Biomedical Sciences: How do you short-list for interview?
As part of the process to decide which applicants are called to interview, we establish a ranking on the basis of BMAT results and GCSE performance (both quantitative and objective measures). For applicants without GCSEs, or who took GCSEs in 2020 or 2021, more weight is given to the BMAT score.
We do not ascribe equal weighting to all sections of BMAT. In 2022, weightings were: section 1=40%, section 2=40%, and section 3=20%. In calculating the section 3 score, double weight is ascribed to the ‘Quality of Content’ score and single weight given to the ‘Quality of English’ score (with A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1, and X=0).
GCSE performance data for schools in Great Britain and Northern Ireland helps tutors to assess whether an applicant's grades at GCSE may reflect an under- or over-performance within the context of the school at which they were taken. Therefore, it is possible that the chance of being short-listed can be increased/reduced if an applicant has a higher/lower fraction of 9/8 grades than would be predicted for the average student from their GCSE school.
All applicants who do not make the initial short-list are then reviewed in detail, taking into account any individual circumstances that might indicate that their academic performance is likely to underestimate their potential. As a result of this process, additional applicants are added to the short-list.
If you feel that you underperformed at GCSE because of extreme circumstances beyond your control, it is imperative that these extenuating circumstances are brought to our attention: a clear note should be made in the personal statement and school reference.
If you underperformed during BMAT because of extreme circumstances you should inform Cambridge Assessment within 5 working days of sitting the test. See the BMAT website for further information. Please note we will not consider any extenuating circumstances not declared to Cambridge Assessments using the appropriate procedure.
BMAT is the only element of an application that is common to all applicants for Biomedical Sciences and giving as it does a snapshot of ability and aptitude, is an important selection tool when assessing extremely well qualified applicants.