BMAT

The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is an admissions test, introduced in November 2003, for students applying for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and related courses at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and the Royal Veterinary College.This test provides a predictive assessment of candidates' potential for these courses.

What is the nature of the test?

The BMAT is a pen and paper test, and has three elements: a 60-minute test of aptitude and skills; a 30-minute test of scientific knowledge and applications; and a 30-minute writing task. It provides a demanding test of relevant intellectual skills and knowledge - as is appropriate for admissions to university courses attracting high calibre applicants. However, test questions will be designed so that no specific preparation beyond GCSE-level science and mathematics is necessary, ensuring that the BMAT is accessible to all potential applicants irrespective of background.

The test must be sat in the year of application. BMAT results cannot be carried over from year to year.

BMAT performance plays a significant part in our short-listing process.

Further information is available from: www.bmat.org.uk

When and where will the test take place?

The BMAT is sat annually, normally on the first Wednesday in November. In 2012 the test was sat on Wednesday 7 November. Results were released to candidates by the Admissions Testing Service on Wednesday 21 November 2012.

Do be aware that candidates are required to register for the BMAT. Candidate results will be matched using the registration number and UCAS Personal ID. Any UCAS application from a candidate without a BMAT registration will be deemed incomplete.

Entries for the BMAT will be taken from 1 September 2013

Standard entry closing date: 5pm GMT on 1 October 2013

Late entry closing date: 5pm GMT on 15 October 2013 (a late penalty fee is payable)

Candidates should be able to sit the test locally as test centres are available both in the UK and overseas (UK secondary schools and colleges will be able to administer the test to their students). Participating universities may also provide test centres and/or supplementary testing sessions.

BMAT entry fee

A fee is charged for the BMAT. For entries made by the standard closing date, the fee has been set at £44 for candidates sitting the test in the UK or EU, and £74 for candidates sitting the test in other locations. Late entries will be subject to a penalty fee of £31.50; you are therefore encouraged to register by the standard deadline.

We are concerned that the standard entry fee should not be viewed as a barrier to access and widening participation. Candidates from the UK in receipt of the full Adult Learning Grant (ALG), the full Maintenance Grant, income-based Job Seeker's Allowance or Income Support may apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed. Candidates from within the EU in receipt of equivalent allowances or grants within their home country may also apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed. 

If you are registered at a school, you should speak to your exams officer, head of sixth form or careers officer. If you are registered through an open test centre, you should contact:

The BMAT Support Team
The Admissions Testing Service

1 Hills Road
Cambridge
CB1 2EU

Please note that late entry fees and administration charges will not be reimbursed. A copy of a candidate's entitlement for benefits should be enclosed with the request for reimbursement of fees. All requests for reimbursement of fees should reach the BMAT Support Team by Tuesday 15 October 2013.

For the latest details on fees and the fee reimbursement scheme, please see: BMAT dates & cost

Information on how the test will be delivered to schools, colleges and other test centres is available at: www.bmat.org.uk

How do I prepare for BMAT?

BMAT cannot be 'crammed' for; however, basic familiarity with a test's question and answer style will help you prepare.  Everything that you need to prepare for the BMAT is on, or mentioned on, the BMAT website (www.bmat.org.uk), and you can practise the test with the specimen papers available for download. Additionally because the test specification very strongly relates to level 3 key skills such as 'handling of number' and 'communication', your best preparation is to work hard on developing your key skills during your sixth-form studies.

Section 2 of the test will always be based around the relevant version of the National Curriculum taken by the majority of the cohort. it would therefore be wise for you to revise some GCSE science and maths.

The one text we recommend when preparing for the test is "Preparing for the BMAT: The official guide to the BioMedical Admissions Test", written by the Admissions Testing Service; this official guide has everything needed to prepare and practice in a single book.  It contains plenty of specimen questions and answers, providing confidence and knowledge of what to expect from the BMAT. It is published by Heinemann, and costs £15.99, (ISBN 0435280139). The book is available for purchase from the Heinemann website.

Companies and individuals offering help with BMAT do not have a special insight into the nature of the test.  While a candidate's performance at any test will improve with some familiarisation or practice, anyone thinking of paying for such help should consider very carefully whether they would be wasting their money.