What is the GAMSAT?

Admissions

8/14/2021

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is an admission test for graduate entry medicine. 

The test was initially designed for candidates applying to Australian universities. However, the test is now also used by a number of universities in the UK and Ireland.

It is important to note that some universities still expect graduate applicants to take the UCAT test.

A map of universities and courses that require the GAMSAT

In this article, you'll find information about:

Which universities/courses require the GAMSAT?

Some courses may require the GAMSAT for graduate entry medicine whereas other courses may require the GAMSAT for candidates applying to standard entry medicine as a graduate.

Australian GAMSAT courses

University

Course

Australian National University

Medicine

Deakin University

Medicine

Flinders University

Medicine

Griffith University

Medicine

Macquarie University

Medicine

The University of Queensland

Medicine

The University of Melbourne

Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry

University of Notre Dame

Medicine

The University of Sydney

Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy

The University of Western Australia

Medicine, Dentistry, Podiatric Medicine

The University of Wollongong

Medicine

UK GAMSAT courses

University

Course

Cardiff University

Medicine

Keele University

Medicine

Plymouth University

Medicine, Dentistry

University of Exeter

Medicine

University of Liverpool

Medicine

St George's University of London

Medicine

University of Sunderland

Medicine

The University of East Anglia

Medicine

Swansea University

Medicine

The University of Nottingham

Medicine

ScotGEM

Medicine

Ulster University

Medicine

Ireland GAMSAT courses

University

Course

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Medicine

University College Cork

Medicine

University College Dublin

Medicine, Veterinary Medicine

University of Limerick

Medicine, Physiotherapy

Other GAMSAT courses worldwide

University

Course

Jagiellonian University Medical College

Medicine

Poznan University of Medical Sciences

Medicine

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Medicine (International Health)

American University of the Caribbean

Medicine

Duke-NUS Medical School

Medicine

Who can sit the GAMSAT?

To sit the GAMSAT you need to have an undergraduate degree, or be in the final or second to last year at the time of your test.

If you’re applying to Exeter or Plymouth, you can take the test if you feel you have the knowledge and intellectual capacity. You’re also eligible to take the test if it's been more than 2 academic years since you completed your A-Levels (UK).

How many times can I sit the GAMSAT?

There is no limit to the number of times you can sit the GAMSAT. If you sat the March sitting and you didn’t get the score you had hoped for, you can resit in September. You can also resit the following year. 

You could take one sitting as a practice round to see how you score as well. This won't be viable for everyone as you have to pay the registration fee each time you sit.

When is the GAMSAT?

The GAMSAT is offered twice a year, in March and September. It must be sat in one of the approved test centres in person. The March sitting tends to have more test centres in Australia but fewer test centres in the UK compared to the September sitting.

March

September

Registration opens

Early November

Mid May

Registration closes

Early February

Mid July

Late registration deadline

Mid February

End of July

GAMSAT booking and costs

How do I book my GAMSAT?

Booking for GAMSAT

To book your exam, you’ll need to register online. You can do this by creating an online account. You can only book once registration has opened. Once you’ve registered, you need to choose the GAMSAT from the selection of exams available and choose your test centre and date.

‘GAMSAT Practice Questions’ are included as part of your registration. You will be able to purchase additional GAMSAT practice tests and GAMSAT sample questions.

After you review your GAMSAT registration details and make a payment, you'll receive an email confirmation. If you have any problems, contact the GAMSAT Office.

Two weeks before your exam, you’ll receive an admissions ticket.

How much does GAMSAT cost?

The fee is the same for the March and the September sitting, However, if you book after the initial registration deadline you’ll have to pay a late fee.

GAMSAT fees in AUD, GBP and Euros

Is there any concession for the GAMSAT?

Although the GAMSAT is quite expensive, there isn’t any concession or discount available for the GAMSAT.

Can I change or cancel my GAMSAT date?

You can defer or cancel your GAMSAT exam if you feel you’re not ready or if you change your mind. There are certain deadlines and you may have to pay some administration charges. Read more on refund terms and deferral terms

Can I change my test centre?

Yes, but only up until the late registration deadline. This will be dependent on whether there is availability.

Are there any access arrangements in the GAMSAT?

You can apply to have some adjustments made to your exam if you have any specific needs that could hinder your ability to take the exam in the normal way. You need to apply by the late registration deadline, by completing the online form and submitting the relevant evidence via your online account. 

Ideally, you should apply for adjustments as soon as you’ve registered so that you can get a response as soon as possible. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and each application is reviewed individually.

What is the exam format?

The exam is normally paper-based, however as a result of the pandemic the 2021 exam is digital. The exam has 3 sections and is 4 hours and 45 minutes long. Section 1 and 3 are multiple-choice, whereas Section 2 is a writing task. You’ll have a different amount of time for each section. 

GAMSAT section time limits

Number of questions, reading time, writing time and total time for each GAMSAT section

You’ll have a 30-minute break between Section 2 and 3, which means your total test time will be 5 hours and 15 minutes.

What sections are in the GAMSAT?

There are 3 sections in GAMSAT and each section is slightly different. 

GAMSAT Section 1 

This is known as ‘Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences’. You’ll be given a passage of either written information or visual data. You’ll have to interpret this and answer questions accordingly. Each question will have four answer options. You’ll have 1 minute and 30 seconds per question on average.

GAMSAT Section 2 

Section 2 is known as ‘Written Communication’. You’ll be given two 30-minute writing tasks to complete. The first writing task will be about a socio-cultural topic, whereas the second one is to do with personal or social issues. For each task you’ll be given a range of quotes or ideas which you should discuss. Each writing task will be marked by 3 separate assessors.

