WHAT IS BMAT?
The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a crucial prerequisite for entering the field of medicine and applying to universities that offer this course. It is a two-hour admissions test that measures aptitude and knowledge, assessing a wide range of abilities in its three sections. The exam does not allow the use of a calculator or dictionary and puts candidates under various lenses to evaluate their skills. A good BMAT preparation plan and schedule, along with the right type of help, can make the exam less daunting. Rostrum tutors provide guidance for each section of the BMAT exam.
This exam is required if you wish to apply to a BMAT university. If you do not take the BMAT, you will only be able to apply to UCAT universities and will not be considered by the limited group of medical schools that do have the BMAT exam as a requirement.
Some students avoid applying to BMAT universities because they wish to focus solely on the UCAT, but others recognise that taking the BMAT allows you to apply to a wider range of medical schools, allowing you to be more selective with your UCAS choices.
So, though the BMAT is definitely an extra, difficult, and overwhelming step, it’s one that ensures a wide variety of university options.
Details on each section of the BMAT-
Section 1- Thinking Skills
This section of the BMAT exam tests critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and does not require subject knowledge. The arrangement of this part has changed since 2020, and each question is worth one mark. The total raw marks are transformed to the BMAT scale, which ranges from 1 (poor) to 9 (high) (high). Scores are recorded to the nearest tenth of a decimal place. Scores are transformed to the BMAT scale ranging from 1 to 9, with typical candidates scoring around 5.0 and exceptional candidates scoring above 7.0.
Overview of section 1-
Multiple-choice questions are used to assess critical thinking and problem-solving skills. After a stimulus, the stem (question) and five options are presented in each case. The key option is the correct response, while the remaining four distractors are incorrect. A single line of text serves as the stimulus for Critical Thinking questions. A diagram, a table of information (such as a railway timetable), or a graph may serve as the stimulus in Problem Solving. Graphs or diagrams may also be available as options. The first section of the BMAT consists of 32 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in the allotted 60 minutes. Candidates should carry out their BMAT preparation in such a way that they sharpen the required skills in this section and attempt every question because incorrect answers will not affect their score. There are 16 questions pertaining to critical thinking and 16 questions pertaining to problem-solving. The various types of Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving questions are scattered throughout the test and presented roughly in order of difficulty. Dictionaries and calculators are NOT allowed in this test.
Section 2- Scientific knowledge and its application-
This section tests your ability to apply the knowledge typically covered in non-specialist school Science and Mathematics by the age of 16 (such as GCSE in the UK and IGCSE internationally) to solve problems. Similar to section 1, each question of section 2 is worth one mark. Each section’s total raw marks are transformed to the BMAT scale, which ranges from 1 (poor) to 9 (high) (high). Scores are recorded to the nearest tenth of a decimal place. Typical BMAT candidates will receive a score of around 5.0, which is almost half a mark. The best candidates will receive a score of approximately 6.0, with a few exceptional individuals receiving a score of above 7.0.
Overview of section 2-
Section 2 determines whether applicants possess sufficient fundamental scientific knowledge and the capacity to apply it. Questions will only cover topics that are typically covered in secondary education science and math classes for students who are not specialists. Therefore, BMAT preparation for section 2 will require a thorough revision of previous portions from secondary education. In terms of time and marks available, the subject areas are balanced below. The format of the questions will be multiple-choice. No calculators are permitted. The Assumed Subject Knowledge section of this document contains the content specification for Section 2. In this section, speed as well as accuracy are crucial. Candidates should carry out their BMAT preparation with time limits and should aim at taking lesser time with each subsequent attempt. They should attempt all 27 questions because there are no penalties for incorrect responses and only marks for correct answers. Each question is allocated one point. Candidates are expected to be familiar with certain SI prefixes- nano- 10-9, micro- 10-6, milli- 10-3, centi- 10-2, deci- 10-1, kilo- 103, mega- 106, giga- 109. Furthermore, it is expected from candidates to be familiar with the use of negative indices in units, for example in velocity- ms-1.
