A lot goes behind the scenes after you have finished a test. Understanding the scores and everything related to them surely gives a clear picture and helps you better envision your goals. So, here are answers to some common questions related to the BMAT scoring system.
How is Each Section Scored?
The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) contains three sections:
Section 1—Aptitude and Skills
Section 2—Scientific Knowledge and Application
Section 3—Writing Task
Section 1 has 35 questions, while Section 2 has 27 questions. Questions in both of these sections are worth 1 mark each. Total raw marks for each section are converted to the BMAT scale, which runs from 1 (low) to 9 (high).
In Section 3, the candidates write one essay from a list of four topic options. The essay is marked by two examiners. Each examiner gives two scores—one for quality of content (on a scale of 0–5), and one for quality of written English (on the scale A, C, E). If the marks given by the two examiners for content are the same or no more than one mark apart, the candidate gets the average of the two marks. If both the marks given for written English are the same or no more than one mark apart, the scores are combined like this: AA = A, AC = B, CC = C, CE = D and EE = E. If there is a larger discrepancy in the marks, the writing tasks are marked for a third time and the final mark is checked by the Senior Assessment Manager.
What is the Marking Criteria for the Essay?
When marking for the quality of content, the markers consider the following:
Have the candidates addressed the question in the way demanded?
Have they organized their thoughts clearly?
Have they used their general knowledge and opinions appropriately?
As per the BMAT guidelines, a score of 5 would mean that the essay is excellent with no significant weaknesses. All aspects of the question are addressed, making excellent use of the material and generating an excellent counter proposition or argument. Additionally, it would mean that the argument is cogent and ideas are expressed in a clear and logical way, considering a breadth of relevant points and leading to a compelling synthesis or conclusion.
On the other hand, an answer judged to be irrelevant, trivial, unintelligible or missing will be given a score of 0.
The quality of English language used is marked considering the following:
Have the candidates expressed themselves clearly using concise, compelling and correct English?
As such, Band A implies good use of English. Fluency in language, good sentence structure, range of vocabulary, sound use of grammar, and correct spelling and punctuation are the major pointers on which the candidates are marked. A few slips or errors are not penalized.
What’s a Good Score?
As quoted on the official website, “Typical BMAT candidates will score around 5.0, roughly half marks. The best candidates will score around 6.0, and a few exceptional candidates will score higher than 7.0.” Doesn’t that say it all? To stand out amongst the crowd of applicants, you should surely aim for a score higher than 6 in Sections 1 and 2.
How Do Universities Use the BMAT Score?
BMAT scores are used alongside the UCAS form to assist the interview selection process. The weightage given to BMAT scores, while selecting candidates for the interview, varies from school to school. For example, Cambridge interviews around 90% of all applicants, so the BMAT score isn’t important in deciding whether one gets an interview. A candidate’s BMAT score is, however, taken into account in the final decision, along with factors such as high school performance, interview performance etc. On the other hand, Oxford gives equal weight to high school results and BMAT scores while selecting candidates for the interview. In contrast, Imperial is known to give the maximum importance to BMAT scores—they set a cut-off each year! Thus, it is best to check with individual schools to get more information on how they use the BMAT score.
Can BMAT Results be Queried or Appealed?
Yes. If you think there has been an error in the reporting or processing of your BMAT results, you can submit a Result Enquiry form, which is available on the BMAT official website. It usually takes five working days to get a response.
Hope you found this brief summary of the BMAT scoring system helpful! Good luck!