Medicine A100 BMAT scores

The request was refused by King's College, Cambridge.

Dear King's College, Cambridge,

For the medicine A100 undergraduate course, 2020 and 2021 entry.
Could I please have the BMAT scores of each person given an offer, split into sections 1, 2 and 3.

Yours faithfully,
Sam Waller

King's College, Cambridge

1 Attachment

Dear Sam Waller,
This is in reply to your enquiry received by the College on 14 July and
made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that
the College does hold some information related to your request however the
information is exempt. Though you have not asked for names, disclosure of
the information you have requested in many cases would be sufficient for
the identification of individuals. Specifically, the information is exempt
under section 40(2)(b) of the FOIA, the relevant sections being 3A(a):
[disclosure] would contravene any of the data protection principles. The
principle in question (see section 40(7)(a) of FOIA which specifies that
the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) article 5(1) is a relevant
definition of 'data protection principles') is the first one, GDPR article
5(1)(a): [data must be] processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent
manner in relation to the data subject. It is not fair to other applicants
(the data subjects) that we disclose their results. They wouldn't expect
us to do so, and so such disclosure would violate the requirements both
for fairness and transparency.
In addition, for the 2021 round the information requested, insofar as it
is held (noting that the current undergraduate applications cycle is
ongoing), is exempt under section 36(2)(c) of the Act because its
disclosure would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of public
affairs, in this case the integrity of the College’s applications and
admissions process which form a fundamental part of its mission as an
educational institution. (As the information requested is statistical in
nature, the opinion of the qualified person did not need to be sought for
this application of section 36.) The current undergraduate applications
cycle was ongoing and applications were still being submitted and assessed
at the time of your request. The College considers that the disclosure of
detailed statistics about applications made within the current cycle would
be likely to prejudice the notion of a fair and confidential admissions
process whereby each applicant has the same information at their disposal
and partial granular data is not disclosed to specific members of the
public while the process is ongoing. As this is a qualified exemption, the
College has considered whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the
public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest
in disclosing the information. The College considers that, while some
people might have an understandable private interest in these statistics,
there is no genuine public interest in them when set against the extensive
statistical information available about previous admissions cycles
published at
[1], coupled
with the prevailing public interest in maintaining a level playing field
in terms of the information available to all applicants.
Therefore, the 2021 information is exempt under section 36(2) as well as
section 40(2)(b) of FOIA.
I hope the following information will be helpful to you:
At King's, we are looking for promise and potential. So although exam
scores form a central criterion for admission, as do interview scores, we
are careful to interpret grades, exam scores and interview results in
light of your personal and educational background. We assess each
application individually. We are interested to learn about your existing
knowledge and skills, but we endeavour also to find out how you would deal
with the new materials and ideas you would encounter at Cambridge. All
candidates are considered strictly on the basis of their academic promise.
During the application process, we look at:
• your academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and
marks and A level (or equivalent, e.g. IB) grades or predictions, this
record being considered in the context of the quality (but not type) of
schools/colleges at which it was achieved;
• your school/college reference;
• your personal statement;
• your admissions assessment (taken at interview)
• your performance at interview(s)
With this holistic view you can understand that it is not possible to
predict your chances of success based on predicted grades, exam scores
and/or interview scores. Our advice is to apply if you look like you can
achieve the typical offer of A*A*A at the end of sixth form.
Subject-specific requirements and subject requirements apply to the
medical course (Chemistry and at least one other Science or Maths
subject), see your subject page at
[2] for those
Please be aware that the BMAT isn’t a pass or fail test. The BMAT is not
an entrance examination and we have no set requirements for the scores
achieved. We look at each applicant's BMAT result in the context of their
whole application including their educational record, school reference,
and performance at interview. A strong performance in the BMAT certainly
won’t disadvantage an applicant, but it also does not guarantee a place.
We read the whole of each application and take all parts of it into
account before deciding which students to invite for interview. As we only
invite students for interview who could potentially be made an offer, it
would be unusual to invite a student predicted less than our typical offer
for Medicine that year. The typical offer has changed over the past four
years. For further information you might find the above noted website
useful: [3] Note
that there is an interactive graph generator at the bottom of the page to
generate more granular statistics.
We have no set quota for the number of applicants we invite for interview
– we invite all candidates who we could potentially make an offer to after
reading the paper application. In an average year, this is 70-80% of
If you have further questions please ask me in the first instance. I
attach a leaflet outlining the College's FOI Act policies and procedures.
If, after following those procedures you are still not satisfied with the
way in which your request has been dealt with you may apply directly to
the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner
will not entertain your complaint unless you have exhausted any relevant
internal review procedures.
 Yours sincerely
Peter Jones
FOI officer, King's College, Cambridge
[King's College, Cambridge request email]

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