The BMAT Section 2 is the ‘Scientific Knowledge And Applications’ section, it tests your ability to apply scientific knowledge typically covered in school.
The main challenge with the BMAT section 2 is timing, you have roughly 1 minuter per question and it draws upon your knowledge of Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and tests your ability to apply scientific knowledge.
1. Identify gaps in Knowledge ASAP and Learn Concepts!
Use the Section 2 Assumed Knowledge guide provided by the exam board to identify any gaps in knowledge and use the necessary resources to learn concepts. Combine study with the official BMAT Specification to ensure you are learning the concepts drawn on the exam. Once you feel comfortable practice questions either using BMAT past papers or other resources like old textbooks or the GCSE bitesize.
2. Practice under both timed and untimed conditions
Use past papers to go through questions under both timed and untimed conditions. I recommend when starting out do more untimed practice to gain familiarity with the test and improve your accuracy in answering questions. Once you become comfortable, step up the speed with timed practice.
3. Do a Practice Mock Every week leading to the exam
Try doing about 1-2 past paper mocks every week leading up to the exam, time yourself and learn from the work solutions. This is a great way to get used to the timing and conditions of the exam.
4. Learn a few Mental Maths Tricks to save time
Section 2 is really time pressured so anything you can do to save time I would seriously consider it – brushing up on your mental maths is a vital aspect of your BMAT preparation. Learn shortcuts to basic operations. You can find a lot of videos on YouTube of mental maths tricks to help with the exam.
When practising questions pay attention to which operations take you longer to calculate then learn shortcuts to save time. It could be anything from converting percentages to multiplying three digit numbers.
Everyone is different, so make sure you identify the concepts that are slowing you down and find strategies for saving time, a another helpful resource to find some maths tricks is www.math-shortcut-tricks.com
5. Have a Game Plan
Whatever you do don’t go into the exam without a game plan for how you are going to tackle section 2. The game plan must-be in-depth and cover your entire approach for the day. A common game plan is to leave difficult questions and come back to them at the end. Don’t just stop there think about your strengths and weaknesses and use that to come up with a more detailed plan on how to deal with the test.
6. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses (use that to your advantage during preparation)
The sooner you can identify your strengths and weaknesses the better. For section 2 recognise the science subject that’s the weakest and make it priority during revision. Also pay attention to the form of questions as well. for example do you struggle with heavy text or questions with diagrams? Is there a specific concept you just can’t get your head around? The sooner you can identify this and come up with a preparation plan to deal with it the better.
7. Look at topics that come up Historically.
The BMAT Specification is long! A good approach to save some time is to review the BMAT past papers in the last 5-6 years to get an idea of the most common topics that come up in the exam. Make sure at the very least these topics are covered and well prepared for.