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BMAT Section 1: Top 3 Tips

The BMAT is increasingly becoming used to differentiate between pupils at medical school, so it is essential that you prepare well to score highly!

Section 1 of the BMAT, the Aptitude and Skills section, consists of 35 multiple choice questions in 60 minutes. This blog runs through some key points to help you ace Section 1!

1. Using your brain is key!

As part of the first section of the BMAT, there is an arithmetic section, testing your problem-solving abilities using mathematics. However, the use of a calculator is not allowed, so make sure that as part of your preparation, you are attempting complex arithmetic using your brain alone.

In addition, a large proportion of questions in the BMAT in recent years have focused on working out fractions of figures, so spending some time on mental maths in the month leading up to the exam can significantly speed up your efficiency in answering questions.

Also – remember to read the question carefully, as there’s often more than one sum to perform and you don’t want to miss anything!

2. Skim and scan

With regards to the questions which focus on your ability to critically appraise or summarise an article, don’t panic! The ability to skim read here is important. When beginning your practice, I would aim to read the paragraph quickly to get a general idea of the argument, and then pick the option which appears most sensible.

Then, go back and read the article in a little more depth and decide if your answer changes. This can be a good way of practising at the beginning to get used to the format of these questions.

3. Use the practice papers

There are many online resources for the BMAT. The Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website alone has 14 different past papers to choose from. It may seem obvious, but the single best way to optimise your preparation for the BMAT is to try Section 1 of these papers again and again, until you get 100%.

If you use these 3 pointers, and ensure you practice, you can be certain that you will gain a good score in Section 1 of the BMAT, and hopefully an overall grade that gets you the interview at a med school you dream of!

Words: Ben Fox

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