Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)
Please note your application will not be normally considered by the admissions tutors for Medicine (A100 and A101) or Biomedical Sciences if you have not taken the BMAT. We are aware that there may be extra difficulties for some candidates this year, but we expect the vast majority of candidates to be able to sit tests as planned. If exceptional circumstances make this impossible, you may be able to take the BMAT online via a remote proctoring service arranged by CAAT. Please subscribe to this article for updates about eligibility criteria and how to apply for this service. For all other queries about the BMAT and remote proctoring, please contact CAAT directly.
The BMAT provides a predictive assessment of candidates' potential for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. We require a BMAT result for every candidate, regardless of your country of origin.
Although tutors will use a range of indicators when making decisions on interviews and final places, BMAT performance plays a key part throughout, and particularly at the short-listing stage. Therefore, it is important that you prepare well in order to best help yourself boost your chance of success. Doing so may help you to feel comfortable with the test, and therefore in a better position to ensure that your performance reflects your true ability and current potential (sections 1 and 2 are each worth 40% of your BMAT score as recorded by our process, so count for more). Practice under timed conditions will help you to familiarize yourself with the format of the paper, and the different approach taken by each section. Do try a few specimen tests, which can be found on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing's website.
Applicants should register for the test ahead of Oxford's main application deadline, and sit the test in October/November in the year of application. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure they are registered for the BMAT by the stated deadline each year. Without a BMAT registration, the UCAS application is deemed incomplete and cannot receive further consideration.
The test must be taken on one date scheduled each year. Results from other tests (e.g. UKCAT) may not compensate for lack of BMAT, and previous BMAT results cannot be carried forward from a previous admissions exercise.
What is the nature of the test?
The BMAT is a pen and paper test, and has three elements:
- Section 1: a 60-minute test of aptitude and skills;
- Section 2: a 30-minute test of scientific knowledge and applications;
- Section 3: a 30-minute writing task.
The BMAT is a 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 (or general school equivalent) knowledge of the sciences and mathematics is necessary. This is to ensure that the BMAT is accessible to all potential applicants irrespective of their educational background.
Please note that for Biomedical Sciences at Oxford, not all sections of the BMAT will receive equal weighting in the admissions process: section 3 will be given less weighting (20%) than sections 1 and 2 (40% each).
Further information is available from the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.
When and where do I take the test?
- Entries open: from 1 September 2020
- Standard deadline: 17:00 British Summer Time (BST) on 1 October 2020
- Late deadline: 18:00 BST on 15 October 2020 (a late penalty fee is payable)
- Test sat: 4 November 2020
Candidates should be able to sit the test locally as test centres are available both in the UK and overseas (most schools/colleges will be in a position to adminster the test on behalf of their students, but if in doubt, please see information on how to register issued by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing runs the test on behalf of a consortium of universities, including the University of Oxford).
A fee is charged for the BMAT. The entry fees for 2020 are £59.00 for UK and EU applicants and £89.00 for international applicants for entries made by the standard closing date. Late entries will be subject to a penalty fee of £30; you are therefore encouraged to register by the standard deadline (1 October).
We are concerned that the standard entry fee should not be viewed as a barrier to access and widening participation. Applicants 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. Applicants from within the EU in receipt of equivalent allowances or grants within their home country may apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed. If you are registered at a 'closed' centre, you should speak to your exams officer, head of sixth form or careers officer. If you are registered through an 'open' centre, you should contact Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. Please note that late entry fees and administration charges will not be reimbursed. A copy of the applicant's entitlement for benefits should be enclosed with the request for reimbursement of fees.
Information on how the test will be delivered to schools, colleges and other test centres is available from Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.
How do I prepare for the BMAT?
'Preparing for the BMAT: The official guide to the BioMedical Admissions Test' (£26.49, ISBN 9780435046873). The book is available for purchase via the Pearson Education website.
Because the test specification very strongly relates to level 3 key skills such as handling of numbers and communication, the best possible preparation is to work hard on developing these key skills during sixth-form. In addition, as BMAT also includes a section designed to test that you remember GCSE-level knowledge of sciences and mathematics, it would be wise to revise these subjects.
The test is designed to produce a full range of marks when taken by the sort of very able applicants who apply to study Biomedical Sciences at Oxford, so you should expect it to be substantially more difficult than most other exams you have taken. Please prepare yourself for this and don't be down-hearted if you feel you've not done very well. Be assured that everyone taking the test will find it difficult.