Introduction to the BMAT
Most UK medical schools require applicants to sit an entrance exam, most commonly the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). However, a few UK universities require prospective students to sit the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), including Oxford and Cambridge. Often students applying to Oxbridge and other UK medical schools have to sit both the UCAT and BMAT.
The BMAT is accepted by 9 UK universities
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Imperial College London
University College London
University of Cambridge
University of Manchester Medical School (for some groups of international applicants only)
University of Leeds
University of Oxford
Keele University(only ‘overseas for fees’ applicants)
Currently, all of them accept the November session only.
The BMAT comprises of 3 sections
These include: a thinking skills assessment, a scientific knowledge and application section and a writing task. A more detailed specification for the test can be found here:
Your BMAT score forms part of your application
Oxbridge do not set strict “cut off” scores for making invitations to interview but rather consider applicants holistically taking into consideration other data available to them such as contextualised GCSE/equivalent results or any extenuating circumstances.
Give yourself enough preparation time
It can be difficult to juggle multiple aspects of the application process but it is certainly possible to perform well with only a few weeks of preparation. It is recommended that you spend around one month prior to the BMAT test date.
There are many years of past papers available on the BMAT website (Practice papers | BMAT | Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing) which helps you become familiar with the testing format and the nature of the content of the papers (therefore identifying any gaps in your knowledge).
Practise under timed conditions
Students often struggle with the stringent time constraints of the exam so sitting practice papers under timed conditions is really important so you become familiar with these time constraints and working within them.
Use the BMAT Website. The “BMAT Preparation Guide”, past papers/worked solutions and specification are all incredibly useful and can be viewed here:
Preparation Guide: BMAT preparation guide (admissionstesting.org)
Specification: BMAT test specification (admissionstesting.org)
Sit practice papers under time conditions to get used to the stringent time constraints of the exam. I found it useful to practice doing it with a minute or so spare to make sure I could do it in time during the actual exam.
Spend more time practising the question types you get wrong when sitting past papers. It may be useful to create a log/spreadsheet to record this information.
Most students have to sit the BMAT in late October/early November meaning you will not have your results before submitting your UCAS application. The results of the BMAT are considered by Oxford tutors during the interview shortlisting process, details of how it is considered can be found here: