Would taking the BMAT in September or November be better for me?

3 min read

UPDATE: Please note that CAAT have announced they will no longer be administering the BMAT in 2024, for 2025 entry. Cambridge University has announced that they will be using the UCAT as an admissions indicator. Oxford University are to announce admissions test changes in Spring 2024.

If you intend to take the BMAT, you can choose between September and November to take the test. As a result, many students wonder when the best time to take the exam would be. Since you may only take the test once every application cycle, it is crucial to choose the exam date that would work best for you.

Universities accept scores from either sitting equally, so choosing one over the other would not hinder you. However, there is one exception to this regulation – if you are applying to Oxford, you must take the exam in November.

BMAT Online Course
70+ Video Tutorials, Worked Solutions to All Questions since 2003, 10 Full Mocks

So, how do you make a choice? In this essay, we will go over some of the important factors you should ask yourself while deciding whether to take the BMAT in September or November.

How much time do you have over the summer?

Application timeline for medicine

The summer break between Year 12 and Year 13 is typically free for students to prepare for the BMAT; in this case, the September sitting could be preferable. However, do take note that this free time over the summer might not necessarily translate into more revision time – any scheduled vacations, celebrations, or family gatherings will cut into your revision and preparation time. If your summer is packed with activities, it could be best to wait until the later sitting so you can spread out your preparation across more time. Furthermore, some students might also prefer taking the BMAT during a school term as they are more used to being in a vigorous academic setting rather than being in vacation mode.

Are you sitting for the UCAT?

Another entrance exam taken for admission to UK medical schools is the UCAT. You can take the UCAT at any time between July and September before submitting your application for Medical or Dental school. If you are applying to schools that require you to take both the BMAT and UCAT, it could be preferable to take the BMAT in November if you have scheduled your UCAT exam date for September. 

The two tests should not be too close together in order to give yourself enough time to adequately study for each exam separately. The September BMAT could be more convenient for you if your UCAT exam date is earlier— say, in early August.

The UCAT Exam
1:1 BMAT Tutoring
Book Your Free Consultation Now

What was your UCAT score?

You can almost instantly find out your UCAT score, which is very useful for students to make strategic application choices. Especially for students whose ultimate aim is to get into any medical school, students can choose to only apply to universities that have a cut-off score lower than their UCAT result, hence resulting in a higher chance of being accepted or being offered an interview. 

Understanding your UCAT score could also help you decide how to approach the BMAT. This is because if you performed well on the UCAT, you might feel more at ease with taking the BMAT in November. This is because you would not know your BMAT score when you submit your application if you pick the BMAT in November, but high UCAT scorers may be more willing to take this chance, as they are already more likely to be offered interviews at their UCAT universities.

On the flip side, you might wish to know your BMAT score before applying if your UCAT performance was only average. This is because you would be able to compare your BMAT and UCAT scores, and you can use that as a guide on whether to apply primarily to BMAT or UCAT colleges. Even with average results, a successful application to medical or dental school is still possible. However, you may wish to maximise your chances of one by applying more strategically, and knowing your BMAT score before completing your application will help with this.

It could be preferable for you to apply to BMAT institutions if your UCAT performance was subpar. In this situation, it could be advisable to take the test in November so you have more time to study for the BMAT and perform at your best.

Do you want to know your BMAT score before applying?

For a more strategic application strategy, some students may want to know their scores before applying. This is because the score that you get might be a key consideration when choosing where to apply, as certain schools would only invite you for an interview if you have met their BMAT cut-off score. If this applies to you, the September sitting will be the most advantageous.

You would not know your BMAT result before completing your application if you take the exam in November. However, because you will have more time to prepare if you already know where you want to apply, it could be the preferable choice.

Download Free BMAT Book

    Are you applying to Oxford? If so, take the BMAT in November

    As was already established, you must take the BMAT in the November sitting if you are applying to Oxford A100. However, if you are applying to the Oxford A101 course (Graduate-entry), any sitting is acceptable.

    What is the availability like at your nearest test centre?

    Not every testing facility offers both sittings with the same availability. Some testing facilities may only provide one! If there is only one test centre in your area, be careful to check its availability as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

    Other factors to consider

    • If your school schedule is hectic or you have a lot of academic obligations in term 1, you might wish to complete all of the admissions examinations ahead of time and concentrate on your studies starting in September.
    • If you are sure about your BMAT performance, you could opt to do it early in September without needing additional preparation time.

    BMAT September vs BMAT November

    Here is a list of the advantages of taking the BMAT in September or November. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer when deciding when to take the exam; this is a personal choice for you. You have a chance to perform well enough in either test session to receive that crucial medical school offer.

    Pros of September BMATPros of November BMAT
    Find out your score before the UCAS deadline. This allows you to apply more tactically, as by then you would know your UCAT and BMAT scores and your predicted gradesMore time to revise for the BMAT
    School work is less affected in Term 1More time to revise for the UCAT if you choose to sit it
    More time to prepare in advance for potential interviews in Term 1Required for Oxford A100
    More time off to relax in the summer!
    Can spend longer on your personal statement and UCAS application for which the deadline is in October
    Overview of pros of both BMAT September and BMAT November sittings

    BMAT Online Course
    70+ Video Tutorials, Worked Solutions to All Questions since 2003, 10 Full Mocks

    Download Free BMAT Notes

      Still got a question? Leave a comment
      Post as “Anonymous”
      Just Start Typing...