It may seem like 30 minutes isn’t a long time to write a thorough and considered essay, so you might feel an urge to rush into writing straight away. However, this can lead to an illogical and disorganised essay.
It is vital to take some time to plan your essay before you start writing. I recommend 5 minutes. This should involve planning the ‘for’ and ‘against’ points that you want to include, the examples you could use to illustrate your points, and the conclusion that you will reach.
Planning will allow you to organise your thoughts and help you work through your response in a rational manner.
It can be tempting to spend a little bit of extra time writing or checking your essay during BMAT prep in order to perfect it, but this can lead to a false sense of security. You don’t want to find yourself going into the BMAT exam with unrealistic expectations.
You can certainly be lenient with yourself in the early stages of your prep while you’re familiarising yourself with the format. However, you should practise in timed conditions as much as possible to make sure you’re fully prepared for test day.
During the exam, you will only be given one A4 answer sheet for BMAT Section 3. It’s very useful to practise writing your essays using a replica of the answer sheet for the sake of familiarity.
Practice will help you ensure that your essay fills the answer sheet every time. Even if you make mistakes on test day, you won’t be given another sheet – so it’s important to avoid mistakes where possible and work around any mistakes you do make.
I always found it useful to have an essay structure in mind that I could easily adapt to any question. I generally tended to write an introductory sentence or two, followed by two paragraphs considering a point for and against respectively, reaching a concise and logical conclusion at the end.
Knowing your essay structure in advance will mean there’s one less thing to worry about in the exam!
It is important to support any points you make with examples and evidence. These may be scientific or medical, or they may not. Only use relevant examples and don’t try to force Medicine-related examples into your arguments if they are not appropriate.
Keep your examples concise, to ensure that your essay remains analytical rather than descriptive – and make sure they serve to really bring your point home!
It’s vital to spend a couple of minutes at the end checking what you have written, ensuring that everything makes sense, is logical and follows an appropriate structure. You will be marked on your spelling and grammar, so it is particularly important to look out for mistakes if you want to avoid losing easy marks.
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