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Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
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by Andy Chamberlain, Head of Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
If you are hoping to study Medicine, Dentistry or Biomedical Sciences at university, then you will probably have heard of BMAT – the BioMedical Admissions Test, launched in 2003 by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. With many students applying to university with excellent academic grades, BMAT helps university admissions teams assess future potential by testing the skills that biomedical students need to succeed on their course.
BMAT doesn’t just test scientific knowledge, but also critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills, giving candidates an opportunity to show what they can do with the knowledge you’ve learnt at school. BMAT also helps ‘level the playing field’ for university applicants. The test is based on knowledge typically covered by age 16, all preparation materials are free (so you don’t need expensive tuition) and although there is a test fee, financial help is available if you need it.
So there’s no barrier to taking BMAT – but you do need to prepare if you want to do well.
Start your BMAT planning by deciding which test session is right for you – this will depend on where you live, and where you want to study. All the information you need about registration is on the BMAT website, but also ask your teachers and target universities for guidance.
Then you need to prepare. BMAT is a two hour test divided into three sections: a one hour thinking skills test, a 30 minute scientific knowledge and applications test, and a 30 minute writing task. Comprehensive, free support materials are on the BMAT website, from a detailed preparation guide to practice papers with explained answers. There’s also a You Tube channel full of top tips and expert advice, and we host live chat sessions where you can ask us anything about BMAT.
Test results are released on specific days, depending on the test session. There is no pass or fail with BMAT, instead you receive a score for each section. Most candidates score around 5 (or half marks), with better students scoring 6 and above, and admissions teams use the score as part of their decision making process. You can only take BMAT once in each annual admissions cycle. If your application isn’t successful, you’ll have to wait until the next admissions cycle to take the test again.
We know that any test can be stressful but don’t worry – BMAT is designed to be fair and straightforward, and gives you a real chance to stand out from the crowd. Good luck!