BMAT®: Frequently Asked Questions
Kaplan BMAT Course & Preparation
What is the BMAT?
The BMAT stands for Biomedical Admissions Test, which is a standardised aptitude exam required for entry into medical school globally and by 8 universities in the UK.
If you need help preparing you should check our BMAT course options
What is the format of the BMAT?
In a change due to COVID-19, the test is now taken on a computer rather than with pen and paper (excluding Thailand or Singapore, where the test will remain paper-based). However, the format remains the same: the BMAT is a 2-hour test with 3 timed sections. An outline is provided below:
|Thinking Skills (previously Aptitude & Skills)||32 questions
Questions cover Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking skills that are often required at undergraduate study level. Questions are multiple choice.
|Scientific Knowledge & Application||27 questions
This section is split into 3 parts covering Biology, Physics and Chemistry with Maths integrated (GCSE level). Answers will either be multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, free response, or matching (typically used for labelling a picture, for example parts of the human body).
|Writing||1 question (from a choice of 4)
Students have 1 page of A4 paper to answer the essay prompt. Essay topics are science-based.
|30 minutes||Quality score from 0-5 and a score for Quality of written English from A-E|
Learn more about each section of the BMAT here.
When can I take the BMAT?
The BMAT test can be taken at various points in the year, depending on the institutions to which you’re applying to study medicine.
With UK medical schools, they require that you take the test in either August/October or September/November each year.
For 2020, the test is only taking place on November 4th. Due to COVID-19 the September test date was cancelled.
There is also a BMAT test date in February for medical school entry to several medical schools in Europe.
Which universities require the BMAT
Brighton & Sussex Medical School
University of Cambridge
Imperial College London
Keele University (only for 'overseas for fees' applicants)
Leeds' School of Medicine
University of Oxford Medical School – Graduate Medicine only for September Exam
University College London
University of Manchester Medical School - For some groups of international applicants only
Chiang Mai University (Thailand)
Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
Khon Kaen University (Thailand)
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang Faculty of Medicine (Thailand)
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore)
University of Leiden (Netherlands) – February exam only
Mahidol University (Thailand)
University of Malaya (Malaysia)
University of Navarra (Spain)
Navamindradhiraj University faculty of Medicine
Nazarbayev University School of Medicine
Pirogov Russian National Research University
University of Pécs (Hungary)
University of Rijeka (Croatia)
Srinakharinwirot University (Thailand)
Suranaree University of Technology (Thailand)
Thammasat University (Thailand)
Medical University of Warsaw (Poland)
University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Please note: although this information is frequently updated, the list of institutions and accepted BMAT test dates changes regularly. Please do check the official test maker's BMAT website for the most up to date information.
Where do I take the BMAT?
You will usually be required to take the BMAT at your school if they are registered to administer the test - otherwise it can be taken at a test centre. You can find out more about where to take the BMAT on Cambridge Assessment’s test-takers registration page.
Is there a fee for taking the BMAT?
Yes, there is a fee for sitting the BMAT. For students taking the test in the UK & EU there is a standard registration fee of £49, and for those taking the test outside of the EU, the fee is £83..
How many times can you take the BMAT?
You can only take the BMAT once per application cycle, which puts a little more pressure on effective preparation strategies. You can get started with free BMAT practice test, or explore our results-driven course options.
What will test day be like?
On test day, you will need to bring some form of photo ID (like a passport or driving license) for check in. You will also have to bring your note-taking stationery. You will not be able to use a calculator so you must not bring this with you to the exam.
For most students you will sit the exam at your school. Other students who do not attend a school registered to administer the BMAT will sit the exam at a test centre. All students, regardless of where you are testing from, will be provided with the BMAT test paper including sheets for your essay on test day.
Invigilators will be present to monitor test-takers, and like any exam you will not be permitted to to speak to other test-takers on the day. You will only be allowed a clear bottle of water as refreshment on your desk.
