Is the BMAT harder than the UCAT?
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
A comparison of the BioMedical Admissions Test and the University Clinical Aptitude Test in terms of difficulty depends as much on the type of learner as it does on the academic path one is choosing. Let’s take a brief look at the content of both tests to see how they would appeal to different types of students.
Both are two hour single sitting examinations yet they differ in both content and how they test academic skills. In terms of sections, the BMAT offers only three parts to the five parts of the UCAT. Here, the UCAT may appeal to learners who fear a weakness in one area and can count on strong showings in other sections. The BMAT does not afford that luxury in its three sections, which are:
Section 1: Thinking Skills
Section 2: Scientific Knowledge and Application
Sections 3: Writing task
BMAT draws upon skills and subjects learnt at GCSE level to attain a good mark. For this reason, learners find it closer to previous exams and therefore easier to revise for. There is also the written section which allows for greater expression as opposed to the binary multiple choice questions.
UCAT on the other hand, offers a test of skills closer to the 11+ and there are 233 multiple choice questions as opposed to the 59 in BMAT. Its sections are:
- Verbal Reasoning: A test of comprehension.
- Decision Making: A test of rational thought.
- Quantitative Reasoning: a test of mental maths.
- Abstract Reasoning: Sequencing and pattern recognition.
- Situational Judgment: A test of ethics in hypothetical situations.
As these sections draw upon a general aptitude for problem solving, learners inclined to logic puzzles over scientific knowledge would find them more conducive to their career path.
In terms of academic choices, the BMAT is a requirement for much fewer universities although the list includes Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and Keele. If Oxford or Cambridge are on your list then there is no alternative to BMAT.
In contrast, UCAT is accepted in over 30 universities across the UK and its examination dates range from July to September which means results are available prior to university application. The BMAT examination, however, is taken after UCAS university applications have been made and as such poses a greater risk if a sufficient mark is not achieved.
As you can see, personal skills and choices are the deciding factors in whether the BMAT is a harder test than the UCAT. It is best to test yourself with sample papers from both to judge your aptitude before making the choice that is best for you.
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