Which Universities use BMAT? | BMAT University Guide 2023

Only a handful of medical schools in the UK use BMAT scores to distinguish between candidates. Of these schools, each uses the BMAT score in a different manner whilst vetting applicants. For example, Oxford may have a completely different weightage for the BMAT than Imperial. Therefore, it is advisable that students thoroughly analyse their own score against the background of each university’s typical assessment of the BMAT to further increase their chances of acceptance. It is important to acknowledge each BMAT University has their own criteria.

Incidentally, the universities that employ BMAT scores in their application process are also notoriously difficult to get into. Therefore, knowing your dream institution’s BMAT cut-off or average score of successful applicants can help guide you in your BMAT preparation and applications and finding your perfect BMAT University.

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UCL and the BMAT

University College London (UCL) uses the BMAT entrance exam, over its counterpart, the UCAT, to quantitatively distinguish between candidates applying to their Medicine course. 

Different universities use the BMAT in different ways; some may have strict cut-offs while others might only have general guidelines. Entry into Medicine can be tricky and some of the BMAT universities are particularly difficult to get into. As a result, knowing how your exam scores will be used can give you a more holistic understanding of how and where to apply based on the strength of your application.

How does UCL use the BMAT?

UCL typically opts for a fair and equally weighted approach to both the various sections of the BMAT as well as the components of the entire application process. UCL does not have a cut-off for the BMAT. 

UCL has previously stated that “candidates with scores that are below average for their cohort are less likely to be successful”. Whilst this suggests that the average successful candidate scores highly, it also means that a low score will not automatically disqualify you for consideration. Rather, aiming for a stellar application regardless of your exam scores is a must. 

So what scores will get you into UCL? Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling for sure. However, the average successful applicant to Medicine at UCL in 2022 scored an average of 5.8 in Sections 1 and 2 and 3.3 Grade A in Section 3. These scores mirror the typical cohort means of the BMAT. 

It is thought that UCL usually ranks all their applicants prior to when BMAT results are released. This initial ranking is done based on the remaining aspects of your application; i.e.; academic performance, personal statement and references. Upon the release of the BMAT results, these ranks are adjusted to include your BMAT scores. Following the second ranking process, applicants are then invited to an interview in the order of their ranking until invites have run out. 

Therefore, to maximise your chances of entry into UCL, it is vital that you focus on a strong personal statement and academic performance alongside above average BMAT grades. However, don’t let one below average aspect of your application deter you from applying if UCL is your dream school. Other parts of your application can more than make up for one or two missteps! 

UCL - A BMAT University
UCL Medical School – A BMAT University

Oxford and the BMAT

Oxford University is one of the few institutions that rely on the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) to distinguish between candidates applying to their Biomedical Sciences and Medicine courses. 

Oxford applicants tend to be of a very high caliber; applying with stellar grades, a host of extra-curricular activities and well-written personal statements. Additionally, Oxford University is also extremely competitive amongst international applicants who all come with various qualifications. Consequently, the BMAT is used as a standardized and quantitative measure of candidature for admission onto the previously mentioned degrees.

How does Oxford use the BMAT?

The BMAT can be sat in February, September or October/November and for a small fee. However, Oxford only accepts results from exams sat in the October-November testing period. They also offer financial assistance in the form of reimbursements to those who may not be able to afford the registration fee for the exam. 

Once sat, Oxford uses your BMAT score to assess whether or not you will be invited to an interview. This is typically used in conjunction with academic performance at the GCSE – or equivalent – level. 

At Oxford, academic performance is given a numerical score based on a multitude of factors. This is then added to your BMAT score. Those above a certain cut-off – and this changes year in and year out – are invited to an interview. While it is nearly impossible to estimate exact scores and statistics due to a lack of adequate data from the university, in 2022 a BMAT score above 65.7% was required. This does not, however, mean that a score above 65.7% will guarantee an interview at Oxford but rather that this score will then improve your chances of being invited. 

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    How are BMAT scores used in the Oxford Interview? 

