BMAT Guide: General info on the format, scoring and key dates

Michael, THE MEDIC BLOG

bitesized prep tips

A short and concise bmat guide covering general information about the exam.

The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) gives you the chance to stand out from the crowd and show your potential to succeed in medical school. 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, but in 2020 the exam will be computer-based. It is 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.

What Are The Sections of The Exam?

The exam is divided into 3 sections: 

Thinking skills (60 minutes): This contains 32 multiple-choice questions to test your skills in problem-solving and critical thinking. The questions are split evenly, students should expect 16 problem-solving questions and 16 critical thinking questions.

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 curriculums 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 three 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?

Section 1 and Section 2 are multiple-choice. Your raw score in each section is placed on a scale of 0 (low) to 9 (high). You can find a breakdown of the BMAT score conversions here.  Section 3 on the other hand is marked by two examiners, who will give you an alphanumerical score. This is explained in more detailed in the official essay marking criteria.

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.

Also, international students applying to Manchester and Keele are expected to take the BMAT.

When Is The BMAT?

Unlike the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), all students take the examination on the same day. The test is usually done three times a year – in February (for International schools), September and November for UK schools. However, due to the pandemic, the BMAT September testing was cancelled. 

How Do Universities Use the BMAT?

Generally speaking, universities use BMAT results in conjunction with the overall application. However,  some universities place more emphasis on it than others. So it is important you research how they use the BMAT in shortlisting applicants. Find out more details on how universities use the BMAT.

Not sure where to begin with BMAT revision?

Click here to take our free 30-day BMAT Challenge. It is a free ebook to kickstart and structure BMAT revision. For more of our BMAT resources, visit TMB store.

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