The BMAT (with Free BMAT Questions)
What is the BMAT? (Free BMAT Questions below!)
Section 1 updated according to 2020 changes – read on to find out more about what’s changed this year
BMAT Section 3 essay submission portal. Pupils often find marking their own essays extremely difficult. In this section, you can upload your own essay and then you will receive personal, individualised and critical assessment of your essay with a grade – marked by a BMAT expert
|BMAT Section||What does it test?||Question format||Timing|
|Section 1||Generic skills in problem solving, understanding arguments.||32 multiple-choice questions||60 minutes|
|Section 2||The ability to apply scientific knowledge typically covered in school Science and Mathematics by the age of 16 (for example, GCSE in the UK and IGCSE internationally).||27 multiple-choice questions||30 minutes|
|Section 3||The ability to select, develop and organise ideas, and to communicate them in writing, concisely and effectively.||One writing task from a choice of three||30 minutes|
What’s the Difference Between BMAT in September and November?
BMAT September is an alternative test date for BMAT in November.
The test will have the same format and will be scored in the same way, and results from either session will be considered equally by medical schools, so when you take the test is your choice (although please note that if you are applying to Oxford, you will need to take the November exam).
When is the best time to take the test?
Ultimately, this is your choice – but remember you can only take the test once in the application cycle!
However, it’s worth noting that whereas before you could only sit the exam after submitting your UCAS application, the test session in September means you can now find out your BMAT score before applying to medical school. This means you can apply strategically with both your UCAT and BMAT scores in hand.
In addition, don’t forget that if you’re applying to Oxford you will need to sit the exam in November- even if you’re applying to other medical schools accepting September results.
When you decide to take the test will depend on a variety of factors – for example, how much time you will have over the summer for UCAT preparation, work experience, extracurriculars and other commitments.
For BMAT September, you will need to register yourself. For BMAT November, your school/college will need to register you.
Questions in Section 1 & 2 are work 1 mark each. The total raw marks for each section are converted via the BMAT Scale, which runs from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest). On average, most BMAT candidates score around 5.0, which is roughly equivalent to half the marks available in the test. The best candidates are expected to score in the region of 6.0-7.0.
Each university will have their own cut off point; for example, Imperial and UCL tend to have a cut-off of around 4.7-4.9 in recent years, whilst Oxford and Cambridge tend to cut-off candidates at 6.0.
The writing tasks in Section 3 are marked by 2 examiners. Each examiner gives two scores; one for quality of content (on a scale of 0-5) and one for the quality of written English (Scaled A, C or E). If the two marks for content are the same or no more than one mark apart, the candidate gets the average of the two marks. If the two marks for written English are the same or no more than one mark apart, the scores are combined as follows: AA = A, AC = B, CE = D, EE = E.
There is a tendency to think that carnivores, given their precarious place at the top of the food chain, are the most at risk from extinction. Yet over the course of history it is likely that the opposite has been the case. Herbivores are often more specialist – evolved to suit a particular environment, to eat a particular plant. Carnivores, on the other hand, have tended to retain a more general set of attributes: teeth that could cut as well as chew; physical agility and acute senses, making them less vulnerable to changes in environment. After all, meat remains meat through even the most dramatic of environmental upheavals; whereas grassland might be converted to forest – with serious consequences for the herbivores that are grazing specialists.
Which one of the following best expresses the conclusion of the above argument?
- Herbivores are more threatened by environmental changes than carnivores.
- It is natural to think that carnivores are more at risk of extinction than herbivores.
- Herbivores are more at risk of extinction than carnivores.
- Carnivores are better at adapting to changes in environment than herbivores.
- Carnivores’ success is mostly down to their having more general adaptions than herbivores.
This kind of question asks you to pick out the main conclusion, or main point, of an argument. In short arguments like this, there are only a few places a conclusion can go. Somewhere in the passage, there ought to be a fairly strong assertion that needs, and receives, some support. This is likely to be the main conclusion and is often highlighted by words such as ‘however’. (Words like ‘however,’ ‘so’, ‘therefore’, ‘hence’ or ‘consequently’ and phrases such as ‘as a result of this’ often indicate that a conclusion is being drawn.) If another conclusion is drawn, you need to decide whether this further conclusion is the main conclusion or an intermediate conclusion. (An intermediate conclusion is a conclusion that is drawn along the way to the main conclusion.) So, you need to decide if this further conclusion is an intermediate one that also supports the claim after the ‘however’ or whether it actually follows from, or is a logical consequence of, the claim after the ‘however’. If it follows from the claim that comes after ‘however,’ this later conclusion will be the main one. If you are not sure which of two conclusions is the main one, say them together, and insert the words ‘therefore’ or ‘because’ between them. If they make more sense with the word ‘therefore’ between them, then the claim after the ‘therefore’ will be the (main) conclusion and the claim before it either a reason or an intermediate conclusion. The reverse is true if the word ‘because’ fits better between them.
Here the argument begins by asserting a viewpoint that is commonly held (‘There is a tendency to think that carnivores … are the most at risk of extinction’). This is followed by ‘Yet’ (a ‘however’ synonym) and the claim that this viewpoint ought to be revised – in fact, ‘the opposite has been the case’. Making such a statement in this context is equivalent to asserting that ‘herbivores are most at risk of extinction’. So the second sentence is likely to be a conclusion.
As you read on, you find that reasons are given for why the claim that carnivores are the most at risk from extinction ought to be rejected, so the second sentence is definitely a conclusion. Now, in this case, a further conclusion does occur, that carnivores are ‘less vulnerable to changes in environment’. However, this does not follow from the previous conclusion that herbivores are perhaps more at risk of extinction. Instead it supports it. What comes next in the passage gives further support for this second conclusion: ‘After all, meat remains meat through even the most dramatic of environmental upheavals; whereas grassland might be converted to forest – with serious consequences for the herbivores that are grazing specialists’. This would make the initial conclusion, the second claim of the passage, the main conclusion. If you were not sure, here are the two possible conclusions, applying the ‘therefore’ test: Herbivores are more vulnerable to changes in environment Therefore: It is likely that herbivores are more at risk of extinction Therefore: Herbivores are more vulnerable to changes in environment
Hopefully, you can see that the first is more logical. Apart from anything else, it goes from a definite claim, ‘Herbivores are more vulnerable …’, to a less definite claim, ‘It is likely that …’. It doesn’t make sense to argue from a less definite claim to a more definite one; it makes more sense to argue from something more certain (the reason) to something less certain. The reason in an argument is usually presented as more or less known; the conclusion as inferred. Since C most closely paraphrases the claim after the ‘Yet’ and is supported by another conclusion, it most closely paraphrases the main conclusion of the argument. Therefore, C is the right answer.
Identify the correct path for food passing through the digestive system.
- Pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine.
- Larynx, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon.
- Pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, large intestine, small intestine.
- Larynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine.
- Pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, ileum, duodenum, colon
Answer: A (pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine)
‘A little learning is a dangerous thing.’ (Alexander Pope) Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary to show that a little learning is not dangerous. To what extent do you think learning can be a dangerous thing?
You must be honest and open and act with integrity. (UK General Medical Council, Good Medical Practice 2006) Explain what is meant by the above statement. Why might honesty, openness and integrity be important in a good doctor? Under what circumstances might a good doctor be justified in being less than perfectly honest or open in the course of their professional practice?