The BMAT or the Biomedical Admission Tests was set in motion by the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing or CAAT. Popularly reputed in the whole world for its demand in a broad network of coveted colleges, the BMAT, in very simple words, is an aptitude test for certain fields of study including Medical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, and Dentistry. BMAT operates in a bunch of countries that are the hubs for Medical studies.
It focuses and is specifically designed to focus on testing and assessing the skills and knowledge of the candidates. The candidates will appear for medical, biomedical, or dentistry courses on the basis of the necessary set of skills necessary for pursuing the courses. BMAT is the perfect opportunity for the candidates who aspire to stand out from the crowd and showcase their true potentials in the noble fields of medical and health-related spheres.
The goal of BMAT is to test the scientific and mathematical knowledge of the applicants. At the same time, its also test the skills of problem-solving, critical, innovative, and creative thinking, written and spoken communication skills.
The Evolution of BMAT
If we hark back a little to the past, we will get a pretty clear concept of how and why BMAT reached a place as high as it stands today. CAAT, the developer of BMAT, also previously known as Assessment Admissions Testing is a part of a not-for-profit and non-teaching department of the University of Cambridge, England, which operates under the board name: Cambridge Assessment. The eminence of the university in itself in the educational spectrum is not hidden from anyone world-wide.
But keeping that aside, the CAAT is a dedicated unit of the university formally set up in 2004 with the responsibility of providing subject-specific admission tests to educational institutes, governments, employers, and a bunch of other professional institutes for selection and recruitment of candidates in the medical, health care, thinking skills and behavioral assessments.
With the growing demand for admission tests and assessments in medical and veterinary schools for a fair evaluation of candidates who are capable of mastering the said fields of studies. The BMAT test also assesses the range of applicants of their potentials and varied range of special skills based on their aptitude and academic knowledge of the course.
The difference between BMAT and other admission tests of the same genre is that BMAT assesses an amalgamation of aptitude and academic knowledge, unlike the others that focus primarily on the aptitude, attitude, and behavioral styles of a candidate.
The widely functioning admission test is a two-hour-long process with a time limit and consists of three main sections:
|Section 1||Aptitude and skills||Tests and assesses the abilities/skills in
· Understanding capabilities
· The rationalism of candidates in arguments
· Data analysis
|Section 2||Scientific Knowledge and Applications||Tests and assesses the abilities/skills of:
· Applying scientific knowledge that is typically gained by a student during their schooling by the age of 16
· Mathematic application and knowledge.
|Section 3||Writing Tasks||Tests and assesses the abilities/skills in:
· Selection, organization, and developments of innovative ideas
· The ability to turn ideas into words concisely and effectively through writing.
Note: Sections 1 and 2 are Multiple Choices Based questions and Section 3 is a written exam wherein candidates are to write an essay as asked for.
Test Timings and Allotments
The two-hour-long pen and paper test is held at the BMAT authorized ‘Open Centers’ which are established around the world.
Here’s a list of the time allotment for each section of the test along with the numbers of questions.
|Section||Tests||Number of questions||Time allotment|
|Section 1||Aptitude and Skills||32||60 minutes|
|Section 2||Scientific Knowledge and Applications||27||30 minutes|
|Section 3||Writing Tasks||1||30 minutes|
The tests happen at different times of the year on the basis of the locations and their constituted timescales for Medical applications in their institutions. At present, BMAT altogether takes place four times a year at different locations, one per year per location. Here’s the list of the sessions and timings according to their locations:
- Late August/ Early September
- Late October/ Early November
Note: Each institution gets its respective times depending on the course structure. A single institution can have admission tests at different times in a year for different courses, sometimes irrespective of their locations. To get information about the sessions and the participation of institutions you need to check the official website of CAAT for the BMAT session charts. It is subject to change.
Students need to keep themselves updated with their chosen or desired institutes for the timings of the test.
To ease the task, the official website of BMAT holds separate pages for each location and their institutes as well as pages for the different sessions listing the participation of all the institution and their courses in that session.
Tips for BMAT Preparation
The official BMAT website offers a variety of resources, free of cost for the candidates aspiring to sit for the examinations. In addition to that, BMAT holds social media channels on Youtube and Twitter where BMAT experts and medical students across the globe shares advice, tips, and the latest news of the test.
BMAT also supplies test specifications and practice papers for every year adhering to the necessities of the candidates.
The candidates must be:
- Familiarizing themselves with the test format
- Getting a firm hold on the content of each section (subject to change)
- Making a clear concept of the type of questions they will have to face in each section
- Practicing answering a set of similar types of questions
- Focusing on time management, approach, and smart answering
- Widening the horizons of knowledge
Here are some tips in this article of EduQuest that will help to get the knowledge of the procedure:
The first and foremost thing to do while practicing is to develop similar conditions to that of the exam.
- Developing the art of clear thinking. Answering just the question is different from choosing an answer to a question. The chances of deception and confusion are high. Therefore, one must be self-confident and have a clear judgment of the practical and correct answers for a better result.
- Reading worked examples of various questions with explanations are a major help to develop the idea of chronology.
- Reviewing one’s own’s answers is the best way to grow. Nothing can replace the value of reverse-learning from one’s mistakes.
