What is the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)?
The BMAT, or the Biomedical Admissions Test, is an entrance exam that many universities require as part of their admissions process for Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, and Dentistry courses. It is a notoriously tough paper that is used to help distinguish between medical applicants, who often all have excellent academic results and Personal Statements.
There are multiple test sittings of the BMAT per academic year. However, you are only allowed to sit one of them and your mark for this will be used for all universities who consider it.
What is the BMAT structure?
The BMAT is a two-hour exam comprised of three main sections:
Section 1 Thinking Skills:
32 questions | 60 minutes
The first section of the BMAT consists of multiple-choice questions testing students’ problem solving and critical thinking. Problem-solving is included to allow candidates to demonstrate that they can navigate novel problems encountered in academic and professional work. Critical thinking is used to show if applicants can explore an argument put forward, and defend or undermine a view.
Section 2 Scientific Knowledge and Applications:
27 questions | 30 minutes
The second section of the BMAT also consists of multiple-choice questions. Unlike Section 1, Section 2 is primarily knowledge-based rather than skilled-based. Students are tested on their scientific knowledge and mathematical ability in a time-pressured 30 minutes. The syllabus will broadly correspond to that covered in GCSE/IGCSE sciences and maths.
Section 3 Writing Task:
1 essay question | 30 minutes
The last section of the BMAT is a short essay. Students pick from a choice of 3 questions that may be philosophical or practical but will relate to medicine. As with essays in general, candidates are being tested on their ability to develop, communicate and present persuasive and concise arguments.
Who sits the BMAT Exam?
A wide range of universities now use the Biomedical Admissions Test as part of their assessment process, including international universities. Below is a provisional list of universities and courses requiring the BMAT test. Please confirm on the university’s website to be sure! The full list of Schools requiring the BMAT and the key dates can be found on the Admissions Testing website.
|Brighton and Sussex Medical School (B74)*||A100 Medicine|
|Imperial College London (I50)||A100 Medicine|
|Keele University (K12)**||A100 Medicine|
|Lancaster University (L14)||A100 Medicine & Surgery |
A104 Medicine & Surgery with a Gateway Year
|University of Manchester Medical School***||A106 MBChB Medicine |
A104 MBChB Medicine (with foundation year)
|University College London (U80)||A100 Medicine|
|University of Cambridge (C05)||A100 Medicine |
|University of Leeds (L23)||A100 Medicine |
A101 Gateway Year to Medicine
|University of Oxford (O33)||A100 Medicine |
A101 Graduate Medicine
BC98 Biomedical Sciences
* Both UK/EU Fee status students and International students will need to sit the BMAT for 2021 entry.
** Keele requires only ‘overseas for fees’ applicants to take BMAT.
*** For some groups of international applicants only, check the University’s website for full details.
How important is the BMAT exam?
The application process for Medical Schools is notoriously tough and rigorous. Candidates will need only excellence in many of the assessed areas to be offered a place. That being said, many institutions will be able to consider students who have been affected by unusual circumstances when applying.
Preparing for the BMAT is well advised. It’s an important step to securing your place at Oxbridge and sometimes you need a little help from the experts. There are a few tips though for choosing a BMAT course that will personally help you. You need to make sure you attend a course that will actually give you the skills you need to pass the test.
How is the BMAT Scored?
The Biomedical Admissions Test awards you one mark per correct answer from each question in Section 1 or 2. This is then converted into a uniform scale, like UMS scaling, from 1.0-9.0. Typical candidates will score 5, with the strongest candidates scoring 7.0 or above.
Section 3 is marked based on two criteria: Quality of Content and Quality of English, which are assessed on a 1.0-5.0 score and A-E basis with 5A representing the top possible grade. Most candidates will score an A in their use of English, which indicates fluency and good use of grammar and vocabulary. In contrast, the median score is 3.0 for Quality of Content, with less than 5% scoring 5.0.
BMAT Key Dates
The November dates for 2021 have not been released yet. Keep checking the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing Website for the new November dates. We have included 2020 November dates to give you a rough idea.
2021 BMAT September Dates
- NOT GOING AHEAD IN 2021 DUE TO COVID-19!
- All applicants must sit the BMAT November instead.
2020 BMAT November Dates
- 1st September – Registration begins
- 1st October – Standard registration closing date
- 15th October (at 5 pm) – Late registration closing date (late fee BMAT applies)
- 4th November – BMAT 2020 test day
- 27th November – BMAT results released
- 4th December – Deadline for BMAT results enquirers
Registration for the BMAT is not automatic with your application, so make sure this is done before the deadline which is usually in early August and October respectively.
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