Makeen Baroudi

13th June 2020

How Do Universities Use The BMAT?

  • What universities use the BMAT?
  • How important is the BMAT?
  • What is a BMAT ‘safe score’?
  • How important is the BMAT’s written communication (essay) section?

1. Universities That Use The BMAT

For medicine, there are many UK universities that use the BMAT. Moreover, BMAT universities are significantly fewer than UCAT universities. These universities are:

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • Imperial College London
  • University College London
  • University of Leeds
  • Brighton & Sussex Medical School
  • Keele*
  • Lancaster


  • *Note that Keele University only uses the BMAT for international applicants. Home/UK applicants will have to do the UCAT.

    2. What is a BMAT safe score? What should I score on BMAT to get invited to interview? How do universities use the BMAT?

    The answer to all these questions depends on two key aspects: the university you’re applying for and the rest of your application.

    BMAT universities can be roughly split into two categories: ‘cut-off score’ ones; ‘the higher the better’ ones. This is similar to the UCAT. Basically, for universities that use a cut-off score, everyone who achieves that score will be shortlisted for an interview - if the university uses only BMAT to invite people for interviews. This means that if the university looks at other aspects of application as well (e.g. personal statement) then your performance in these other aspects has to be of the university’s standards. Some ‘cut-off’ score universities will look at your application more holistically if you do not reach that score. For example, Oxford university will read your personal statement and UCAS reference to find out if there are any circumstances that have prevented you from achieving the cut-off score.

      Quick note: whilst Oxford university doesn’t have an official cut-off score, Oxford interview candidates have a relatively high average of BMAT score. I.e. the higher your BMAT score, the more likely you are to be invited for an interview at Oxford.


    Universities such as Imperial College London have official cut-off scores that you can find on their website. Imperial is one of the universities that seems to be more strict about their cut-off scores. Essentially, the likelihood of someone being invited for an interview at Imperial is extremely low if they haven’t achieved the minimum BMAT score Imperial requires.

    As a reference, the 2019 BMAT cut-off scores for Imperial were 4.1 for section 1; 4.2 for section 2; 2.5 C for section 3.

    We highly recommend visiting the universities websites to check out their cut-off scores. These change every year depending on the performance of the overall cohort.

    BMAT universities such as Brighton & Sussex have a system of ‘the higher the score the better’. Essentially the higher your score is the more points you get. Candidates scores may then be ranked against each other and the highest certain percentage may be invited for an interview. This depends on the university.

    You can find free BMAT resources and free practice questions here on our website.

    3. How important is the BMAT essay?

    Most universities give more importance to sections 1 and 2 than section 3. For example, in a ‘points’ system more points are given to sections 1 and 2 than to section 3. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t study for section 3. Section 3 is still part of the ranking process and the higher you get on it the better. In addition, some universities decide to pick up your section 3 essay again during your interview. Such as the University of Leeds where your essay is discussed with you during the interview.

    Moreover, some universities such as Lancaster University do not use your grade for quality of English but use the score for quality of content. The conclusion is that it is really variable how universities use your BMAT score. Therefore, we recommend visiting the university's own website and checking out our BMAT guide to have a better idea.

    Makeen Baroudi

    Product Manager

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