Compared to UI, UGM has a much more thorough and credible selection process, which left me feeling much, much more confident and relaxed. With my IB Diploma background, SIMAK UI is practically a nightmare, with its deadly combo of triple sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Biology – all in one. I mean, the last time I opened a Physics textbook was in 8th grade, and the only formula I know is for velocity (sad, right?). Meanwhile, UGM tests only on Biology and Maths, both on relatively lower levels of difficulty compared to SIMAK UI. The syllabus follows UAN or SNMPTN standard. I managed to do 70% of this test, leaving the rest to guess work. Another good thing about UGM tests is that they don’t deduct marks for your mistakes, so feel free to employ your preferred method of random guessing, be it “silang indah” or “cap cip cup”.
UGM also has this Gadjah Mada Scholastic Test (GMST) which is basically the Tes TPA in English. You can ace it just by reading through any tes TPA preparation book sold in Gramedia, though you won’t find anything to prepare you for the sadistic English synonyms and antonyms section. The answers are cruelly ambiguous. Even I, who’ve been through both the ‘O’ Levels and the IB struggled with it, and it left me feeling quite depressed for a while afterwards. The time constraint is also a limiting factor. Though they say its not compulsory to answer all, it is obviously BETTER to answer everything (like I did). The algebra, number sequence and math logic section can be time-consuming, so don’t get stuck there. I probably left the GMST with much less brain cells than before (it’s practically brain gymnastics!).
The most tiring, and bothersome part of the UGM selection process would be the Psychological Test. I know it’s supposed to test your psychological state of mind, your character, bla3x, but really, 500 questions is a bit much! And some of the questions are repeated more than three times! They keep asking whether I am experiencing any bodily pains – headache, migraines, any general feeling of unwellness, etc. – all throughout the test, and honestly, towards the end, I’m tempted to say yes, this bloody test is giving me pain!! Some of the questions are quite hilarious though:
“Have you ever been possessed by evil spirits?” – ROFL. NO.
“Is your sex life satisfactory?” – Umm. I’m pretty sure it’s non-existent, soo… NO?
“Do you feel like someone is following you?” – LOL. NO.
“Do you feel like someone is out to get you?” – Seriously? NO.
I wonder if anyone has answered Yes to those questions before…
Then afterwards they tell you to draw a tree, a person and a picture of a tree, a house and a person together. I love this part because I love drawing, so it pretty much a relaxation period for me. Though its funny how the psychologist clearly specified that the tree drawn must NOT be a coconut tree or a bamboo tree. Haha, I love those primary school art class staples! Overall, I left this test feeling very much unhinged and with a serious crick in my neck from all that tiny circles I shaded. I swear if they make me fill in a circle one more time, I’m going to snap.
Sadly, the next day we are faced with more circles to fill for the TOEFL test. Having taken the IELTS test, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what a TOEFL test is like. I was horrified when I saw people frantically reading through humongous TOEFL preparation books before the test. It had me worried for a while, but I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out that we will only be taking the TOEFL EPT test as opposed to the real, international TOEFL test. If you, like me, have been studying in schools where subjects are taught in English, this will be the easiest test of the entire selection process. I had plenty of time to spare in each section, and I noticed a few others doing so as well. But please do pay full attention during the Listening Section, some of the longer passages tend to be difficult to recall…
Strangely for me, the funnest part of the entire selection process was the interview. Sure, I was nervous and jittery, especially since I’m the first person on the list to be called, but the moment the lecturer started talking in English, I immediately felt right at home and began answering his questions with this giant, mega-watt smile (I was talking so fast I doubt he fully understood what I said). I practiced for my interview in Indonesian before and it was a disaster because I kept forgetting some words and ended up talking in Cinta Laura’s butchered Indonesian. Ew. Anyway, the interview isn’t a very formal one where you are judged by an entire panel of scary looking professionals. Its a one to one affair, and they really are more interested in finding out what kind of person you are. So smile, and be confident! Of course, they asked the standard “Why did you choose UGM?”, “Why did you want to become a doctor?” but what they really want to know is your family background and your values. They’d also ask whether you have ever lived apart from your parents before because they want to know your level of independence (I have, so maybe it helped) . My interviewer was really nice and we even had a few chuckles on Raden Saleh, The Ring of Fire, and earthquakes (don’t ask me why).