Knowing how a test is scored can be an incredibly valuable resource.
Being able to know where marks are gained and lost with your BMAT score can allow you to prioritise certain aspects of the BMAT test and prepare for it. If you want to get into the meat of how the BMAT is scored, then look no further.
Section 1 & Section 2
In Section 1 and 2, each question is worth one mark. As each question has the same weight, it stands to reason that you have around two minutes for each question.
The way the test is scored is that each question answered correctly will add to your total marks. These total marks then correlate to a BMAT score, which is a score ranging from 1.0 to 9.0.
Each answer you get right after 3 correct answers will raise your score, which begins at the minimum 1.0, by 0.2-0.4. Historically, this has stood true until 31 total marks, at which point you have hit the maximum score of 9.0. The specification was recently updated so this Section 1 only has 32 questions in total – we’d expect the 9.0 cut-off to be around 28/29 out of 32.
This is scored similarly. Once you have answered 1 question correctly, each correct answer will raise your score by 0.3-0.7. This runs up to the maximum BMAT score of 9.0 after 23 correct answers.
Although it may seem logical that a correct answer which takes you from e.g. 22->23 correct answers, would offer a bigger increase to your BMAT score, this is not the case. Correctly answering a 3rd question right in Section 2 ups your score from 1.3 to 2.0. The score increase is fairly random throughout the mark scheme so there isn’t a case of “the rich get richer” for the higher achievers.
Section 3 is scored differently to Section 1 and 2. This essay section is marked by two examiners. They will give an alphabetical score for your use of English which can be;
(Highest) A – Good use of English throughout. Clear, fluent, good sentence structure and use of vocabulary.
(Middle) C – Reasonably clear use of English. The answer will be reasonably fluent with an unambiguous sentence structure. Grammar will be acceptable with a few errors.
(Bottom) E – Weak use of English. The text does not flow coherently. There will be flawed sentence structure, a limited use of vocabulary and flawed grammar.
A test that doesn’t fall into the above three categories, will receive an X. Although you probably haven’t written an essay structure answer for a few years, the lessons you learn at GCSE can prove invaluable!
The actual content is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest.
1 – This will have an answer that has some bearing on the question but does not address the question properly, therefore your answer may be incoherent and without focus.
3 – This will be a reasonably well argued answer than addresses all components of the question. Use of materials provided will be acceptable, and the argument or proposition made will be natural. This is the average grade most candidates receive.
5 – This will be an exemplary answer with no significant downfall. Every aspect of the question asked will be addressed with a strong argument or counter. The answer will have made good use of the material provided; the whole answer will be cohesive and flow naturally, ending with a solid conclusion.
Scores 2 and 4 fall in-between the corresponding mark schemes.
Hopefully, knowledge of how the BMAT is scored will help you really maximise your final mark.