The BioMedical Admissions Test (also known as BMAT) is an aptitude test used as part of the admissions process for medicine, veterinary medicine or physiological sciences in some universities in the United Kingdom. It is the successor of the Medical and Veterinary Sciences Admissions Test (MVAT).
The BMAT became part of the application process for such courses only in recent years. Initially, it was taken up by Oxford University for medicine and physiology (replacing the OMAT); the University of Cambridge for medicine and veterinary science (replacing the MVAT); University College London, for medicine; the Royal Veterinary College for veterinary science. In 2005, Imperial College London and the University of Manchester also made it a part of their entry requirements for medicine, but from 2006-07 application cycle, Manchester replaced it with the new UKCAT, introduced in the majority of UK medical schools at the same time. The BMAT is usually held at the beginning of November, and results are issued at the end of that month, in the form of a certificate with explanatory sheet. The results are weighted such that the scores form a normal distribution curve.
The BMAT consists of three sections. The first two are both multiple-choice/short answer: Section 1 is designed to test Aptitude and Skills (such as Critical Thinking, Logic and Reasoning), and lasts 60 minutes with 35 questions; while Section 2 tests Scientific Knowledge and Applications, and lasts 30 minutes, with 27 questions. The third section is a Writing Task, lasting 30 minutes, in which the candidate chooses from 3 questions requiring the construction of an argument or debate, an analysis of a statement, or similar task. Section 1 and 2 are marked out of 9 while section 3 is marked out of 15. The scores are standardised and given to one decimal place.
However, as of September 2010 the structure of section 3 will be under review. It is likely that the total score will be out of 10; with 5 marks coming from construction of argument, and 5 from quality of written communication. The construction of argument mark will be given as 1,2,3,4,5 and the quality of communication mark will be given as A,C,E. These marks will then be combined to give an overall score of 4C for example.
The results of the BMAT are used in a variety of ways by the different institutions using it: for example, University College London automatically invites candidates with scores over 19 for interview, but does not exclude candidates who do not achieve this. Oxford University combines the results with GCSE grades to decide who is called for interview; often it is seen as just part of the application process — previous examination results, a teacher's reference, the candidate's personal statement and predicted grades are also important. Applicants to the University of Cambridge graduate medicine course may not have to sit the BMAT test as part of their application.
BMAT List of universities using BMAT
Imperial College London Medicine • Biomedical Sciences • Pharmacology
Royal Veterinary College Veterinary Medicine
University College London Medicine
University of Cambridge Medicine • Veterinary Medicine
University of Oxford Medicine • Biomedical Sciences