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How to Prepare for the BMAT Exam

How to Prepare for the BMAT Exam

4 min Read|April 07 2023
|Written by:

Thomas Babb


Each year, budding medics from around the world sit the BMAT exam. Even only focusing on those applying to Oxford, 1,713 sat the BMAT exam out of 1,742 applicants, demonstrating how significant this test is for applicants.

In this article, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about the BMAT, then elaborating on a range of core tips that you can use to prepare for your BMAT exam. Let’s get right into it.

What is the BMAT?

Standing for BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), this exam is used by countries around the world to help select strong applicants for their medical, veterinary, and biomedical degree programs. Within the paper, you’ll find a range of both scientific and mathematical questions, putting your critical thinking, written communication, and logic skills to the test.

Unlike the majority of university admissions exams, BMAT scoring is actually fairly complicated, taking in a range of variables at once. Instead of simply adding up the total number of points that an applicant scores, an average of scores, English level, and content quality will give you your final score.

The score ranges from between a 1.0 and a 9.0, with 6.0 being a great score and 5.0 being the average. It is incredibly rare to see students get over a 7.0, with this result being exceptional due to the difficulty of the BMAT.

Three Sections

Within the BMAT, there are three distinct sections, each one of these focusing on something slightly different. Section 1 is out of 32 points, with each correct answer you write giving you one point on this part.

BMAT scores


Much like Section 1, Section 2 follows a similar pathway, with every correct answer giving you a point, with a potential total of 27 marks up for grab. Remember, these are converted into averages and then into the points scale system, so creating grade boundaries is rather complex here.



Finally, we arrive at Section 3, which is an essay-based segment. This part is marked by two examiners, which are ranking your level of English on a scale of E-A, and the quality of your written content on a scale of 1-5. Between these two examiners, your scores are averaged and then combined with Sections 1 + 2 to get your final grade.



How to Prepare for the BMAT Exam

When preparing for the BMAT test, there are several methods that you should rely on to ensure that you’re as ready as possible come exam day.

Typically, you should divide up these skills into two segments, those for exam knowledge and those for studying:

  • Understand the Exam Format
  • What Could Come up
  • Work with a Tutor

Let’s break these down further.

Understand the Exam Format

The first step to doing well on any exam, whether it’s your BMAT test or just an A-level examination, is to know the exam format. Knowing how the test is structured, which question formats will come up, and how to pace yourself will give you vital information about how to effectively perform on the test.

While there are three sections, you should take time to research exactly what will come up in those sections, understanding the question format and what you’re expected to produce. Alongside following the exam format guidelines, you can learn a lot about this by simply going through past papers and finding out what questions came up and how students were able to gain marks from them.

As you’ll be tested on a range of mathematical and scientific skills, it’s always a good idea to ask your Biology A-Level, Chemistry A-Level, Physics A-Level, and Maths A-Level teachers if they have any advice for what could potentially come up.

Use the Specification

Few students will sit an exam without carefully taking a look at what is on the specification, what is likely to come up, and what potential skills you’ll be asked to show. Just be sure that before taking a look at the BMAT specification, you remember that this is meant to be a very difficult exam. The vast majority of people end up with a 5.0/9.0, which means that you should be alarmed if you see a lot of concepts that you don’t quite understand.

However, that said, using this specification will give you a general idea of where you should work during the revision process, helping you to understand what skills you should be developing.

Work with a Tutor

Once you’ve found out which skills you need to put to the test by combing through the specification, one of the best ways of then building these skills is to work with a BMAT tutor. At TutorChase, all of our online BMAT tutors have sat the exam themselves, performing incredibly well and going on to study at top UK universities.

By working with a tutor, you’re able to effectively support your revision process, learning more about the skills that you’re unfamiliar with and using the tutor’s knowledge to fill in any gaps. As you’ll be working with someone that has already sat this exam, you’ll have a leg up when it comes to formulating exam technique and strategy, as your BMAT tutor can help you through these areas.

Additionally, a BMAT tutor is familiar with the pressure that comes with this exam, and will be able to support you in building your exam confidence.

Final Thoughts

The BMAT exam can often feel like one of the most important exams that a student has to sit, as it will directly influence which university they’ll get into to study medicine. While this exam is incredibly difficult, it is not impossible, with the right revision strategies and tactics pushing your grade up over time.

By working with an online BMAT tutor, moving through past papers, combing through the specification, and understanding the exam format, you’ll be in a much better position to excel when it comes to exam day.

Best of luck with your BMAT exam!

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Professional tutor and Cambridge University researcher

Thomas Babb

Written by: Thomas Babb

Oxford University - PhD Mathematics

Thomas is a PhD candidate at Oxford University. He served as an interviewer and the lead admissions test marker at Oxford, and teaches undergraduate students at Mansfield College and St Hilda’s College. He has ten years’ experience tutoring A-Level and GCSE students across a range of subjects.

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