There are 10 universities in the world that require the BMAT for medical (and/or veterinary medical) applications. This page contains both confirmed, and speculative, information about how each of these universities uses the BMAT as part of their selection process.
Universities requiring the BMAT in 2016 (for 2017 entry):
- University of Cambridge – Medics and vets
- University of Oxford
- Imperial College London
- University College London
- University of Leeds
- Brighton and Sussex Medical School
- Lancaster University
- Royal Veterinary College – Vets only
- Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore)
- Leiden University (The Netherlands)
How Universities use the BMAT:
The following information should not be taken as gospel truth. Only some of it is sourced directly from admissions tutors and official websites – the rest is drawn from the experiences of students we’ve spoken to, and therefore might not accurately reflect the precise position of the admissions department of each university. Still, we think it’s nice to have as much information as possible before making the decision about which university to apply to. If you think any of the information below might be faulty, please contact us explaining the problem so we can fix it straight away.
Cambridge interviews around 90% of all applicants, so BMAT score isn’t important in deciding whether you get an interview. Your BMAT score is however, taken into account in the final decision, along with factors like GCSE performance, AS UMS scores, interview performance etc. Some colleges give more weighting to the BMAT in their selection process (unlike Oxford, whose process is central), so do ask the admissions office/people you know at the colleges if you’re interested to know more.
Oxford selects around 450 applicants for interview, and has a total of 150 places. In order to get an interview, your BMAT score and your GCSE results (in comparison to those of the rest of your school) are given a weighting of 50/50 (ish) and put into an algorithm (as of 2012) that picks the top 360 and automatically selects them for interview. The rest of the shortlist is decided on a case-by-case basis, with the whole application, including factors like extenuating circumstances being taken into account. Each BMAT section is not given equal weighting – as of 2012, section 1 and section 2 were weighted at 40% each, whereas section 3 was weighted at 20%.
According to their website, candidates are invited to interview based on the content of their UCAS application, as well as their BMAT score. However, we’ve heard from a few different sources that the BMAT is by far the more important of these two factors. Allegedly, everyone is placed into a table sorted by BMAT score, and the top however-many get invited to interview. As such, Imperial have an absolute BMAT cut-off point, which changes slightly every year based on the performance of the year group. For 2013 entry, you needed 4.7 in section 1, 4.6 in section 2, and 2.5C in section 3. That translates to around 50% in each section.
UCL use the BMAT, in addition to other factors like GCSEs and AS for interview invitations. Offers are allocated on the basis of these factors combined with performance at interview. There is no specific cut-off point. Our experiences suggest that some applicants are invited to interview because their application (ignoring BMAT) was exceptional – those tend to be interviewed in December, whereas everyone else is interviewed early the next year. However, take this with a pinch of salt – no one in admissions has confirmed it, and the conclusion was inferred only from the experience of some of our team.
2014 was the first year that Leeds began using the BMAT, and sadly we don’t have any unofficial information to share with you. This is what they say on their website:
We have decided to a method similar to our previous use of UKCAT using the total score offered by each candidate which will be compared with all the other applicants to Leeds scores. 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. From this you can see that we 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.
We will initially weight the BMAT score in the same proportion which we used to give the UKCAT i.e. roughly 15% of the weight given to academic scoring and half that given to the personal statement.
Again, as BSMS are using BMAT for the first time (for undergraduate entry), we don’t have further information for you. Their website does contain rather a lot of helpful information though:
BSMS requires all applicants to sit the BMAT in the year of application in order to be considered for interview.
We feel that BMAT is a fair and transparent method for selecting for interview. We value that it is not only a test of aptitude, but also of knowledge. BSMS believes that it is important that applicants are able to demonstrate that they are able to construct a clear argument and present it using a good level of written English; this can be evidenced in Section 3.
We believe that the BMAT allows applicants to put themselves in the spotlight; if you have the ability and talent to succeed in medicine then the BMAT gives you the perfect opportunity to show us, regardless of your background. 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 2015 entry applicants who scored 15.1 or above were invited for interview (the cut off score will vary each year).
This is what they say on their website:
Applicants will be ranked according to their BMAT score and the top-ranking applicants will progress to Stage 3.
All they say on their website is that the BMAT can be used as a “filter” both pre- and post-interview. If you have any more information for us about this, please get in touch and we can update this page.
9. Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore)
We don’t have any information that adds to what’s already available on their website.
10. Leiden University (The Netherlands)
This is what the official BMAT website has to say on the matter:
You will take BMAT in English. The vocabulary used in the test is suitable for students with English skills at CEFR* Level B2 and above – equivalent to Cambridge English: First (FCE) or IELTS 5.5.
A glossary of scientific and technical terms will be provided with the test paper. This glossary will contain a list of terms in English, together with the Dutch translations, ensuring candidates are familiar with all the wording used in the test.
So that’s what we know about how different universities use the BMAT. Sorry for the lack of information on the second half of the page – as Oxbridge students with friends mostly in London, we’re much more familiar with the processes of the universities in those areas than we are with the others around the country. We’ll be adding to this page as soon as we get any more information.