    BMAT scores are used in conjunction with your academic performance and personal statement to decide whether or not you will receive an interview invite. However, if invited, your BMAT score will not be a point of contention during your interview. Rather, your interview will be used as an opportunity to learn more about your candidature, in particular your personal statement. 

    Your BMAT, however, can become relevant following the interview process as it is widely thought that academic and entrance exam scores are used to distinguish between students who are, on all other counts, very similar. 

    The key takeaway is that you should aim to score as highly as possible in the BMAT when applying to Oxford but not at risk of the other aspects of your application. Your best shot at gaining admission into Oxford is to focus on a holistic application that outshines others every step of the way. 

    Oxford - A BMAT University
    Oxford Medical School – A BMAT University

    Leeds and the Changes to the BMAT

    In May 2023, the University of Leeds announced that instead of using the BMAT as part of their admissions process, they will now require students to take the UCAT instead. The university has not yet released any indication of required scores; if you are applying to Leeds, it is advisable to keep checking their website for updated information.

    Leeds - A BMAT University
    Leeds Medical School – A BMAT University

    Imperial and the BMAT

    How does Imperial use the BMAT?

    Imperial College, unlike other universities, do have a cut-off score for the BMAT. Indeed they have a cut-off for every section of the BMAT and falling short in any one section will cause you to be rejected pre-interview; this applies even if you score above the threshold in the other sections. 

    The use of a specific cut-off has it’s advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, using a specific cut-off gives you a quantitative aim during exam preparation. On the other hand, since you will be applying prior to knowing your BMAT score, there is a chance that upon receiving said results, you will no longer be eligible to further qualify for the Imperial admissions process. This is because at Imperial, no other aspect of your application can make up for a poorer performance in the BMAT. 

    The exact minimum threshold changes every year but for 2022, the cut-off was as stated below.

    • Imperial BMAT Section 1 Cut-Off: 3.5 
    • Imperial BMAT Section 2 Cut-Off: 3.5 
    • Imperial BMAT Section 3 Cut-Off: 2.5C
    • Imperial BMAT Section 1 + Section 2 Sum Score Cut-Off: 10.9
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    What happens if you meet the minimum required BMAT scores at Imperial College?

    For those who have met the cut-off for all 3 sections, Imperial will then group students based on their BMAT grades. This means that those who scored just above the cut-off will be in a lower priority group than those who scored far above the cut-off grades. Applicants are then invited to interviews based on their priority groups and the remainder of their application. 

    In conclusion, the BMAT has a much heavier weightage in Imperial applications and is used solely to distinguish between candidates in the preliminary stages of application processing. Therefore, if you’re quite confident about your performance in the BMAT, Imperial will be the right fit for you! 

    Imperial - A BMAT University
    Imperial College Medical School – A BMAT University

    Cambridge and the BMAT

    The University of Cambridge uses the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as it’s entrance exam of choice for those applying to their Medicine course. 

    Applications to Cambridge’s Medical programs are typically of a very high standard. Additionally, medical school applications are typically fairly qualitative with a large focus on personal statements and interview performances. Therefore, most medical schools in the UK will use one of two entrance exams – the UCAT or the BMAT – to quantitatively distinguish between candidates.

    How does Cambridge University use the BMAT?

    The BMAT has 3 annual testing periods – February, September and October-November. However, like most UK medical schools, Cambridge only accepts the October-November sitting. Historically, though, only one annual sitting of the BMAT is accepted by British medical schools. 

    As stated on the university’s website, “Students who achieve higher BMAT results are more likely to be invited to interview but there isn’t a ‘pass’ mark for the BMAT at Cambridge”. It is important to note, however, that Cambridge typically invites 90% of their applicants to attend an interview. Therefore, your BMAT score is usually not as relevant prior to the interview stage. It is far more important after the interview as it is notably used in conjunction with academic and interview performance to distinguish between candidates. Having said this, successful applicants to Medicine at the University of Cambridge do typically have high BMAT scores. 

    It is also important to note that the various colleges at Cambridge use the BMAT differently and therefore, it is best to check with the individual college as to how they would consider the score.

    What are the average BMAT scores of Cambridge University applicants?

