Should you apply to 3+ BMAT universities?

Short Answer — It depends on what your aim is.

This question gets asked a lot on The Student Room, and by students attending our courses.

Here’s what one student asked on this thread on TSR:

I am currently an AS student and considering to study for medicine in universities, I have been summarising universities i am interested in. Out of my 4 choices, 3 require the BMAT and 1 require the UKCAT. However it is not my final decision and it could be ending in all 4 universities using the BMAT. Therefore, I am not sure if thats safe because it is like all the eggs in one basket although i am already starting to look into and practice some BMAT questions. On the other hand, I am also wondering will doing both the UKCAT and BMAT disperse the attention. Could someone give me some advice on choosing between the admission tests.

Here’s what one of the replies read:

Don’t apply to 3 BMAT unis. Its too many. All it takes is a bad result (which most people will get) and your application is over. You won’t even get a chance to show any other areas, any other strengths you have. Two max. Anything more is just stupid.

We fundamentally disagree with the advice. While the sentiment behind it is true, the depends on what the aim is. If the aim is ‘to get into medical school’ then we fully agree with the reply — it’s silly to apply to lots of BMAT universities because it’s an unknown variable at the time of applying.

However, if the aim is to ‘get into Oxbridge, Imperial or UCL’ (for example), then it makes perfect sense to apply to 3 BMAT universities and try to prepare ultra hard for the exam.

Of course, one could argue that ‘all medical schools are the same, therefore, it’s stupid to want to go to Oxbridge/Imperial/UCL at the risk of missing out altogether’, but that’s a topic for another day :)

Important — As of 2017, you can now take the BMAT in September instead of November (for some courses — check our post for more information). If you’re applying to universities that allow you to take the BMAT in September, and you’re thinking of applying to multiple BMAT universities, you should do your best to take it in September. That way, the BMAT becomes a known variable in the medical school admissions game, and there’s no ‘risk’ involved with applying to lots of BMAT universities.


If you liked this post, you might want to check out 6med — we’re a team of medical students who run the BMAT Crash Course in classrooms throughout the UK, Amsterdam, Singapore and Hong Kong each year. We’ve also built BMAT Ninja, an online BMAT course and question bank rolled into one.