If you want to study medicine, you may have to take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Applicants to various medicine programmes at certain universities take this subject-specific entrance test. You’ll find important information regarding the test in the sections below.
WHAT IS BMAT?
The BMAT is a two-hour admissions test that measures aptitude and knowledge. The BMAT assesses a wide range of abilities in three sections:
- The first section assesses your problem-solving, argument comprehension, and data analysis and inference abilities. In 60 minutes, you’ll have to complete 32 multiple-choice questions.
- The following section assesses your ability to apply scientific knowledge learned in school to science and mathematics by the age of sixteen. In 30 minutes, you’ll have to complete 27 multiple-choice questions.
- The capacity to select, develop, and organise ideas, as well as present them simply and effectively in writing, is assessed in Section 3. You’ll write an essay on one of three questions you select, and you’ll have 30 minutes to complete it.
The BMAT is a difficult exam to pass because you can’t use a calculator or dictionary, there’s a lot of time pressure, and it assesses a wide variety of abilities. Many scientifically oriented students are particularly concerned about the essay-writing portion.
In Sections 1 and 2, each question is worth one mark. Each section’s total raw marks are transformed to the BMAT scale, which ranges from 1 (poor) to 9 (high) (high). Scores are recorded to the nearest tenth of a decimal place. Typical BMAT candidates will receive a score of around 5.0, which is almost half a mark. The best candidates will receive a score of approximately 6.0, with a few exceptional individuals receiving a score of above 7.0.
The topic of Section 3 essays is graded, as well as the quality of the written English. Each essay is graded twice. The average of the two marks is stated if the two marks are the same or are separated by no more than one mark. If there is a significant disparity in the grades, the essays are remarked a third time, and the final grade granted is double-checked by a senior member of the Cambridge Assessment team.
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE BMAT?
This exam is required if you wish to apply to a BMAT university. If you do not take the BMAT, you will only be able to apply to UCAT universities and will not be considered by this limited group of medical schools.
Some students avoid applying to BMAT universities because they wish to focus solely on the UCAT, but others recognise that taking the BMAT allows you to apply to a wider range of medical schools, allowing you to be more selective with your UCAS choices.
Which Universities Require The BMAT?
- Brighton and Sussex Medical School
- Imperial College London
- Keele University
- Lancaster University
- Nazarbayev University School of Medicine
- University College London
- University of Cambridge
- University of Leeds
- University of Oxford
- Universidad de Navarra
Why is the BMAT used by some universities?
Some colleges use the BMAT to create an additional level of difference amongst applicants. The importance of BMAT results will be weighted differently by each university.
When will you be able to take the BMAT?
The BMAT exam is given many times a year. In each application cycle, you can only take the test once. You must take the BMAT test in November if you are applying to a UK university.
few tips to help you start your prep:
Take a look at a few questions from each section to see what kind of thinking is required. Before you begin, make sure you have a thorough idea of what each section entails.
By doing so, you’ll likely discover that Section 1 is the most like the UCAT; Section 2 is the one you’ll be most familiar with (and thus the easiest to revise for), and Section 3 is potentially more dependent on communication and wider reading.
You’ll be able to see which ones need the most attention and devote more effort to them. Don’t waste time on portions that you’re already familiar with.
2. Previous years’ papers
One of the best things about the BMAT is that it is (in general) easier to prepare for than the UCAT. It’s only a pen and paper test, which is more like the usual test we’re all used to, so your nerves should be a little less stressed!
Take advantage of the BMAT website’s archive of former papers, which are all available for free. They will undoubtedly assist you in identifying your skills and shortcomings, as well as familiarizing you with the test’s structure.
3. Complex problems vs. Time
One difference between the BMAT and the UCAT is that the BMAT is not designed to be as time-pressured, which means that the questions you’ll be asked will frequently be multi-step. The UCAT tests your ability to work fast, and those of you who have taken it before will be aware of the limited time you have to complete each question.
However, don’t use the informed guessing strategy that’s typically advocated for the UCAT while answering BMAT questions; instead, be prepared to meticulously work your way through it in a logical manner.
4. Treat Section 1 as if it were the UCAT
In terms of section-specific advice, try not to get too worked up in this one. Those of you who have taken the UCAT will recognize the similarities with Verbal Reasoning and will benefit from following a similar but more cautious approach.
Read the question, consider the answer alternatives, and then eliminate it with zeal. Look for small trick words that can be used to entirely invert the meaning of some statements. You’ll do well if you don’t make any assumptions or draw any inferences that aren’t explicitly stated in the passage.
5. Maintain your confidence in Section 2
Section 2 is labelled as GCSE level Science, but due to the many criteria, it actually ends up being significantly higher than GCSE level. Examine the official guide on the BMAT website to ensure that you have all of the necessary information.
Use this guide as a checklist for reviewing all of the topics included on the BMAT. Don’t be discouraged if the questions you tackle appear to be much more difficult than the guide’s level of knowledge – keep in mind that the subject will be used in a variety of ways. Prepare yourself so that you can step up and meet the challenge!
6. Section 3 requires a great deal of clarity
Rambling is a big no-no for your essay —
the BMAT wants short, well-presented, and well-argued topics. Your grade will be determined not just by your writing style, but also by the points you make. Make an effort to avoid creating flimsy arguments. If a comparable scenario arises, a broader understanding of current ethical dilemmas will aid you.
Looking at the previous essay titles and discussing them with someone is the best way to examine diverse ideas and think from other points of view. Remember to present all sides of the argument and come up with a solid conclusion in order to achieve one of the higher bands.
Do you want to attend one of the medical schools listed above? The BMAT is a difficult test, but with our guidance, you can get the college of your dreams.
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