What Is A Good BMAT Score?

One of the questions we get asked frequently is “what is a good BMAT score?” or “is my BMAT score good enough to get me into X?”. Read on to find out today.

Author: Isabelle Zou

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The BioMedical Admissions Test is taken by applicants looking to study Medicine or Dentistry at some of the best Medical Schools in the UK. But what makes a good BMAT score?

One of the questions that we get asked most frequently is “what is a good BMAT score?” or “is my BMAT score good enough to get me into X?”.

Unfortunately, it’s certainly not as simple as that – there’s no way to say that every score above a certain cut-off score is considered ‘good’ and that your score is ‘bad’ if you’re below that. Your BMAT score forms one part of your application, along with your academic results, Personal Statement and Interview performance. 

Although everything is taken into account by admissions tutors, a good BMAT score can make or break an application.

How Is The BMAT Section 1 and 2 Scored?

For Sections 1 and 2, you will gain 1 mark for each correct answer and 0 marks for each incorrect answer. Your raw mark will then be placed on a scale from 1 to 9 to make up your score for each section. 

These scores are distributed normally so most students score in the middle part of the range and scores at the two extremes are very rare, with the average student scoring 5.0. Strong candidates score around 6.0 and exceptional candidates score around 7.0. So a good score on the BMAT is 6.0+. Distributions for Section 1 in 2020 and 2019 are shown below.

Looking to score over 6.0 on Sections 1 and 2 of the BMAT? The best way to achieve this is through effective BMAT support.  

We are experts at boosting your BMAT score and maximising your chances of gaining a place to study Medicine. How? Our BMAT Tutors work with you to rapidly improve your BMAT Score through One-To-One Tuition, Intensive BMAT Courses and Mock Papers and Practice Questions. 

Discover our BMAT Programme by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

Historical BMAT Section 1 Results

BMAT 2019 Exam Section 1 Results
BMAT Section 1 2019 Distribution
bmat-section-1-2020
BMAT Section 1 2020 Distribution

From the 2020 Section 1 scores, we can see that around 25% of candidates scored between 5.0 and 6.1 and around 10% scored 6.2 and over. Similarly, in 2019, around 10% of applicants scored 6.0 and over.

In 2019, around 58% of candidates scored between 3.5 and 5.5. Whereas in 2020, this has reduced marginally to ~56.5% between 3.5 and 5.5, which isn’t a significant change. There is, however, a far more significant change when we look at scores above 5.5. In 2019, just ~11.5% of students scored above 5.5. Whereas in 2020, this increased massively to ~21.9% of candidates who scored above 5.5.

Historical BMAT Section 2 Results

BMAT 2019 Exam Section 2 Results
BMAT Section 2 2019 Distribution
bmat-section-2-2020
BMAT Section 2 2020 Distribution

It is clear to see, by comparing the Section 1 chart and the Section 2 chart, that students found the BMAT Section 2 much more difficult than BMAT Section 1 in 2020. The mean score in 2019 was 3.5-4.0. In 2020, the mean score is 4.6 which is significantly higher.

In 2020, around 20% of applicants scored between 5.0 and 5.9 in Section 2 and roughly 15% of candidates scored between 6.0 and 6.9. Around 45% of candidates achieved scores above the 4.6 mark in 2020, compared to around 58% of candidates who achieved above 3.5 – 4.0 in the 2019 exam.

How Is The BMAT Section 3 Scored?

For the quality of content, the examiners consider whether or not the candidate has fully addressed the question, the structure of the essay and the use of general knowledge, current affairs and opinions. Candidates receive a score from 1.0 to 5.0, with 3.0 being the average score in the cohort.

In general, 4.0 is a strong score and 5.0 is outstanding and rarely seen.
For quality of English, candidates will be assigned a letter from band A to E based on fluency or written English, grammar, spelling, sentence structure and vocabulary.

Around 80% of candidates receive a Band A for quality of English! Some medical schools, such as Imperial, set a cut-off for this score, so they will not accept anyone with a quality of English score lower than a B. So, it’s important that you aim for a Band A – it really doesn’t take much effort to proofread and check your spelling!

Historical BMAT Section 3 Results

BMAT 2019 Exam Section 3 Results
BMAT Section 3 2019 Distribution
bmat-2020-section-3
BMAT Section 3 2020 Distribution

Each year, by far the most common score is a 3A. The 3 in this score represents a reasonable argument that addresses the question fully, makes decent use of the material provided and also generates a reasonable counter-argument.

In 2020 BMAT Section 3, over 40% of applicants achieved a 3.0 for quality of content and around 25% of applicants scored higher than a 3.0. In terms of quality of English, over 70% of applicants scored an A.

Different universities use the BMAT in different ways

Some universities may set a BMAT cut-off score. Some may use it in conjunction with academic results or Personal Statements for Interview selection and some may not consider the BMAT at all until the final decision is being made. Some schools will place more emphasis on Section 3 than others. This is why it is hard to say what a good score on the BMAT is.

For example, Oxford centralise their shortlisting process through an algorithm that uses applicants’ proportion of A*s/9 & 8s at GCSEs along with the BMAT score to rank all their applicants, and the top candidates are invited to Interview. BMAT Sections 1 + 2 counts for 40% each of your BMAT score whilst Section 3 counts for 20%. The applications of candidates who did not make the initial shortlist are then reviewed by admissions tutors who take into account any individual circumstances – both academic and non-academic. 

Imperial College differs from other universities as they require their applicants to hit a minimum score on every section. If a minimum threshold is not hit in Section 1, 2 or 3, then you will not secure an Interview. This means consistency and ability across every section is equally important.

You should take the time to research how the Medical or Dental Schools that you want to apply to make use of your BMAT score and apply by playing it to what you believe your strengths are.

For example, if you think that you are good at writing essays, you could apply to a university that places a lot of emphasis on the Section 3 score. This is something that’s important to remember. A strong BMAT score only helps you if you use it in the right way!

Set on studying at a BMAT Medical School? The BMAT is a tough hurdle, but with our support, we can help you receive your dream offer. 

We are experts at boosting your BMAT score and maximising your chances of gaining a place to study Medicine. How? Our BMAT Tutors work with you to rapidly improve your BMAT score through One-To-One Tuition, Intensive BMAT Courses and Mock Papers and Practice Questions. 

Discover our BMAT Programme by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

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