BMAT problems and response

We are aware that a significant number of candidates taking BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) experienced disruption this November. Problems encountered included:

  • difficulties with the registration process
  • technical issues
  • issues due to the need for some candidates to self-isolate 

BMAT still remains an essential assessment tool which is used in shortlisting for our undergraduate medical programmes and we want to ensure that its results are reliable and that candidates are treated fairly. In light of the BMAT problems, we have conducted a review and for more than 300 candidates the issues that they faced have not impacted on the shortlisting process: these candidates will therefore either be shortlisted for interview or will have not met the required shortlisting boundary and will be rejected. For the remaining approximately 300 candidates we have agreed to the following.

If a candidate meets all the following criteria they will be allowed to sit BMAT again in the February sitting:

  • The candidate has either tried to register to take BMAT on 4th November but have been unable to do so OR has tried to complete the BMAT on 4th November but their experience of the test was disrupted. 
  • The candidate or their representative raised concerns about disruption or inability to take BMAT to Cambridge Assessment or University of Leeds by the special considerations deadline at Cambridge Assessment or appeals deadline at the University of Leeds.
  • The candidate has an academic score which would mean that they could have scored high enough in BMAT to be shortlisted for interview.

All candidates who have contacted us will receive correspondence from the Head of Admissions, School of Medicine during the week commencing 14th December outlining how the review has impacted on their application. 

Due to the timelines that are in place to meet the UCAS deadlines, some candidates will receive an invitation to interview before the February BMAT results are known. For these candidates, whether or not they receive an offer will therefore be conditional on both their performance at interview AND their performance in BMAT.

The BMAT repeat test will take place on 20th February. If a candidate has a problem with this date or the method of test, then they should follow the processes outlined by Cambridge Assessment who will work with them on alternative arrangements. The repeat test will be remotely proctored and will be free of charge and further details will be provided through Cambridge Assessment communications.

If you have any questions relating to the above please email Dr Gail Nicholls, Head of Admissions, School of Medicine (