    Each section of the BMAT is weighed differently and these weightings may differ each year. 

    All in all, it is nearly impossible to predict what your score will be or how it will fare compared to the average of those who have sat the exam in the same sitting. However, aiming for the aforementioned scores will put keen applicants on the right path towards Medicine at Cambridge. 

    Remember, however, that there is no official cut-off and that good exam performance is reliant on a multitude of factors. Don’t let a subpar BMAT score put you off; with the right dedication and attitude, you can and will get into Medical school! 

    Cambridge - A BMAT University
    Cambridge Medical School – A BMAT University

    Lancaster and the BMAT

    Lancaster University uses the Biomedical Admissions test, or BMAT, in its 4-stage admissions process to serve as an academic and quantitative measure of candidature. Therefore, if you are interested in applying to Lancaster Medical School, sitting the BMAT is a must. 

    Like it’s counterparts, Lancaster University only accepts applicants who will sit the November sitting of the exam. This means that those who apply here will be applying “blind”; i.e.; you will not know your BMAT score upon application. Therefore, understanding Lancaster’s application process and its usage of the BMAT is vital to making an informed choice. 

    Lancaster’s 4-stage Application Process

    As aforementioned, Lancaster’s medical application processing is split into 4 stages – academic achievement, BMAT, Interview and Fitness to Practice. According to their website, applicants are first judged based off of their academic performance. Only if an applicant meets their minimum academic requirement do they pass on to Stage 2. 

    Stage 2 involves using a candidate’s BMAT scores to further assess their application. This is further delved into below. 

    Applicants who pass stages 1 and 2 are invited to a MMI-style in-person interview between January and February. If successful, candidates will then go on to have a ‘Fitness to Practice’ assessment as mandated by the General Medical Council. 

    How does Lancaster use the BMAT?

    While Lancaster University does not have an official minimum BMAT requirement, applicants will be ranked based on their scores; top-ranking applicants will be invited to interview. Therefore, while a low BMAT score will not be sole grounds for a rejection, lower scores will mean a reduced chance of gaining an interview invite. 

    Applicant’s BMAT scores are ranked by a sum total of the 3 sections. Lancaster, unlike other BMAT universities, does not take the English score (graded A to E) in Section 3 into consideration. Of a possible total of 28 points, successful candidates to Lancaster have scored a minimum of 9.8 total in the past. However, across the last few years, this minimum BMAT score has ranged from 9.7 to 12. 

    Consequently, if you have your heart set on attending Lancaster Medical School, academic achievement is of top priority. In particular, aiming for above average BMAT scores that sum up to at least 10 points, if not more, will increase your chances of being invited to interview. However, as mentioned before, low scores do not automatically disqualify you from consideration! Rather, doing your best and conveying passion and dedication to the career will ultimately make or break your application. 

    Lancaster Medical School

    Brighton Sussex Medical School and the BMAT

    Brighton and Sussex Medical School is yet another institution that has opted to use the BMAT, over the UCAT, to quantitatively assess it’s applicants. BSMS is a relatively new BMAT institution, as they’ve only begun using it in their admission process since 2015. However, the amalgamation of aptitude skills and knowledge required to ace the BMAT are qualities that are vital to BSMS students, as evidenced in their prospectus. 

    How do BSMS use the BMAT?

    BSMS has a minimum cut-off for the BMAT. According to their website, this stands at scores of 3 or higher for Sections 1 and 2 and at least 2.5C in Section 3. Applicants with scores below this will receive rejections on this criteria alone. For students whose scores surpass this minimum, BSMS then allocates points, totalling to 28, for each section. Applicants are then ranked in ascending order with interview invites being sent out based on ranking. 

    For 2022 entry, the minimum points required to gain an interview invite stood at 17.3 for local applicants and 18 for international applicants. However, it’s vital to note that in 2021, these minimum scores sat at around 17.8. Therefore, it is likely that the minimum BMAT scores required by BSMS are variable. 

