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IMAT Prep Guide

IMAT Preparation Specialists

Preparing for the IMAT should be seen as a marathon, not a sprint. This is an extensive exam that’s important for your future, and as such the preparation period should be seen as months overall, rather than weeks. As an absolute minimum, 6 weeks of concentrated effort would be required – however, with the breadth of content in the exam, you should aim for more like 2-3 months’ preparation.

IMAT Section 1 Prep

Preparing for Section 1 might seem tricky at first. You’ll need to get used to the question types before you begin. It’s worth beginning this process some time before the exam, so that you’re comfortable with it and what you’ll need to do. We recommend that you read our guide to this section as well as looking at past papers some months before. This will allow you time to reflect on the section, your confidence with it, and whether or not you’ve had to face similar challenges before. Ensure that you are honest with yourself and dedicate a realistic amount of time to your preparation.

Whilst preparing, you should begin with a thorough grounding in the different types of questions and what they look for, before moving into a question bank. At the outset, time isn’t as important – but as the exam moves closer you must move towards practising under timed conditions. This is especially important for this section; some of the logical thinking questions can have long paragraphs that are tricky to summarise, and unless you’re used to doing them you may find yourself spending too long on them.

As well as IMAT resources, it’s worth thinking about other exams that involve critical thinking and problem solving. In particular, you might want to check out the BMAT, which is very similar to the IMAT, or the TSA, which is another university level entrance exam.

This leaves General Knowledge – arguably the hardest part of the exam to prepare for. Our IMAT General Knowledge guide has more information, but you’ll typically find that a mixture of world history and important cultural figures with a focus on Italy is the safest route. However, in order to feel relatively confident, you should begin months before the exam and see this as something of a self-improvement challenge, rather than just exam prep. You should also make use of an IMAT-specific general knowledge question bank.

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Section 2,3,4

Your preparation for these sections will seem a little more straightforward, as they’re more like a typical high school test. You should still give yourself at least six weeks of preparation time, although depending on your confidence with the sciences this can be a bit variable – some students might still be studying all of Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics and find the content much more straightforward than a student who is now studying Biology, Chemistry, French and Latin, for example. Ensure that you look at the specification and past papers with around 3 months to go until the exam so that you can best plan what you need to focus on moving towards the exam.

As well as IMAT content, you’ll find BMAT Section 2 content to be useful for your revision. The two share largely the same specification, although you should be aware that they are slightly different. Beyond this, the NSAA, or Natural Sciences Admission Assessment, is of use – this is a test for Cambridge students looking to study the Natural Sciences. It’s pitched at a slightly higher level than the IMAT.

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General Preparation Tips

This might be the broadest exam that you’ve sat, and perhaps also the longest period of preparation. Therefore make sure to focus on yourself and your physical and mental health as well. Speak to others if you feel that the process is becoming difficult or that you’re not making the progress that you’d like, and make sure to balance your work with activities that relieve stress. Ensure that you get enough sleep and eat healthily too – your mind and body will thank you and your ability to learn will increase too.

If possible, try to keep some sort of preparation journal in which you note down areas of particular interest or concern, as well as honest thoughts on your progress.

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