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BMAT Information – A Free Guide to The BMAT Exam

The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is an aptitude test required by a handful of medical, dental and veterinary schools. It is also required by Biomedical Science courses at some universities. This page provides the headline information on the BMAT 2017, details on BMAT 2016 results, how BMAT universities use your BMAT scores, as well as offering a step-by-step guide on what you need to do next. Don’t forget to use all the subpages to make the most of the section.

In April 2017, the Admissions Testing Service announced an alternative test session on 9th September 2017 at selected test centres. Want to know how this affects you? Find out more on our BMAT September 2017 blog.

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What Does It Involve?

Unlike the UKCAT, the BMAT 2017 assesses a combination of aptitude and knowledge testing a broad range of skills. The exam is a two-hour pen and paper test and all candidates sit the same exam on the same date.

The exam is divided into three sections, each assessing different skills – including problem-solving, data analysis, scientific knowledge and written communication. You can click any of the links below to read more about that particular section of the exam – as well as tips on how to prepare for each section.

Many students consider that due to the broad range of skills tested, coupled with the fact you can’t use a calculator or dictionary, it is a tough exam.

Fortunately, however, all past papers are available to download online so with sufficient practice you should feel confident and well prepared.

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How Many BMAT Universities Are There?

The exam is required by an increasing number of universities to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for entry in 2017.

BMAT UniversitiesCourseDo they accept BMAT September results?
University of OxfordMedicine; Postgraduate (accelerated) Medicine; Biomedical SciencesThey only accept results from the November session for A100 Medicine and BC98 Biomedical Sciences. However, A101 Graduate Medicine will accept September or November results.
University of CambridgeMedicine; Veterinary MedicineYes.
University College London (UCL)MedicineYes.
ImperialMedicine; Postgraduate (accelerated) MedicineYes.
Brighton and Sussex Medical SchoolMedicineYes.
University of LeedsMedicine; DentistryYes.
Lancaster UniversityMedicineYes.
Mahidol University (Thailand)MedicineYes.
Thammasat University (Thailand)Medicine; DentistryYes.
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore)Medicine No, they will only accept results from the November test session.
University of Leiden (The Netherlands)MedicineN/A

How Do BMAT Scores Work?

In Section 1 and Section 2, each question is worth 1 mark. All questions are either multiple choice or a short answer, and you mark your answers on a computer read answer sheet. Your raw score is then placed on a scale of 1 (low) to 9 (high) – there’s no pass or fail threshold.

The scores follow a normal distribution with the average score around 5.0. The best candidates score 6.0 and exceptional candidates score 7.0 or above.

Section 3 is the essay section. This is marked by two examiners, who will give you an alphabetical score for your use of written English as well as a numerical score for the content of your essay. This is scored in the following ways:

Written English (scored A, C or E)

Quality of Content (scored from 1 to 5)

The two scores for your essay are then averaged to give your final score. So, for instance, if one examiner gave you 2A and another marked your essay 3C, your average score would be 2.5B. If there is a significant discrepancy, your essay will be sent for remarking by a third examiner. Read on to find out about BMAT 2016 results.

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How Do BMAT Universities Use BMAT Scores?

Each university will use the exam differently, and this can even vary within a university (for example, different admissions tutors in Oxford or Cambridge).

Generally speaking, the results will be used in conjunction with your GCSE scores and UCAS points to decide who to invite to interview. Some universities place more emphasis on the score than others when allocating the weighting that your score will contribute overall. Not all BMAT universities will officially announce how they use the exam — so it’s essential you maximise your score in all sections!

Want to know how different BMAT universities use your BMAT scores? See our table below! Please note that this is only a guide, based on 2016 entry figures – we recommend visiting each individual university’s website for the most up to date information.

