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TSR Wiki > Choosing a Subject > Medicine > BMAT


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What is it?Why is it used?Dates and CostsWho needs it?RegistrationWhat does it test?
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What is the BMAT?

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a subject-specific admissions test taken by applicants to certain medicine, veterinary medicine and related courses at the institutions listed below. The BMAT is owned and administered by Cambridge Assessment, one of the world’s largest assessment agencies.

Why do some universities use the BMAT?

Universities face a range of challenges throughout their applications and admissions processes. One of the main challenges they face is the selection of the correct applicants to accept. Almost all applicants to medicine and veterinary science achieve an equally high academic level. Universities need additional information on which to base their admissions decisions.

BMAT was developed by Cambridge Assessment in response to a request by academics from some of the medical and veterinary schools in the UK for an assessment that would:

• Enable them to differentiate between applicants who appear to be equally well qualified and suited to the course

• Provide a way of assessing the potential of students who have a range of qualifications

Dates and Costs


Important dates

1st September 2013 - Entries Extranet Opens. Centres can start making candidate entries from this date.

16th September 2013 - Last date for requests for modified question papers e.g Braille or enlarged

1st October 2013 - Standard entry closing date. Standard entry fees will apply until 5pm BST

15th October 2013 - Last date for BMAT Entries. Late entry fees will apply until 5pm BST. Entries cannot be withdrawn after this date. Candidates or centres who miss this deadline date should contact Cambridge Assessment. Entries made on this date also incur a late penalty fee.

6th November 2013 - BMAT takes place.

27th November 2013 - BMAT results released.

Costs

£44.00 - Standard BMAT fee for an EU candidate

£75.50 - Late BMAT fee for an EU Candidate

£74.00 - Standard BMAT fee for a Rest of World Candidate. International candidates should contact their centre to find out the cost in their local currency.

£105.50 - Late BMAT fee for an International Candidate. International candidates should contact their centre to find out the cost in their local currency.

Some open centres may charge an administrative fee for organising and administering the BMAT on behalf of external candidates

Who needs to take the BMAT?

All candidates applying to the following institutions/courses are required to take BMAT:

University of Cambridge (C05):

A100 Medicine

A101 Graduate Course in Medicine*

D100 Veterinary Medicine


Imperial College London (I50):

A100 Medicine

B900 Biomedical Science (3 year course)

B9N2 Biomedical Science with Management (4 year course)


University of Oxford (O33):

A100 Medicine

A101 Graduate Medicine

BC98 Biomedical Sciences


Royal Veterinary College (R84):

D100 Veterinary Medicine

D101 Combined Degree Programme

D102 Graduate Accelerated Veterinary Medicine Programme


University College London (U80):

A100 Medicine


University of Bristol (B78):

D100 Veterinary Science: The University of Bristol's Veterinary Science (D100) course will have access to candidates' BMAT scores FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY in 2012-13. The BMAT will NOT form part of the course entry requirements. For those candidates who are applying to the University of Bristol Veterinary Science (D100) course only, BUT NOT to any of the other BMAT-using institutions and courses, the BMAT will not be compulsory.


University of Leeds (L23):

A100 Medicine

Leeds School of Medicine will be using BMAT in its admissions process for all applicants applying in the 2014/15 cycle and will be using it for some alternative routes for 2013/14. We do not intend to operate a "cut-off threshold" below which we would not consider an application; instead we intend to use performance in individual test sections to help us assess applicants with "non-traditional" educational backgrounds. In future, for "traditional" applicants, we will take it into account alongside previous and predicted academic performance, personal statements and references.

A200 Dentistry

Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine:

MBBS Medicine MBBS degree jointly awarded by Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


  • Please note that it is not essential for applicants to the Cambridge Graduate course in Medicine (A101) to sit the BMAT, although applicants could use a successful result as part of their pre-medical requirements.


Failure to sit the BMAT could result in an unsuccessful application to a candidate’s chosen institution, it is important that candidates refer to university websites, prospectuses, and UCAS for a definitive list of entry requirements.

