Oxford and Cambridge Move From BMAT To UCAT For 2025 Entry Medicine

It has been announced by the University of Oxford that they will be moving from the BMAT to the UCAT for their medicine course admissions starting in 2024 (for 2025 Entry). Find out why this is happening and what it means for medicine applicants.

Last Updated: 25th October 2023

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It has been announced by UCAT that the University of Oxford will be moving away from the BMAT in favour of the UCAT as the admissions test for all medicine applicants starting in 2024 for 2025 Entry. 

This means that applicants for Oxford Medicine, starting from next year, will be required to sit a completely different admissions test from applicants of previous years, including those applying in 2023 for 2024 Entry. 

In this guide, we. will explore why this is happening, how you or your students will be affected and what will need to be done to adjust to these changes. 

How Will You Be Affected? - Students

As the ones who will be sitting the tests, applicants of Oxford medicine in 2024 and onwards will be impacted by these changes.

How Will You Be Affected? - Schools

For many students, support from their school is crucial in the application process. School faculties will need to be aware of this change to adjust their support:

Why is Oxford Changing from the BMAT to the UCAT?

The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a medicine admissions test previously used by 8 universities in the UK. However, it was announced by Cambridge Assessments Admissions Testing (CAAT) last year that 2023 would be the final year for the BMAT and various other Admissions Tests that they operate. 

This is due to several cutbacks being made at the company, with the BMAT being the largest admissions test affected. The BMAT was run as normal in 2023 for 2024 Entry, meaning Oxford medicine applicants last year  took the BMAT. 

However, starting from 2024 (2025 Entry), it has been confirmed that Oxford will be implementing the UCAT for all medicine applicants. This does not come as a surprise as all BMAT universities will need to move away from the test next year. The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is the most widely-used medicine admissions test in the UK, currently being used by over 30 medical schools

Is Cambridge Using the UCAT?

Oxford wasn’t the first university to make this change, as the University of Cambridge previously confirmed their use of the UCAT. Some had suspected that Oxford and Cambridge would devise a BMAT replacement due to their courses’ emphasise on scientific studies – something that is not tested within the UCAT. However, both universities have confirmed to be using the UCAT for 2025 Entry. 

As well as this, UCL and Imperial College London have also confirmed the switch to the UCAT, while the University of Leeds and Keele University already switched to the UCAT for 2023 medicine and dentistry applicants, meaning they have opted to make the change before the test is discontinued. 

Finally, Brighton & Sussex Medical School and Lancaster University have both opted to use the UCAT. This means that the UCAT is now the only admissions test available in the UK for undergraduate medicine.  

Prepare for the UCAT easily and effectively with support from UniAdmissions. 

At UniAdmissions, we have spent over 10 years preparing students for the UCAT, as well as the other aspects of their medicine application. We have developed a comprehensive syllabus and work with the best medicine tutors to ensure our students have the best chance of earning their place at medical school. 

Discover our Medicine Premium Programmes below and find out how you can enrol and triple your chances of success.

How Will You Be Affected? - Students

For those who will be applying in 2024 for 2025 Entry, the major change is simply that they will only need to sit the UCAT. Since it has now been confirmed that no UK medical school will be using an alternative admissions test, the standard UCAT will be required by all applicants. 

How Can I Prepare For The UCAT?

Thankfully, the UCAT is a well-established medicine admissions test that has been operating since 2006 (the test was previously known as the UKCAT). The UCAT is a computer-based test of general thinking skills that is split into five distinct sections:  

Most of the sections are not specific to medicine but instead test various general comprehension skills, with the short time limits and number of questions usually being the biggest challenge. Some of the questions are comparable to Section 1 of the BMAT, although there is much greater variety in the types of questions being asked. 

The UCAT is unique in that it cannot be revised for in a traditional sense as the test does not have any required knowledge other than general skills and techniques. The best way to prepare is to work through practice UCAT questions and sit properly timed mock exams in order to improve your technique. 

Various resources are available to support you in this, including question banks, example tests and section guides that offer helpful techniques. We have created a number of free UCAT guides that explain each section in detail, while our Medicine and UCAT Programmes offer expert support through one-to-one tuition, resources, intensive courses and more.  

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The UCAT is crucial for your application, but you also need to be ready for your Personal Statement, interviews and more. The Big Book Of Oxbridge Applications, covers every step of the process and is available for free here! Through over 350 pages, you will find:

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How Will You Be Affected? - Schools

As a school, this specific change will not greatly impact your current support as you will simply need to inform any affected students of the change and support them with UCAT preparation instead.

As the UCAT is such a prominent admissions test, you will likely have some form of support in place for applicants. Since there are no other admissions tests in place for 2024 (2025 Entry), your sole focus should be on UCAT preparation for medicine applicants.

For now, this is all the information available regarding the BMAT universities. Below you will find our current tracking of the 8 UK BMAT universities and their current decisions for admissions in 2024 and onwards: 

University NameCurrent Decision Date Implemented
Brighton and Sussex Medical SchoolMedicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2024 (2025 Entry)
University of CambridgeMedicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2024 (2025 Entry)
Imperial College LondonMedicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2024 (2025 Entry)
Lancaster UniversityMedicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2024 (2025 Entry)
University of LeedsMedicine and Dentistry Applicants will sit the UCAT.2023 (2024 Entry)
Keele University (overseas applicants)Medicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2023 (2024 Entry)
University of OxfordMedicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2024 (2025 Entry)
University College London (UCL)Medicine Applicants will be sitting the UCAT.2024 (2025 Entry)

We will continue to provide updates are they are made available, so be sure to check back regularly and sign up for our newsletter for the latest on Oxbridge and Medicine applications. If you or your child are looking for support in the medicine application, our Premium Medicine Programme offers the perfect support system to ensure they have the best chance of gaining an offer. 

No matter what changes, secure your place at medical school with UniAdmissions

No matter what changes in the admissions process, UniAdmissions will always be prepared to offer the most relevant and highest-quality support for you or your child. We have developed an expert curriculum over the last 10 years that gets results, meaning you are in safe hands. 

Discover our Medicine Premium Programmes below and find out how you can enrol and triple your chances of success.

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