What should I prepare for NID

When should I start preparing for the TMS?

How much time should you plan to prepare for the TMS? Can you prepare too much? Moritz explains to you which preparation time is optimal.

Published by Moritz on 11/26/2020 | No comments

How long you should prepare for the TMS is the big question that everyone will probably ask at some point. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. With this article I would like to address some relevant aspects that should definitely be considered when preparing. I would like to help you to find the right time for your individual preparation.

How do I prepare for TMS 2021? © Florian Buchner

Table of Contents

What is required in the TMS?

First of all, you should take a look at the TMS itself. The TMS is a cognitive test. In contrast to what you are used to from exams in school, abilities and skills are primarily tested instead of previously memorized knowledge. With a pure fact test, you benefit if you learn as long and as much as possible so that the knowledge can solidify in the long-term memory. With a cognitive test like the TMS, this differs to a certain extent.

How should the preparation look like?

The TMS tests skills, not prior knowledge. All information necessary to solve a task is provided. So it's all about finding an optimal and particularly efficient solution with skills that you have previously acquired.

We observe again and again that participants prepare extremely long and intensively for the TMS and still perform on average or even below average.

Often the preparation is geared towards “working through” all of the exercise materials. So you assume that you have to automatically achieve a good result if you have been preparing for a long time and ticked everything off. It is sometimes like that more effectiveto deal with individual tasks and to consider: Why did it take me so long for the task? Where did I take the wrong turn in my solution and how could I solve such tasks more efficiently in the future?

It is also advisable to practice when you come straight from school / work. It is important to get a feeling for doing the tasks in an exhausted state.

Test preparation on the TMS with our books ® Florian Buchner

The consequence of this is that the length of the preparation time is not necessarily proportional to the number of points achieved, or in other words: A lot doesn't always help a lot. A clever preparation can be a lot more successful than long preparation.

See the preparation in its entirety. You will not do worse in the TMS just because you took a day off or skipped a certain task or simulation.

How long should one prepare for the TMS?

We do not recommend preparing for more than 2-3 months. This time frame includes a moderate preparation effort of approx. 3-4 times a week 1-2 hours a day. Of course it should Learning plan be adapted to your individual situation.

This preparation volume is based on the one hand on the personal experience that the other tutors and I have gained over the years. On the other hand, this aspect has already been statistically evaluated in relation to the very similar EMS. You can find more detailed information on this in the preparation report.

It is also quite appropriate to adapt the learning plan according to your own strengths and weaknesses. If you are already very good at one subtest, you could plan less time on that subtest and more time on another subtest.

Can a long and intensive preparation also have a negative effect on my test result?

Unfortunately yes! Too long and intensive preparation can lead to some problems:

  • Too little practice material: even if it seems a lot at the beginning, but the amount of exercises is limited. If you start too early with the preparation and you do not have an overview of the existing exercise material, it can sometimes happen that you have already completed all the tasks several weeks before the TMS. You should definitely avoid this situation. You can work on tasks multiple times. However, the learning effect is much less the second time. A good and adapted one Learning plan can prevent this problem.
  • Creativity is lost: The permanent solving of similar tasks can lead to the fact that you always start to solve tasks according to the same scheme. This is efficient at first glance. However, you can be disconcerted very quickly as soon as the tasks in the test deviate even minimally from the exercises you have practiced. So you lose the ability to find creative and individual solutions.
  • Psychological pressure: The TMS is an immense stressor for many people. If you deal with it for several hours every day for months, you inevitably get more and more involved and automatically build up more and more pressure. During the test itself it is extremely difficult to keep a cool head.

Can't I somehow prepare earlier?

It actually works! For example, you can brush up on your math skills to the point that you have a good command of all arithmetic rules at the beginning of the preparation phase. You can start reading scientific texts from time to time beforehand. The advantage is that you get used to reading and understanding complicated and unknown texts.

But beware: The preparation and learning of specific medical-scientific contexts should be avoided, as it is very time-consuming and in the rarest of cases brings a relevant advantage in the TMS.

You can find more tips on how to prepare for the TMS unspecifically here.

What do I do if I have my high school exams in the same year?

Many test participants find themselves in this situation every year. Contrary to general expectations, however, this does not have to be a disadvantage. Because a good Abitur preparation trains exactly the skills and abilities that are required in the TMS: logical thinking, drawing conclusions, quickly checking texts for important content and extracting them from them. Thus, a good Abitur preparation is already a good TMS preparation!

The TMS preparation therefore does not have to be consistently specifically geared towards the TMS.

At this point, we would also like to point out that, in our opinion, the Abitur preparation should not suffer in favor of the TMS preparation.

That's how I prepared for the TMS back then

To show you how the TMS preparation can be integrated into the Abitur preparation, I would like to tell you briefly how I designed my preparation back then.

The TMS was about two and a half weeks after my high school exams. For me, the Abitur preparation was a very central part of my TMS preparation. However, this realization only came after the TMS. I started preparing for my Abitur very early on. At first rather relaxed, so that I could slowly get closer to the workload. Then more and more intensely later. As a result, I was able to allow myself to focus primarily on the TMS one day or the other.

Back then, I used the TMS tasks and entire simulations every now and then in my Abitur preparation. Sometimes even as an active break. That was very good in that I was very happy to see something other than the Abitur material and therefore enjoyed doing the tasks. In addition, I didn't tense up too much on the TMS because I still had my Abitur before me.

Since the level of the TMS tasks does not quite match that of the Abitur tasks, my brain had the opportunity to process and subconsciously consolidate the Abitur material while processing the TMS tasks. The learning process always takes place after the actual learning, when you sleep or relax. Both should therefore be included in your preparation. When I finished my high school exams, I allowed myself a 1-2 day party and break and then concentrated fully on the TMS. Since I was already in the learning mode after graduating from high school (basically trimmed for when it comes to performance), I was no longer that excited at TMS, as I had already been in a similar exam situation two weeks earlier.

This strategy required a lot of discipline from me. However, I was also quite successful with it and ultimately achieved a percentile rank of 93%.

It can easily be more prepared! Preferably together with the MedGurus! © Florian Buchner


  • The TMS is not a conventional knowledge test, which should be taken into account when preparing.
  • Prepare yourself wisely! The pure intensity or duration of the preparation is not necessarily related to the number of points achieved.
  • Fit yours Learning plan Your strengths, weaknesses and above all your overall time situation.
  • Especially if you start your preparation very early, a structured one is tailored to you Learning plan essential.
  • Practice when you are exhausted.
  • Plan enough breaks or break days.
  • Look at the preparation in its entirety.
  • Do not try to get too involved in the topic.
  • The preparation does not always have to include specific TMS tasks.
  • A good Abitur preparation is also a good TMS preparation.

Do you have any questions about preparation? Then you are welcome to contact us at any time or just post in the comments.

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