What You Need to Know About Applying to Medical School

Overview

Getting into medical school is no easy feat. In fact, it may be one of the hardest (but most worthwhile) applications to ace.
Apart from demonstrating exceptional academic grades in Science subjects such as Chemistry, and showing evidence of commitment towards this career path, most top-notch medical schools in the UK, US and Australia would require some form of entry examination for you to even be considered. In this section, we will cover the various medical school entrance tests required for all you aspiring future medical professionals.
 
There are FIVE main tests that medical schools globally require as part of their admissions requirements – THREE for undergraduate and TWO for graduate entry:
 
BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)
The BMAT is an aptitude test used as part of the admissions process for Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Dentistry in some universities in the UK, Singapore, Thailand and some European institutions.
 
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)
The UCAT is an admissions test used in the selection process by a consortium of universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand for their medical and dental degree programmes.
 
International Students Admissions Test (ISAT)
The ISAT is for international students applying to medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and physiotherapy courses at a selection of Australian universities.
 
Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)
The GAMSAT is an admissions test required for entry to graduate medical programs in Australia, and to some postgraduate medical programs in the UK, and in more recent years, Duke-NUS.
 
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
The MCAT is an admissions test required for entry to graduate medical programs, typically in the United States and Canada.
 

Comparison Table

So which test(s) should I take? To help you make the most informed decision, we have drawn up a table comparing the tests. If you wish to know about specific test formats and content, please click on the desired test pages to learn more.
 
Undergraduate Medicine
TestBMATUCATISAT
Universities that require test
Test Fees

SGD 350

GBP 120 (UCAT UK)
AUD 374 (UCAT ANZ)

USD 320

Attempts Allowed

Once per year

Once per testing cycle

Once per testing cycle

Test Frequency

1 Test each in September (cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19) & November

*Institutions/courses NOT accepting
BMAT September results:
1. University of Oxford – Only accepting
BMAT results from the November session for
A100 Medicine and BC98 Biomedical Sciences.
2. NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
3. Chulalongkorn University

July to October

January to November

Test Format

Computer-based test (2021)

Computer-based test

Computer-based test

Duration

2 hours

2 hours

3 hours

Results Release Date

3 Weeks; Online

Immediate; Hard Copy

Within 1 week; Online

Validity

1 Year

1 Year

2 Years

 
Graduate Medicine
TestGAMSATMCAT
Universities that require test

Most medical schools in the US and Canada require the
MCAT, and here are some of the SMC-approved options:

  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Toronto
  • McGill University
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Yale School of Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Test Fees

AUD 515

USD 320 with USD 115 international fee for tests
taken outside North America and US territories

Attempts Allowed

Unlimited

Single testing year:
The MCAT exam can be taken up to 3 times.

Test Frequency

2 times a year
(March & September)

January, April-September
~30 Test Dates (2020)

Test Format

Paper-based

Computer-based

Duration

5 hours 55 min

7 hours 30 min

Results Release Date

2 months; Online

5-6 Weeks; Online

Validity

2 Years

2 Years

FAQs

Either BMAT or UCAT is required, depending on the universities you are applying to.

For most Australian medical schools, submitting an ISAT score is required. ICON+ also runs a workshop on PQA, which some Australian universities require instead.

To apply for the NTU programme, you must submit a BMAT result.

If you want to enter graduate medical school, the tests required vary from country to country. MCAT is used for the US, Canada, Duke-NUS and most Australian Universities. GAMSAT is used by Australian Universities, some UK Universities and in recent years, Duke-NUS.

Our students have been accepted into

Unlimited access to preparation for university entrance tests, interviews, skills and more.