The BMAT is a tricky test, and so preparation is key. The following steps provide some essential guidance on how to give yourself the best chance of performing well in the test.
Lots of ‘Top Tips’ lists will advise you to practise your mental maths. More specifically, we our research shows that whilst covering all manner of simple mental equations is important, it is beneficial to focus on revising your fractions when practising for the BMAT, especially in the problem solving questions. Being able to use fractions quickly in your head will help you, especially when it comes to the Maths and Physics questions in Section 2.
If you are unsure of a question, simply leave it and return later. Do not spend large amounts of time dwelling on one question. Also always attempt every question, the exam is not negatively marked so your educated guess may be correct!
Revise Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. As a lot of medical applicants will have dropped, or at least be less familiar with one particular subject. As a result, it is crucial to prioritise that subject. The subject that is widely dropped is Physics, and therefore usually this is the one to be focused on. Remember, you WILL be asked on all of these subjects in Section 2, and calculators are not allowed.
Try to approach Section 3 in an analytical way. Essay plans are a great way to coordinate your thoughts. Plan out a rough guide of how many sentences you will need to flesh out your argument fully. Think about how many you will need to set out your argument, how many sentences will be needed for addressing the opposite side of the argument, and how many will be needed to conclude your argument in a closing statement.
Try and pick out quotes and statements from lots of different spheres; not just the medical world. Section 3 can be about debating medical issues, but it also can be ethical statements, philosophical dilemmas and other such more vague topics. Try and pick out some famous, potentially controversial topics, and then make sure that you can talk about them, using a clear structure, and staying on topic, however ambiguous that topic may be.
If a question is abstract, and talks about ideas like ‘number of apples’ or ‘amount of pens in a pack’, it is likely that it is looking for you to form an equation. In order to tackle this question well, make sure that you don’t think of the problem literally. Simplify the question into its basest form to form an equation.
The assessor will not spend large amounts of time trying to read your writing so ensure that your handwriting is clear and your answer is well structured. It will also send a more subliminal message that your argument is well thought out and professional to whoever is marking the test.
Even if you are not revising for the UKCAT, it would be wise to have a look at the practice questions for this exam too. There is a lot of crossover between these two exams, and therefore it will give you a wider understanding of questions if you have a look at the UKCAT. If you are also taking the UKCAT, perhaps consider applying to a mixture of BMAT and UKCAT universities, just in case that the BMAT score is lower than you might have hoped.
Dukes Medical Applications (DMA) can provide you with free BMAT advice over the phone, or even set you up with a BMAT tutor for more comprehensive tuition. They will work with you to identify your weaknesses and help turn these into strengths, helping you to obtain a great BMAT score. The BMAT exam is one of the first steps on the pathway to becoming a successful medical applicant so it is essential you are well prepared.
Our downloadable BMAT Study Schedule runs through the calendar, covering the key dates for the BMAT, as well as guidance on what kind of preparation is most useful at which time.
Familiarise yourself with BMAT questions. Our sample questions on this page are typical of the kind of questions you will face when sitting the BMAT.
Here you can download useful, free BMAT study materials to help you prepare for BMAT exam.