The page you are visiting was formerly part of the Which? University website, but is now being provided by The Uni Guide — part of The Student Room. For more information please click here.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more

BMAT: when it is, what it costs and how to prepare

Many medical schools require applicants to take the BMAT test; here's how to be ready.

If you're applying for a medicine course, you may have to sit the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). This test is a subject-specific admissions test taken by applicants to certain medicine courses at certain universities. Below, you'll find key information about the test as well as links to official support from Cambridge Assessment, which owns and administers the BMAT.

Why do some universities use the BMAT?

The BMAT is used by some universities to provide another level of differentiation between applicants. Each university will place a different weighting on the importance of BMAT results.

When can you take the BMAT?

The BMAT test takes place several times each year. You can only sit the test once in each application cycle. If you're applying to a UK university, you will need to take the BMAT test in November. There was originally a BMAT scheduled for September, too, but this was cancelled because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Important dates for BMAT 2020:

Schedule BMAT - November
Registration opens 1 September 2020
Requests for modified question papers By 30 September 2020
Standard registration deadline 1 October 2020 at 17.00 BST
Late registration deadline 15 October 2020 at 18.00 BST
Test date 4 November 2020
Results released 27 November 2020

How to get your BMAT results

BMAT – November

BMAT results can be accessed via the Metritest system from 27 November 2020. Results from the November BMAT are sent to any BMAT institution to which you have applied.

How much does it cost to take the BMAT?

Fee BMAT - November
Registration

£49 within the EU (including the UK)

£83 outside the EU

£35 additional late fee


Before submitting an application to a course, you should check whether applicants are required to take the BMAT. All of the following institutions/courses require applicants to take BMAT.

Institution name Course name/s BMAT test accepted
Brighton and Sussex Medical School A100 Medicine November
Imperial College London 

A100 Medicine

November
Lancaster University A100 Medicine & Surgery 
A104 Medicine & Surgery with a Gateway Year
November
University College London A100 Medicine November
University of Cambridge A100 Medicine November
University of Manchester Medical School
(international applicants)

A106 MBChB Medicine
A104 MBChB Medicine (with foundation year)

November
University of Leeds

A100 Medicine

A101 Gateway Year to Medicine
A200 Dentistry

November
University of Oxford

A100 Medicine

A101 Graduate Medicine
BC98 Biomedical Sciences

November
Keele University
(BMAT only required for 'overseas for fees' applicants)
A100 Medicine November

 

Where and how to register to take BMAT

BMAT – November

Your school/college/test centre needs to register you.

Candidates should be able to sit the test locally as test centres are available both in the UK and overseas (UK secondary schools and colleges will be able to administer the test to their students). Participating universities may also provide test centres and/or supplementary testing sessions.

If you're currently at school or college, start by asking your examinations officer whether you can sit the BMAT there. Otherwise, you'll need to find an authorised open centre where you can take the test. The Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing page has a search feature to help you find one.

If you can't find a centre, contact the BMAT support team for help.

What happens in the BMAT test?

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a two-hour pen-and-paper test consisting of three sections:

Section 1: Thinking Skills (60 minutes – 32 multiple choice). This section tests generic skills in problem solving and critical thinking.

Section 1 has been updated for 2020 and will no longer include questions that test data analysis and inference.

Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Applications (30 minutes – 27 multiple choice questions). This section tests a candidate’s 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).

Section 3: Writing Task (30 minutes – one essay question from a choice of three questions). This section tests a candidate's ability to select, develop and organise ideas and communicate them in writing in a concise and effective way. 

The exam provides a demanding test of relevant intellectual skills and knowledge – as is appropriate for admissions to university courses attracting high calibre applicants. However, test questions will be designed so that no specific preparation beyond GCSE-level science and mathematics is necessary, ensuring that the BMAT is accessible to all potential applicants irrespective of background.

On the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing page, you can find the current BMAT specification as well as BMAT past papers, videos and other resources.

How is the BMAT test scored?

Each question, in Sections 1 and 2, is worth one mark. Total raw marks for each section are converted to the BMAT scale, which runs from 1 (low) to 9 (high). Scores are reported to one decimal place. Typical BMAT candidates will score around 5.0, which equates to approximately half marks. The best candidates will score around 6.0, and a few exceptional candidates will score higher than 7.0.

Essays from Section 3 are marked for the quality of content and the quality of written English. Each essay is double marked. If the two marks are the same, or no more than one mark apart, the average of the two marks is reported. If there is a larger discrepancy in the marks, the essays are marked for a third time and the final mark awarded is checked by a senior member of Cambridge Assessment staff.

BMAT - frequently asked questions

Access arrangements?

Access arrangements are available if you have a disability or special requirement, and are entitled to support for other exams.

You need to inform your centre of any special requirements when they register you for the test.

Your centre will: 

  • ask for full details of your disability or special requirement
  • ask you for a copy of your medical evidence
  • submit the request for Access Arrangements, if appropriate.

For more information, please visit the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.

Are dictionaries and calculators allowed into the exam?

Dictionaries and/or bi-lingual dictionaries may not be used for BMAT.

Calculators are also not permissible for the duration for the exam.

Can BMAT fees be reimbursed?

Institutions using BMAT want to make sure that the entry fee is not a barrier to access or widening participation. In some cases, the standard entry BMAT fee can be reimbursed based on ability to pay. Candidates will need to pay their test entry fee, which may be reimbursed if they apply for a reimbursement and are eligible.

Late entry fees and administration fees cannot be reimbursed.

To apply for a reimbursement you need to complete the BMAT reimbursement application form. The reimbursement application deadline for BMAT – November is 15 October 2020. 

Can previous BMAT results be used as part of a new application?

BMAT results are only accepted by universities in the year candidates apply for university. 

When do BMAT results come out?

Results will be passed to any BMAT institution a candidate has applied to for use in their admissions process. The use of results varies between institutions; candidates should contact the institution(s) to which they have applied to in order to find out how their results will be used.

Please note that results cannot be queried.

How should you prepare for the BMAT?

BMAT tests a number of high level skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and constructing arguments, all of which you will have been developing during your school studies. In addition, as BMAT also includes a section designed to test your knowledge and understanding of GCSE science (biology, physics, chemistry) and maths, you would be wise to revise these subjects.

BMAT is designed to be demanding for very able candidates applying to study Medicine and other related subjects. It allows for the full range of marks with most candidates scoring in the mid-range of marks. So marks in the mid- to high-range show you have done very well. Everyone taking BMAT finds it difficult, but the test is an opportunity for you to show the universities that you have the potential to do well on the course.

Sample BMAT Papers, suggested books and intensive courses to prepare for the exam can be found here:

Official BMAT website
where a range of free support materials are available, including a preparation guide, the test specification, the BMAT Section 2: Assumed Subject Knowledge science revision guide, and free past papers, some with worked answers.

How some universities use the BMAT when selecting candidates for interviews

UCL - [33]

Oxford - [34]

Cambridge - [35]

Imperial - [36] [37]

Search The Uni Guide

Find further advice or search for information on a course or university