarding the schools would be much appreciated!
    I know it is a lot of questions. Sorry! Hopefully you can answer them, and hopefully quickly as I will be flying to the Philippines to take the test in April! Thank you.


  68. Hi dra. stef! My NMAT score during the Dec. 2, 2012 exams was 24. What does this mean? I still get confused about the percentile ranking thing. Thanks!

  69. Hi dra. stef! My NMAt score during the Dec. 2, 2012 exam was 24. What does this mean? I still get confused with the percentile ranking system. I feel that my score is so low that no medical school will accept me and I'm planning to take the exam again. Thanks!

  70. Hi there Doc Steph,
    I am Carl from UST BS SLP and I am an incoming sophomore.

    I had crappy grades in my freshman year due to the adjustment that I needed to make.

    I came from an all boys school and apparently that affected my grades :))
    I also was used with getting exceptional grades without studying in high school so I brought that with me in college and made my GWA suffer. (Around 2.3 in the first sem)

    I was wondering how can I make myself get higher grades. In UST CRS, most probably you know, when majors come a passing grade is the equivalent to an "UNO". How will admissions accept me with that if ever I wont be able to get higher GWA's in my higher years.
    The real question is can I get exceptional grades in my higher years? Techiniques?

    from a proud UST Speech-Language Pathology student :)

  71. Hi, i just wanted to know on how to take an extra credits in physics... ill be waiting for your reply...

  72. Hi, how can i earn an extra credit in physics ? ill be waiting for your reply.... thank you....

  73. Hi! Ask your university/ college. Ask other universities as well.

  74. Hi ! my NMAT standard score is 249 and my percentile rank is 1 .. what does it mean?

  75. HI Ms Stef! I just want to know if I still have a chance to be accepted in a medical school despite the fact that my pre-med course is Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Biological Sciences. Thank you so much and God speed!

  76. Hi, JPB! I believe any college grad is qualified to go into med school. Back in my day, I had to take extra credits, even if my pre-med course was Nursing, because med schools asked for a specific number of credits in Physics and Biology.

    But things have changed; any college grad (if I'm not mistaken) can get into med school without taking extra credits. But ask your med school of choice all the same, just so you're sure it's not just hearsay. Good luck!

  77. Hi Doc. :) I would just like to ask if when will be the best time for me to take the NMAT? I'm running for a slot in St. Luke's for scholarship. Since they required 90 and up NMAT score for those aspiring med students, I have to at least have a 90+ score. I have thought of taking NMAT on December but wouldn't it be a hassle for my schedule since we have our thesis in the last semester of my 4th year or will I just take it on April before our graduation but I'm nervous for the closing of slots in St. Luke's scholarship. We weren't fortunate enough to afford a good med school.

    And I almost forgot, is it advisable to enroll myself on a review center for NMAT or just buy a book like MSA NMAT reviewer? Thanks again doc!

  78. Hi, Juliet! Thanks for visiting my blog! As for your first question (when you're supposed to take the NMAT), that's entirely up to you. I can never tell you when the right time is for you; only you have the answer to that because only you can say what's most convenient and what works best for your schedule and readiness to take the test.

    As for your second query (whether to enroll in a review center or just buy a book), why not do both? Personally, I would recommend a review center - just because that's how you'll find out how much you HAVEN'T reviewed yet. Personally, I would never have found out that I knew zilch about calculus if not for the NMAT! You can also see my other reasons for enrolling in a review center above (in my blog post). Of course, having reviewers - may they be calculus and physics books or other reviewers - also helps.

    As you've noticed, I always encourage aspiring med students to decide for themselves. It's important that early on, you know exactly what you want and how to make "diskarte". Without these skills, you are just going to get in trouble once you get into med school! :)

    Good luck, Juliet! I hope you make the right decision!

  79. Hai doc stef...thanks for the tips amazed with your percentile! Nagreview center po ba kau?:^) ...your blog is a big help!

