Navigating International Medical Entrance Tests

A comprehensive guide to international entrance tests for students aspiring to study medicine in Europe, Asia, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.

Navigating the entrance tests for studying medicine abroad can be confusing. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the most used and accessible admissions tests for medical, health sciences and dentistry degree programmes. Before you dive in, remember: always consult your chosen universities’ website before you apply/register for a course or test. As an international student you may have specific entry requirements.


For: Italy

Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing along with the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR), developed and delivers the International Medical Admissions Test (IMAT). The assessment test is for courses taught in English at select Italian universities.

According to this ministerial notice published February 2021, the date for admissions tests for medicine and dentistry courses in English is 9 September 2021. Registrations usually open for a month in July. A decree released by the Ministry of University and Research, usually in June, has all important updates including global locations of that year’s test centres, the number of reserved places for non-EU candidates, and other changes. Applications and bookings are through the Universitaly website.

IMAT is a pen-and-paper test divided into four sections of multiple-choice questions: Section 1. Logical Reasoning and General Knowledge; Section 2,3 and 4 grouped together as Scientific Knowledge.

Eligibility: Students who have completed at least 12 years of schooling, equivalent to HSC/Class 12 in India.

Test Centre and Fee: IMAT test centres are located around the world. In 2020, the Indian test centre was British Council, Delhi. The registration fee is GBP114/EUR130/USD164/approx. Rs11,500.



For: United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand

For a medical, dental and clinical science degree programme in a U.K Consortium University or a non-U.K Associate Member University—American University of the Caribbean, Florida, and St. George’s University, Grenada—students need to appear for the Universal Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). Similar to the UCAT is the UCAT for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ), which is used by the UCAT ANZ Consortium of Universities in Australia and New Zealand. It replaced the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) in 2019.

You should appear for the UCAT and UCAT ANZ the year before your intended year of study. So, for terms starting in 2022, sit for the test in 2021. UCAT is to be held between 26 July-29 September 2021 and registrations begin on 2 June. The UCAT ANZ will be held between 1 July and 11 August 2021, registrations began in February and close by the end of May.

Both tests consist of five sections of multiple-choice questions: 1. Verbal Reasoning; 2. Decision Making; 3. Quantitative Reasoning; 4. Abstract Reasoning; and 5. Situational Judgement.

Eligibility: Students who have completed at least Year 12, equivalent to HSC/Class 12 in India.

Test Centre and Fee: Both tests are carried out by Pearson VUE at their centres worldwide, including many Indian cities. Find your nearest centre using this locator. UCAT costs GBP120/Rs12,200 outside U.K., UCAT ANZ costs AUD380/Rs21,200 outside Australia and New Zealand.

Another entrance exam that applies to universities in the U.K and Australia, along with Ireland, is the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test or GAMSAT. It is held in March and September in test centres in U.K, Ireland, Australia, Singapore and Washington D.C., GAMSAT costs between Rs 27,500-39,000 depending on test location.



For: Europe, Asia, Russia

The BioMedical Admissions Test, developed by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, is used for medicine, biomedical sciences and dentistry programmes in certain universities located in U.K., Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Moscow, among others. The test is conducted in February, September and November. Each one is known as a session. Different universities accept a different BMAT session. Registrations for February usually begin November the year before. The September 2021 test has been cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic; however, registrations usually begin in June. For November (dates TBA), registrations begin in September.

All tests have three parts: Sections 1. Thinking Skills; 2. Scientific Knowledge Applications; and Section 3. Writing Task.

Eligibility: Completed their HSC/Class 12, or have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline.

Test Centre and Fee: BMAT is a remote proctored test. This means that you can take the test online on your own computer at home or a suitable location, following a set of guidelines. You will be assigned a Proctor (yes, a real person), who will monitor and record your test session via your webcam and has the authority to stop the test if they believe you have broken any rules. Registration fees for tests taken outside EU: February session GBP140/Rs14,200, September session GBP85/Rs8,600, and November session GBP89/Rs9,000.

*All amounts are calculated according to fee published online and conversion rates at the time of publication of article.


Image courtesy: flickr


Posted in Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, U.K, World on Apr 07, 2021