GAMSAT Section 3 

Known as ‘Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences’. The questions are split between biology, chemistry and physics in a 40:40:20 split. 

The biology and chemistry question will require the level of knowledge of a first year in undergraduate study in biology and chemistry. The physics question will be at A-Level. 

Each question has four answer options and the primary focus of this section is problem-solving. 

You’ll have 1 minute and 20 seconds per question on average.

What skills are being tested?

Each section of the GAMSAT is assessing different skills.

Skills being tested in GAMSAT Section 1
Skills being tested in GAMSAT Section 2
Skills being tested in GAMSAT Section 3

What happens on test day?

On test day you’ll need to bring a printed version of your admission ticket and proof of ID. There will be an arrival time stated on your admission ticket. 

If you arrive later than that time, you won’t be able to take your exam. Remember to sign your admissions ticket before your test day. The details on your ID need to match the details on your admission ticket.

The test will begin once all the pre-testing procedures are completed. 

How hard is the GAMSAT?

The GAMSAT is challenging in terms of the difficulty and length of the exam. In particular, many students find Section 3 to be very time pressured and do not finish it.

How hard you find the content of the exam will depend on your knowledge base and the level of preparation you have undertaken. Although the GAMSAT is designed to be difficult it can be manageable if you’re well prepared. 

How is the GAMSAT scored?

You’ll receive a score for each section of the GAMSAT and you’ll also get an overall score. Your score for each section is a scaled score out of 100. It’s not the same as a percentage. For example, if you got a score of 65 in Section 1, it doesn't mean that you scored 65%. 

How GAMSAT is scored

This means that your Section 3 score has a 50% weighting.

ACER doesn't release how your score is scaled, but they do release a graph which shows what percentile your overall score is. 

To find out more about how the GAMSAT is scored, watch GAMSAT Results.

When do GAMSAT results come out?

The actual date can vary but GAMSAT results are usually released in May if you sat the exam in March. For the September sitting, they’re usually released in November.

What is a good GAMSAT score?

A good GAMSAT score is usually 63-65 or higher

How can I do well in the GAMSAT?

A person watching a TED video on a tablet device
  • For Section 2, listening to TED talks will also give you lots of ideas to discuss in your essays. Focus your reading on social and cultural topics as these are what tend to come up in the exam. 
  • For both Section 1 and 2, read as widely as possible.
  • To do well in Section 3 focus on learning all the content required and being confident with the science, as this accounts for 50% of your overall score. 

Concentrate on doing as many practice questions as possible. When you get a question wrong or don’t know how to work it out, look at the answer and work backwards so that you understand the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many people take the GAMSAT each year?

In 2014, over 9000 people took the GAMSAT. ACER rarely releases statistics on the GAMSAT, so it’s hard to know for sure how many people will sit the GAMSAT this year. Estimates range from 10,000 to 15,000. 

What can I use to prepare?

ACER has guides that you can use to prepare for your exam and practice papers that you can try. You do, however, have to pay to use these resources. You could also use YouTube, or GAMSAT-related blogs to help you prepare for the big day. 

How long should I spend preparing for the GAMSAT?

You should spend at least 3 months preparing for the GAMSAT. However, if you're from a non-science background you should spend around 5-6 months preparing.

Ideally, whether you’re from a science background or not, you should be spending around 4-5 months reading challenging books and novels in preparation for Sections 1 and 2. The first two sections account for 50% of your overall score, so you could compensate for a weaker science score.

How long are the results valid?

GAMSAT results are valid for 2 years. This means that if you took your GAMSAT in 2020, your results could be used for 2021 entry and 2022 entry.

Is my GAMSAT result valid in the UK and in Australia?

Your result is valid in all countries for up to 2 years. This means that you can use the same results to apply to universities in the UK and in Australia, provided that the results are valid. ACER has more information on the currency of results.

I have more than one valid GAMSAT score, which one can I use?

You can use any valid GAMSAT score from any sitting. This means that if you sat the GAMSAT in September 2020, March 2021 and in September 2021 you can use any of those results for admissions in 2022. 

How do universities receive my GAMSAT score?

The universities you’ve applied to will verify with ACER regarding what your score is. You may be sent an email asking you to choose which score you want to use. So keep an eye out for such emails and any deadlines for responding.

How do universities use my GAMSAT score?

This varies based on the university. It’s likely that you’ll be ranked based on your GAMSAT score and GPA, and candidates with the highest ranks will be invited for an interview. Some universities may have a minimum cut-off score that you need to achieve.

What are the alternatives to the GAMSAT?

Some universities will allow you to apply for a standard entry course as a graduate. In this case, you may have the option of doing the UCAT or the BMAT. 

Some graduate-entry courses may also require you to do the UCAT or BMAT. 

How is GAMSAT different from the UCAT or the BMAT?

The GAMSAT is very similar to the BMAT. 

The BMAT also has 3 sections, one of which is a writing task and the other is a scientific knowledge section like the GAMSAT. The difference lies in the fact that the BMAT assesses your scientific knowledge at GCSE level and also includes maths. Additionally, the first section of the BMAT assesses your critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. 

Learn more about the BMAT.

The UCAT is an online, multiple-choice test. It has 233 questions, which must be answered in 2 hours. The UCAT has 5 sections and assesses your cognitive skills rather than your scientific skills. The UCAT is known for how time pressured the sections are.

UCAT FAQs

What other ways into Medicine are there?

  1. Take a gap year
  2. Retake your BMAT or your UCAT and reapply for undergraduate medicine the following year
  3. Study medicine abroad
  4. Transfer to medicine after one year of undergraduate study on a related course. Read our guide on non-standard course entries for more information.

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