BMAT discussion for 2018 entry!Watch
A 2 hour examination required for entry to a number of Medical Schools in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Netherlands as well as a selection of Dentistry and Biomedical Science courses.
When is the BMAT?
All students take the BMAT examination on the same date. Traditionally, this is in the November prior to the year of entry (ie. If you intend to commence university in September 2018, you would sit the BMAT in November 2017). The BMAT 2017 date is Thursday 2nd November 2016, with results released on Friday 24th November 2017.
Who has to take the BMAT?
Undergraduate Medicine Applicants to: Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, UCL, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Lancaster, Leeds, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore), University of Malaya (Malaysia).
Graduate Medicine Applicants to: Oxford, Imperial College London.
Veterinary Medicine Applicants to:Cambridge
Biomedical Science Applicants to: Oxford, Imperial College London
Dentistry Applicants to: Leeds.
How to Prepare for the BMAT?
The first and most important step is to consider the BMAT like any other A-Level or GCSE examination, and ignore any mention of the BMAT as 'an examination that cannot be prepared for.' There is a statistically significant correlation between the amount one prepares for the BMAT, and one's BMAT score.
Section 1 (Aptitude and Skills):35 MCQ, 60 Minutes
Question Types: Problem Solving, Data Handling & Critical Thinking
A) Resources - Make use of the abundance of free practice resources available for Section 1. In addition to the Official BMAT Past Papers, Oxford TSA Past Papers provide additional practice for Problem Solving questions whilst OCR Critical Thinking Unit 2 is a very useful practice resource for Critical Thinking Questions.
B) Recognise Pitfalls - In contrast to most A-Level examinations, BMAT Section 1 is full of tricks and trips, intended to misguide students. Fortunately, there are only so-many tricks that the BMAT are able to use. Hence, each time you come across one of these, add it to your 'personal/ weakness list', to avoid making the same mistake in future practice.
Section 2 (Scientific Knowledge and Applications) : 27 MCQ, 30 Minutes
Question Types: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics
A) Official Resource Guide (you will need to make an account which could take around 5 mins)- With this being the official resource guide, there really is no better resource for Section 2 preparation. Most students find it best to quickly review the whole guide and highlight any topics which they have not covered at GCSE level for further learning. Bear in mind that whilst Section 2 is supposed to be 'GCSE Level'; the examination can assess topics which you may not have covered until AS and sometimes even A2 due to variation in exam board specifications.
B) Timing - Half the challenge of Section 2 is the limited time; hence, it essential to practice this section under strict timed conditions. Fast mental maths, confident use of fractions and a good background Biology knowledge, will ensure that you have additional time for those challenging Physics and Chemistry calculations.
C) Resources - Once you have completed all official and BMAT specific resources, GCSE Bitesize is of some use, whilst you may wish to also consider practicing GCSE Maths Calculator papers, without a calculator in order to further improve your mental maths.
Section 3 (Written Task) - 1 Essay (Choice of 4), 30 Minutes
Question Types: Topical Medical Issues, Medical Ethics, Medical Philosophy, Veterinary Medicine
A) Address all parts of the question - Each question normally has three or four parts. Regardless of how good your essay is, if you do not address all parts of the question, your essay will be capped at 3/3.5 as per the Section 3 Official Marking Criteria.
B) Plan - With 30 minutes, and one A4 sheet provided, this section is the least time restricted. Essays which score highest are those which are well structured and address all parts of the question, bringing in additional topical examples and knowledge.
How is the BMAT marked?
From official website:
Questions in Sections 1 and 2 are worth 1 mark each. Total raw marks for each section are converted to BMAT's scale, which runs from 1 (low) to 9 (high). Typical BMAT candidates will score around 5.0, roughly half marks. The best candidates will score around 6.0, and a few exceptional candidates will score higher than 7.0.
Writing Tasks in Section 3 are marked by two examiners. Each examiner gives two scores – one for quality of content (on a scale of 0–5), and one for quality of written English (on the scale A, C, E).
Combining the scores for Section 3: If the two marks for content are the same or no more than one mark apart, the candidate gets the average of the two marks. If the two marks for written English are the same or no more than one mark apart, the scores are combined like this: AA = A, AC = B, CC = C, CE = D and EE = E.
For example, a writing task given a 4C by one examiner and 4A by the other will get a final score of 4B. A writing task given 3C by one examiner and 2C by the other will receive a mark of 2.5C.
If there is a larger discrepancy in the marks, the writing tasks are marked for a third time, and the final mark is checked by the Senior Assessment Manager.
How is the BMAT score used by universities?
Cambridge: Used alongside Personal Statement and grades.
Oxford: A numerical ranking is established based on GCSE performance & BMAT results. This forms an initial shortlist. Equal weighting is not ascribed to all sections. In 2016, weightings were: Section 1 = 40%, Section 2 = 40%, and Section 3 = 20%. In calculating the Section 3 score, double weight was 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).
Imperial: Invitations to an interview will be based on the content of your UCAS application and your performance in all three sections of BMAT. BMAT cut-off scores are calculated each year, as a result of ranked candidate BMAT scores versus number of expected interview sessions. As a result, the absolute BMAT cut-off changes each year. For 2016 entry, the minimum scores required were: a score of 4.5 in Section 1; a score of 4.6 in Section 2 and a score of 2.5 and grade B in Section 3.
UCL: The BMAT is used to rank medical students for interview, but there is no cut off. The Essay (section III) is used as discussion in the interview.
Brighton and sussex: The BMAT score is used to rank candidates for interview. BSMS scores the BMAT out of 28 (9 marks for Section 1, 9 for Section 2 and 5 marks for each element of Section 3) we then rank all applicants according to their total score out of 28 and work down the rankings to fill our interview places. For 2016 entry, applicants without contextual data who scored 16 or above were invited for interview (the cut off score will vary each year).
Leeds: Those in the top 20% will receive the full mark available for this part of their application and those in the bottom 20% will receive the lowest mark available for this part of their application. They do not use a pre-determined cut-off threshold. The BMAT total score will be calculated from a sum of the scores achieved in Section 1, 2 and 3 although Section 3 will have half the weighting of the other sections as it will be revisited during the interview stage of the selection process.
Lancaster: Applicants are considered in 5 stages.
1: Academic Critera,
3: Non-academic Criteria,
5: Fitness to Practice. They calculate the total BMAT score by combining the individual scores for Sections 1, 2 and 3. Section 1 is scored out of 9; Section 2 is scored out of 9; and Section 3 is scored out of 5 (for quality of content). They do not use the quality of English score (A-E).
How many BMAT universities should I apply to?
Many people advise to apply to 1 or 2 mainly because it is considered 'risky' as unlike the UKCAT, where you know what score you've got and can apply to your strength, the BMAT is done after you've admitted your UCAS application.
Free BMAT Resources
A) Official BMAT Past Papers (Style 1)
B) Official BMAT Past Papers (Style 2)
C) Past Paper Worked Solutions
D) Section 1 Practice Questions
E) Section 2 Practice Questions
F) Practice Questions
G) BMAT help
A) Preparing for the BMAT: The Official Guide to the Biomedical Admissions Test
B) Get into Medical School. 700 BMAT Practice Questions (latest version)
Decided to make this since I couldn't find another one (do correct me if I'm wrong). Personally, I'm looking forward to this mainly because I did my UKCAT last month and i found it incredibly hard to prepare for, although the last time I wrote an essay or did any phyiscs was during my gcse exams lol so that should be fun.