- Build a strategy. Time is the key in all competitive exams. There are always chances of overlooking and selecting the wrong answer. Play smart by practicing reading the question thoroughly in less time and also saving some extra time for a quick recheck.
Things to keep in mind for the exam
- BMAT is held in one sitting.
- The two-hour-long examination does not have any break.
- The set time limit, in no circumstances and exceptions, can be prolonged.
- You must avoid using calculators, dictionaries, books, and correction pens
- Writing instruments are limited to Black ink pens, pencils, and erasers.
- There is the prohibition of Rough papers, instead, one can work out the necessities on the question paper.
- Each section is separate time-bounds and cannot override the others.
Note: Not adhering to these will cause grieve consequences which include cancellation of the paper and negative image of the candidate.
How to register for BMAT?
One cannot register themselves as a candidate individually for the BMAT. The candidates need to register themselves by a test center that has the authority to run Admission Tests. This can be the candidate’s school or college. One can check with the school/ college’s eligibility or registration as a center certified by the BMAT to run the tests.
In other cases, the candidates need to find an open test center that has the authority by CAAT for holding BMAT exams.
If the candidate faces unavailability from both the resources within a reasonable traveling distance, they are to visit the support site page on the official website.
A school can apply to become a test center if that is what they want. BMAT holds a separate application procedure for that with a strict deadline.
BMAT Marking system and Scoring Scale
What one needs to understand while appearing for the BMAT exam is that there is no pass or fail threshold in the exam. The marks acquired are summed up and converted as a whole and all three sections have different marking processes and separate scoring scales. Here’s a detailed analysis of the marking system for each section:
Marking System in Section 1 and Section 2 – Set of multiple choices-based questions where each question holds 1 mark. The total marks achieved in these sections are summed up and converted into the BMAT’s scale that ranges from scale 1 to scale 9. Scale 1 represents the lowest point and scale 9 represents the highest point.
It is estimated that the average score acquired by candidates in these sections is 5.0, roughly half; the best score is about 6.0 and the exceptional score is 7.0 or more.
Marking System in Section 3 – the writing test wherein 3 essay questions are provided upon which candidates are asked to attempt any particular one of choice. It is then marked by two different examiners. The reason behind this is that the essay is judged on two factors:
Quality of content – scaled on a level of 0 to 5
Quality of written English – scaled as A, C, E (AA= A, AC= B, CC= C, CE= D and lastly EE= E)
Naturally, each examiner provides two scores, one for each factor. These two scores each by two examiners are then combined and put-on average for the final score.
For example, depending on the two factors, a single essay is given, say, 3C by one examiner and 4A by another, the final score of the candidate will become 3.5B for this Section.
Herein, the lowest mark obtainable is 1E and the highest obtainable mark in 5A.
Note: In cases of a large disparity of marks in Section 3, as it a long answer-based question on writing capabilities, a third examiner comes to the rescue and the final mark is scrutinized by the Senior Assessment Manager.
The results of each test are release generally between 3 to 4 weeks after the completion of the test. There are two modes of releasing the results, either by the Metritests system or by a simple Statement of Results.
The candidate cannot use the result for any other year except the one on which the test was taken.
The usage of the test results depends completely on the free will of the universities. Often it can be seen as the only mode of admission alongside the marks acquired in the prior secondary education and often it can be seen as to just be a part of the application process among several others.
BMAT in light of COVID-19
CAAT’s response to the present circumstances is about prioritizing the safety and health of the candidates as well as their staff. In light of the recent events, CAAT has decided to work on providing detailed regular updates of each session with the rapidly occurring changes on the COVID dedicated page of their official website.
As of now, they have decided to hold the BMAT- February session online instead of pen and paper, just like the previous one held in November, with the aid of the Remote Proctored Testing procedure.
What is Remote Proctored Testing Procedure?
The students have the freedom of attending the exam on their computers at the ease of their own homes or any other suitable location through this process.
In this procedure, the test shall be monitored and recorded by a Proctor and Mercer Mettl Remote Proctored System respectively. Keep in mind, the Proctor will be a real person with proper training in invigilation.
Any malpractice or suspicious behavior will be minutely checked through the recording and on confirmation of such occurrence, the results shall be withheld along with severe other consequences.
Location – The rules applied to the location are: it needs to be a well-lit room with closed doors, free from disruption or interruption.
Instruments – The computers must have a microphone and integrated or USB attached external webcam with a clear view of the candidate. There is a restriction on the usage of headsets.
All the further technical requirements, details on environment and test security along with behavioral advice shall be provided to the candidate in advance of the test date by the authority.
Fees Structure in light of COVID-19
Along with the other changes, there is a change in the fee structure to meet the needs and extra costs of delivering the test in atrocious circumstances. Here’s a list of the different categories’ fees applicable to all variety of candidates belonging from different places worldwide:
- Fee within the UK/EU – £59
- Fee outside the EU- £89
- Additional Late Fee- £30
- Application fee for appeal- £35
- Application fee for result enquires- £35
Note: this is the fee structure for BMAT-November 2020 session. Any changes in the fee structure for any other session shall be duly updated on the official website.