The biologists, Elvezia Paraboschi and Monica Mancini, explain how to study biology for the IMAT medical admissions test.
When approaching biology, as any other subject, consider three fundamental aspects: knowledge, comprehension and quickness.
Knowledge is the basis
Without knowing the concepts there is no chance to perform positively in a test like IMAT. Put the most attention on the fundamental of cell biology, biochemistry and especially on genetics, where you would need not only knowledge but also the ability to solve little exercises. As for system biology, focus on nervous and endocrine systems, that present the greatest complexity.
For a self-evaluation on the levels of knowledge, perform simulation on IMATs of the previous years: they will give you not only the idea of your preparation, and where you need to improve, but also on how an IMAT is structured. Knowledge itself is in fact not sufficient to perform well in this test.
Comprehension makes the difference
IMAT do not test strictly the knowledge, but also the ability of the applicants to discern the important information within a question and to answer correctly avoiding the possible tricks. Be careful to apply critical reasoning not only in the dedicated section, but also on biology. Again, exercise on the previous IMATs: take time during your preparation to read carefully the queries and reason on the given answers. In this way you will know what to expect from the questions.
Quickness is the plus
The ability to work under pressure is one of the discriminating factors during the IMAT. In order not to let haste overcome you, measure time at home during your preparation. In a subject like biology that requires knowledge, first scroll through all the questions carefully and answer only those you are confident on. To perform at your best, the day of the test do not to start from biology if you are not self-assured on the subject.