How Do Universities Use The BMAT?

There are 8 universities in the UK that require the BMAT for medical and dentistry applications. We’ll take you through each of these universities, and how they use the BMAT as part of their selection process.

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There are 8 universities in the UK that require the BMAT for medical and dentistry applications. We’ll take you through each of these universities, and how they use the BMAT as part of their selection process.

Which universities require the BMAT?

How Universities Use Your BMAT Score

In general, the BMAT is used by med schools to decide who to invite for interview and holistically, for who to extend a place to. Some Universities do not officially announce how this is done, so getting as good a score as possible is important. Additionally, some Universities place more emphasis on a specific Section’s score (for example, Oxford weigh Section 1 and 2 more) and some only use cut-offs in certain sections such as Section 3.

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Here is a list of all UK BMAT Universities. You should always check this is up-to-date closer to the time with the specific University admissions website, in case any changes are made. 

The BMAT is used holistically alongside the personal statement and grades to decide who to invite to interview, and who should be offered a place.

They state that there is no ‘pass’ mark, and those who achieve a higher BMAT score are more likely to be interviewed. As they interview over 70% of applicants, it probably plays less of a part here, and more in the final decision.

Some colleges give more weighting to the BMAT in their selection process (unlike Oxford, whose process is central), so do ask the admissions office/people you know at the colleges if you’re interested to know more.

According to a 2020 Freedom of Information Act request, the average BMAT offer holder score across each college (some colleges had lower or higher averages) was:

  • Section 1: between 5.2 – 6.7
  • Section 2: between 4.5 – 6.1
  • Section 3: between 2.9 – 3.7

BMAT results are used alongside GCSE performance (alongside other factors) to determine short-listing and who to call to interview. For the numerical ranking using the GCSE and BMAT scores, both are evenly weighted.

Each BMAT section is not given equal weighting – as far as we know, Section 1 and Section 2 are weighted at 40% each, whereas Section 3 is weighted at 20%.

According to a 2020 Freedom of Information Act request, the average BMAT offer holder score across each college (some colleges had lower or higher averages) was:

  • Section 1: between 5.1 – 6.2
  • Section 2: between 4.9 – 6.6
  • Section 3: between 3.0 – 4.3

A cut-off score is calculated using the ranked candidate BMAT scores vs number of interview sessions. This means the cut-off changes each year, but previous years may be used as guide.

For a rough guide, for 2021, to be invited to interview, the threshold scores were:

  • Section 1: 3.5
  • Section 2: 3.5
  • Section 3: 2.5 (content score) C (use of English)

There is no cut-off as BMAT scores are used alongside the UCAS application. High scores in each Section will strengthen an application. Candidates with scores that are below the average for their cohort are less likely to be successful.

Note: as of 2020, they no longer discuss Section 3 at interview.

In 2020 the average BMAT score for applicants invited to interview was:

  • Section 1: 5.2
  • Section 2: 4.8

Students are ranked by achieved and predicted grades and BMAT scores. The top-ranked applicants are then invited for interview (~750 candidates)

Note: the essay Section will be used for a discussion at one of the MMI stations.

Exact average BMAT grades are unavailable as a threshold but it is clear that achieving a high BMAT score can compensate for a low academic score and vice-versa.

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BSMS score the BMAT out of 37, with 9 marks for Section 1, 18 marks for Section 2 and 5 marks for each element of Section 3. All applicants are then ranked according to their score and invited to interview according to how many spaces are available.

Additionally, there is a cut-off for ALL the Sections (ie you must fulfil ALL of these requirements) unless there are extenuating circumstances:

  • Section 1: a score of at least 3 or higher
  • Section 2: a score of at least 6 or higher
  • Section 3: a score of at least 2.5 C or higher

The cut-off score for interview varies each year. For 2022 entry, home applicants who scored 17.3 and above, and international applicants who scored 19.5 and above, were invited to interview.

Applicants who meet the minimum academic entry requirements are ranked according to their total BMAT score. Lancaster Medical School calculates the total BMAT score by combining the individual scores for Sections 1, 2 and 3. Section 1 is scored out of 9; Section 2 is scored out of 9, and Section 3 is scored out of 5.

For 2019 scores, the average BMAT score for offer holders was 11.2 and 11.3 for those invited to interview. For overseas applicants, the average was 12.6.

Keele is unique in that only international candidates must sit the BMAT.

Shortlisting for interview is based on ranking by BMAT score. Keele calculates a total score that is the sum of your Section 1, Section 2 and adjusted Section 3 scores.

The adjusted Section 3 score is calculated by multiplying the numerical score by a scaling factor for the alphabetical score, as follows: A 1.25, B 1.00, C 0.75, D 0.50, E 0.25

For 2021 entry, the cut-off score was 14.1.

Should I apply To 3 BMAT Universities?

It massively depends on what your aim is. This question is asked regularly, for example, we saw this question on a Student Room thread:

Here is what one of the replies read:

We fundamentally disagree with the advice. While the sentiment behind it is true, it depends on what the aim is. If the aim is ‘to get into medical school‘ then we fully agree with the reply – it’s silly to apply to lots of BMAT universities because it’s an unknown variable at the time of applying.

However, if the aim is to ‘get into Oxbridge, Imperial or UCL‘ (for example), then it makes perfect sense to apply to 3 BMAT universities and try to prepare ultra-hard for the exam.

Of course, one could argue that ‘all medical schools are the same, therefore, it’s stupid to want to go to Oxbridge/Imperial/UCL at the risk of missing out altogether, but that’s a topic for another day.

Boost your BMAT score with expert support to ensure you receive your BMAT Med School Offers. 

If you’re looking for extra support with the BMAT, check out our BMAT Bundle. It includes everything we have to offer students sitting the BMAT and we think it does a pretty great job of it.

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