A BMAT Revision Guide: Get the Most out of your Exam Preparations

Wondering where to start with BMAT revision? You may already be doing some of it! Either way, we’ve detailed some great resources to get you started. The following BMAT Revision tips are taken from The Ultimate BMAT Guide: 600 Practice Questions

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WHAT IS THE BMAT TEST?

The BMAT is a 2-hour test which is divided into three sections. These include Aptitude and Skills, Scientific Knowledge and Applications, and a writing task. Most of these are testing skills that you should already be using in your academic life, so by continuing to work hard at school, you’re already well on your way to successful BMAT revision.

 

HOW TO START YOUR BMAT REVISION

The official BMAT website has some great ideas for getting started on BMAT revision, along with lots of advice. There is really is no better way to familiarise yourself with the exam than looking and completing past papers. This will allow you to see the kind of questions that generally come up and allow you to see what kind of skills medical schools are looking for.

 

GET ACCESS TO PAST PAPERS

Official past papers and answers from 2003 onwards are freely available here. You are highly advised to attempt as many of them as you can (ideally at least 5). If you get stuck, you can also get access to fully worked solutions to all the past papers. It is also worth investing in a BMAT book to consolidate your learning.

SIMULATE EXAM CONDITIONS

When doing BMAT Practice Test papers, it’s important that you simulate exam conditions as much as possible. This means you should follow the instructions as closely as possible.

  • Print off BMAT response sheets
  • Don’t use calculators or dictionaries.
  • Spend the correct amount of time on each of the sections:

BMAT Section 1 – 60 minutes (35 questions)
BMAT Section 2 – 30minutes (27 questions)
BMAT Section 3 – 30 minutes (one side A4 only)

Remember that the route to a high BMAT score is your approach and practice. Don’t fall into the trap that “you can’t prepare for the BMAT”– this could not be further from the truth. With knowledge of the test, some useful time-saving techniques and plenty of practice you can dramatically boost your score.

Learn about the test, follow our top tips, work hard, and do yourself justice.

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BMAT REVISION – SECTION BY SECTION

The official BMAT website also provides materials which tell you what skills each section is testing, and so is a good way for you to find out what BMAT revision you should be doing. This comprehensive document provides the test specification, so you can see exactly what content will be covered. – this gives you a good starting point for BMAT revision. However, the document can seem quite daunting, so let’s sum up what each section is looking for:

 

Section 1: Aptitude and Skills

This section tests generic skills in problem-solving, understanding arguments, and data analysis and inference. The best way to revise is really to do lots of practice questions which you can find online at UniAdmissions.

This document also provides you with some tips on how to go about answering each type of question, which you can use when doing your BMAT revision while you familiarise yourself with the questions that will appear in the test.

 

Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Applications

This section will test your ability to apply the scientific and mathematical knowledge you learn in school by the age of 16 (so that’s roughly GCSE level). You should know the test specification for each section of Biology, Chemistry,  and Physics. The best way to do BMAT revision for this section is to go over those topics so that you’re comfortable with that knowledge. The questions in this section will be multiple choice.

 

Section 3: Writing Task

BMAT revision for section 3, for many applicants, can seem the most daunting, as often students won’t have written an essay since GCSE if they study sciences currently. However, writing is writing, which you will do for any subject, and with the increasing importance put on SPAG in A Levels (Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar), you’re likely already using the skills required for this task. For BMAT revision, take a look at the questions that have appeared in the past, and practice planning your answers (which the past papers provide space for, so use it!). This section is primarily testing your ability to develop and organise your ideas effectively so that you can communicate them in writing.

Repeat Questions

When checking through answers, pay particular attention to questions you have got wrong. If there is a worked answer, look through that carefully until you feel confident that you understand the reasoning, and then repeat the question without help to check that you can do it.  If only the answer is given, have another look at the question and try to work out why that answer is correct.  This is the best way to learn from your mistakes, and means you are less likely to make similar mistakes when it comes to the test.  The same applies for questions that you were unsure of and made an educated guess which was correct, even if you got it right.  When working through books or past papers, make sure you highlight any questions you are unsure of, this means you know to spend more time looking over them once marked. You can then review them in detail to increase the efficiency of your BMAT Revision.

Timing

It is essential that you don’t get stuck with the hardest questions – no doubt there will be some.  In the time spent answering only one of these you may miss out on answering three easier questions.  If a question is taking too long, choose a sensible answer and move on.  Never see this as giving up or in any way failing, rather it is the smart way to approach a test with a tight time limit.  With practice and discipline, you can get very good at this and learn to maximise your efficiency.  It is not about being a hero and aiming for full marks – this is almost impossible and very much unnecessary (even Oxbridge will regard any score higher than 7 as exceptional).  It is about maximising your BMAT Revision efficiency and gaining the maximum possible number of marks within the time you have.

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WHAT OTHER RESOURCES EXIST?

If the past papers aren’t enough, you can find questions banks online, some of which you have to pay for. You can do a google search to find more questions to satisfy your thirst, but here are some online examples: