The BMAT is a 2-hour, pen-and-paper test divided into three sections, testing aptitude and skills; scientific knowledge and applications and a writing task. Each section is marked differently.

Section 1 and Section 2 are marked on a scale of 0 to 9. Generally, 5 is an average BMAT score, 6 is good, and 7 is excellent. Very few people (<5%) get more than 8 and only a handful of people get 9.

The marks for BMAT sections 1 + 2 show a normal distribution with a large range. The important thing to note is that the difference between a score of 5.0 and 6.5+ is often only 3-4 questions. Thus, you can see that even small improvements in your raw score will lead to massive improvements when they are scaled.

Interestingly, you don’t need to get every question correct to score 9. In fact, you can often get 2 – 5 questions incorrect (depending on the year and the section) and still get full marks.

BMAT Section 3 is marked on 2 scales:

– A-E for Quality of English
– 0-5 for Strength of Argument

Scores for sections 3 show a normal distribution for the strength of argument; the average mark for the strength of argument is between 3 – 3.5.

The quality of English marks are negatively skewed distribution. I.e. the vast majority of students will score A or B for quality of English. Lower marks tend to be students who are not fluent in English. This effectively means that the letter is used to flag students who have a comparatively weaker grasp of English- it is more a test of competence rather than excellence like the rest of the BMAT. Thus, if you get a C or below, admissions tutors are more likely to scrutinise your essay than otherwise.

Finally, section 3 is marked by two different examiners. If there is a large discrepancy between their marks, it is marked by a third examiner.