Everything you need to know about the Section 3 Essay of the BMAT: Part 1

BMAT

2019-12-11

Section 3 tends to worry most people as it is formatted as a writing task, like an essay, but with the correct mindset section 3 can be the easiest part of the whole BMAT. Below is Part 1 of Medify’s step-by-step guide to fully embracing and understanding this section to get you on your way to achieving the best BMAT score you possibly can.

No space on the BMAT page: 

There is not much space to write in as it is only an A4 page. The top quarter of it is taken up with your name and candidate number, all you have to write on are three quarters of a side of A4, and there is a border around the edges which you are not allowed to write outside of. We recommend instead of thinking of section 3 like an essay, think of it as writing three paragraphs as you only have room to write three or four paragraphs in that small box; thinking about it as writing a few paragraphs makes it much more psychologically manageable than thinking about it as an essay, essays can be scary for some.

Get to Know the BMAT scoring:

Section 3 is marked out of five, like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and you get a grade, so A, B, C, D or E. The number is basically the content of your essay and the letter is for grammar, spelling, punctuation and other elements. Most people get an A for grammar, some people get a B, a very small minority get a C. Your essay is marked by two examiners, and these examiners tend to be graduate students at Cambridge. Each year, graduate students receive an email from the admissions testing service saying, ‘would you like to mark BMAT essays?’ Where they get paid about 18 pounds an hour. Your essay is marked by two of these examiners and the mark you receive will have been averaged out. If there is any significant discrepancy in marks between two examiners, such as if one gives you a 5A and one gives you 2D, the senior examiner will mark it, therefore, adding an element of safety to this otherwise, fairly subjective task of marking a BMAT essay. 

What is a good score? 3 is reasonable, 4 and 5 are good, most people get A or B for the grammar. Most universities use a cut-off of maybe about 2.5C, so as long as you get a 3C or above, then you are fine.  To get a 3, all you really have to do is answer the question, providing you have answered the question near to correct, chances are you will get at least a 3. The use of nice language to explain your points is what gets you into the 4's and the 5's. 

Want to read more? Here's Everything you need to know about the Section 3 essay of the BMAT: Part 2.


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.

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