  80. Nakakaamaze po ang percentile rank ninyo doc :^) big WOW! i am encouraged to pursue my dream :^) thanks for the tips online....nagreview center po ba kau?

  81. Hi, Sylviane! Actually, the answer to your question is in the blog post. Reading comprehension is important in the NMAT, so it's best to start practicing now by reading the blog post, yes? :) Good luck on the NMAT!

  82. Hi Stef, I was wondering where is the NMAT given? Can you give, like, a list of cities where it is administered? I'm from Bacolod BTW.

  83. Hello, Gian! Hm, how do I say this? I can tell you how exactly I prepared for the NMAT to ensure that I got a high score - and I can give a few suggestions on how to review for it, but please call or email the Center for Educational Measurement for other information.

  84. Carl, sorry for the late reply. I don't know exactly what kind of advice can be useful to you (since you asked how you can get higher grades). It all depends on what the problem is and what your strengths/ weaknesses are!

    Everything I say will just be generic: study hard, listen in class, sleep on time, and don't pile on backlog. Oh, and as Spiderman said, always eat your vegetables!

  85. Von Caros, you can read this if you want to understand your NMAT score. Good luck to you!

  86. JB, sorry for the late reply. Um... I'm way too overwhelmed by too many questions to come up with a coherent answer. In any case, I hope you passed the NMAT!

  87. Again, my apologies for publishing your comments a month or so late. I've been swamped - and I'm up to my neck in comments! Whew, thank you, thank you for dropping by! I hope you've learned a lot here.

    In any case, to the person asking if NMAT really is administered twice a year, yes, it is. There's one in December and another in April. You can visit the website of Center for Educational Measurement for exact dates. Thank you once again for dropping by!

  88. Oh, and to the person asking when I took my NMAT, I took it in December. :)

  89. Hi, Barbiee! I've already given tons of advice here on the website on how to improve your NMAT score. I hope they all work for you. If not, don't be too harsh on yourself. We are all just human and we all have our limitations, yes? In any case, I still hope you get a higher score. Good luck!

  90. Hi Ms Stef! I'm also planning to take up the NMAT so i just wanna ask if until what degree of difficulty does the subjects on test have? Like for example, Physics, will it just cover Physics 101 or up to a little bit higher and harder physics? I just dont know if until what depth do I need to study :( Thanks in advance!

  91. I think basic physics is enough. But feel free to touch on more complicated physics once you've mastered basic physics; there's no "guide" as to how much physics you need to know; after all, the test is supposed to find out how much you know about physics as a whole. :)

  92. Hello, Stef. I am Al--all the way from Basilan. I would like to say, "Thank you!" (biggest thank you ever!) for everything you've done here. I felt so lucky to discover your blog. I am quite upset with the commentors here; a lot of them posted as anonymous (which is too informal--I mean have some decorum) and were repititive and beyond the scope of your topic.

    Anyway, you helped me tremendously! You have no idea. Please continue doing what you are doing :) Good luck to all NMAT takers this coming November 24th...

    Best regards,

    PS: Those commentors who were/are making sense, kudos and thanks! you helped me as well.

  93. Hi, Al! Haha, your comment made me smile. You're naughty, calling out the comments that don't make sense. ;) Good luck on your NMAT! And do connect with me on Facebook and Twitter! :)

  94. Hello Doc and Al,

    AHAHAHA.. I'm one of the november-ers. I dont want to be frantic, but hopefully I'll be fine. Its going to come by so quickly.

    Thanks for all your advice.