UniversityHow do they use the BMAT?
OxfordNumerical ranking established based on GCSEs and BMAT results. They do not ascribe equal weighting to all sections of BMAT. In 2016, weightings were: Section 1 = 40%, Section 2 = 40%, and Section 3 = 20%. In calculating the Section 3 score, double weight was ascribed to the ‘Quality of Content’ score and single weight given to the ‘Quality of English’ score (with A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1, and X=0).
CambridgeBMAT score used alongside Personal Statement and grades.
UCLBMAT scores used alongside UCAS application. No cut-off; Section 3 essay used as discussion in interview.
ImperialBMAT cut-off scores are calculated each year, as a result of ranked candidate BMAT scores versus number of expected interview sessions. As a result, the absolute BMAT cut-off changes each year. For 2016 entry, the minimum scores required were: a score of 4.5 in Section 1; a score of 4.5 in Section 2 and
a score of 2.5 and grade B in Section 3.
Brighton and SussexBSMS scores the BMAT out of 28 (9 marks for Section 1, 9 for Section 2 and 5 marks for each element of Section 3) we then rank all applicants according to their total score out of 28 and work down the rankings to fill our interview places. For 2016 entry, applicants without contextual data who scored 16 or above were invited for interview (the cut off score will vary each year).
LeedsThey do not use a pre-determined cut-off threshold. The BMAT total score will be calculated from a sum of the scores achieved in Section 1, 2 and 3 although Section 3 will have half the weighting of the other sections as it will be revisited during the interview stage of the selection process.
LancasterLancaster Medical School calculates the total BMAT score by combining the individual scores for Sections 1, 2 and 3. Section 1 is scored out of 9; Section 2 is scored out of 9; and Section 3 is scored out of 5 (for quality of content). They do not use the quality of English score (A-E).

How Many Questions Are There in the BMAT 2017?

There are a different number of questions in each section of the exam:

What Were the BMAT 2016 Results?

BMAT 2016 was sat in November 2016, for 2017 entry to medical school.

Average scores are usually around 5.0, and for the BMAT 2016, 8% of candidates scored 4.8 in Section 1. Around 9% of candidates scored 4.3 in Section 2.

In BMAT 2016 Section 3, over 30% of students scored a ‘3’ for quality of content, and over 80% scored ‘A’ for quality of written English.

How Can I Prepare for BMAT 2017?

One of the best ways to prepare for the BMAT 2017 is to complete past papers. You can find these on the Admissions Testing Service‘s website, or visit our BMAT Question Bank, which has over 500 practice questions.

It’s a good idea to work up to completing the papers in timed conditions to familiarise yourself with the timing and format of the exam, so that you’re prepared for the real test. You can also read our guide on BMAT Past Papers for tips on making the most of these resources.

You can visit our individual pages on Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3 for section-specific revision techniques – from reviewing your essays to practising your mental maths. You can also visit the Assumed Subject Knowledge Guide, which details the scientific knowledge that Section 2 questions may draw on.

You could also try our Online BMAT Course, which includes nine hours of tutorials for each section of the exam, including modules on Section 1 (Verbal, Spatial and Logical), Section 2 (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths) and Section 3 (Essay Writing) – as well as access to our Question Bank.

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What Are The BMAT 2017 Dates And Costs?

In April 2017, the Admissions Testing Service announced an alternative BMAT test session on 9th September 2017 at selected centres. The September exam will be the same format and the same level of difficulty as the November exam, and will be scored in the same way. The November test takes places on 2nd November 2017.

Whereas before you could only sit the exam after submitting your UCAS application, the new test session in September means you can now find out your BMAT score before applying to university. However, you can only take the test once in the application cycle.

Want to know more about the new test session and how it affects you? Find out more on our BMAT September 2017 blog.

Registration for the November exam will open on 1st September 2017, and closes on 1st October 2017. For the new September session, registration opens on 26th June 2017.

Remember that you can’t register yourself for the exam, you need a centre to register on your behalf – this can be your school if they are registered as a test centre. Remember too that your results are only valid for applications in that academic year.

You will receive your results via the Online Results system as a PDF document. Your results are then sent to all BMAT universities you have applied to.


What You Need To Do

  1. Check if your chosen institutions require the exam. You can do this using the Medical School Comparison Tool. If they do, then start thinking about how you can best prepare for it.
  1. Register for the exam. You can then know which day it is going to fall on, so you can focus on your revision.
  1. Book a BMAT Course. Our courses can be booked by individuals or schools and have helped thousands of students achieve higher scores.
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  1. Practice questions. Try our BMAT Question Bank.
  1. Still struggling? If you are finding any sections of the exam difficult, then you can book a private tutoring session with our experts.

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