Attempting BMAT papers is vital during practice. In this article we will explore the SWOT analysis framework to plan and assess your performance.
SWOT analysis is a framework for identifying and analysing the internal and external factors that can have an impact on your BMAT performance. The framework is credited to Albert Humphrey, who tested the approach in the 60s and early 70s. It is now adopted by organisations of all types as an aid to making business decisions. However, it can be used for personal assessment and we will apply the framework to assess our results in BMAT papers.
When and why you should do a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis should be used at the start of your BMAT preparation or as part of the auditing process of your BMAT game plan. The framework provides powerful support for decision-making because it enables you to uncover opportunities for exam success that weren’t initially recognised or highlight issues before its too late. For example, SWOT can help pinpoint gaps in knowledge in section 2 and help you plot accordingly while alerting you of the difficulty in timing that can pose a threat to achieving your ideal score.
Elements of a SWOT analysis
As its name states, SWOT examines four elements:
- Strengths: The skills or concepts which you find easiest and you are confident in answering most questions correctly.
- Weaknesses: These are concepts or skills you are not very confident about. You don’t think you can answer most question correctly.
- Opportunities: These are the questions in which with more practice they could turn to strengths.
- Threats: These are the questions in which you always score fewer marks despite understanding concepts and applying learned techniques to improve.
The technique is an effective process for interpreting your Strengths and Weaknesses, and for describing the Opportunities available to you and the Threats that could potentially hinder success in the exam.
How to do a BMAT SWOT analysis
A SWOT matrix is often used to organize items identified under each of these four elements. A SWOT matrix is usually a square divided into four quadrants, with each quadrant representing one of the specific elements. You identify and list specific strengths in the first quadrant, weaknesses in the next, then opportunities and, lastly, threats as seen below.
Step 1 – Attempt any two of the official BMAT papers on the Cambridge Testing Website, one at your own pace and the other under exam conditions back to back.
Step 2 – After you attempted both BMAT papers mock, mark and draw out SWOT matrix.
Step 3 – Fill-in Strengths: These are the questions that you answer correctly most of the time.
Step 4 – Fill-in Weaknesses: There are the questions which you are not able to answer (or make a random guess)
Step 5 – Fill-in Opportunities: These are questions you are not that confident and can turn into strength with a bit of practice. For example, questions you answered correctly by making a logical guess or complex questions that are easy but take longer to work out.
Step 6 – Fill-in Threats: These are questions you answer incorrectly most of the time, despite understanding the worked solutions or adopting new techniques to improve.
For help with identifying questions check out the article where we breakdown the BMAT test skills and question-types.
Using SWOT analysis During BMAT Preparation
I recommend using the results from the SWOT analysis at the beginning of your preparation to effectively identify what to focus on for the exam. If you would like help with this take our free 30-day BMAT Challenge or get a copy of the BMAT study plan on Amazon.
Also use SWOT analysis after completing BMAT past papers to track your progress and plan appropriately – put extra effort in improving your weaknesses and threats so that they get converted into strengths.
Towards the end of your preparation review all SWOT reports and use them to set a game plan for the exam. Make sure to validate the final game plan before live test.