Types of entrance exam for medical schools in the UK

The British education system is considered as one of the best academic systems in the world. However, studying medicine in the UK may be one of the most specialties, for which international students are competing. To obtain an internationally recognized doctor certificate, the candidate must follow all selection stages. The very first requirement is to sit an entrance exam for UK medical studies.

Read here our ultimate guide for medical studies in the UK.

English language requirement

In addition to the high academic results in high school, and obtaining the International Baccalaureate degree, international students must prove their proficiency in English. This stage is compulsory before they apply to UK universities.

Many medical schools prefer the International English Language Testing System which is called (IELTS). Most British medical schools require international students to have a minimum of 7.0 degrees in all four categories: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

As a matter of fact, students who speak English as mother tongue do not need to pass this test.

Which admission test is required for medicine in the UK?

International applicants must take one of three different available tests. These tests vary depending on the college in which the student plans to complete his/her studies.

The tests’ app is often online, so the results of the acceptance test are automatically sent to the UCAS app. Through the same app, the qualified students receive the interview invitations.

Afterward, universities conduct an online interview via Skype, or ask students to visit the university and conduct a personal interview, depending on the regulation in each institution. Here are the most common entrance exam / tests for medical schools in the UK.

BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) for medicine studies in the UK

The BMAT entrance exam for UK medical schools, is an entry requirement for candidates who want to study medicine, dentistry, biomedicine and veterinary medicine. This test is required by 7 colleges in UK for medical studies. You can check their names on the BMAT website.

This test seeks to test the candidate’s ability in analysis, mathematics and scientific knowledge. Students must register to take this test after submitting their applications via UCAS.

The fee for this test is £115 for international students. Furthermore, candidates must take this test in September or October, and the relevant medical schools will receive directly the results.

UCAT entrance exam for medical studies in the UK

25 medical and dental schools in the UK (you can check their names on this website) use the UCAT test score as an entry criterion. UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test. This entrance exam focuses on assessing the academic ability and professionalism of candidates to UK medical universities.

Besides, the test also assesses their ability to understand life situations and behaviors necessary to succeed in medicine. By the same token, the test helps universities find highly qualified students. The cost of this exam is £115, which is the same as the BMAT test. Moreover, the test lasts two hours during which candidates must answer more than 200 questions.

Applicants take the UCAT exam at their local test center. The entrance exam is in a multiple-choice question format. Furthermore, candidates must complete the test by early October of the academic year in which they are applying.

Read also our guide on dentistry studies in the UK.

GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test)

This Australian-based program helps universities to select the most qualified and highly professional applicants. As a matter of fact, the test aims to assess the candidate’s ability to conduct high-level intellectual studies and to interpret and understand ideas in the social and cultural contexts that qualify him/her to work as a doctor.

Meanwhile, it aims to test the candidate level in chemistry, biology and physics. Applicants should take the GAMSAT in September of the current academic year. The cost of this exam is between £60 and £265.

Moreover, like for the UCAT, students must register and take the GAMSAT test before their university application. Usually, the deadline to apply for the test is on August and candidates sit the test on September.

To sum everything up, passing the entrance exam for UK medical studies is one of the most difficult stages for international students. Moreover, there are a few practice test and sample questions that candidates can get to have an idea of what’s awaiting them at those entrance exams. You can check the UCAT or BMAT websites to get these practice test samples.

Add to that the test fees and the associated costs of studying in the UK, which can be very expensive by all means.

Fortunately, students can benefit from scholarships dedicated to study medicine in the UK. Indeed, a wide range of government and private entities offer these scholarships to help international students to pay for living and tuition fees.

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