• Megan Richardson

Top Tips to ACE Section 1 of the BMAT

Scoring Highly on BMAT Section 1


BMAT Section 1 or the thinking skills section involves testing two skills, your problem-solving skills and your critical thinking skills. The questions are comparable to those you would find in Verbal Reasoning and Decision Making in the UCAT. There are 32 multiple-choice questions assessed over 60 minutes.

Each question in this section is worth 1 mark. This is then converted to the standard BMAT scoring, which is scaled from 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest.


The BMAT Section 1 can feel a little alien and daunting. Here are some top tips to help you through!


Tip 1: Be careful which past papers you use


There were some changes to BMAT Section 1 in 2020, specifically:

  • There are no longer any Data Analysis or Inference questions

  • There are 32 questions instead of 35 questions without a change in the amount of time that is allocated

  • There are no longer any long passages that are followed by 4 questions, instead, they are followed by 5.


Tip 2: Don’t waste your time on super tricky questions


Each question in this section is worth the same amount of marks, so if a question is tricky, put an asterisk next to it, mark an answer and move on. It is not worth losing the marks on the easy questions by wasting all your time on the harder ones, that you may not get to an answer with anyway.

Remember: some questions may be designed to test your prioritisation and see how you divide your time. Don’t get tripped up by spending too much time on a lengthy question.


Tip 3: Read the test guide


The BMAT test guide is linked here and is very helpful. It includes worked examples and fantastic explanations.


Tip 4: Don’t spend too much time on the data


The data can be really bulky and scary. Don’t spend all your time analysing it, instead read the headings and subtitles to give you a rough idea. Then you can hone in on the bits you need exactly after reading the question


Tip 5: Diagrams!


There are spatial reasoning questions within the BMAT Section 1. Don’t be afraid to use a diagram to work these out.


Tip 6: Rounding


It is best practice to round wherever you can within BMAT Section 1. Remember; you don’t have a calculator, so it’s going to be quite tricky to calculate things exactly. Skim the answers. It may be that some can immediately be excluded because they don’t sound sensible.


Then you need to check how far apart the answers are. If they’re all within a decimal point, rounding might be tricky. However, if they’re quite far apart, definitely give it a go.


Tip 7: Algebra!


If Jane earns 4 times Tom’s salary, then Jane’s salary is 4T or J=4T.

Some students find that algebra makes things a little clearer and easier to understand. Give it a go!



Next Steps


The BMAT is a tricky test as with any medical admissions test, but with the right preparation, it is an exam that you can ace!


Any further questions?