BMAT Chemistry Checklist & Specification

Advice & Insight From BMAT Specialists

 The Chemistry section is comprised of 7 MCQ questions. There are 17 areas from which questions are formed. These questions draw upon topics that an applicant would normally encounter at secondary level and provide a test of deduction and analysis of both verbal and visual MCQs.

The 17 topics in the Chemistry section would be classed as follows:

  1. Atomic structure: Understand protons, neutrons and electrons along with relative masses and charges. Use standard notation and write atomic numbers for the first 20 elements in the Periodic Table. Understand isotopes.
  2. The Periodic Table (IUPAC conventions): Understand arrangement of elements and element groups. Know the electron configuration of an atom and its place in the table. Understand chemical table position relationship to reactivity.
  3. Chemical reactions, formulae and equations: Understand formation of new substances. Understand types of compounds. Use state symbols. Balance a chemical equation. Understand reactions and states of equilibrium.
  4. Quantitative chemistry: Use Ar values for relative molar mass. Understand Avogadro’s number. Calculate percentage composition using Ar values. Use chemical equations. Understand gas mole volume in relation to temperature and pressure. Calculate solubility to a saturated solution. Perform titration calculations. Calculate the percentage yield and actual yield.
  5. Oxidation, reduction and redox: Understand definitions of oxidation and reduction relating to transfer of electrons. Know oxidation states of atoms in simple inorganic compounds. Identify oxidation and reduction in chemical equations. Understand the concepts of disproportionation, oxidising agent and reducing agent.
  6. Chemical bonding, structure and properties: Define elements, compounds and mixtures. Understand configuration of a noble gas. Understand bonding and ionic bonding reaction. Understand oxidation states. Define Covalent and metallic bonding. Understand melting point and conductivity. Understand intermolecular forces connect structure and bonding to physical properties.
  7. Group chemistry: Understand physical and chemical properties of the alkali metals, the halogens and the noble gases. Describe trends in chemical reactivity and physical properties. Understand displacement reaction between halogens and halide ions.
  8. Separation techniques: Know chemical processes to displace constituent elements from their compounds. and physical processes to separate mixtures. Apply simple/fractional distillation, paper chromatography, use of a separating funnel, centrifugation, dissolving, filtration, evaporation and crystallisation. Use chromatography to establish the purity of a substance.
  9. Acids, bases and salts: Define an acid and reactions with metals, carbonates, metal hydroxides and metal oxides with related terms strong, weak, dilute and concentrated. Understand pH measure of H+ ion concentration. Define a base. Use terms: strong, weak, dilute and concentrated. Understand form of alkaline solutions. Know reaction of an acid with a base.
  10. Rates of reaction: Describe qualitative effects on a rate of reaction of concentration, temperature, particle size, a catalyst and gas pressure. Calculate rate of reaction from graphical data. Understand concepts of collision theory, activation energy (Ea) and catalysts.
  11. Energetics: Understand exothermic and endothermic reactions, effects in reversible reactions and in bond breaking/bond formation. Interpret energy level diagrams. Calculate energy changes in calorimetry experiments using bond energy data.
  12. Electrolysis: Understand the terms electrode, cathode, anode and electrolyte. Know use of AC/DC relating to electrolysis. Understand cations and anions positions relating to cathode and anode and the process of oxidation. Predict products of aqueous solutions and molten binary compounds. Write half-equations for electrode processes. Define electroplating.
  13. Carbon/Organic chemistry: Understand hydrocarbon sources and trends in physical properties of hydrocarbons. Know shorter chain alkanes and alkenes, and write balanced chemical equations. Understand structural isomerism, molecular formula, full structural formula (displayed structure) and condensed structural formula. Use the terms complete combustion and incomplete combustion. Know the IUPAC guidelines. Understand the terms homologous series and functional group. Recognise alkanes and alkenes. Test for unsaturation with bromine water with hydrogen, halogens, hydrogen halides and steam. Understand Polymers, Alcohols, Carboxylic acids with related reactions with catalysts.
  14. Metals: Understand metal reactivity and uses of metals related to their physical and chemical properties. Understand formation of positive ions. Use displacement reactions. Understand formation and uses of alloys. Understand reduction processes. Know properties of transition metals.
  15. Kinetic/Particle theory: Describe the packing and movement of particles in the three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Understand freezing, melting, boiling/evaporating, and condensing. Understand energy requirements and intermolecular forces.
  16. Chemical tests: Know tests for gases: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and chlorine. Recognise and describe tests for anions: carbonates, halides and sulfates. Know and recognise the test for metal cations using aqueous sodium hydroxide. Recognise the flame test for the cations of Li (crimson red), Na (yellow-orange), K (lilac), Ca (red-orange), Cu (green). Recognise the presence of water using anhydrous copper.
  17. Air and water: Use the composition of dry air, understand fractional distillation. Know the origins and describe the effects of greenhouse gases and gaseous pollutants. Know the purpose of chlorine and fluoride ions in the treatment of drinking water.

An applicant would be expected to have a working knowledge of the above topics along. A methodical revision of each of these areas would provide a firm foundation to complete the chemistry questions in section 2 of the BMAT test.

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