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30th September 2021
Sharon’s BMAT scores placed her in the top few BMAT test-takers in 2019, and helped her to secure a place at Imperial, where she’s currently studying. In this blog she shares how she was able to get top scores in the 2019 test.

When I was sitting the BMAT in 2019, I was anxious as two of my university choices required BMAT scores and I wanted to make sure I could get as high a score as possible in order to maximise my chances of selection.

When I got the results I was pleasantly surprised to see that I scored 7.1 in Section 1 (approximately in the top 2% of test takers), 6.3 in Section 2 ( approximately in the top 5% of test takers) and 3.5A in Section 3.

Here are a few strategies and tips that helped me to get a high BMAT score

I Analysed The Data Logically And Avoided Distractors

As you may know from the BMAT guide, Section 1 involves questions that may contain a lot of data or large paragraphs of text. They key to mastering these BMAT questions is to be able to sort the data to find out which pieces of information would be useful for answering the questions.

I got in the habit of using diagrams to sort the information into a manner that was easy for me to work with. When doing practice questions at home , try to practice using diagrams so you become comfortable with how to use them.

I Used Shortcuts For Problem Solving

In the BMAT you are not provided with a calculator, therefore it’s a good idea to be comfortable with maths skills that you may need. I dedicated a portion of time to making sure I was quick at doing mental maths and working with fractions, percentages and decimals as these come up a lot in test day. I also practiced doing questions using estimation as it helps to save time when there are a wide range of answer options.

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I Learnt The Section 2 Syllabus

Section 2 tests content from GCSE. Don’t just read over your GCSE notes without checking it with the specification (which can be found on the BMAT website or in our BMAT guide).

You may find that you haven’t learnt some of the content before depending on the board you did at GCSEs, but where this was the case, I watched youtube videos to get an idea of the topic. A lot of candidates won’t have studied physics since GCSE, so I would say that if you’re in this position, dedicate more time to recapping physics in the run up to the exam.

I Focussed On Timings For Section 2

This section is extremely time-pressured and when I initially started practicing this section, I was trying to do each question perfectly which meant I struggled to finish. Try to focus on becoming familiar with the different question types when you’re doing practice and identifying which ones take longer than other ones so that instead of wasting a lot of time doing these questions, you can come back to them after you’ve finished doing the harder ones.

For The Essay, I Created Examples To Work From

In order to improve your score for the essay it is essential to use examples to support the points you are making. When I was doing further medical reading such as reading medical articles, I would note down any interesting examples that I could potentially use in an essay. I would also think about how these examples could link to medical ethics. I became familiar with these examples so that when faced with any question, I was able to draw upon relevant examples quickly and easily.

I Learnt How To Write Concisely

You’re only given one page to write the essay in the exam, so it’s imperative to make every sentence count. I practiced setting line limits on my essays so that I was able to get into the habit of making my sentences more concise and using phrases that would take up less space.

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My BMAT Tips are:

  • Make a plan for your BMAT prep, making sure you give yourself plenty of time to master the skills
  • Use the BMAT practice papers regularly to check your progress and to get experience at doing the different question types
  • For section 3, practice writing your essays in the page provided which can be found on the BMAT website
  • When doing the multiple choice questions, make sure to eliminate the answers you know are definitely wrong so that you increase your chances of getting the correct answer if you have to guess
  • If you get stuck on a question don’t wast too much time, just come back to it later when you’ve finished all the other questions
  • If you are leaving a question for later, mark an answer to begin with incase you don’t get time to do it later. Don’t forget, there’s no negative marking!
  • Avoid cramming at the last minute as you are unlikely to learn much from this
  • Try not to stress before the exam and if you come out of the exam feeling like you’ve done badly, try not to worry as you’ve probably done better than you think
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