BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

Last updated: 12/10/2021

1. What is the BMAT?

The BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is a two-hour exam administered by CAAT (Cambridge Assessments Admissions Testing) designed to differentiate applicants of professional healthcare courses such as medicine and dentistry. It consists of 59 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and one essay.

BMAT Information infographic, including price, questions, length, resits, score validity, what is a good BMAT score?, and how long to prepare for

 2. What is being tested in the BMAT?

The BMAT assesses: 

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Scientific and mathematical knowledge
  • Written communication skills

It consists of the following three sections:

BMAT Sections 1, 2 and 3 infographic

 3. Why take the BMAT?

Medical schools usually require applicants to take the UCAT or the BMAT.

They are used to decide which candidates to invite to interview and sometimes who gets the final offer. Since most applicants have exceptional academic achievements, universities rely on this additional testing.

As some universities require the BMAT instead of the UCAT (see tip #4 below), taking both exams and getting a high score maximises your chances of getting into medical or dental school.

Taking the BMAT also allows you to apply to medical programmes at prestigious universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and University College London.

Learn about the UCAT test.

4. Which universities require the BMAT?

The following universities require the BMAT:

Map and table of universities and courses requiring the BMAT

The BMAT is also required for entry into various medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences degrees in Europe and Asia.

List of BMAT universities

5. When is the BMAT?

 In 2021, there are two BMAT test dates:

  • BMAT - February (20/2/21)
  • BMAT - November (3/11/21)

Note: BMAT - September is not available for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

6. Which BMAT session do I take?

If you are applying to UK universities in 2021, you need to take the BMAT November.

If you are applying to universities outside the UK, check the official CAAT website.

 7. How long are BMAT results valid for?

Results are valid for one year. If you sit the BMAT in 2021, you can use it for courses starting in 2022, but not for subsequent years.

8. How many times can I take the BMAT?

You can take the BMAT as many times as you want, but only once per admissions cycle.

 9. In which school year do you take the BMAT?

You take the BMAT during year 13 (on 3 November 2021).

10. How much does the BMAT cost?

BMAT - November 2021 exam fees are as follows:

  • £61/€71 within the UK/EU                                                                                                                  
  • £92/€108/$126 outside of the EU

A late fee of £34/€40/$47 applies for applicants registered after the standard application deadline (1/10/21), but before the late application deadline (15/10/21).

 11. What if I can't pay for the BMAT?

For BMAT - November, if you meet the criteria and apply by 15 October 2021, you can have your standard registration fee reimbursed.

To be eligible for the reimbursement you must be a UK student who is receiving one of the following:

  • Free school meals
  • Learner support 
  • 16 to 19 Bursary
  • Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
  • Student Finance England Maintenance Grant or Maintenance Loan (full rate)
  • Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) Young Students’/Independent Students’ Bursary (full rate)
  • Student Finance Wales or Northern Ireland Maintenance Grant (full rate)

You’re also eligible if you or a parent you live with receives one of the following:

  • Income support 
  • Job seekers allowance (JSA)
  • Employment and support allowance  (ESA)
  • Universal credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Asylum support

 12. How is the BMAT scored?

Sections 1 & 2 are scored between 1 (low) to 9 (high).

Section 3 is marked on quality of content (0: low to 5: high) and quality of English (A - high, C or E - low).

The essay is marked by two independent examiners and the writing is made available to interviewers.

Take a deep dive into BMAT scoring

2020 BMAT Section 2 scores

13. What is a good BMAT score?

This depends on the university you are applying to. As a rough guide, a score of 5 is considered average, 6 good and 7 or higher excellent for Sections 1 and 2. 

For Section 3, you should aim for a score of 3A or higher.

How is the BMAT scored?

What is a good BMAT score? Infographic.

14. How do universities use BMAT scores?

Each university differs in how they use the BMAT scores to assess their applicants. Some have a strict minimum score for each section, whereas others consider your score alongside other admission criteria.

Detailed information on BMAT Universities

15. Is the BMAT hard?

It depends.

Some students, especially those who are well underway with preparing for the UCAT, find Section 1 easier as it tests similar skills to the UCAT Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. 

Students who excel at maths and science won’t find Section 2 very difficult, whereas avid writers may find Section 3 to be the easiest.

It is important to tailor your BMAT preparation to your strengths and weaknesses and focus on the section(s) that require the most work.

16. How do I prepare for the BMAT?

Follow this breakdown to prepare for each section: 

Section 1 (problem-solving questions)

Brush up on your basic maths, including:

  • Number concepts (fractions, place value, percentages)
  • Numerical operations, quantities (time, calendar, money, measures)
  • Spatial reasoning (area, perimeter, volume)
  • Interpretation of tables and graphs

For the Critical Thinking questions in Section 1, you will need to prove you can understand and evaluate arguments (for example, by identifying assumptions or flaws in an argument). 

Section 2 (science and maths questions)

Make sure you know the syllabus on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website inside out, as questions will not be asked outside it.

We provide an easy-to-follow overview of this in our BMAT specification article.

Section 3 (essay writing)

Learn to develop and communicate your ideas clearly and use a good level of English.

If this is something you struggle with, consider taking a free writing course with the Open University before starting your BMAT preparation course. The writing course is not BMAT-specific, but it can give you a great foundation.

For all sections

Visit the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website, which provides the content specifications and previous papers.

Do plenty of practice questions to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Practise with past papers to familiarise yourself with the time pressure and the need for sustained focus.

