When Should I Take The BMAT?
The BMAT can be taken in August/September and October/November each year (the exam may be taken in February or May, however this is only for universities that are not in the UK). The general content of the exams on these two dates is the same; however there are a few key differences to consider when selecting your BMAT test date:
Taking the earlier BMAT sitting will allow you to receive your BMAT score before you apply to Medical and submit your UCAS choices. Hence, you can optimise your UCAS choices accordingly (choosing two or more BMAT choices at more competitive BMAT universities if you score highly) or only applying to one BMAT low weighting university if you do not score as well on your BMAT, relative to your UCAT score and wider application credentials.
Testing Location & Fees
The earlier BMAT test date is generally only available at pre-selected test centres whereas the latter sitting is available at most schools and colleges. As such, the test fee is also presently higher for the earlier sitting, although this can be claimed back depending on financial circumstances.
In order to be eligible for the earlier testing date, you must register online by early August; if this date has already passed, unfortunately the latter BMAT siting remains your only suitable option.
UCAT & Work Experience
Preparing for the BMAT should not be rushed and takes a minimum of 4 weeks, ideally longer. Hence, if you are taking your UCAT exam or have significant work experience arranged in late August/September, it would be advisable not to rush your preparation and instead take the examination in October/November.
In summary, the answer to this questions depends on individual circumstances, especially taking into consideration UCAT, work experience and test locations/finances. However, should these be negligible factors to you, we would recommend taking the BMAT examination in August/September due to the significant benefit of having your BMAT score before making your university choices.