• Megan Richardson

Understand the BMAT and Improve Your Score

You’ve decided to apply to medical school and now you’re trying to work out which medical school entrance exams you are going to sit. You might have heard about the UCAT and know a bit about it, but what is the BMAT?


How is the BMAT Structured?


The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a 2-hour entrance exam sat by students who are applying to a small group of medical schools. The BMAT includes three sections.

  1. Section 1: Thinking Skills tests your problem solving, data analysis and critical thinking. Some students liken it to an IQ test.

  2. Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Applications, tests your Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology knowledge, much of this you will have covered in school.

  3. Section 3: Writing Task requires you to write a short essay that covers a maximum of one side of A4 paper.


When is the BMAT?


Unlike the UCAT, the BMAT runs on 2 dates a year. Previously, there have been February, September, and November sessions. However, as in 2021, there will only be two sessions in 2022. One in February and one in November.


Most UK universities will only accept the BMAT November, the BMAT February is largely reserved for students applying in other areas of Europe. The BMAT November is due to run on November 2nd although, you should monitor the official websites for any updates.


It is worth double checking the universities’ individual requirements as to when you sit the BMAT to be safe!

Is the BMAT online?


The BMAT was previously a pen and paper test, however, in 2021 it was sat online. Further information will be released in due course, confirming the plan for 2022.


Registering for the BMAT


BMAT registration is done through a school or external test centre. The first step is to talk to the exams officer at school. It is likely they can register you for the test. Otherwise, you will need to book into one of Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing’s alternative venues.


Preparing for the BMAT


The BMAT has been known as an exam that causes students some panic.

It is often dubbed as the harder medical admissions test. However, with the right help and practice, a fantastic score is completely perceivable and achievable!


Preparation for the BMAT largely involves practice, using past papers and

Question Banks. Students often worry because, in terms of A-levels, they

only take 2/3 of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology, which are tested in section 2. You can always take the content specification to subject teachers at school and ask for help/to sit in on lessons. Otherwise, a tutor can be helpful in guiding you in areas that you have not yet been taught.


Another part of preparing for the BMAT involves preparing for the BMAT essay, it is helpful to practice writing this essay, but you may want someone to mark it for you and give you feedback. BMAT tutors are, again, really helpful in this context.


Next Steps


The BMAT is a tricky test as with any medical admissions test, but with the right preparation, it is an exam that you can ace!