Here is Part 2 of Medify’s step-by-step guide to getting you on track with beating the BMAT.
If you missed Part 1 of this guide you can find it here: Everything you need to know about the Section 3 Essay of the BMAT: Part 1
In section 3, you are allocated half an hour to fully write one answer out of three possible essay titles. Questions are based on topics of “general, scientific or medical interest”. For example, a medical question may ask if we should offer treatment to obese people under the NHS or it might be something about euthanasia or abortion. Provided you answer all of the sub-questions, you will almost certainly get at least a 3 out of 5. If you fail to address any of the sub-questions, the highest mark they can give you is a 2. Make sure you answer every single aspect of each question.
How do you choose a question? We recommend you spend at least two or three minutes actively deciding which question to do. It is very easy in the heat of the exam, where you have just completed section 2, which is time-pressured and leaves you thinking ‘I didn't have any time in section 2 therefore, I need to rush in section 3’. Do not do this as Section 3 is not very time-pressured at all. You have half an hour and it only takes about 10, 15 minutes to write.
It is really important that you choose your question wisely, actively go through each of the essay titles t thinking what points do I have to address each of these sub-points? Pick the one you have the most things to write about. In terms of choosing a question, there is no benefit to choosing a weird question over a normal question. Answer the easiest question and get the marks on it.
Plan your three or four paragraphs well, spend 15 minutes planning as this is the most important and effective part of section 3. Plan to the point where you know exactly what you are going to write so you are not making it up as you go along. The reason for this is you only really have one shot at that section 3 answer sheet, you will not be given another during the exam if you feel the need to restart. Treat the answer sheet as if it is sacred, do not touch it at all until you have already planned your essay in advance, and you know exactly what you are going to write.
Split the plan into two parts. Number one is the brain dump phase getting everything down you know about the subject, and number two is the organisation phase, organising all that brain dumped material into a coherent structure. If your question is "obese people shouldn't be treated under the NHS because it's a self-inflicted condition,". The subsections might be: explain a reason for, and a reason against, and give your own thoughts. You can split the paper into three sections, 'for', 'against' and your own thoughts on the topic as the conclusion. The brain dump phase, write as many points as you possibly can 'for', 'against' and summarise your thoughts into conclusion. While writing these points down, you can expand on some of them such as ‘we've got limited resources in the NHS, the budget of the NHS is around 110 billion, but this isn't enough because Cancer drugs are not being funded and A&E's are being closed down’ as the against part.
The organisation phase should only take a few minutes; pick one or two points from each section you are going with.You physically do not have the space to write any more than that, "we shouldn't treat obese people under the NHS", is a really long essay and of course you would love to write lots about it, but you only have three or four paragraphs. Pick your best points and work out how they are going to flow together. Introduction, one reason in favor of not treating obese people, one reason in favor of treating obese people and then conclude my thought on the overall topic and points made.
Want to keep reading? Here's Everything you need to know about the Section 3 essay of the BMAT: Part 3.
If you are feeling a bit stuck or would simply like to do more revision head over to our BMAT 2020 Online Revision Course we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process step-by-step.
We have over 1300 Practice Questions, Section 1-3 Tutorials, and Essay Plans, Questions, a Past Paper Grader and it works on your phone.
We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009. Medify is here to support you, just reach out to us.