    Just wanted to say thanks. and any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  95. See? I'm not the only one amused by Al! ;)

    Good luck to all November-ers! (As Kevin aptly put it.) :D

  96. Hi :) Do you have any downloadable NMAT reviewer? Thank you :)

  97. Hi :) I appear desperately here. Anyways, do you have any downloadable NMAT reviewer? Thank you :)

  98. Hi doc. Mga among average po ang kinukuha sa UP ?

  99. i would like to ask if it's possible to pay for the registration, through bank deposit, without the signature of our school head? because i'm planning to pay first before i let her sign my ID form

  100. Hi, Louise! I'm not employed with CEM nor with any other school. I think it's appropriate that you ask the company accepting payments for NMAT and also your school, not yours truly. :)

  101. @Louise Navz You can pay for the reg with bank deposit even without the signature of your school head. I just did :) You can reg on their sites

  102. There you go, Louise. Asked and answered!

    To everyone reading this blog, good luck on the NMAT! It's fast approaching and I hope you're taking the test for the right reasons. Don't just study hard, okay? Study smart! :)

  103. Hi, great informative page you have here. Like everyone, I have a few questions (sorry if they were answered before, I only read some of the comments)
    1. Who admininsters the test/where do you take the test?
    2. Does it matter when you take the test? For example if I were to wait after graduation, take the test in April or December and apply next year would that be fine? (instead of immediately going to med school right after college)
    3.How much does med school cost on average?
    4.Is there a part of the test asking medical-related questions?

  104. HI Doc Stef~!!
    My name is Louise and I'm wondering the fact about taking a pre-med course. The requirement for one med school I've looked at is for one to have finised any Bachelor of Science or Arts. I'm graduating student and my major is FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. I really wanted to be a doctor though I didnt have the chance to take the proper pre-med course back then.

    Do you think having a BS degree which is not related with medicine can be a reason for me to be left behind in terms of entering med schools? Im pretty sure that I'm good at math though.. ^^

    Thank you and regards! ^^

  105. Hi, Victoria! Thank you for dropping by my blog.

    I remember having classmates in med school who took up Literature and Political Science. Although having a medicine-related course can give someone an edge, I don't see why that should deter you from taking up medicine if you really want to be a doctor! :)

    We all have a learning curve and we should just change what we can, accept what we can't, and learn to discern the difference.

    As for math, I'm also good at math - I used to represent my school/ division in many math quiz bees. But math is not a main focus in medicine. The only math I remember doing revolves around dosages and weight prescriptions.

    Good luck on your journey! I hope you find the path that suits your dreams and goals.

  106. Hi Doc stef~!

    Recently, I took the NMAT this April and I went there without reviewing anything or even looking at the practice set that's been given so I expected a really bad result. My classmates who took the exam with me were enrolled in review classes. some of my friends reviewed during the break and I just had no time because I had duty (I'm taking up nursing, btw.) Just yesterday, the results came out and I got a 52. I felt really really bad because that's way below the standard I set for myself, though I know I'm the one really at fault here, and now I felt really depressed about my score. I plan on taking the next NMAT scheduled on November (not sure about this). I'm thinking about enrolling for review classes but I don't really want to be a burden on my parents by having them pay for it. I also wanted to buy MSA booklets but I think those are not enough. TT ^ TT (not to brag about it, but I was the batch salutatorian in high school...huhuhuhu)

    Do you think I should consider enrolling for review classes? Or just spare some time to review for the next NMAT? I really want to be a doctor! Help! :'(


  107. Neko, there's no sure-ball answer to your question, I'm afraid. You may try enrolling for NMAT classes, if only to see which subjects you need to review. They do provide a lot of insight and maybe you might get a few pointers on how to do better on the test as well.

    You might also want to search for "NMAT" on this blog. I have several articles here on NMAT scores - feel free to read them, especially these two: NMAT testmanship skills you don't know and 5 reasons you're getting low NMAT scores.

    I hope they help you. :) Good luck, Neko!

  108. Hi, Henry Gool! (I just approved your comment - it got buried under other comments awaiting approval, sorry!)

    I'm so tempted to SPOONFEED you the answers to all your questions, but I believe that being a good doctor starts with being a good researcher. And research doesn't just involve asking all those questions and expecting the answers given to you on a silver platter. :)

    I hope that doesn't sound harsh, but your first question was, "Where and who administers the test?" I believe a quick but careful search for NMAT on Google actually reveals that information.