    It is nearly impossible to predict what the cut-off will be for following application cycles as this is dependent on multiple factors, including average scores of the applicant cohort. Therefore, if BSMS is your dream school, you should aim to exceed the cut-off scores mentioned above. This will, at the very least, guarantee that your application will pass the first stage of processing. Higher your score, the more likely you are to be invited to an interview. 

    What about other parts of the BSMS application?

    BSMS ranks applicants separately based on their personal statements, academic performance and recommendations. It is not entirely clear how these rankings are used in conjunction with the BMAT rankings. However, it is clear that they do influence the application process. 

    Consequently, aiming for above average BMAT scores is essential for hopeful BSMS candidates. However, this in no way should convey a relative disregard of the other aspects of the application process. All in all, consistently strong academic performances across schooling and the BMAT combined with a good personal statement should hold you in good stead in your BSMS applications. 

    Brighton & Sussex Medical School
    Brighton & Sussex Medical School

    International BMAT Universities

    Many international medical schools also use BMAT. In Europe this comprises of the following BMAT Universities:

    • Medical University of Warsaw DM Doctor of Medicine
    • Pirogov Russian National Research University General Medicine
    • Universidad de Navarra Medicine
    • University of Pécs
    • University of Rijeka
    • University of Zagreb

    Summary of 2022 BMAT University Scores Needed

    Name of BMAT UniversityBMAT Score Required in 2022
    Brighton and Sussex Medical SchoolFor 2022 entry, BSMS scored the BMAT out of 28. Home applicants were required to score 17.3 or above.
    Imperial Medical SchoolAs of 2022, a score of 3.5 in BMAT Section 1 and 2 was the cut-off and the sum of these two sections had to be 10.9. There also had to be a minimum of 2.5C in Section 3
    Lancaster UniversityThe average score of applicants in 2023 was 10.5. However, applicants invited to interview scored an average of 13.5 (ranging from 11.2 to 18.5).
    UCL Medical SchoolAs of 2022, for UK students there was no cut-off however the average score of those interviewed was 5.8 in Section A, 5.8 in Section 2, 3.3A in Section 3
    Leeds Medical SchoolAs of 2022, there is no advertised cut-off score
    Cambridge Medical SchoolAs of 2022, there is no advertised cut-off score
    Oxford Medical SchoolAs of 2022, there is greater weight towards BMAT Section 1 and 2. The average mean-adjusted BMAT score was 65.7%
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      Frequently Asked Question

      →What is the BMAT exam?

      The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is an aptitude test used by universities to assess the scientific and mathematical skills of applicants who wish to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and related courses.

      →What is the BMAT used for?

      The BMAT is used to assess an applicant’s aptitude and potential for success in a medical-related course. It is designed to test scientific knowledge, mathematical ability, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and communication skills.

      →When is the BMAT held?

      The BMAT is held in November each year. The exact date of the test may vary depending on the location and test center.

      →What is the format of the BMAT?

      The BMAT consists of three sections: Section 1 tests problem-solving, critical thinking, and data analysis skills. Section 2 tests scientific knowledge and application, and Section 3 tests the ability to communicate ideas effectively.

      →Which universities use BMAT?

      Several universities in the UK, Europe, and Asia use BMAT as part of their admission process. Some of the prominent universities that use BMAT include the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London (UCL), and the University of Leeds.

      →Is 4.8 A good BMAT score?

      The BMAT is scored on a scale of 1 to 9 for each section and the total score is calculated by summing the scores from each section. Therefore, a total BMAT score of 4.8 does not provide enough information to determine whether it is a good score or not.

      However, according to the BMAT test makers, the average score for BMAT candidates is around 5.0, with most candidates scoring between 4.0 and 6.0. So, a score of 4.8 is close to the average score.

      It is also important to note that the importance of the BMAT score varies among universities and between courses. Some universities and courses may require higher BMAT scores than others, so it is important to check the admission requirements of the universities and courses you are interested in applying to.

      →How important is the BMAT in the university admission process?

      The importance of the BMAT varies among universities. Some universities use it as a significant factor in their admission process, while others may use it as a supplementary tool to assess an applicant’s potential for success in their chosen course.

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