First of all, read our BMAT guide and try a practice paper. Don’t worry if you find it difficult – this will just give you an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses are.
You might feel happier spending more revision time on areas that you’re confident with, but this isn’t very effective in the long run. If you found one particular section a lot harder than the others, make sure you allocate more revision time to it until you feel comfortable.
When you’re practising for Section 3, focus on getting your essay done within the time limit and forming some sort of logical conclusion. Then, try to get it checked by someone like a teacher or tutor if you can.
In the run-up to BMAT, try to practise an essay every few days and cover a variety of topics – not just the topics that you would choose in an ideal world! If you end up getting a difficult paper with topics that you don’t like on exam day, you’ll need to be used to writing about things that you haven’t necessarily thought about before.
Don’t just do all of the hard stuff or all of the easy stuff at the same time. BMAT revision can be tough, so make sure you spread out revising the things you already sort of know with the things you don’t know. This way, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by the difficult stuff. For example, if you really struggle to remember formulas for physics but know your biology skills are strong, try to do a bit of both.
It’s important to spend time on your weaknesses, but remember that your strengths also need some time so you can get used to the question styles. There’s no point doing lots of work to strengthen your physics if you then don’t do so well in the biology that you think you’re good at.
Focus on knowing the basics. Don’t bog yourself down trying to know the ins and outs of everything, because the questions won’t require you to have a random piece of specific knowledge beyond what you should have learnt at GCSE. Sure, extra knowledge is helpful but it isn’t everything, and knowing where to focus is important. Concentrate on revising your GCSE-level maths, physics, biology and chemistry.
The BMAT website itself has a list of assumed topics – so focus on feeling confident with those, rather than trying to understand topics outside of the scope that may come up randomly. The BMAT isn’t intended to test who is the most widely read, after all.
Section 1 can be particularly difficult to complete within the time limit – so make sure you practise questions with the same amount of time that the real exam would give you. There’s no point getting all of the answers to the practice questions correct if you’ve done it over a week.
In the same way, try to spread out your practice questions across the revision period so that you always have a fresh supply of questions to come to, rather than constantly practising the same ones. Work out how many potential questions you have at your disposal and ration them out depending on how long you have until the exam. Aim to finish them a couple of days before exam day, so you can do last minute revision on any sticking points.
Remember to rest! The BMAT isn’t the be-all and end-all of applying for Medicine, so don’t let everything else fall by the wayside. If you go into the exam feeling well-rested, well-fed and confident, you’ll automatically be a step ahead of the person who has been cramming revision to the detriment of their health.
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