# BMAT Problem Solving Tips

Advice & Insight From BMAT Specialists

There are several suggested approaches and tips to follow to succeed with Problem Solving questions. You need to familiarise yourself with an approach to tackle each of these questions. Practising problem solving questions will also help you to identify areas of weakness and common pitfalls.

## Strategic approach to Problem Solving

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## How to tackle more challenging Problem-Solving Questions

The mathematical skills being tested are in themselves not so challenging. However, when these skills need to be applied to a question it adds an extra layer of complexity. Many students struggle to interpret the question and understand what procedural approach they should be taking. Firstly, reread the questions, answer options and note the headings and labels used in the resource. With calculation questions try to work out the order of calculation you will need to do. Try to think of what logical calculations you can do and what you can calculate from what you are given. Although some of these calculations may not be required to get the answer, they can help you to interpret and understand the resource.

## Working in timed conditions

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## Using Estimation

Even if you believe you have identified the correct answer ensure you carefully read all the answer options and can identify how they differ. Many of the answer options may differ by factors of 10. Consider using estimation and rounding to the nearest 10/100 to sense check your answer.Â  Some questions may lend themselves more favourably to estimation then others where the answers are further away in value. When estimating note whether you have estimated up or down and consider how this may impact your answer

## Practice Mental Maths

Remember that you are not permitted to use a calculator as part of section 1 of the BMAT exam. This means that you must be confident with your mental maths skills. Check that you are confident with quick mental arithmetic. Youâ€™ll need to brush up on your timetables up to 12. It is also useful to memories the first 20 square numbers and first 10 cube numbers.

## Practice Conversions

It is likely that at some point during your school career you have been confident converting between decimals, fractions and percentages but it can be easy to forget the most time efficient ways to do these operations. Go through your GCSE revision notes to improve your abilities in conversion.

## Improve your spatial Reasoning Skills

Ensure you can manipulate shapes using translation concepts such as rotation and reflection. Practice pattern recognition questions and be confident with the characteristics of 2D and 3D shapes.

#### BMAT Problem Solving Tips

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