    I hope you don't mind my semi-disciplinarian approach. I also hope you become a doctor who is diligent enough to do research. :) Good luck, Henry!

  109. Hi stef!:) So I took the NMAT for the first time this april. I had no clue about the exam, wasnt prepared at all but managed to get a percentile of 94. I'm fom India and i'm currently pursuing B.S Bio 3 in Cebu Doctors University. Do you suggest i give it another shot to get a better percentile? Or do you think that would be enough for me to get into a good university like UST or CIM? I have zero knowledge about the good and bad medical schools since i just arrived here a couple of months ago.All the information i got is from the internet. I would glady appreciate your advice about the good medical schools here. Also what difficulties would i have to come across for being a foreigner? Thanks :)

  110. Hi po ate..gusto ko lang itanong kung
    tingin niyo ngayon na ba akong dec kukuha ng nmat or nxt dec na after ng board exam kasi pag ngayong yr parang ang hectic po kasi internship nmin pag ngaung yr ako kukuha tapos pag nxt yr nman po busy ako sa board exam para sa august..tingin nyo po ate ngaun or nxt yr after ng boards ko magtatake ng nmat?salamat ate :)

  111. Good day, Dr. Stef! I have bought an MSA NMAT Reviewer Set of two books, one of which gives answers to the mock questionnaire provided through the other. I feel anxious and irritated getting a rate of only 60% in a 25-question analogy section questionnaire from Part I. That remark, for me, is gravely deficient, as far as wanting to go to UP Intarmed Lateral is concerned. With that anxiety, I thought I was not in a good condition when I started answering the mock exam from the reviewer set.

    So, while I'm aware that you would not want to overwhelmingly spoonfeed such commenters as me, your tips that were presented in this blog can do much help for my preparations for the upcoming NMAT. But, what else can you give as sufficient advice besides those tips? Effective review centers? Proper memory-improving diet, perhaps? Other ways to test my aptitude for the NMAT?

    Thank you for attending to my query. I want to praise you for your achievements in your NMAT and I thought the values you upheld as you took it are worth emulating. Kudos!

  112. Hi, Madel! That's a decision you are going to have to make on your own. No answer to that question, as long as it comes from me, will be good enough. :)

    Hi, Jeff! Sample tests can be very frustrating. But use that as a weapon. :) With sample exams, you find out which areas you need to work on.

    As for your diet, I believe what you eat can help - but it can only go so far. (Maybe I will post a new article on that - do stay tuned by connecting with me on Facebook or Twitter.) As for review centers, I cannot suggest any which I haven't been to.

    Having said that, I would like to clarify that the tips I give here are to level the playing field, so to speak. After all, many who opted to enroll in review centers will acquire testmanship skills that others don't. I wanted to make sure everybody was at their best mental and emotional state. However, this does not mean it can improve a percentile score of 5 to that of 99. The tips you see here can only go so far.

    If only I could help all of you become doctors! But don't let today's limitations be tomorrow's failure. Realize that there is a design in life. (yes, there is - just study anatomy & physiology and you will see that every small molecule, every small receptor has a purpose. Study physics and you will see that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.) Realize that our limitations are there for a reason.

    Realize that although one career path may not be for you, one other greater path might open up! Realize that with some work, even today's limitations will not keep you from your dream to become a doctor. And whatever path you choose, I hope it makes you happy. :)

    And thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. I look forward to hearing back from you when you've taken your NMAT! Good luck!

  113. Amshula, so sorry for the late response. Your comment got buried in my spam folder.

    Anyway, your percentile score is high in my opinion. If you get high marks in school and you pass other requirements, you have a good chance of getting into good schools. I have two schools in mind: UST and UP Manila. My list is short, I know - again, apologies.

