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BMAT Tips

The first thing that is crucial to accept is, for the BMAT, practise truly makes perfect. As we said, the best starting point is here with our comprehensive BMAT Guide; you will be guided through each section, followed by practice questions and detailed answers. Following this, we always recommend you visit the official BMAT resources and past papers to give you further indication of what to expect.

As you will see, most questions are medically-oriented, especially in the sciences of Biology and Chemistry; we highly recommend you revisit your old textbooks, both GCSE and A-level, to refresh any key concepts that you will further uncover through this guide.

Timing is undoubtedly the most important concept to manage in the BMAT; you will be pushed for time, especially on the more difficult questions, and this is where your temperament for handling the trickier questions will be crucial. As you will uncover, there are techniques for tackling easier questions in order to buy you additional time for the more difficult ones.

Section 1 is generally accepted as being very difficult to revise for - most of the questions, as you will see, are a combination of mental maths or visualisation questions. This requires more practise of the technique, rather than revision. Therefore, our material on this first section is heavily focused on practise of the core principles and techniques, which you will then be able to apply to any question that you face. Each question has been designed to teach you a specific technique or skill, so focus on each with your maximum ability.

Section 2 is primarily focused on GSCE science teachings, along with some of the more simple concepts of A-Level and extra-curricular sciences. Although this is relatively simple memorisation, it requires effort and preparation in order to succeed. The biology tested in Section 2 of the BMAT is basic recall and memorising, such as the location of certain cellular structures or the function of certain biological features; the most common topics asked are regarding genetics, anatomy of the human body, and the kidneys. The maths, chemistry and physics questions usually require calculations, which will be discussed in the relevant section. The chemistry sections normally require calculations for mole equations.

Section 3, the written essays, will be discussed in due course; as a general rule of thumb, we recommend you spend 15 minutes planning the essay, with the rest of the time spent writing. Provided that you address all the points requested in the section brief, you will almost certainly guarantee yourself a minimum score of 3/5 - more information on this can be found in Section 3.

How is the BMAT Scored?

Questions in Section 1 & 2 are work 1 mark each. The total raw marks for each section are converted via the BMAT Scale, which runs from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest). On average, most BMAT candidates score around 5.0, which is roughly equivalent to half the marks available in the test. The best candidates are expected to score in the region of 6.0-7.0.

Each university will have their own cut off point; for example, Imperial and UCL tend to have a cut-off of around 4.7-4.9 in recent years, whilst Oxford and Cambridge tend to cut-off candidates at 6.0.

The writing tasks in Section 3 are marked by 2 examiners. Each examiner gives two scores; one for quality of content (on a scale of 0-5) and one for the quality of written English (Scaled A, C or E). If the two marks for content are the same or no more than one mark apart, the candidate gets the average of the two marks. If the two marks for written English are the same or no more than one mark apart, the scores are combined as follows: AA = A, AC = B, CE = D, EE = E.

When is it best to sit the BMAT?

Ultimately, this is your choice – but remember you can only take the test once in the application cycle!

However, it’s worth noting that whereas before you could only sit the exam after submitting your UCAS application, the test session in September means you can now find out your BMAT score before applying to medical school. This means you can apply strategically with both your UCAT and BMAT scores in hand.

In addition, don’t forget that if you’re applying to Oxford you will need to sit the exam in November- even if you’re applying to other medical schools accepting September results.

When you decide to take the test will depend on a variety of factors – for example, how much time you will have over the summer for UCAT preparation, work experience, extracurriculars and other commitments.

For BMAT September, you will need to register yourself. For BMAT November, your school/college will need to register you.

BMAT Dates: September Vs November

BMAT September (Saturday) is an alternative test date for BMAT in November (mid-week) - NOTE for 2020 entry it has been cancelled.

The test will have the same format and will be scored in the same way, and results from either session will be considered equally by medical schools, so when you take the test is your choice.

Results from either session are accepted by most universities but not the University of Oxford for A100 Medicine and BC98 Biomedical Sciences. Oxford will only accept BMAT – November results for these courses.

BMAT Sections

1 2 3

Introduction

The BMAT is a necessary part of the application for many Medical Schools. Prior to sitting your BMAT, we highly recommend you investigate whether your Medical School choices require the BMAT or not - you can find this information in our ‘Universities’ Section of our website.

The BMAT assesses a combination of aptitude and knowledge - quite the opposite to the UCAT! It is expected that students will generally have acquired the necessary knowledge prior to the test throughout academic work, so theoretically, not much revision is necessary. However, we always recommend hard work, which starts here in our BMAT Guide.

The test is a pen-and-paper test, completed in a 2-hour sitting. You are not permitted the use of a calculator, dictionary or any other aid.

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