Oxford Medical School will only process applications with BMAT results from the October/November test [the month can vary from year to year - please check the BMAT website].
The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is an admissions test, introduced in November 2003, for students applying for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and related courses at, among others, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and the Royal Veterinary College (a full list of institutions can be found at www.bmat.org.uk). This test provides a predictive assessment of candidates' potential for these courses.
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.
Further information (deadlines, fees & possible reimbursement, access arrangements, mitigating circumstances affecting performance in the test etc.) is available from www.bmat.org.uk.
WhY DOES THIS TEST MATTER?
BMAT performance plays a significant part in our shortlisting process as described here. Do be aware that candidates are required to register for the BMAT (see how to register). 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 and consequently rejected. Candidates are advised to ask their schools for their registration number to ensure that they are actually registered for the test. School error will not be accepted as a reason for not sitting the BMAT.
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 around £23.99.
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 might be wasting their money.