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 two 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.
Typical Biomedical Admissions Test sessions dates:
- Early September
- Late October/Early November
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.
It is a two-hour exam comprised of two sections:
Section 1 – Aptitude and Skills. You are allocated 60 minutes to answer 35 short questions, which are multiple choice (often providing you between 4-7 answers to choose from). This section will test skills such as problem-solving, verbal reasoning as well as data analysis and inference.
Section 2 – Scientific Knowledge and Applications. This is 30 minutes long and will have 27 multiple choice questions. Unlike section 1, this is primarily knowledge-based rather than skilled and so will test your scientific knowledge and mathematical ability. The syllabus will broadly correspond to that covered in GCSE/IGCSE sciences and maths.
Section 3– Writing Task. This is a 30-minute short essay, where you will pick from a choice of 3 questions that may be philosophical or practical, but will relate to medicine, in contrast to many other admissions testing such as the TSA which will keep the essays general for all. As with essays in general, the candidate is being tested on their ability to develop, communicate and present persuasive and concise arguments.
How is it 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; these are the Quality of Content and Quality of English, which are assessed on a 1.0-5.0 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.
Who sits the BMAT Exam?
A wide range of universities now use the Biomedical Admissions Test as part of their assessment process, including those in the UK and abroad. Below is a provisional list of universities and courses requiring the BMAT test. Please confirm on the university’s website to be sure!
We’ve listed some of the UK Universities that expect applicants to sit the BMAT. The full list of schools requiring the BMAT can be found on the Admissions Testing website.
|Brighton and Sussex Medical School (B74) *||
|Imperial College London (I50)||
Keele University (K12)
-A104 Health Foundation Year
|Lancaster University (L14)||
-A100 Medicine & Surgery
-A900 Foundation Year for Medicine & Surgery
|University College London (U80)||
|University of Cambridge (C05)||
|University of Leeds (L23)||
|University of Oxford (O33)||
A101 Graduate Medicine
BC98 Biomedical Sciences
* International applicants to Brighton and Sussex Medical School are not required to sit BMAT.
How important is the BMAT exam?
The application process for medical schools is notoriously tough and rigorous. Candidates will need all-round excellence in many of the assessed areas in order to be offered a place. That being said, many institutions will be able to give consideration to 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.
It is important to be on top of your GCSE Science/Maths which you can do by reading through the syllabi and re-familiarising yourself with the textbooks.
The analytical and essay writing skills can be improved upon by practice; UniAdmissions is able to help you make the best use of your time by providing tips and expert feedback whilst our expert BMAT tutors guide you through the revision process. Please read more about our tuition packages here, or here for Oxbridge specific applications!
Build your BMAT Knowledge
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The BMAT ‘Boxset’ of Top Tips
Below, we’ve put together our most viewed articles on the BMAT. In each article, we break down the different sections of the test in easy-to-follow, digestible steps. Learn the formulas, time-saving techniques, and skills required to get through the whole test.