When is it better to take BMAT test in September or November?

When is it better to take BMAT test in September or November?

James Fraser

Head of BMAT


If you are taking the BMAT, you will have the option of sitting the exam in either September or November, and the question on many students lips is “which sitting should I take?”. As you are only allowed to sit the exam once per application cycle, it is important that you pick the right sitting for you.

Both sittings are considered as equals by universities, so you aren’t disadvantaged by picking either. Having said this, if you are applying to Oxford you will need to sit the exam in November, as this is a requirement for medical applications (This is with the exception of applying for graduate entry). 

We go into this further in a separate article which you can find here

Below we have made a few suggestions of things to consider that may sway your decision as to which sitting is best for you!

BMAT September vs BMAT November

Pros of September BMATPros of November BMAT
Find out your score before UCAS
deadline, so you can apply
tactically with knowing both your
UCAT and BMAT scores 
You have more time to revise
School work is less affected in Term 1You have more time for UCAT in summer
You have more time to prepare in
advance for potential interviews in
Term 1
Needed for Oxford
You get more time to relax in summer
You have more time for personal statement in summer

How much time do you have over summer?

Many of you will have the summer holidays free to study for the BMAT, in which case the September sitting may work best. But don’t forget any holidays, festivals or family events planned, as these will all eat away into your revision time, and you only have one shot at the BMAT per application cycle. 

Are you sitting the UCAT? 

If you’ve booked the UCAT for September, then you may be better doing the BMAT in November. If you aren’t sitting your UCAT till a later date, then you may prefer to sit the BMAT first in September. Remember, ideally you won’t be sitting the two exams too close together!

The UCAT Exam

What was your UCAT score?

  • If you did well in the UCAT, you may be more comfortable to do the BMAT in November, and not know your score for your application. 
  • If you did averagely in the UCAT, you may want to know your BMAT score early and do the test in September, so you can decide whether to apply mainly to BMAT universities. 
  • If you did poorly in the UCAT, it you might apply to BMAT universities regardless, so you can spend proper time revising and do it in November. 

Do you want to know your BMAT score before applying? Pick BMAT September

Some students prefer knowing their scores before applying so you can apply more strategically if you particularly well or not as well as you had hoped. If yes, then the September sitting may be best for you, as you receive your score before the November UCAS deadline.

Are you applying to Oxford? Pick BMAT November

As previously mentioned, if you are applying to Oxford then you will need to sit the BMAT in the November sitting. 

What is the availability like at your nearest Test Centre?

It’s no good deciding on when you are going to sit the BMAT, if you don’t have a test center near you for the sitting you prefer. You may even find your school or college is a test center offering one of the sittings, in which case for ease this may sway your decision. 

Other Factors

  • If your timetable is busy in term 1, you may want to get all the admissions exams done early, and focus on school. 
  • If you are confident in doing well in BMAT, you may want to get it done early in September.
  • If you need more time to re-revise Physics properly, for example, you may want to do BMAT later

Ultimately, when you chose to sit the BMAT is based on your own preferences, and neither sitting comes with an advantage. Do be sure that you have plenty of time to study for the BMAT in the lead up to the exam sitting you have chosen!

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