Oxbridge, Imperial and UCL have been using the BMAT for many years now, the other universities have adopted the test fairly recently. This means there is limited information available on how these medical schools use the BMAT, and what kind of scores they want.
For many of these medical schools, applicants will be ranked on their BMAT score, or given points. As a result, it may seem a high BMAT score in necessary, but you will generally find the typical score needed for interview is lower than Oxbridge, Imperial and UCL. In this blog we will look at:
Applications are checked to ensure they meet the minimum criteria and all references are read to ensure that any special circumstances are noted. Applications are then awarded points for the following:
GCSE or AS results – maximum of 27 points
Predicted A-Level grades – maximum of 8 points
BMAT score – maximum of 5 points
All applications are then ranked based on the total points. The top 1000 continue to the next stage, where their personal statement is assessed by two separate assessors. Each assessor independently scores the personal statement out of 8, giving a maximum overall score of 16. The areas scored are:
Motivation and Insight
Interests and Achievements
Applicants are then reranked, with just over the top 50% invited to interview.
This means the BMAT is only a small aspect of Leeds’ application process. Out of the initial 40 points applicants are awarded, the BMAT only contributes 5 points, or 15%. So how is the BMAT scored?
Leeds ranks applicants on their overall BMAT score, using the ranking to separate students into 5 bands. Those in the top 20% are placed in the top band, awarded the full 5 points. Those in the bottom 20% are placed in the lowest band, awarded 1 point. This mean Leeds does not have a BMAT cut off score.
An applicant’s total BMAT score is calculated as the sum of each section, but with Section 3 given half the weighting of the other sections. This is because Section 3 “will be revisited during the interview stage of the selection process.” This means you are likely to be questioned on your essay at some point during Leeds’ MMI.
For 2015 entry, the minimum score for BMAT was 8.25 and highest 21.25.
Leeds has commented that last year around 40% of applicants received full marks for academics – equivalent to 9 A*’s at GCSE and AAA predicted at A level. If you find yourself in the same lucky position, then your BMAT score is less important.
You can find out more about how Leeds uses the BMAT here and here.
The first stage of Brighton & Sussex’s application involves screening applicants against their academic requirement. After this, applicants are ranked on their overall BMAT score, with those at the top of the ranking invited to interview. The personal statement is not scored.
So how is the overall BMAT score calculated?
Brighton & Sussex score the BMAT out of 28, a total of all 3 sections. For Section 3, each score is given up to 5 marks. This means an A for English is given 5 marks, a B 4 marks etc.
In previous years, Brighton & Sussex have commented anyone scoring less than 3 in Section 1 or 2, or a D/E in Section 3 would be rejected. Whether this is still the case is hard to tell.
Note: International applicants to Brighton & Sussex are not required to sit the BMAT, or any other entrance test. International applicants are selected for interview based on academics and personal statement.
At Lancaster, applicants are first screened to ensure they meet the relevant academic criteria and then ranked on overall BMAT score. Those at the top of the ranking will then have their personal statement assessed. Applicants with a competitive BMAT score and personal statement demonstrating the relevant non-academic attributes will be invited to interview. So what exactly does that mean?
If you meet the GCSE and/or A-Level requirements for Lancaster, then you will be ranked on your overall BMAT score. At Lancaster this is calculated by adding together the scores from Sections 1, 2 and 3. However, the quality of English score is not used. So if you were to score 5.3, 4.7, 3A like our earlier example, then you would receive a total score of 13, simply the sum of each numerical score. If you are applying to Brighton & Sussex, then, you want to ensure you score an A on your essay, whereas if you are applying to Lancaster this is irrelevant.
If you are at the top of the ranking then your personal statement will be assessed on the relevant non-academic attributes. You can find these on Lancaster’s website.
So what kind of BMAT score does Lancaster want? Below we have some data for 2016 entry, showing the scores for those invited to interview and those receiving an offer. We can see that the minimum score of an applicant invited to interview was 10.5. To give you an idea of what that would look like, this would be the equivalent score of 4.0, 4.0, 2.5A. However, keep in mind these results can change each year.
For international applicants, Keele first checks the minimum academic requirements are met. After this, applicants are then ranked on their BMAT score.
Since there are only a small number of international applicants, it is difficult to provide any more details. How applicants are ranked and what kind of score is required is unclear. So the only advice we can offer is to score as highly as possible on the BMAT!
If you are applying to any of the above medical schools, hopefully you can see they do not require super high scores in the BMAT. Nevertheless, they do each look at the test slightly differently.
Words by Daniel Huddart
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