Section 2 will consist of questions based on biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Biology will cover topics like DNA, enzymes, cells, etc; chemistry will cover topics like quantitative chemistry, atomic structure, chemical reactions, equations, formulae, etc.; physics will cover topics like mechanics, magnetism, electricity, thermal physics, etc.; and lastly, mathematics will cover topics like ratio and proportion, probability, geometry, algebra, etc.
Section 3- The Writing Task-
This section looks at how well you can organize your ideas, write effectively, and present them clearly and concisely with evidence to back them up. A brief essay (one A4 page or up to 550 words if you have permission to use a word processor) must be completed in 30 minutes. Each essay is graded twice. The average of two marks is stated if the two marks are the same or are separated by no more than one mark. If there is a significant disparity in the grades, the essays are remarked a third time, and the final grade granted is double-checked by a senior member of the Cambridge Assessment team.
This assignment requires you to use skills you’ve already developed through schoolwork and in any reports you’ve written for your current courses.
You can respond to any one of the three general, scientific, or medical-related questions. Candidates are recommended to prepare for this section of the BMAT by having good general, scientific and medical-related knowledge, and therefore they may be required to keep up with the news on these topics. Candidates can also carry out their BMAT preparation for this section by constantly writing and improving their skills.
Choose the question for which you think you can write the best essay and which piques your interest the most. Just because you’re applying for a medical license doesn’t mean you have to answer the medical question.
The format of the questions is always the same: a statement or proposition, such as “There is money to be made from not curing disease,” for example a few instructions on how to respond follow.
Most of the time, the instructions will ask you to explain how you understand the statement, argue for or against the statement, then explain your point of view and draw a conclusion.
Please be aware that Section 3 offered a choice between four questions from 2010 to 2016. It has three options starting in 2017.
Tips for section 3-
- Practice analyzing and arguing in favor of and against various points of view. Do this with the articles or news stories you read and get used to saying what you think about them. You might do this by writing down your thoughts and then thinking about why you think the way you do.
- You’ll use a lot of the same skills that are tested in Section 1 questions, like drawing conclusions, making an argument stronger, and spotting flaws in arguments that are against you. Occasionally, presenting an argument in support of a viewpoint with which you disagree can assist you in identifying flaws in your own arguments or in defending your own viewpoint.
- You might also find it helpful to read more about a wide range of topics, particularly ethics, the nature of science, and the debates that are taking place in medicine right now.
UNIVERSITIES THAT REQUIRE THE BMAT?
University specific information on the BMAT-
Universities that demand a good BMAT score-
Brighton And Sussex Medical School (BSMS)-
To apply to BSMS, you must take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). According to BSMS, the BMAT is a test of both aptitude and knowledge, and it is crucial for applicants to demonstrate their capacity to construct and present a coherent argument. The BMAT was given a score of 37 by BSMS—9 for Section 1, 18 for Section 2, and 5 for Section 3. After that, these scores are ranked, and those with the highest rankings are invited for an interview. Applicants whose BMAT scores do not meet all of the following criteria are not considered by BSMS: Section 1 scores of 3 or higher, Section 2 scores of 6 or higher, and Section 3 scores of 2.5 or higher.
It is impossible to provide a precise indication of the required score because the threshold score for the interview changes each year in response to the performance of the cohort. However, as a point of reference, the cut-off score for entry in 2022 was 17.3.
University of Cambridge-
While those applying to the Standard Course must take the BMAT, those applying to the Graduate Course are exempt. It is challenging to recommend a score to aim for or beat because every college evaluates applicants differently. According to past performance, offer holders have typically gotten roughly 6.1 in Section 1, 6.2 in Section 2, and 3.3 in Section 3.
The University of Cambridge is the best medical school in the UK. To determine who should be invited to interview and who should be awarded a place, the BMAT is taken into account in addition to the personal statement and grades.
They claim that there is no “pass” score and that people with better BMAT scores are more likely to be given an interview. It arguably matters more in the decision-making process here as they interview more than 70% of applicants.
The college system is one element of Cambridge’s admissions procedure that makes ranking it more challenging. Unlike Oxford, whose method is central, some colleges give the BMAT more weight in their selection process, hence these colleges will have a higher BMAT score requirement.
