Welcome to our guide to the University admissions test BMAT. We hope you find this useful!
Our BMAT University admissions guide
University admissions tests
The admission test is different from one university to another. For example, the admission test syllabus and rules in Cambridge will be different from the ones at Oxford.
You need to register for the UCAS application process, where the deadlines will be different. As per the UK time, the deadline for the UCAS application is by 15th October, 18:00.
Also you will need to complete a supplementary application questionnaire.
Several application tests are ongoing in Cambridge at the moment and they are;
- Cambridge Admission Assessment
- Biomedical Admission Test is also known as BMAT
- Sixth Term Examination Paper also known as STEP
BMAT university admissions
How to get a high BMAT score?
- Given that 5 is the average, anything above that is pretty good. Above 7 is considered impressive, with less than 5% achieving more than 8.
- It is also important to note that you do not need to achieve full raw marks to gain a full scaled score (9).
- Section 3 is marked on 2 scales: A-E for Quality of written communication & 0-5 for Strength of argument.
- The average mark for strength of argument is 3-3.5 whilst most candidates will score A/B for Quality of Written Communication. This is because they are testing for competence rather than excellence in this section.
- A grade of C or below, generally indicates a very weak grasp of English and a clear lack of fluency.
Best practice BMAT revision
- The best way to revise for the BMAT is to sit past papers in timed conditions.
- Ensure you know all the content for Section 2 well before you sit the paper.
- There will likely be content you have not encountered before or at least not for a fairly long time.
- It’s important to re-learn it so you can apply it in the unfamiliar context of the BMAT.
When will I get my BMAT score?
For the September BMAT you will receive your score in late September.
This means you will receive your score before you apply to university. Hence, it may be beneficial to know so you can choose your universities to apply to accordingly.
Whereas, for the October BMAT you will receive your score in late November. This is after the deadline to apply to university for Medicine and so the universities you have applied to will receive your score automatically and directly.
What is the purpose of the BMAT?
Like the UCAT, the BMAT…
- Specifically, designed to assess your cognitive ability and various attributes necessary for healthcare professionals.
- Involves a variety of different skills including problem solving, application of scientific knowledge and writing skills.
- BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a pre-interview assessment for students applying for university courses in various fields of medicine.
How many times can I take the BMAT?
You can only take the BMAT once per academic year so read on to ensure you pass !
Which Universities require the BMAT?
There universities require the BMAT when applying for their medicine courses:
- Brighton and Sussex Medical School
- University of Cambridge
- Imperial College London
- Keele University
- Lancaster University
- Leeds’ School of Medicine
- Oxford Medical School
- University College London
What’s in the 3 BMAT test sections?
- Aptitude and Skills – Problem Solving, Understanding Argument, and Data Analysis and Inference (35 questions over 60 minutes for this section.
- Application of Scientific Knowledge – Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths (27 questions over 30 min)
- Section 3: Writing – Write an essay in response to a science-based essay prompt. You will be provided with 1 A4 page to answer the essay prompt. Admin time is 30 mins.
What does the BMAT Problem Solving involve?
Firstly, looking at problems and finding creative and logical solutions within the given parameters. Secondly numerical questions so you will be interpreting charts, diagrams or shapes.
There are 3 key Problem Solving Skills that BMAT focuses on:
- Relevant Section: requires you to analyse info
- Spatial Reasoning: requires you to manipulate and compare shapes
- Maths and Logic: calculating and reasoning
What does the BMAT Understanding Argument involve?
- Analysing statements and arguments, finding flaws in them and coming up with your own arguments based on the information at hand.
- BMAT Understanding Argument questions require you to understand the components of a good argument and be able to pick them apart.
There are 3 key Understanding Argument Skills that BMAT questions will focus on. These are:
- Drawing a conclusion, assumptions and reasons from the passage
- Identifying flaws in the argument and evaluating explanations
- And Identifying a principle relied upon by the argument
What is Data Analysis and Inference?
Data Analysis and Inference assesses your ability to use information, interpretation, analysis, inference and deduction skills to reach appropriate conclusions from information provided. You will typically be given either a long passage of text or some graphical data. You will be asked to answer up to 5 questions on the stimulus
Do I need to know subject specific content to sit the BMAT?
BMAT Section 2 is entirely based on scientific knowledge. You need to have a fairly strong understanding of all 3 sciences as well as Maths to at least GCSE-Level. In order to apply for Medicine, you must take Chemistry and most also take Biology. Given that you might not take an A-Level in a third science, there will be content that
you have not studied before which you must study for the BMAT.
What Physics Knowledge do I need for Section 2 of the BMAT?
The Physics Content in Section 2 includes:
- Energy and Force
- The Atom and Radioactivity
- Heat and Temperature
- Waves and their Effects
- Other Applications of Physics
You will almost definitely be tested on the first 2 topics and a range of questions from parts of the next 3 topics. If you did not take Physics A-Level, it is highly likely you will struggle with the final topic and so ensure you know the first 5 topics well and become vaguely familiar with the final one.
What Chemistry Knowledge do I need for Section 2 of the BMAT?
The Chemistry Content in Section 2 includes:
- Chemical Concepts
- Equations and Calculations
- Chemical Analysis and Electrolysis
- Carbon Chemistry
- Products from Rocks
- Reaction Rates and Energy Changes
- Classifying Materials
- Chemical Change
- Water, Pollution and Energy
Basic Chemical Concepts form the basis for almost every other topic and so you need to know it well.
A large proportion of the Section 2 Chemistry questions relate to equations.
So being confident with things like molar calculations is incredibly important.
What Biology Knowledge do I need for Section 2 of the BMAT?
The BMAT Biology Content in Section 2 includes:
- Cells and Cell Processes
- Organs and Organ Systems
- Nerves, Hormones and Homeostasis
- Genes, Reproduction and Evolution
- Energy Flow
Will there be a choice of question in Section 3 of the BMAT?
Yes. You will be presented with four essay prompts of which you must write a response to one.
How should I structure my BMAT Section 3 answer?
There is no set structure for how to answer this question but we recommend your answer include the following components:
- Explain: Define all of the key terms in the quote/statement and clearly express their meaning
- Argue: This needs to be objective – typically against the quote/statement. Focus on 3 main arguments and use key examples.
- Weigh up: evaluate and assess the arguments for and against and decide which is more compelling. You can use counter-arguments to highlight this.
- Conclude: This needs to be clear and concise. When writing your conclusion, it is advisable you fall somewhere in the middle of arguing for/against the statement to show you are well-reasoned and have considered all points presented.
You are in no way restricted to these components but remember you have both restricted time and restricted space to write your essay. Avoid waffling to make sure you have enough time and space to offer a well thought out conclusion.
The word limit for the BMAT writing task is 550 – you can be marked down for going over.
What is the mark scheme for Section 3 of the BMAT?
There is no formal mark scheme for this essay section of the BMAT and the exam board has not created model or ideal answers.
How can I apply for the BMAT?
You cannot register yourself to take the BMAT; the test centre is responsible for registering you. If you are currently attending a school or college, you can ask the Examinations Officer to register you.
If, however, you are not attending a school or college, then you can visit your old school and talk to the Examinations Officer there and they may register you for the BMAT. If not, you may need to look for other test centres nearby and ask them to register you.
Will I be charged to take the BMAT?
The standard entry fee for the BMAT in the UK is £46.
Some testing centres may also add an administration fee to the BMAT entry fee.
BMAT Sessions November 2022
Keep in mind that the University of Oxford will only be accepting results from BMAT for A100 and MC98 Biomedical sciences for the month of November 2022.
The candidates that are appearing for the A101 Medicine course may choose the September or November session by appearing on the BMAT admission test.
However, one should not appear in both of the months, or else that will be a conflicting matter in terms of getting admission for Biomedical sciences at Cambridge.