The BMAT Section 1 is the ‘Aptitude And Skills’ section, the sections tests generic skills in problem-solving, understanding arguments, and data analysis and inference. It is 60 minutes long with 35 multiple choice questions. I personally found this section of the exam fine, I recommend going through past papers and brushing up on GCSE mathematics. A good place to start is the practice papers found on the Admissions Testing Service website. I recommend first doing the Section 1 paper timed with no preparation to see where your natural capabilities lie. I recommend you use the answers provided to score yourself and take note of the topics you find difficult. You want to identify your weakness as early as possible and spend the remaining weeks improving them.
Here is rough guideline on how to prepare for BMAT Section 1 (Aptitude & Skills):
- Identify – Attempt the practice questions on the Admissions testing Service website with no preparation. Practice paper can be found here.
- Prioritise – Prioritise the topics and questions you got wrong or found difficult. Use the BMAT specification provided by the BMAT to get further understanding the skills/ topics required. The BMAT specification can be downloaded here.
- Improve – Use books or courses to improve skills. I personally recommend you don’t buy every book under the sun, my recommended BMAT books can be found here. I also recommend the Uniadmissions BMAT course (Get £15 Off with voucher code ‘BMATBLOG15’). Find my full review here.
- Practice – Practice as many questions as possible, until you a fully comfortable with the section. You can attempt another past paper timed and see how well you have improved.
I believe if you follow this preparation strategy you will drastically improve your BMAT score, by identifying your weakness early and tailoring your preparation strategy to improve on difficult topics is by far the most efficient and effective way to prepare for the BMAT.
A good place to get support with GCSE mathematics is the BBC Bitesize website. The GCSE mathematics course is free and extremely helpful, focus on the following main topics:
- Problem Solving
- Statistics – Collecting, Representing and Analysing data
- Ratio and Proportions
- Geometry and Measure