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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.

Note: Bmats won't be part of the application process after 2024 entry. If you're applying to uni for 2025 onwards, you won't need to take one. 

Medical schools haven't decided the admissions criteria that will replace Bmat yet, but it's possible that candiates might have to take alternative test such as the Ucat.

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 for 2024 entry, you will need to take the Bmat test in October 2023 – this is the last time the test will be taken, as Bmat won't be used from 2025 entry onwards.

Important dates for Bmat for 2024 entry:

Schedule Bmat - October
Registration opens 1 September 2023
Requests for modified question papers By 15 September 2023
Standard registration deadline 29 September 2023 at 18.00 BST
Test date 18 October 2023
Results released 24 November 2023

How to get your Bmat results

Bmat – October

Bmat results can be accessed via the Metritest system from 24 November 2023. Results from the October Bmat are sent to any Bmat institution to which you have applied.

How much does it cost to take the Bmat?

Fee Bmat - October

£78 within the EU (including the UK)                 

£104 outside the EU

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
Brighton and Sussex Medical School A100 Medicine
Imperial College London 

A100 Medicine

Lancaster University A100 Medicine & Surgery 
A104 Medicine & Surgery with a Gateway Year
University College London A100 Medicine
University of Cambridge A100 Medicine
University of Oxford

A100 Medicine
A101 Graduate Medicine
BC98 Biomedical Sciences

Where and how to register to take Bmat

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 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.

What if I can't afford the Bmat fees?

UK students in financial need can take the test for free at one of the British Council authorised test centres in the UK.

You need to apply to us for a test voucher code that you can use instead of payment in your online booking with the British Council. The test voucher codes cover both the registration fees and administration fees.

You can find out more about whether you qualify for a voucher code and how to apply for one on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website here

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 from the October 2023 session will be released on 24 November 2023. You can check them here.

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.

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 on the 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.

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