The BMAT is made up of three sections and is used as an admissions test for medical schools. It is also used by one dental school (Leeds) and for Oxford’s Biomedical Sciences programme.
In this article, we cover each section in depth and list the topics you need to revise to get a good BMAT score.
To get the best score possible, you need to follow a curriculum. Medify’s BMAT course takes you from your first day right up to the exam, with easy-to-follow guides and BMAT practice questions.
Which skills does BMAT test?
Reading formal English and following written instructions
Applied scientific and mathematical knowledge
The speed at which you work
Your command of mental maths and ability to interpret data to form conclusions about trends
Making logical inferences based on texts or data and spotting illogical inferences
The ability to communicate clearly, including arguments, predictions and evidence-based assertions
BMAT Section 1 – Thinking Skills
Length: 60 minutes
Questions: 32 multiple-choice questions
This used to be called ‘Aptitude and Skills’. It assesses the type of general reasoning you require in an academic environment, both numerical and verbal.
Questions are multiple-choice and calculators are not permitted.
BMAT Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Applications
Length: 30 minutes
Questions: 27 multiple-choice questions
Section 2 tests whether you have an appropriate level of core scientific knowledge and the ability to apply it.
Questions are of the same difficulty as non-specialist science and maths courses at school.
Questions are all multiple-choice and no calculators are allowed.
BMAT Section 2 knowledge check: do you know?
Biology (7 questions)
SI prefixes: nano 10-9, micro 10–6, etc.
Structure and function of the main subcellular components of animal and plant eukaryotic cells
The structure and function of prokaryotic cells (bacteria)
Levels of organisation: cells to tissues to organs to organ systems.
Movement across membranes
Cell division and sex determination
CHEMISTRY (7 questions)
The Periodic Table (IUPAC conventions, Groups are labelled as 1-18)
Chemical reactions, formulae and equations
Oxidation, reduction and redox
Chemical bonding, structure and properties
Acids, bases and salts
Rates of reaction
Air and water
PHYSICS (7 questions)
MATHEMATICS (6 questions)
Number - inc. working with integers
Ratio and proportion
Section 3: Writing Task – 30 minutes
In this section, you write a counter-argument in response to a proposition.
This assumes science-related language skills as well the ability to produce clear and concise written communication for an audience unfamiliar with the subject matter at hand.
You choose one option from three possible tasks, based on general, scientific and medical topics.
The questions offer a proposition, which the candidates are invited to consider:
You may need to:
Offer a counterargument to the proposition
Explain the proposition
Find a resolution between two opposing perspectives
In previous years, answers were approximately one-page long (A4). During the pandemic, this increased to 550 words (an upper limit). With the BMAT going back to being a paper-based assessment, it is likely the limit will be 1 page again.
Your writing must be carefully planned, concise and organised. You will not have access to a dictionary, so use familiar vocabulary - don’t guess at spellings unless absolutely necessary
Some universities will discuss your essay at interview.