    As for difficulties for being a foreigner, I'm not sure. I don't know if they accept foreigners into med school without conditions. I do know that when you train for residency (specialization), you have a much smaller chance of getting accepted and you might not have the allowance that other residents have.

    Please coordinate with the school of your choice for more accurate answers. If you're using the internet, you can send the school an email. Good luck!

  114. Roshel Soller, I never studied in UP. Please ask their admissions office. Let me know what you find out; others might be curious, too. Thank you for dropping by!

  115. Iismoki, I never used nor had downloadable reviewers. Sorry.

  116. Hi Ms. Stef! I took the exam on December 2011. I scored 89 and here's my problem: I did not answer those items which I i considered 'very difficult'. The proctor at that time told us to refrain from guessing answers and instead, encouraged us to skip them. Was it true? Because if not, I think I could eventually free myself of the guilt of not scoring 90 and above. My friends scored better because they were assigned to a different proctor who was more considerate and allowed them to finish each part of the test at their own pace. Please do reply,.. this will greatly help my ego :)

  117. Fer, I don't know where your facilitator got that information, but I think that kind of strategy (answering only the items you're sure about) applies only to right-minus-wrong tests.

    I don't think it applies to NMAT! :( If you don't get an item right, then it's wrong, whether you answered it or not. At least, that's what I understand based on the mechanics of scoring.

    I have NEVER heard of that advice before, not from both NMAT facilitators nor from review centers. I'm sorry that's all I can say to help. :/ Also, it's unfair for other facilitators to exempt their group from the rules (time limits, for instance). It might have helped your friend and the other people in that group, but how about the rest?

    If you plan to take the test again, you may email CEM (they're the center in charge of NMAT) and ask them regarding your query. That way, you hear it right from the horse's mouth.

    Best of luck!

  118. I have been told that third year undergraduates can take the exam but when i filled up the application, there's a part that needs to be filled with the year graduated/graduating and only year 2015 and below were the available choices. A third year student would graduate on 2016. What to do with this?

  119. Hi, Nena! Better if you ask CEM about your query. They are responsible for the NMAT and whatever answer they give will definitely be official. Good luck and let me know how your query turns out!

  120. thanks for your tips for the NMAT... at first I really felt I'm at a disadvantage in taking the NMAT last November since most elite students from elite schools take it on November-December sched added to it that the basic stuff tested in NMAT was courses I took on my 1st yr in Nursing school hence when I started reviewing for NMAT i really dug up those stored knowledge somewhere in my little brain... I really took your advice on taking many practice test for part 1 , I answered at least 20-50 items for each subtest each week I review for test 2 and it pays off. Answering also subtest you are good at first is also a good strategy. Physics is really difficult and memorizing formulas is a must but it saved me from spending time solving some problems since from the knowing the formula & relations of variables alone you can get the answer like Temp increase the pressure decrease so i just glanced at the items and most often there is only 1 item where pressure decreases the rest increases--the same goes to the relation on Current, Voltage & REsistance... such gave me more time in chemistry. I was really surprised to see get see that I got a percentile rank of 96 even at my first try...

  121. Jay, I'm so happy that you did well in your NMAT! Thanks as well for sharing extra tips on how to perform better during the test. Now that you have the NMAT score that you want, where do you plan to enroll? Good luck!

  122. Hi doc stef! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I was really adamant into becoming a doctor because I wanted to know if I just want to be one because I want to please my parents. But recently, i realized that I really want to be a doctor for myself. Thanks to your blog I will not rush into taking the nmat this march. I will prepare myself because honestly, the subjects covered are intimidating and I'm not the type who relies mostly on stored knowledge. Lol. So I'll have to start reviewing. Thanks!��

  123. Good for you, Katherine! I'm glad you're making decisions based on your own expectations. You're off to a great start! Study smart for your NMAT and best of luck on your journey through med school!


    1. Come again? Sorry, I didn't understand the "papes" part.


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