Where and how to register to sit the exam?

Candidates cannot register themselves for BMAT; they must be registered by an approved BMAT centre.

Candidates should be able to sit the test locally as test centres are available both in the UK and overseas (UK secondary schools and colleges will be able to administer the test to their students). Participating universities may also provide test centres and/or supplementary testing sessions.

If you are currently attending a school or college you should approach your Examinations Officer to discuss whether or not your school can accommodate for you to sit the BMAT there. Candidates who do not attend a school or college will need to find an open centre where they can take the test. [1]

Candidates who cannot find a centre should contact the BMAT Support Team. [2]

What is the nature of this test?

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a two hour pen and paper test consisting of three sections:

Section 1: Aptitude and Skills (60 minutes - 35 multiple choice questions or short answer questions). This section tests generic skills in problem solving, understanding argument and data analysis and inference.

Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Applications (30 minutes - 27 multiple choice questions or short answer questions). This section tests a candidate’s ability to apply scientific knowledge normally encountered in non-specialist school science and maths courses, up to and including National Curriculum Key Stage 4 [3] higher double science (including Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Maths.

Section 3: Writing Task (30 minutes - 1 essay question from a choice of 4). This section tests ability to select, develop and organise ideas and communicate them in writing in a concise and effective way. Any rough work should be done in the space provided on the Section 3 question paper.


Separate answer sheets will be provided for each section. One side of an A4 sheet of paper will be given to complete section 3.


The exam 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 BMAT Specification can be found here: [4]

The BMAT Section 2 new specification can be found here: [5]

The BMAT Section 2 old specification (contains more information but is potentially out of date) can be found here: [6]

Official BMAT Past Papers and answers can be found here: [7]

Scoring

Each question, in Sections 1 and 2, is worth one mark. Total raw marks for each section are converted to the BMAT scale, which runs from 1 (low) - 9 (high). Scores are reported to one decimal place. Typical BMAT candidates will score around 5.0, which equates to approximately half marks. The best candidates will score around 6.0, and a few exceptional candidates will score higher than 7.0.

Essays from Section 3 are marked holistically and given a score from 0-5. Each essay is double marked. If the two marks are the same, or occupy adjacent positions in the scale, the average of the two marks is reported. If there is a larger discrepancy in the marks, the essays are marked for a third time and the final mark awarded is checked by a senior member of Cambridge Assessment staff.

BMAT Section 3 Marking Criteria: [8]

Some frequently asked questions


Where does the BMAT candidate number have to be entered?

BMAT candidate numbers begin with a “B” followed by five numbers. Candidate numbers must be entered on all examinations scripts on the day of the test. Candidates will be provided on a Statement of Entry on the day of the test.

Candidates applying to the University of Cambridge entering their candidate number onto their Cambridge Application Form should only enter the five numbers from their candidate number.

UCAS advise that candidates should enter their candidate number onto their UCAS form, more information can be found on the UCAS website. [9]

What about access arrangements?

Access arrangements is the term given to any pre-examination adjustments based on history of need and provision. That is to say that a candidate may have dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia, or working memory deficit and require extra time, the use of a laptop or some other physical requirement.

It is important for candidates to consult with their centre notifying them of any access arrangements the candidate may have and the candidate should be prepared to provide clinical evidence as requested.


EVIDENCE: Examinations Officers do not need to submit any evidence to Cambridge Assessment but candidates may be asked to provide evidence of any need for access arrangements at interview.

In the past, the following have been accepted as evidence, but candidates should contact the Support Team to confirm if any additional information is required should the candidate be asked to provide evidence.

• Statement of Special Educational Needs relating to secondary education and which has reached the stage where an assessment has been carried out by the LEA educational psychologist

• Psychological Assessment carried out by a qualified psychologist confirming learning disability during the secondary school period

• An assessment confirming learning disability during the secondary school period carried out by a specialist teacher

• Privately commissioned reports which must give a clear indication that there is evidence of need. The head of centre must be satisfied that there is a history of need and provision.

