In Section 2, you have 27 questions to answer in 30 minutes. Be aware, it is a time-pressured section of the test with just over 60 seconds per question.
These questions are important considering the scientific nature of the courses and is the area that arguably benefits the most from preparation. The questions require a set syllabus of GCSE-level science knowledge but they often require quite sophisticated applications of knowledge under intense time pressure.
The questions cover maths, biology, chemistry and (to the dismay of many) physics. We’ll list the syllabus below so you know what to focus on. With some solid preparation and an understanding of the time pressure, techniques can be used to help you excel at this section.
BMAT Section 2: Biology
Section 2: biology is designed to test your ability to answer questions under time pressure; therefore you will need to become familiar with these types of conditions. Luckily, the biology questions tend to be fairly straightforward and require the least amount of time. Examinable Biology content is shown below and has been adapted from Cambridge Assessment Admission Testing’s BMAT Content Specification.
BMAT Section 2: Chemistry
Usually, the majority of students find the chemistry questions very manageable as they studied the subject at A-level. Although it is meant to be around GCSE level, the questions in practice are usually much harder than expected because of the way the knowledge is applied. Questions that even good A-level chemistry students struggle with, will pop up each year, such as balancing equations and mass calculations. It is essential that you’re able to do these quickly as they take up a lot of time.
BMAT Section 2: Mathematics
BMAT maths questions tend to be very time-draining. This is not by accident. They can make students panic when they spend too much time on each question and forget to keep time for the rest of the other subjects. Make sure you learn the formula needed for the section to speed up your answers and ensure your mental maths is as good as it can be, as we promise it will save you a lot of time in the exam.
BMAT Section 2: Physics
Physics is probably the most important one to learn because around 80% of BMAT candidates don’t do physics at A-level. Everyone does Chemistry and most people do Biology, so you’ll find that you’re probably fairly well versed in those subjects anyway. The majority of the physics questions involve a fair bit of maths so make sure you are confident with converting between units and using powers of 10.
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