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So I'm hoping to apply to medical school for 2016 entry this year, and I was wondering how the BMAT works? I mean, the UKCAT happens over the summer, but I checked on the BMAT website and it says 2015 testing takes place in November or something! Should I be taking it then, or have I missed it for my year of entry?
Also, does anyone who's done it have any tips for the BMAT?
Thanks in advance!
I've written up an article that goes over the basics (http://www.bmatcrashcourse.com/parents-guide-bmat/)
But just to answer your question, if you're applying for 2016 entry, then you will take the BMAT on 4th November 2015. This is after you apply. Which is why taking the BMAT is a bit of a gamble, compared to the UKCAT. With UKCAT, you have your results before you apply, so you can base your decisions on those. With BMAT, you only get the results once you've already applied, so it's too late to change anything by then
Quick Tips for the BMAT:
Do lots of TSA Oxford papers. They mimic the format of BMAT Section 1 almost exactly, so they're a great source of practice.
Learn all the science you need to know, especially Physics, and especially if you're not doing Physics at AS. There's an official online guide on the BMAT website called something like "Section 2: Assumed Knowledge Guide" which is pretty good, but seems to have quite a bit of stuff that's never come up before. I've written a more realistic version of what comes up in Section 2 here (http://www.bmatcrashcourse.com/bmat-section-2-syllabus/) - I'd suggest learning the stuff on that list first, and then once you know absolutely everything on it, then learn the extra stuff in the official guide.
Regarding past papers, there are BMAT past papers available from 2003 onwards, but the syllabus changed in 2009, so only worry about the 2009-2014 Section 2 papers. Section 1 didn't change though, so still do the 2003-2008 Section 1 papers.
Other than that, the best tip I can give for Section 2 is "FRACTIONS ARE YOUR FRIENDS". This cannot be overstated enough. A huge chunk of Section 2 involves calculating fractions quickly (without a calculator), so if you can do those well, you'll be at a significant advantage.
This is the writing task. People call it an essay but it's really just 2-3 paragraphs. You have 30 minutes for this section, of which at least 10 should be spent planning. The biggest mistake people make is going into the exam, panicking, and starting to write straight away. Please don't do that. Make sure you plan very very well before starting to write, as you're only given one sheet of paper and if you screw that up, it's over.
I've got plenty more tips but third year exams are coming up and I need to memorise a tonne of essays :/ Feel free to DM/quote me if you've got any more questions and I'll try to respond during one of my breaks
What is the BMAT?
The BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test) is a 2 hour examination required for entry to a number of Medical Schools in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Netherlands as well as a selection of Dentistry and Biomedical Science courses.
When is the BMAT?
All students take the BMAT examination on the same date. Traditionally, this is in the November prior to the year of entry (ie. If you intend to commence university in September 2017, you would sit the BMAT in November 2016). The BMAT 2016 date is 2nd November 2016, with results released on 25th November 2016.
Who has to take the BMAT?
Undergraduate Medicine Applicants to: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore), University of Malaya (Malaysia).
Graduate Medicine Applicants to: University of Oxford, Imperial College London.
Veterinary Medicine Applicants to: University of Cambridge.
Biomedical Science Applicants to: University of Oxford, Imperial College London.
Dentistry Applicants to: University of Leeds.
How to Prepare for the BMAT?
The first and most important step is to consider the BMAT like any other A-Level or GCSE examination, and ignore any mention of the BMAT as 'an examination that cannot be prepared for.' There is a statistically significant correlation between the amount one prepares for the BMAT, and one's BMAT score.
Section 1 (Aptitude and Skills) - 35 MCQ, 60 Minutes
Question Types: Problem Solving, Data Handling & Critical Thinking
A) Resources - Make use of the abundance of free practice resources available for Section 1. In addition to the Official BMAT Past Papers, Oxford TSA Past Papers provide additional practice for Problem Solving questions whilst OCR Critical Thinking Unit 2 is a very useful practice resource for Critical Thinking Questions.
B) Recognise Pitfalls - In contrast to most A-Level examinations, BMAT Section 1 is full of tricks and trips, intended to misguide students. Fortunately, there are only so-many tricks that the BMAT are able to use. Hence, each time you come across one of these, add it to your 'personal list', to avoid making the same mistake in future practice.
Section 2 (Scientific Knowledge and Applications) - 27 MCQ, 30 Minutes
Question Types: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics
A) Official Resource Guide - With this being the official resource guide, there really is no better resource for Section 2 preparation. Most students find it best to quickly review the whole guide and highlight any topics which they have not covered at GCSE level for further learning. Bear in mind that whilst Section 2 is supposed to be 'GCSE Level'; the examination can assess topics which you may not have covered until AS and sometimes even A2 due to variation in exam board specifications.
B) Timing - Half the challenge of Section 2 is the limited time; hence, it essential to practice this section under strict timed conditions. Fast mental maths, confident use of fractions and a good background Biology knowledge, will ensure that you have additional time for those challenging Physics and Chemistry calculations.
C) Resources - Once you have completed all official and BMAT specific resources, GCSE Bitesize is of some use, whilst you may wish to also consider practicing GCSE Maths Calculator papers, without a calculator in order to further improve your mental maths.
Section 3 (Written Task) - 1 Essay (Choice of 4), 30 Minutes
Question Types: Topical Medical Issues, Medical Ethics, Medical Philosophy, Veterinary Medicine
A) Address all parts of the question - Each question normally has three or four parts. Regardless of how good your essay is, if you do not address all parts of the question, your essay will be capped at 3/3.5 as per the Section 3 Official Marking Criteria.
B) Plan - With 30 minutes, and one A4 sheet provided, this section is the least time restricted. Essays which score highest are those which are well structured and address all parts of the question, bringing in additional topical examples and knowledge.
Free BMAT Resources
A) Official BMAT Past Papers (Style 1)
B) Official BMAT Past Papers (Style 2)
C) Past Paper Worked Solutions
D) Section 1 Practice Questions
E) Section 2 Practice Questions
F) Practice Questions
A) Preparing for the BMAT: The Official Guide to the Biomedical Admissions Test
B) Get into Medical School. 400 BMAT Practice Questions