In the BMAT, questions in Sections 1 and 2 are worth 1 mark each, giving a total of 32 points and 27 points respectively.
There is no negative marking for Section 1 and 2, and hence it is in your interest to attempt all questions. The total raw scores of both sections are converted to BMAT’s scale, which runs from 1 (low) to 9 (high), up to one decimal place.
Your essay in Section 3 is 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).
For the quality of content, here are how the scores are determined:
- Score 1: the essay has some bearing on the question but does not address it fully
- Score 2: addresses most of the question, but has significant elements of confusion
- Score 3: reasonably well-argued, may have weakness in the argument
- Score 4: good answer with few weaknesses, all aspects of the question are addressed
- Score 5: excellent answer with no significant weaknesses
For the use of written English, here are how the bands are determined:
- Band A: Good use of English – clear, fluent, good use of grammar and vocabulary
- Band C: Reasonably clear use of English – reasonably fluent, some errors
- Band E: Rather weak use of English – not easy to follow, faulty grammar
For example, if one examiner gave you 3A and another marked your essay 3C, your average score would be 3B.
If there is a significant discrepancy, your essay will be reassessed by a third examiner.
At this point, you might be wondering – what is a good BMAT score?
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.
However, as BMAT universities such as Oxbridge, Imperial and UCL are typically highly selective universities and there tend to be very few spots available for international students, it would be advantageous to score above 5.0.
Do note universities that require the BMAT will utilize the score in different ways.
For instance, Oxford University, splits the BMAT score according to section and places a different weightage to calculate a total percentage (Section 1=40%, Section 2=40%, and Section 3=20%). Whereas Imperial College uses a strict cut-off for BMAT scores and applicants that do not meet this cut-off are automatically rejected (in 2019, the cut-offs were 4.1 for Section 1, 4.2 for Section 2, and 2.5C for Section 3).