University of Oxford-
Similar to Cambridge, Oxbridge Universities are well-known for their extremely selective admissions procedures. At Oxford, shortlisting and who to call for an interview are based on BMAT scores, GCSE performance, and other factors. Both the GCSE and BMAT scores are given equal weight in the numerical ranking.
According to our knowledge, Section 1 and Section 2 each receive a weighting of 40%, while Section 3 receives a weighting of 20%.
Though the University of Oxford doesn’t have a BMAT cut-off score, they have suggested previously that a 6.0 in the 1st and 2nd sections is recommended to stay in the competition.
In short, out of these three universities, the University of Oxford is seemingly the most demanding in terms of getting good BMAT scores, though the University of Cambridge isn’t too far behind. In these universities, scoring in the 6.0s is a requirement to have a good chance here. The good news is that since there are very few universities in this ‘good score on BMAT’ category, applicants still have a lot more good choices that can act as their back-up options, that don’t demand such high scores as these universities do, but need a decent score.
Universities that demand an average BMAT score-
Imperial College London- One great thing about Imperial is that it is upfront about the usage of cut-off scores which makes this much less intimidating! These are determined by comparing the applicant’s scores to the number of interview spots open. Because of this, the cut-off scores will change every year, but you can establish a baseline by examining the cut-off numbers from earlier years.
BMAT Thresholds for Home Applicants:
- Section 1: 3.5
- Section 2: 3.5
- Section 3: 2.5 C
- Minimum Sum of Scores of Sections 1 and 2: 10.9
BMAT Thresholds for Overseas Applicants:
- Section 1: 4
- Section 2: 4
- Section 3: 3 C
- Minimum Sum of Scores of Sections 1 and 2: 12.3
The Keele University is considered to be unique because of the fact that it only requires its international candidates to give the BMAT exam. Shortlisting candidates for the interview process is heavily dependent on the ranking the candidates receive according to the BMAT scores. Here, the total scores are calculated by taking the sum of Section 1, Section 2 and adjusted Section 3 scores. In 2021, the cut-off score was 14.1.
University College London-
Since the BMAT scores are used in conjunction with the UCAS application, there is no cutoff. An application will be stronger with high scores in each section. Candidates are less likely to succeed if their scores are lower than the average for their cohort.
Note that they no longer discuss Section 3 during interviews after 2020.
Average BMAT Score Interviewed (2021)
- Section 1: 5.8
- Section 2: 5.8
- Section 3: 3.3A
Average Offer-Holders BMAT
- Score (2021)
- Section 1: 5.7
- Section 2: 5.8
- Section 3: 3.4A
Universities accepting a low score in the BMAT-
A candidate’s overall BMAT score determines their position among those who meet the minimal academic admittance requirements. By adding the individual scores for Sections 1, 2, and 3 for the BMAT, Lancaster University determines the final result. Sections 1 and 2 both receive a score of 9, while Section 3 is scored out of 5. In 2022, Lancaster University had a BMAT cut-off score of 8.9 with average BMAT score to get into the interview was 11.8 and 12.1 for average offer-holders in 2021.
Leeds School of Medicine-
The University of Leeds is exceptional in that both their dental school and medical school require the BMAT. The BMAT is exclusively needed for this particular dentistry course in the UK.
Here, candidates are ranked according to projected and actual grades as well as BMAT results. Interview invitations are subsequently extended to the top-scoring candidates (750 total).
Please take note that one of the MMI stations will utilise the essay Section as the basis for a discussion.
There is no threshold score for admission to Leeds, although it is obvious that a high BMAT score can make up for a weak academic record, and vice versa.
Though there are universities that accept a relatively low score than the other universities in the BMAT, don’t let this fool you into believing that these universities have low standards of entry and admission into them. Getting into a medical school in the UK comes with the knowledge that each university will be holding really high standards to ensure that the best of the best students get a chance to portray themselves and their talents and enter their universities. Accepting a relatively low score than other universities may simply mean that these universities place a higher importance on other areas of the admissions process. Therefore, no matter what, always aim for a high BMAT score and an excellent profile.
When will you be able to take the BMAT exam-
The BMAT exam is given many times a year. In each application cycle, you can only take the test once. You must take the BMAT test in November if you are applying to a UK university. you take the BMAT exam?
