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For Test-takers: The Cambridge Assessment Admission Tests

October 15, 2019

For Test-takers: The Cambridge Assessment Admission Tests

Exams are a part of our lives, right from when we are in school to when we move to college or university. They even follow us into our professional lives. For some exams are a nerve-wracking experience, while some thrive on them. But we have all felt it, the thrill, and the nervous energy upon entering a test centre. Our palms sweat, heart pounds as we take our seat and wait anxiously for the exam to begin until we finally settle down and get on with it.

Depending on which test you’re giving, you may spend a few hours at the centre. For instance, if you are interested in making your career in the field of medicine, you will be expected to give the BioMedical Admissions Test or BMAT, which is a two-hour-long exam; if mathematics is your thing and you decide to pursue an undergraduate degree in the subject, you’d be taking the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). TMUA is an hour and fifty minutes long. Let’s discuss these exams in a bit more detail.

Tests such as BMAT, TMUA, and Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) among others are administered by Cambridge Assessment Admission Testing, a part of the University of Cambridge.

1. BioMedical Admission Test

Universities in the UK and a few others around the world, including the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and others have been using BMAT to identify applicants to their medicine, biomedicine and dentistry degree courses since 2003.

BMAT Test Format

The BMAT is split into three sections:

a. Aptitude and Skills – This section is 60 minutes long and carries 35 multiple-choice questions that test a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, understanding of arguments, data analysis and inference.

b. Scientific Knowledge and Applications – This section takes 30 minutes to finish and has 27 multiple-choice questions. It tests a student’s ability to apply scientific knowledge.

c. Writing Task – This section is of the same duration as section 2 and includes one writing task. The candidate needs to demonstrate whether they can select, develop and organize ideas, and communicate them in a concise, effective way.

2. Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA)

If you’re one of those students whose answer to the question, “What’s your favourite subject”, has always been mathematics, you’d enjoy pursuing a degree in the subject.

The Test of Mathematics for University Admission allows you to demonstrate that you have the mathematical thinking and reasoning skills needed for a demanding undergraduate course in Mathematics.

Several universities, including the University of Bath, Cardiff University, London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Southampton, among many others, accept the results of the TMUA test.

Benefits of taking TMUA

It’s up to you whether you want to share the results of your TMUA test with universities or not. Therefore, the TMUA offers a risk-free, no-pressure opportunity to test your skills and prove your potential. In most cases, the test is not compulsory. However, if you do well on this test, it may result in a reduced offer. A reduced offer is when a college or university lowers the grade requirements to take the pressure off of the applicants to achieve a higher grade.

TMUA Format

The Test of Mathematics for University Admission is 2 hours 30 minutes long and includes two multiple-choice papers.

a. Paper 1: Mathematical Thinking – This portion assesses a candidates’ ability to apply knowledge of mathematics in new situations.

b. Paper 2: Mathematical Reasoning – This portion assesses a candidates’ ability to justify and interpret mathematical arguments and conjectures, and deal with elementary concepts from logic.

3. Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)

The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) measures your ability in critical thinking and problem-solving. These skills are essential for success in higher education. Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford and University College London accept TSA scores. However, each university needs it for specific courses. So ensure, you’re aware of it before registering.

Choosing the Right Test Centre

Taking a high-stakes exam is one thing but finding a professional testing centre that meets all your needs is another. Make sure the test centre you pick is conveniently located and offers the exam dates you want. You also want a centre that follows all the security protocol, has qualified proctors who understand the entire exam process and offers a comfortable testing environment.

If you wish to take the BMAT, TMUA or the TSA, find out if you have an accredited test centre in your city. If you live in British Columbia, you can take your test at Ashton Testing Services, either in Vancouver or Abbotsford test centres.

Good luck.

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