Would extra time be given to candidates without English as their first language?

Extra time is not allowed for candidates without English as their first language. A decision was taken by the BMAT universities that candidates applying to courses requiring the BMAT are expected to have a good command of English. The level of English required for courses can be found on each institution's website.

Special consideration

Special consideration is the term used for post-examination adjustments to reflect temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of assessment. All special considerations will be passed onto any BMAT university to which the candidate has applied. The University will be asked to take the special consideration into account when considering applications. No adjustment will be made to candidates' results.

Requests for special considerations should be sent on school headed notepaper to:

The BMAT Support Team

1 Hills Road

Cambridge

CB1 2EU

United Kingdom

Are dictionaries and calculators allowed into the exam?

Dictionaries and/or bi-lingual dictionaries may not be used for BMAT.

Calculators are also not permissible for the duration for the exam.

Can BMAT fees be reimbursed?

The Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, University College London, The Royal Veterinary College, and Imperial College London are concerned that the entry fee should not be viewed as a barrier to access and widening participation. Applicants may apply for a reimbursement if they meet the following criteria:

Candidates from the U.K. in receipt of full Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Job Seeker’s Allowance or Income Support may apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed. Candidates from within the E.U. in receipt of full Educational Maintenance Allowance, or the equivalent, may apply for their BMAT fees to be reimbursed.

Candidates registered at a closed centre, should speak to their Exams Officer, Head of Sixth Form or Careers Officer and ask them to contact us. Candidates registered through an open centre may contact us directly by writing to:

The BMAT Support Team

1 Hills Road

Cambridge

CB1 2EU

United Kingdom


Only standard entry fees will be reimbursed to candidates who have taken BMAT and applied to a BMAT university. Late entry fees and administration fees will not be reimbursed.

A copy of a candidate’s entitlement for benefits should be enclosed with the request for reimbursement of fees.

All requests for reimbursement of fees should reach the BMAT Support Team by Monday, 15th October 2012.

Can previous BMAT results be used as part of a new application?

BMAT results are only accepted by universities in the year candidates apply for university. Candidates should sit the BMAT in November 2012 if they are applying to start university in 2013.


Results

Results will be passed to any BMAT institution a candidate has applied to for use in their admissions process. The use of results varies between institutions; candidates should contact the institution(s) to which they have applied to in order to find out how their results will be used.

Please note that results cannot be queried.

Explanation of results:

2008 - [10]

2007 - [11]

2006 - [12]

2005 - [13]

2004 - [14]

2003 - [15]


How to prepare for the BMAT?

Because the test specification very strongly relates to level 3 key skills such as 'handling of numbers' and 'communication', your best preparation is to work hard on developing your key skills during your sixth-form studies. In addition, as BMAT also includes a section designed to test that you remember GCSE science (biology, physics, chemistry) and maths, you 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 Medicine and Physiology at the institutions that require the exam, so you should expect it to be substantially more difficult than most other exams you have taken. Please prepare yourselves 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.

Sample BMAT Papers, suggested books and intensive courses to prepare for the exam can be found here:

[16] (Official BMAT website)

[17] (Recommended intensive, one-day BMAT course run by Oxbridge medical students. "Free Resources" link contains worked solutions to some of the past papers.)

[18] (Recommended Intensive BMAT Course run by Oxbridge and Imperial College London medical students and Medicine graduates; conducted in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Singapore)

[19] (Official BMAT book from the examiners - 63 questions)

[20] (ISC Medical's 400Qs BMAT book)

[21] (This is the link for the Cambridge TSA, but some of the skills tested in the BMAT overlap)

[22] (BMAT Section 1 Mini-Mock)

[23] (BMAT Section 2 Practice Questions)

[24] (Thinking Skills qualification on the CIE examination board which also tests some skills that the BMAT also does)

How some universities use the BMAT when selecting candidates for interviews

UCL - [25]

Oxford - [26] [27]

Cambridge - [28]

Imperial - [29] [30]

RVC - [31]
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