BMAT test day: most common mistakes
Common mistakes to avoid on test day include:
- Forgetting to bring your ID
- Bringing a calculator with you
- Not having a good night’s rest before your exam
- Feeling the pressure to write more than is necessary for your essay
- Taking your test without enough preparation and real-time practice beforehand
How is the BMAT scored?
The BMAT is scored between 1-9 (1 being the lowest) for the first two sections. The third and final section is the essay, where students are given a score between 0-5 for quality of content and A-E for quality of English.
What is the average BMAT score?
The average score for the BMAT varies slightly from year to year depending on the performance of that cohort. Though in general, most students will score between 3-5 on average on the first two sections of the BMAT.
What is a good score for BMAT?
A good score is generally considered to be 6 points in section 1 & 2 of the BMAT, while students scoring 7 are considered to have an exceptional score.
For section 3, a top score is 5 for quality of content and A for quality of written English.
What is a good BMAT score for Oxford/Cambridge?
A score for Oxbridge shouldn’t be considered more than a score for another medical school, as every medical school will view your application evenly with your personal statement, grades and interviews. However, you should aim to perform above the general average BMAT pass mark to stand out more.
When will I receive my score?
You will receive your score towards the end of November each year.
For 2020 this will be on 27th November.
How important is a high BMAT score?
A high BMAT score is definitely worth aiming for to give yourself a stronger chance of standing out in your application. It’s also good to bear in mind that universities will look holistically at your entire application. In that respect, ensuring your grades, personal statement and interview skills are equally strong is also important.
Do you take BMAT in Year 12 or 13?
Students will generally take the BMAT in year 13 or in the summer between year 12 and year 13 if they're taking the test in August/September. This is not valid for students who are not taking the graduate entry route to medicine.
Can you use a calculator on the BMAT?
You cannot use a calculator on the BMAT unfortunately, so your mental maths skills will be required to deal with the maths and physics questions that appear on the exam.
Is BMAT harder than UCAT?
The BMAT is not necessarily harder than the UCAT: in fact many will argue that it’s more approachable than the UCAT as there are fewer sections to complete within the same amount of time (2 hours). As GCSE-level science will appear on the test, and as there is also an essay section, you may find the BMAT more familiar, compared to the more rigid UCAT aptitude test.
Kaplan BMAT Course & Preparation
Is a Kaplan BMAT course worth it?
The Kaplan BMAT courses are one of the leading options for trusted BMAT preparation. We have been providing BMAT preparation since the earliest years of the test and pride ourselves on test-like and score-raising preparation materials. Our courses are led by teachers who are in the top 10% of BMAT test-takers and who have been rigorously trained to deliver high quality BMAT teaching to provide you with the confidence you need for test day.
Our course resources are also unrivalled. We provide an extensive range of resources including a BMAT Strategy Book, and an online study plan with 6 full-length practice tests, a Question Bank, and an Essay Review service on up to 6 draft submissions. We also support you with the Kaplan-exclusive Future Doctors Channel containing additional BMAT prep and medical school admissions guidance.
See what some of our students think:
BMAT Classroom Complete course student Kaplan really enabled me to get a feel of what the BMAT would be like. I was able to effectively learn the techniques to master each section on the BMAT via the learning videos provided by Kaplan. I can overall say that my score was heavily influenced by Kaplan.
BMAT Classroom Complete course student I wouldn't have known what to study without this course.
How to prepare for BMAT?
BMAT preparation entails developing good critical thinking skills, and refreshing your GCSE knowledge of Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. You will also need to develop your writing skills if it’s been a while since you’ve written an essay. You can find more tips for preparing for the BMAT with our blogs 6 tips to smash the BMAT and What’s the best way to approach the BMAT. Proper courses and preparation is also recommended, so you can find out more about our options for preparation and practice.
How long does it take to prepare for BMAT?
Ideally, we recommend that you take around 4 weeks to fully prepare for the BMAT, though it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the format and question types much earlier than 4 weeks before your test.