Ultimate BMAT Guide: Everything You Need to Know

bmat guide

The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) gives you the chance to stand out from the crowd and show your potential to succeed on medical and health-related courses.

It tests your ability to apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, as well as problem solving, critical thinking and written communication skills that are essential to studying medicine.

What Is The BMAT?

The Biomedical Admissions Test is a 2 hour, pen and paper examination required for entry to a number of medical schools in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Netherlands as well as a selection of some Dentistry and Biomedical Science programmes. The test is divided into 3 sections, read below.

What Are The Sections of The Exam?

The exam is divided into 3 sections: 

  1. Aptitude and Skills
  2. Scientific knowledge and application
  3. Writing Task
  • Aptitude and Skills (60 minutes): This contains 35 multiple-choice questions to test your generic skills in problem-solving, understanding arguments, and data analysis and inference.
  • Scientific Knowledge and Application (30 minutes): This contains 27 multiple-choice questions to test your ability to apply scientific knowledge typically covered in school Science and Mathematics by the age of 16 (for example, GCSE in the UK and IGCSE internationally).
  • Writing Task (30 minutes): A writing exercise, you’ll be asked to write an essay from a choice of four questions to test your ability to select, develop and organise ideas, and to communicate them in writing, concisely and effectively.

How Is the BMAT Scored?

For Section 1 and Section 2, each question is worth one mark.  They are either multiple choice or a short answer. Your raw score is then placed on a scale of 0 (low) to 9 (high).

Section 3 is the essay section. This is marked by two examiners, who will give you an alphanumerical score ( with 5A being the highest and 1E being the lowest). This is scored in the following ways:

 Written English (scored A, C or E)

  • Band A: Good use of English – clear, fluent, good use of grammar and vocabulary
  • Band C: Reasonably clear use of English – reasonably fluent, some errors
  • Band E: Rather weak use of English – not easy to follow, faulty grammar

Quality of Content (scored from 1 to 5)

  • Score 1: the essay has some bearing on the question but does not address it fully
  • Score 2: addresses most of the question, but has significant elements of confusion
  • Score 3: reasonably well-argued, may have weakness in the argument
  • Score 4: good answer with few weaknesses, all aspects of the question are addressed
  • Score 5: excellent answer with no significant weaknesses

Who Has To Take The Exam?

Undergraduate Medicine Applicants to: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore), University of Malaya (Malaysia).

Graduate-Entry Medicine Applicants to: University of Oxford, Imperial College London.

Veterinary Medicine Applicants to: University of Cambridge.

Biomedical Science Applicants to: University of Oxford, Imperial College London.

Dentistry Applicants to: University of Leeds.

When Is The BMAT?

Unlike the UKCAT, all students take the examination on the same day. The exam is done three times a year. Students applying to United Kingdom universities can take the test in either September or October.

February Exam (University of Leiden, Navarra and Malaya):

Late January – Registration Closes
Mid February   – BMAT Test Day

September Exam:

Late  June  – Registration opens
Mid August  – Registration closing date
Early September – BMAT September test date
Late September – BMAT results released
Late October – Final date to share results with selected universities

October Exam:

Early September – Registration begins
Early October – Closing date for standard registrations
Mid October – Closing date for late-fee BMAT registrations
Late October – BMAT October test day
Late November – BMAT results released
Late November – Deadline for querying BMAT results

Please visit the respective university website to find out which BMAT dates are accepted for applying within a given year.

How Do Universities Use the BMAT?

Generally speaking, universities use BMAT results in conjunction with academics and UCAS personal personal statement  to decide who to invite to interview. Some universities place more emphasis on the BMAT score than others. Not all universities officially announce how they use the test — so it’s essential you maximise your score in all sections! I recommend visiting each individual university’s website for the most up to date information.

Hope you found that helpful. Take the free 30-day BMAT challenge includes daily exercises and goals over 30 days to ensure you stay motivated and prepare more effectively.