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The BMAT! Section 1 – Aptitude and skills Section 2 - Scientific knowledge and application Section 3 – Writing task. Section 1 – Aptitude and skills 35 Questions, multiple choice or short (1 word) answers 1 hour long

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The BMAT! Section 1 – Aptitude and skills Section 2 - Scientific knowledge and application

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The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • The BMAT!

  • Section 1 – Aptitude and skills

  • Section 2 - Scientific knowledge and application

  • Section 3 – Writing task


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Section 1 – Aptitude and skills

  • 35 Questions, multiple choice or short (1 word) answers

  • 1 hour long

  • Marks are converted to BMAT scale 1-9 (typical academically able candidates should score around 5. A 6 is pretty good)

  • 3 skills tested in section 1

    • Problem solving

    • Understanding argument

    • Data analysis and Inference


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Problem solving

  • Test you ability to understand, compare, use and analyses mathematical information.

  • Tips

  • READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY. Make sure you understand what you are being asked

  • Ask yourself what information you need in order to answer the question and how you can get this info from what they have given you

  • Try and have a systematic approach, don’t just stare it

  • Try putting the data into a different from

  • If you can’t do it – MOVE ON – come back at the end. If you really cannot do it – guess – don’t leave a question unanswered.

  • Check your answers through at the end if you have time


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Example 1

  • The figures below show the results of a survey of 1000 people on the size of their current and previous car.

  • If this table is representative of those who are looking to change their car at present, what percentages of purchases would you expect to trade up to a larger car than their present one?

    • A – 12%

    • B – 22%

    • C – 24%

    • D – 28%

    • E – 70%


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Example 2

Which two of these statements are equivalent

A – Anne is not older than Susan

B – Susan is younger than Anne

C – Susan is at least as old as Anne

D – Anne is not younger than Susan


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Example 3.

Three friends decide to weigh themselves on a public weighing machine using only 1 coin. Not thinking properly they do not weigh each person separately. First John and Ivan get on and the machine shows 90kg. Ivan gets off and Kevin gets on – the machine shows 95kg. Final John gets off and Ivan gets back on, the machine then shows 99kg.

How much does John weigh?


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Understanding argument

  • These questions will test 3 main skills

    • Analysis – Identifying reasons, assumptions, and conclusions in shorts arguments

    • Evaluation – Detecting flaws, recognising weaknesses and strengths, assessing responses which challenge and support arguments

    • Inference – Drawing reliable conclusions and recognising unsafe ones


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Understanding argument

  • Most questions are based on a short passage, with multiple choice or one word answers. Question may include such phrases as...

  • Which of the following is the main conclusion of the above argument?

  • Which of the following is an assumption of the above argument?

  • Which of the following is a claim that would weaken (or support) the above argument?

  • Etc.

  • Or you could be asked to clarify an ambiguous term, assess a definition or explain an anomaly or discrepancy


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Understanding argument

Useful vocab.

Conclusion, reason, premise, assumption, explanation, Inference, implication, consequence.


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Understanding argument

Conclusion – smoking causes heart disease

Average number of cigarettes smoked per day

Frequency of heart disease


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Example 4

The worst of what ensued when the Exxon Valdez spilled 40,000 tons of crude oil into Alaska’s coastal waters in 1989 is not that it was the most damaging oil spill in history but that it isn’t yet history. Despite intensive research on the ecosystem, this 10,000 square mile tapestry of ice field, mountains forest and sea is far from recovered. Lingering and unanticipated injuries abound. A 2001 study found more than 100 tons of toxic oil remaining on dozens of the beaches, oil that seeps out with every tide, and that – because incomplete weathering left behind higher concentrations of toxins – is even more poisonous now than it when it gushed from the ripped tanker. This oil will remain on these beaches for decades to come.

Which of the following best summarises the main conclusion of the argument?

A – The worst aspect of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is that it’s consequences are not yet played out

B – Despite the research on the coastal ecosystem, the effected environment has not yet returned to normal

C – Much of the damage caused by the Exxon Valdez oils spill was due to the particular nature of the coast line.

D – The harmful effects of the oil are greater now than they were when the Exxon Valdez spilled its cargo

E – There will be oil on Alaska’s beaches decades from now.


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Example 5

It is predicted that battery capacity for the next generation of mobile phones will have to rise by around 10% a year to power the ever increasing number and range of features that consumers want and mico-chip technology makes possible – a phenomenon known as “feature-creep”. But such a rate of advance on the battery front in unachievable. For one thing batteries will need to be recharged more than once a day to cope with demand and, since they can only be recharged a limited number of times before they degrade, that means they will wear out more quickly. Mobile phones use lithium-ion batteries which are the latest and most powerful available, but the fact remains that more power means more ion activity, which in turn means larger batteries. Consumer meanwhile want smaller and smaller phones

If it predictions are correct which one of the following can be reliably infered from the passage above?

A – Consumers will have to accept larger phones as the price of ‘feature-creep’

B – Mobile phone technology will soon have gone as far as it can

C – Consumers will not be satisfied with phones that need recharging every few hours

D – Battery technology will determine mobile phone development in the foreseeable future

E – No one can be sure what the next generation of mobile phones will be like


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

Example 6

People who work in places where staff are made redundant suffer more ill health than other workers, even if they do not themselves lose their job. Researchers surveyed a cross section of large companies and found that the increase in sickness matched the increase in “downsizing” - a euphemism for getting rid of workers in order to reduce labour costs. Deaths amongst employees, from all causes, increased by 21% in the five years following minor downsizing: where major job losses had occurred deaths increased by 100% over the same interval. Clearly, therefore, the fear of finding themselves suddenly out of work has a highly detrimental effect on employees physical wellbeing.

Which (one or more) of the following, if true, would seriously weaken the above argument?

A – After 5 years the death rate amongst employees returned to pre-downsizing levels

B – Downsizing invariably increased the workload on the remaining employees

C – The average age of those made redundant was 12.7 years higher than that of the staff that remained

D – The incidence of death or serious illness did not increase amongst those who were actually made redundant.


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Data Analysis and Inference

  • In these question you will be given some numerial information. This could be in a variety of forms, table, graph, diagram, statistics etc.

  • You will then be asked 4 – 6 questions about this information. These may require you to interpreted the data, to manipulate it or to draw conclusions from it.


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Example 7

  • How much further per year did the average person travel in a car (either as driver or as passenger) in 2002 as compared to 1999/2001?

    • A – 29 miles

    • B – 55 miles

    • C – 84 miles

    • D – 166 Miles

    • E – 2239 miles


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Example 8

  • Which mode of transport has seen the biggest percantage decrease between 1975/6 and 2002?

    • A – Walk

    • B – Bicycle

    • C – Private hire bus

    • D – motor cycle/moped

    • E – Local stage bus


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Example 8

  • Which mode of transport has seen the biggest percantage decrease between 1975/6 and 2002?

    • A – Walk

    • B – Bicycle

    • C – Private hire bus

    • D – motor cycle/moped

    • E – Local stage bus


The bmat section 1 aptitude and skills section 2 scientific knowledge and application

  • Example 9

  • What was the approximate average distance of a single journey stage in 2002 (Give your answer to the nearest 0.5 miles)


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