Read our ten top tips before you start
by Rachel Rudge, Stakeholder Support Manager
If you’re applying to university, you may also have to take an admissions test from Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (a test such as BMAT, for example, the BioMedical Admissions Test). Some universities use admissions tests to find out whether you have the knowledge and skills needed for success on their course. Admissions tests help level the playing field and give every student an opportunity to let their true potential shine.
To do well in an admissions test, you need to prepare properly – so start by reading our ten top tips:
1. Check which test your course requires
Every degree has different entry requirements, so start by checking with your target university to confirm which admissions test(s) you need to take. Not all admissions tests are compulsory but they are still recognised by universities as evidence of ability, helping your application stand out from the crowd.
2. Confirm key dates and deadlines
Find out when test registration opens and closes, when the test will take place, and any deadlines for sharing results with universities. All the information you need is on the Admissions Testing website, and as soon as these dates are in your diary, then you can start preparing for the test.
3. Get to know the test specification
This provides a detailed summary of the knowledge and skills the test can draw on. It outlines the test format – the number of sections and questions, for example, and how long the test lasts. The test specifications can change from year to year, so make sure you only read the latest version.
4. Plan your preparation
Every student is different and therefore has different ways of working. It’s important to plan your time well to suit your style. Ensure you leave yourself enough time to do all the preparation you need in the time you have available and don’t cram just before the test.
5. Use the free preparation resources
There’s no need to pay for extra tuition or preparation materials – everything you need is on the Admissions Testing website, so check what’s available for your specific test. We regularly add to our preparation resources, so follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest updates.
6. Prepare effectively
However you like to prepare, some things can make a real difference to your productivity. Try and find a quiet place to work without distractions. Eat well, avoid too much caffeine, and don’t forget to build in time for rest and relaxation.
7. Prepare using past paper questions
Working your way through practice and past papers (all freely available online) is an ideal way to learn, revise, and find out more about the test. Don’t turn the timer on just yet – complete a few questions at your own pace and then read the explained answers. Use this process to spot gaps in your knowledge or topics which need more practice, and discover how to earn those all-important extra marks.
8. Practise under timed exam conditions
As the test approaches, complete some past papers under timed conditions. You need to learn how to read questions quickly and accurately, and how to manage your time across each test section.
9. Check what you need for the test
As test day approaches, confirm exactly what you can take into the test room. For every admissions test you will also need to bring valid photographic identification such as a passport, driving licence (provisional is fine) or student ID. Also look out for additional instructions from your school or test centre.
10. And finally – try to stay calm and positive on the test day
We know you may feel nervous on the test day, but try to stay calm – read the questions carefully and, most importantly, don’t panic. An admissions test is your opportunity to show your chosen university what you can do. If you’ve prepared well and know what to expect when the test begins, then you should be fine – good luck!