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The BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is a two-hour aptitude test required by a handful of medical, dental and veterinary schools.

This year the BMAT was sat online on November 4th

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What is BMAT?

BMAT is a two-hour admissions test that assesses a combination of aptitude and knowledge. The BMAT tests a broad range of skills across three sections:

  • BMAT Section 1 tests your skills in problem-solving, understanding arguments, and data analysis and inference. You’ll answer 32 multiple-choice questions in 60 minutes.
  • BMAT Section 2 tests your ability to apply scientific knowledge typically covered in school science and mathematics by the age of 16. You’ll answer 27 multiple-choice questions in 30 minutes.
  • BMAT Section 3 tests your ability to select, develop and organise ideas, and to communicate them in writing, concisely and effectively. You’ll write an essay on one of three questions that you choose, and you get 30 minutes to do this.

You may feel that, due to the broad range of skills tested, coupled with the fact you can’t use a calculator or dictionary, it’s a tough exam. And if you’re scientifically-minded, you may view the essay-writing component with trepidation.

However, all BMAT past papers are available to download online from the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website. So with sufficient practice, you should feel confident and well prepared.

How is the 2020 BMAT Different?

The 2020 BMAT test is different in a number of ways:

  • There’s only one date this year: November 4th.
  • The test will be computer-based, not pen and paper
  • The fees have changed to reflect the extra cost of delivering the BMAT during the pandemic. We detail the fees below.

You can read more about the 2020 changes in our blog about the BMAT moving online.

What is the BMAT Test Date for 2020?

In most years, you can choose to sit the test in September or November. But for 2020, Covid-19 meant that the test would only be held on November 4th.

You can see key dates for 2021 entry below:

 BMAT November
Registration opens1st September 2020
Requests for modified questions papers30th September 2020
Registration deadline1st October 2020 (17:00 BST)
- Late registration deadline
- Last date to request Access Arrangements
- Last date to request reimbursement of BMAT
15th October 2020 (18:00 BST)
Test date4th November 2020
Results released to test takers27th November 2020
Fees£59 standard fee within the UK/EU
£89 standard fee outside the EU
£30 additional late fee.
£35 application for results enquiries.
£35 application for appeal.
Test centresCan be taken at your school/college if they are a centre, or at one of the authorised test centres worldwide - see BMAT website for details.

Since there is no early sitting, that means you’ll have to think very carefully about how you apply. You will only sit the exam after you’ve submitted your UCAS application. This means that you won’t want to apply to too many BMAT universities in case you have an off-day and don’t get the score you want.

This represents a reversion to previous years when there was only one test date.

Our BMAT Question Bank allows you to tackle past papers, along with other practice questions, and see what your score would have been in each given year.

We’d recommend starting with older past papers and then completing more recent ones as your revision progresses.

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How Many BMAT Universities Are There?

The BMAT exam is required by an increasing number of universities to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. These include popular institutions like Brighton, Imperial, Lancaster, Leeds, Keele and UCL. Both Oxford and Cambridge also use BMAT.

Universities usually take your performance and consider this alongside your exam grades and UCAS points, to decide whether to invite you to interview.

It’s really important to understand how your target universities use your score, so you know how to focus your test prep.

We’ve got a guide to BMAT Universities, including which schools use it and how they treat your scores.

How Does BMAT Scoring Work?

Our guide to BMAT Scores explains that in Section 1 and Section 2, each question is worth one mark. Your raw score is then placed on a scale of 1 (low) to 9 (high). It’s worth noting that there’s no pass or fail threshold. But the top universities that use the exam will look for a strong performance.

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

Read more about how the BMAT is scored in our guide.

How Can I Prepare?

We’ve got a guide that goes into detail about BMAT Preparation. Plus we have section-specific revision tips in each of our free section guides.

You’ll certainly want to think about using BMAT Past Papers for revision. Check out our guide on that. And don’t forget, you can tackle tests and over 500 questions in our BMAT Question Bank.

For Section 2, you can visit the Assumed Subject Knowledge Guide, which details the scientific knowledge that Section 2 questions may draw on.

We run a series of small-group teaching sessions to build your aptitude in Maths and Science for this section. It’s a competitive section for medics, so its important to prepare well.

For a comprehensive approach to every section, try our Online BMAT Course, including full Question Bank access, or our one-day course, trusted by top schools.

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