BMAT Scores Explained: Everything you need to know

September 25, 2019 - Keerthi Muthukumar

Even though medical school admission testing season is soon drawing to a close, anxiety levels for students can remain high - especially with the painful waiting period before BMAT scores are released. If you sat the BMAT in August, then you’re probably aware that results have just come out! But what do these scores mean for you now?

How is the BMAT scored?

Questions in Sections 1 and 2 (Aptitude and Skills, and Scientific Knowledge and Application respectively), are each worth 1 point, and the raw totals are scaled to give each section a score between 1.0 and 9.0. The idea is that the average test-taker should score around half marks, which correlates to a score of 5.0. Strong candidates will then score around 6.0, and the very best achieving 7.0.

Section 3, the writing task, on the other hand is understandably a bit subjective, so is an average of two examiners’ scores. The score that you receive will comprise of two parts:

  • A number from 0-5 for content, with 5 being described as “An excellent answer with no significant weaknesses”, and 0 being “ irrelevant, trivial, unintelligible or missing”
  • A letter from A-E for quality of written English with A awarded for “Good use of English” and E for “rather weak use of English”.

How have students scored in previous years?

With some medical schools having competition ratios of over 10 applicants per place, it’s clear that how you perform in relation to the rest of the cohort is incredibly important. In 2018, the modal score for Sections 1 and 2 was 4.0, and 3 in Section 3. The quality of written English in Section 3 is expected to be high by many medical schools, since over 75% of candidates gain an A.

Read the full 2018 BMAT results breakdown from the test maker here.

What do the BMAT scores mean for you?

Medical schools can use BMAT scores in a variety of ways: some will use it holistically, as just one part of the application; some may use scores for particular sections more than others; and others use a cut-off for each section to narrow down applicants from the beginning. The most reliable place to find details of how each medical school utilises results is on their own prospectuses and websites, however, it is important to know that if a medical school uses cut-offs, it is likely to vary depending on the strength of applicants in a given year.

Use the Med School Matcher to speedily find out how medical schools use the BMAT & UCAT.

As an example, the University of Oxford states that candidates should aim to score around 6, but it is used in combination with GCSE results, and a weaker performance in either component can be compensated by the other - there is no cut-off. In contrast, Imperial College London uses a cut-off before interview, which historically has been around 4.5 in Sections 1 and 2, and 2.5B in Section 3.

Planning to sit the BMAT? Make sure to have a read of our two blogs: The best way to approach preparation and 6 top tips to smash the exam!


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