Useful tips to help you in your BMAT exam preparation-
Take a look at a few questions from each section to see what kind of thinking is required. Before you begin, make sure you have a thorough idea of what each section entails.
By doing so, you’ll likely discover that Section 1 is a lot like the UCAT ); Section 2 is the one you’ll be most familiar with (and thus the easiest to revise for), and Section 3 is potentially more dependent on communication and wider reading.
You’ll be able to see which ones need the most attention and devote more effort to them. It is recommended to save your time by not spending too much of it on portions that you’re already familiar with. A quick skim through should be enough if the concepts are clear.
2. PREVIOUS YEARS’ PAPERS
One of the best things about the BMAT is that it is (in general) easier to prepare for than the UCAT. It’s only a pen and paper test, which is more like the usual test we’re all accustomed to, so you should be a little less stressed!
Take advantage of the BMAT website’s archive of former papers, which are all available for free. They will undoubtedly assist you in identifying your skills and shortcomings, as well as familiarizing you with the test’s structure.
3. Complex problems vs. Time
One difference between the BMAT and the UCAT is that the BMAT is not designed to be as time-pressured, which means that the questions you’ll be asked will frequently be multi-step. The UCAT tests your ability to work fast, and those of you who have taken it before will be aware of the limited time you have to complete each question.
However, don’t use the informed guessing strategy that’s typically advocated for the UCAT while answering BMAT questions; instead, be prepared to meticulously work your way through it in a logical manner.
4. Treat Section 1 as if it were the UCAT
In terms of section-specific advice, try not to get too worked up in this one. Those of you who have taken the UCAT will recognize the similarities with Verbal Reasoning and will benefit from following a similar but more cautious approach.
Read the question, consider the answer alternatives, and then eliminate it with zeal. Look for small trick words that can be used to entirely invert the meaning of some statements. You’ll do well if you don’t make any assumptions or draw any inferences that aren’t explicitly stated in the passage.
5. Maintain your confidence in Section 2
Section 2 is labelled as GCSE level Science, but due to the many criteria, it actually ends up being significantly higher than GCSE level. Examine the official guide on the BMAT website to ensure that you have all of the necessary information.
Use this guide as a checklist for reviewing all of the topics included on the BMAT. Don’t be discouraged if the questions you tackle appear to be much more difficult than the guide’s level of knowledge – keep in mind that the subject will be used in a variety of ways. Prepare yourself so that you can step up and meet the challenge!
DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND ONE OF THE MEDICAL SCHOOLS LISTED ABOVE? THE BMAT IS A DIFFICULT TEST, BUT WITH OUR GUIDANCE, YOU CAN GET THE COLLEGE OF YOUR DREAMS.
How Rostrum can make your journey with the BMAT easier-
We, at Rostrum, are professionals at increasing your BMAT score and increasing your chances of getting into medical school. How? Through One-On-One Tuition, Intensive BMAT Courses, and Mock Papers and Practice Questions, our BMAT Tutors help you enhance your BMAT Score quickly. Rostrum Education provides BMAT preparation services to help students prepare for each section of the exam, including the Thinking Skills and Scientific Knowledge and its application sections. With the help of a BMAT tutor online, students can practice their skills and improve their scores. Our tutors are themselves graduates from top med schools in the UK. Their first-hand experience aids in an all-round preparation. Based on the time until your test, your BMAT results, and your weak areas, your instructor will create a personalized BMAT lesson plan for you.
OUR BMAT PROGRAM WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING VALUABLE RESOURCES:
- Intensive BMAT Courses: Highly effective, comprehensive courses are a great way to learn a lot in a brief period of time.
- Tried and tested strategies: You could be answering 1000s of questions but not becoming any better. Our instructors will help you improve your BMAT technique.
- Comprehensive materials: We provide fine-tuned tools in a variety offormats to assist you in practicing and learning.
- Supervision for Enrichment: We engage with students to help them learn beyond the curriculum to gain a better understanding of the subject.
- Personalized Programmes: Every student can get the most out of what they learn with Rostrum thanks to the customizable programme.
- Regular Progress Reports: With regular progress updates, BMAT revision recommendations, and homework plans, we keep parents and students informed.
Provision of a Preparation Guide