BMAT stands for BioMedical Admissions Test and is a 2-hour aptitude test currently required by eight UK medical schools, including Oxford and Cambridge. It is designed to test your ability to apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, as well as problem-solving, critical thinking and written communication skills.
This section covers problem-solving and critical thinking. It tests your reasoning skills, both numeric and written language. Questions are presented roughly in increasing order of difficulty. Calculators and dictionaries are not allowed. There are 32 multiple-choice questions, (that’s just less than 2 mins per question). Scoring: Questions are worth 1 mark each; marks are not deducted for incorrect answers.
Tests your understanding and application of scientific knowledge that applicants should have covered in school by age 16, in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. BMAT gives a list of what topics may be drawn on in their website. There are 27 multiple-choice questions, (that’s just over a minute per question).Scoring: Questions are worth 1 mark each; marks are not deducted for incorrect answers.
Scores for Sections 1 and 2: Raw scores for both sections are converted to BMAT’s scale running from 1 (low) to 9 (high). 5.0 is a typical score, with the best candidates scoring 6.0.
Tests your written communication skills. You write one essay from a choice of 3 questions. Essay content is marked taking into account how well the question is addressed including any counter arguments, how clearly thoughts are organised and expressed, and appropriate use of knowledge and opinions. Scoring: Essay content is graded from 1 – 5, with 5 regarded as excellent. Essays are also graded on the quality of English, from A (highest) through to E.
For 2021 (2022 entry) the exam will ONLY be offered on one date – 3rd November 2021.
Registration opens on 1st September 2021, but you must be registered by a test centre, you cannot do it yourself. To qualify for the standard fee (£61) your test centre needs to register you by 1st October 2021. They may still register you up until 6 pm on 15th October 2021, but this will incur an additional late fee (£34). IMPORTANT: the dates given are for your test centre to register you. You should select and contact your test centre WELL BEFORE these dates to ensure deadlines are met.
If you need modified papers (eg large print) you must apply by 30th September.If you need Access Arrangements (eg extra time) you must apply by 15th October.The deadline to apply for reimbursement of fees for financial hardship is 15th October.All details on eligibility and how to apply can be found on the BMAT website.
At a test, centre that is authorised to run Admissions Testing tests. Your own school or college will probably already be registered as a test centre, so check with them. If not, the deadline for them to apply for this is 30th September. There are also other test centres, which you can find here by clicking this link although they may be a lot further away.
Practise as much as you can so you are familiar with the format of the questions. There are many free resources with lots of questions. However, given the timing is not generous it will help to develop strategies for how to deal with different types of questions.
The topics that may be drawn on are published on the BMAT website. Revise the topics as you would for any other exam. Learning some revision techniques will not only help you here but also stand you in good stead for your main exams next year.
Essay writing skills can be learnt. If you are not comfortable presenting your ideas in this way, then getting guidance can earn you valuable points in the test.