Dental School Admissions Tests

Admission tests are used by UK dental schools to help differentiate between the best applicants. Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool dental schools do not require admission tests and the rest use the UKCAT, apart from Leeds which has started using the BMAT and some graduate entry courses, such as Plymouth, that require the GAMSAT.

Always double check the university admissions criteria for the latest admissions test requirements.
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The UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is used by 11 of the 16 UK dental schools. Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool choose not to use admissions tests while Leeds uses the BMAT. The UKCAT doesn't contain any curriculum or science content but is instead designed to test cognitive ability and other attributes necessary for healthcare professionals.

The test consists of five sections: verbal reasoning, quantitive reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision analysis and non-cognitive analysis.

Verbal Reasoning Assesses ability to critically evaluate information that is presented in written form.
Quantitative Reasoning Assesses ability to critically evaluate information that is presented in numerical form.
Abstract Reasoning Assesses the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information.
Decision Analysis Assesses the ability, in complex, ambiguous situations, to deal with various forms of information, infer relationships, make informed judgements, and decide on an appropriate response.
Situational Judgement Test Measures capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.

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BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is currently needed by Leeds only. It consists of three sections: aptitude and skills, scientific knowledge and applications and the writing task.

Aptitude and Skills Generic skills in problem-solving, understanding arguments, data analysis and inference.
Scientific Knowledge and Application The ability to apply scientific knowledge from school science and maths up to and including the level of National Curriculum Key Stage 4.
Writing Task The ability to select, develop and organise ideas, and to communicate them in writing, concisely and effectively.



The GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) is currently only needed for Plymouth University Penninsula School of Dentistry. It consists of three sections: reasoning in humanities and social science, written communication, reasoning in biological and physical science.