Medify’s Online BMAT Course is all up-to-date with the current syllabus and offers:

  • 2,000+ original questions and 15 unique mock exams to give you plenty of practice
  • Automatic past paper grader to save you time
  • Tutorials to cover all question types and content
  • Essay plans to guide you through Section 3

Beat the BMAT with Medify for only £40

Multiple choice answers

17. Do I get penalised for wrong answers?

No. Leave no question unanswered for the multiple-choice questions in Sections 1 and 2.

Will I be asked about my writing task at my interview?

18. Will I be asked about my writing task at my interview?

Some universities may ask about the essay at interview. 

At the University of Leeds, you’ll be asked to discuss your essay as part of a station. 

Although the other universities are quite vague about whether or not they’ll ask about the essay, they would definitely give you advanced notice if you’re invited to interview. 

19. When do BMAT - November results come out?

In 2021, the BMAT - November results will be released on 26th November.

20. How do I view my BMAT results?

Log in to the Metritests system to check your results.

21. How do I send my BMAT results to my chosen universities?

If you are applying to universities in the UK or the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, your BMAT results will be delivered directly to your chosen universities.

For all our universities, you will need to use CAAT’s Metritests system.

22. Can I submit BMAT results enquiry or appeal?

Yes, you can submit a Results Enquiry Request or an appeal through your test centre.

Learn more about BMAT appeals

23. Can I use a calculator or a dictionary in the BMAT?

No, neither is allowed.

24. How is the BMAT different from the UCAT and GAMSAT?

The UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) and BMAT both require a high level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

The main difference is that UCAT is a purely skills-based test, whereas the BMAT assumes a prerequisite knowledge in maths and sciences (Section 2). 

The UCAT is computer-based and consists entirely of multiple-choice questions, whereas the BMAT includes an essay task (Section 3) and is pen-and-paper based.

NOTE: due to the pandemic, in 2021 the BMAT will be entirely computer based.

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is an admissions test that is only relevant for graduate-entry applicants. (Note: The graduate-entry medical programme at Oxford requires the BMAT.)

Much like the BMAT, the GAMSAT assesses critical analysis and reasoning, writing skills and scientific knowledge. However, the GAMSAT requires you to answer many more questions (132 MCQs and 2 writing tasks) over almost five hours.

25. Can I sit both the UCAT and BMAT?

Yes, many students sit both tests to maximise their chances of getting into medical school. 

Section 1 of the BMAT assesses similar attributes to the UCAT’s Verbal Reasoning (VR) and Quantitative Reasoning (QR) sections, so preparing for the UCAT will benefit your BMAT revision.

26. How long does it take to prepare for the BMAT?

It depends on your readiness for each section, but many students prepare for months before the test, so expect some intense competition. 

There is a limited number of medical school places so you need to score as high as you can to give yourself the best chance of gaining entry.

We advise you to give yourself at least a month (ideally six weeks or longer) to prepare thoroughly and get through plenty of practice questions and past papers. Spreading out your revision will help you to prepare for the BMAT with less stress.

If the BMAT is stressing you out, read our exam mindfulness tips.

BMAT revision checklist infographic

27. Are Medify’s BMAT practice questions harder than the actual thing?

Medify’s team of education specialists, medical doctors and academics is closely following developments in the BMAT to provide the most realistic BMAT practice questions.

We also update our tutorials constantly to reflect the latest syllabus, so you can be assured that you are preparing for the BMAT with the best resources available.

28. How do I book the BMAT?

For BMAT - February, register through Metritests.

For BMAT - November, register through a test centre.

Learn more about BMAT registration.

29. Where do I sit the BMAT?

You can find authorised test centres through the official CAAT website.

Most BMAT - November candidates take the test at their schools. If your school is not registered as a test centre, it can apply to become one.

30. Can I change my BMAT test date?

No. The BMAT test is held on a set date, unlike the UCAT, which runs over a period of time.

31. Can I cancel my BMAT - November?

Yes, you can request your Exams Officer to cancel your registration up to 15 October 2021. The standard registration fee will be refunded, but not if you’re a late registrant.

32. Does BMAT - November offer access arrangements?

Access arrangements are available. Contact your test centre and provide details of your disability or special requirements. You may be asked to provide evidence.

33. What do I need to bring to the BMAT test?

You need a valid photo ID, such as your passport, driver's license or student ID. 

Don’t forget to bring black pens, pencils and an eraser.

You cannot bring any food or drink except a clear bottle of water without any labels.

34. How do Medify’s tutorials work?

You start with a question type before drilling down into the best ways to approach it. The idea is to prepare you for the past papers, which we also provide.

If you take Section 1, for example, you will see a dropdown menu:

An example of BMAT tutorials list in Medify's Online BMAT Course

Medify’s BMAT learning options

This breaks the section down into its subsections, allowing you to focus on each part individually.

The course takes you through each section with many specific examples to help you grasp the concepts.

A BMAT spatial reasoning question example
A BMAT spatial reasoning question example

35. How can you get into medicine without the BMAT?

If you don’t do well in the BMAT, it’s not the end of the road for you. You can still study medicine through a number of paths:

36. Where can I get further BMAT information?

Please visit the official CAAT website for more information about the BMAT.

37. Get a syllabus-led BMAT course

Are you ready to get started? Our BMAT course takes you through the exam in a step-by-step sequence. We teach you the nuances of each section, provide 10 unique mock exams and 2,000+ original practice questions and you can also access an automatic past paper grader.

Watch Nafi Iftekhar trying Medify’s BMAT questions on YouTube: 

Medify BMAT

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