BMAT Universities: How they use the Exam & Strategy for picking choices

bmat universities

BMAT universities have independent approaches to how they assess BMAT results. In this article we will explore how the exam is used and provide advice on picking your choices. We strongly advise to use this article as a guide and check the respective university’s website for up to date information.

A BMAT score good enough for one university might not necessarily be good enough for another. BMAT universities place different emphasis on the exam, whilst some rely heavily on it to shortlist candidates to interviews others don’t. There is also the question of at what stage is the exam assessed? With many universities using the results to determine which candidates to interview, there are some universities that look at BMAT results at later stages in making their final decision. Nonetheless, the test is a key part of your application and we recommend to look into how each university assess the exam so you can make an informed decision before picking your medical school (or dental school) choices.

List of BMAT Universities & Their Courses

Before we look at how universities use the BMAT. We have provided links to the respective courses for you to do further research (UK only).

BMAT Universities in the United Kingdom

BMAT Universities in the Rest of Europe

  • Indhoven University of Technology, Netherlands – Biomedical Engineering
  • Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Netherlands – Medicine, Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Twente, Netherlands – Technical Medicine
  • Wageningen University, Netherlands – Nutrition and Health
  • Universidad de Navarra, Spain – Medicine
  • CEU Cardenal Herrera University, Spain – Medicine
  • University of Pécs, Hungary – Medicine, Dentistry
  • University of Rijeka, Croatia – Medicine
  • University of Zagreb, Croatia – Doctor of Medicine (in English)
  • Medical University of Warsaw, Poland – MD program in English for High School graduates
  • Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland – 6-year MD English program
  • Vasile Goldiș Western University of Arad, Romania – Medicine in English

BMAT Universities in Asia

  • Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore – Medicine
  • Chiang Mai University, Thailand – Medicine
  • Chulalongkorn University, Thailand – Medicine
  • Khon Kaen University, Thailand – MD02 Medicine
  • King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand – Medicine
  • Mahidol University, Thailand  – Medicine, Dentistry
  • Nazarbayev University School of Medicine – Postgraduate Medicine
  • Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand – A10S Doctor of Medicine
  • Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand – Medicine
  • Thammasat University: CICM and Dentistry, Thailand – 642901 Doctor of Medicine (English language),  642902 Doctor of Dental Surgery (bilingual English/Thai)
  • University of Malaya, Malaysia – Medicine

Approaches Used by BMAT Universities 

All BMAT scores are communicated to the relevant universities individually for each section. Each institution has their own weighting to each sections in order to benchmark candidates. The most common approaches are as follows:

Approach #1 – Cut-Off Approach

This is where a university employs a BMAT threshold to shortlist candidates for interview. The cut-off usually changes every year based on the performance of the year group. At the time of writing this article universities such as Imperial College and  employed an absolute BMAT cut-off when shortlisting candidates to interview. Some may look at individual sections, overall score or both. These universities are a worth considering if you achieve a high BMAT score, especially if you are in a position where you’re  borderline with the minimum academic requirements.

Approach #2 – Point-based  Approach (or Percentage Approach)

This is where the BMAT accounts for a given percentage of a candidates overall application. It is one of many factors that are awarded points. Most scoring systems take into account other parts of an application such as academics, personal statement and reference, which are awarded point to create a total score which is ranked against other competing applicants. At the time of writing this article the University of Oxford and University of Leeds used this approach when picking candidates. However, if you can get an indication of how much emphasis is placed on the BMAT, these may be a good choice if you do not score high in the exam. At the time of writing this article universities such as Leeds, UCL  and Brighton employed this approach.

Approach #3 – Ranking Approach

This approach ties in with the point-based method. However, some universities use different techniques and algorithms  – where the BMAT  may be the sole factor in ranking candidates. Most institutions  tend to  take all components of the application  into consideration without disclosing much information on the weighting of the BMAT during the ranking process. If you can get an indication of the process involved in ranking candidates you can make a more informed decision on picking your choices. If the respective university website doesn’t give much information, I encourage you to call the admissions team to get more information on how the BMAT was used in the previous year (if they are not forthcoming with how they assess the exam the year you are applying).

Please note that universities can combine one or more approaches when assessing the BMAT so I strongly advise you check the respective websites for more information.

Time Frames Used by BMAT Universities 

It is also important to also note the timeframes when the BMAT is assessed. There are two stages, they include:

1. Early Stage 

This is the most common where universities assess BMAT performance to shortlist who to invite for interview. It is also common for universities to re-visit scores when deciding who to progress after interview performance.

2. Late Stage

This is when the BMAT is used in later stages to help make a final decision. This is commonly used with borderline cases – this is when a university has two candidates who achieve the same performance score (in interviews and other parts of an application), and they can only make one an offer, then they will look at BMAT score as a final tool in making their decision. At the time of writing this article the University of Cambridge adopted this approach.

Hope you found that helpful! For more BMAT preparation advice check out the rest of the blog. Also, take the free 30-day BMAT challenge includes daily exercises and goals over 30 days to ensure you stay motivated and prepare more effectively. For all the daily exercises at once grab your copy of the BMAT Study Plan includes tips and advice from  high scoring candidates that took the exam.