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The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) has been an integral part of the medical school application process for several universities in the UK and other countries. The test is designed to assess a candidate's aptitude for a career in medicine and evaluate their knowledge in relevant subjects. However, the future of the BMAT test is about to change as Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing announces its withdrawal from running a series of university admissions exams from 2024-25.

What is the BMAT?

The BMAT is a 2-hour standardised test used to assess candidates' aptitude for medical and health-related degree programmes. The test evaluates a candidate's knowledge in relevant subjects and their potential to pursue a career in medicine. The following table explains the structure of the test.

SectionWhat Does it Test?Number of QuestionsTime Allowed
Section 1: Thinking SkillsProblem-solving and critical thinking skills.32 multiple-choice questions60 minutes
Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and ApplicationsApplication of scientific and mathematical knowledge covered by the age of 16.27 multiple-choice questions30 minutes
Section 3: Writing TaskThe ability to select, develop and organise ideas, and to communicate them in writing, concisely and effectively.One writing task from a choice of three questions30 minutes

Who Uses the BMAT?

The following table highlights which universities currently require the BMAT as part of their application process. Each university uses the BMAT score differently, as outlined in our article"How Do UK Medical Universities Use The BMAT?".

What is the Future of the BMAT?

On 10th November 2022, Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing announced they will withdraw from running a series of university admissions exams, including the BMAT, effective from 2024. This decision was made due to the significant complexity and manual delivery of these tests, which are operationally and financially unsustainable over the medium term.

For the academic year 2024/25 and beyond, the seven UK medical schools that use BMAT tests as part of their admission process will put alternative arrangements in place. A spokesperson for Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing stated that their priority is to ensure no disruption to students and to give higher education providers enough time to put alternate options in place. The University of Cambridge is working towards a smooth transition to an alternative arrangement, stating there will be no immediate change to students in the 2023/24 cycle. All changes from 2024 onwards will be clearly communicated in advance.

To conclude, the BMAT will continue for the 2023/24 admissions cycle with no change to the entry system for the next academic year. If you are applying in 2023/24, ourAce the BMAT Course provides plenty of tips and tricks to help you succeed! Afterwards, however, the test will be discontinued and institutions that require the BMAT as part of their admissions process must put alternative arrangements in place.

Written by Syed Maqbool