BMAT Test Format

The BMAT is specifically designed to be challenging so as to differentiate effectively between able applicants for university courses, including those who may have achieved the highest possible grades in school examinations. It is specifically for candidates who wish to pursue an undergraduate biomedical degree course.

The BMAT has 3 sections: a 60-minute test of Thinking Skills, a 30-minute test of Scientific Knowledge and Applications, and a 30-minute Writing Task. You can find the test format for each section below.

Test Sections & Skills Tested

Section 1 - Thinking Skills

This section tests on generic skills often required for undergraduate study. Candidates are required to solve problems, using simple numerical operations and presents a series of logical arguments.

There are a total of 32 questions. The questions are in multiple-choice format with 5 options, 1 correct and 4 distractors. Calculators may not be used. There is no negative marking.

Section 2 - Scientific Knowledge & Application

This section has 27 questions and covers the three sciences plus maths (GCSE level). Section 1 assess if candidates have an appropriate level of core scientific knowledge and the ability to apply it.

Questions will be in multiple-choice format. Calculators may not be used. There will be no negative marking, each question is worth 1 mark.

Section 3 - Writing

This writing task provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate the capacity to consider different aspects of a proposition, and to communicate them effectively in writing. Candidates will be given a selection of three essay prompts, from which one must be chosen. Essay topics are all science-based ranging from general, scientific to medical interest.

The essay response is strictly limited to 1 page of an A4-sized paper.

Question Breakdown

Section 1 - Thinking Skills (60 minutes)

From September 2020 test onwards, Section 1’s format will be as follows.

  • Data analysis and inference questions will no longer be tested for any question types
  • Questions will be ordered roughly by difficulty level, with the two types of questions interspersed.
 Number of Questions
Problem Solving Questions
- Identifying the Main Conclusion
- Drawing Conclusions
- Identifying Assumptions
- Assessing the Impact of Additional Evidence
- Detecting Reasoning Errors
- Matching Arguments
- Applying Principles
16
Critical Thinking Questions
- Relevant Selection
- Finding Procedures
- Identifying Similarity
16

Section 2 - Scientific Knowledge & Application (30 minutes)

 Number of Questions
Biology7
Chemistry7
Physics7
Mathematics6

Section 3 - Writing (30 minutes)

 Number of Questions
Questions will provide a short proposition and may require candidates to
- explain or discuss the proposition’s implications;
- suggest a counter proposition or argument;
- suggest a (method for) resolution.

Candidate will be scored based on whether they have : addressed the question in the way demanded; organised their thoughts clearly; expressed themselves using concise, compelling and correct English; used their general knowledge and opinions appropriately.
1

What is a good BMAT score?

Questions in Sections 1 and 2 are worth 1 mark each. Total raw marks for each section are converted to BMAT’s scale, which runs from 1 (low) to 9 (high). 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.

Writing Tasks in Section 3 are 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).

General Enquiry

We are happy to answer any questions you have about the BMAT. Fill in the following form and we will call you back within 24 hours.

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