There are eight U.K. universities which require the BMAT (Biomedical Aptitude Test) as well as A-Levels if you want to apply for medicine.

The BMAT is a two-hour test that you do on paper. And there are three different sections to it. You can sit this once a year and you can either sit this in September or October.

For the September test you need to register yourself, you can do that online and then take yourself along to a test centre. The results are available from the end of September, so you can use the results to inform your UCAS choices. The September test is not accepted by the University of Oxford.

For the October test it's all done through your school. Tell the exams officer at your school they need to register you and then your school is a registered test centre, that is where will sit this and it will be just like a normal exam that you do at school. Because this is so late in the day and the results aren't released until a month afterwards you don't know what your BMAT result is before you apply for UCAS. Unlike with the UKCAT, where you get your results straight away you have to wait until after you've submitted your UCAS application before you get your BMAT results which means you can't base your UCAS choices on how well you did in the BMATs.

There are three sections to the test. Section one is an hour long and it's 35 multiple choice questions. You are not allowed a calculator for this. It is going to be verbal, spatial, mathematical reasoning. There are going to be logic puzzles. There are going to be patterns. It's going to be problem solving and there are going to be logical assumptions that you're going to need to make. They want to see how you can tackle tricky situations.

Section two is 30 minutes long and this is knowledge based section. There are 27 multiple choice questions on biology, chemistry, physics and maths. It's going to be GCSE level science and maths but it's borderline AS-level in each of these subjects. You are not allowed a calculator for this section either. If you have not continued with each of these subjects, some revision may be required.

Section three is 30 minutes long and it's a long form answer Here they're going to be seeing how you respond to the question, how you respond to the situation posed and they're going to be seeing if you can communicate in good written English.

Just like any exam you should do as many past papers as you can get your hands on. All the BMAT past papers are over available on the Cambridge assessment website. You can just download all of those for free.

Section one and section two are scaled from one to nine with five being the score that the majority of people get which is roughly about half marks. If most people are getting half marks this give you an indication of how hard this test actually is. Very few people will get a six and only the truly exceptional people are going to get a seven or above. Section three is given a mark for the content between zero and five and a mark for the English either an A, a C or an E. This is marked by two different examiners and then the overall mark is going to be a combination of the two marks from the different examiners.

The results are only valid for a year and you can only take it once a year. So make sure you're taking at the right time of year either September or October and if you're going to reapply later, then you're going to have to redo the BMAT for a second time.

Universities that require the BMAT; 

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

University of Cambridge

UCL (University College London)

Imperial College London

Keele University (for international students only)

Lancaster University

University of Leeds

University of Oxford.

The University of Oxford will only accept October test results. 


This is a graduate medical school admissions test, and it's taken twice a year, in September and in March. It is going to be a long day if you decide to take this test. Roughly nine hours, and you are not allowed to leave early.

There are three parts to the exam, it starts with ten minutes to read Section One, followed by 100 minutes to answer questions on that. Five minutes to read Section Two, followed by 60 minutes to answer questions on that. Then you get a 60-minute break for lunch. Section Three is a long section. You get 10 minutes reading, and then you have 117 minutes to answer questions on Section Three.

Section One is reasoning and humanities, that's multiple-choice questions. Section Two is all about your written communication, and Section Three is multiple-choice questions on reasoning in biological and physical sciences. With the multiple-choice questions, there is no negative marking, so always fill an answer in, in the answer booklet, don't leave any of these blank.

The scores are going to be weighted at the end, so you get a score for each section and then you get an overall score, Section Three is weighted twice as much as Sections One and Two. You're going to need to check which universities require this for graduate medical school entry, some of them do and some of them don't, and this is

accepted in a large number of countries.