GAMSAT 2024 Frequently Asked Questions

GAMSAT

5/2/24

Are you preparing to sit the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) in 2024? In this GAMSAT 2024 FAQ article, we cover the most commonly asked questions so that you know exactly what you’re up against. Read on to find out about the test changes for GAMSAT 2024, how to prepare for multiple test sessions, and what your test day will be like if you sit Sections 1 and 3 at a test centre.

If you’re just starting your preparation journey, we recommend gaining as much knowledge about the GAMSAT exam as possible. A great starting place is reading through our GAMSAT blogs, where we break down GAMSAT Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3, GAMSAT timing, and common GAMSAT preparation mistakes.

Table of contents

What are the GAMSAT 2024 test changes?
How can I prepare for multiple GAMSAT test sessions?
What is remote proctoring and how do I prepare for it?
How do I use the new online tests to boost my preparation?
What will my day look like if I sit Sections 1 and 3 at a test centre?
Will GAMSAT scores still be comparable to previous GAMSAT sittings?
Can I just sit one of the GAMSAT test components?

What are the GAMSAT 2024 test changes?

In December 2023, ACER released the GAMSAT 2024 Information Booklet, which contained a number of significant changes to the test. We explore each of these changes below.

1) Section names have been updated:

  • ‘Section I: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences’ has been renamed to ‘Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences Section’
  • ‘Section II: Written Communication’ has been renamed to ‘Written Communication Section’
  • ‘Section III: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences’ has been renamed to ‘Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences Section’

It’s worth noting that, even though the official naming has changed, many students (particularly reapplicants) are used to the old terminology and may still refer to the sections as ‘Section 1’, ‘Section 2’, and ‘Section 3’. To limit confusion, we will continue to refer to these sections using their previous names in our communications.

2) Previously, you would sit all three sections in a test centre. The exam ran for 5.25 hours, with an hour break between Section 2 and 3. If you’re sitting the GAMSAT in 2024, you will only complete Sections 1 and 3 (Humanities and Biological Sciences) in a test centre. Testing runs for 4 hours and 10 minutes, with a 20-minute lunch break between Section 1 and 3.

3) Section 2 is now remote. You will sit this part of the exam on a separate test date, around two weeks before you complete the in-person sitting (Sections 1 and 3). Plus, Sections 1 and 3 can also be taken online by students living at least a three hour drive away from the closest test venue.

4) For the test centre sitting, there are now AM and PM sessions. You will need to decide whether you’re best suited for an AM or PM test session, and sit mock exams according to the time of day that your test is booked for. Read ‘What will my day look like if I sit Sections 1 and 3 at the test centre?’ for a more comprehensive overview of this test change.

5) New official online practice tests are now available for purchase. We go through how to use these to boost your preparation later in the article.

6) Something else to be aware of is that the GAMSAT registration fee has increased from $518 to $549, and the late registration fee has increased from $105 to $110. 

How can I prepare for multiple GAMSAT test sessions?

In the past, you would sit all three sections in a test centre, so the GAMSAT was also a test of endurance. Although you will still need to build your mental stamina for GAMSAT 2024, you should be strategic with your revision to improve your chances of performing well across all test sessions.

We advise creating a GAMSAT study timetable, so that you can split your revision into manageable chunks for all three sections and not become overwhelmed. When you do this, keep the following in mind:

  • Focus on identifying your weaknesses in every section and dedicating enough time per section to addressing these weaknesses. You will need to work out how much revision you can realistically get through each week to see enough improvement while ensuring you don’t burn out. If you have the capacity to fit in an hour or two of daily practice over several months, this would be more ideal than cramming in 3–4+ hours of practice every other day over a shorter duration. However, you should tailor your practice around other commitments, which means everyone’s preparation journey will be different. One of the most important aspects of preparation is using the time you have available as efficiently as possible. You must identify what topics you’re struggling with most, learn how to correct these issues, and then apply your knowledge in practice sessions to ensure you’re continually improving.
  • To maximise your chances of achieving a high score in both GAMSAT test sessions, you should ensure that you’re simulating the test conditions. For instance, if you’ve chosen an AM session for Sections 1 and 3 at the test centre, you should practise with mocks at this time of day. You should also complete Sections 1 and 3 back-to-back, while factoring in the 20-minute break between the two sections. For GAMSAT Section 2, make sure you familiarise yourself with the remote proctoring process and ensure your study space is well optimised (we discuss this in more detail in the next section). 
  • Don’t neglect any of the three sections, and ensure you sit mocks regularly to track your progress and optimise your preparation. The more you can practise, the more likely it is that you will reduce test anxiety, feel prepared for the exam, and ultimately perform at an optimal level. As you become more comfortable and confident with each test session format and the test-taking process over time, in the actual exam you can simply focus on answering the questions to the best of your ability.
  • Try to ramp up your preparation for each section as you get closer to the exam date. If there are any areas that require improvement, make sure you give yourself enough time to work through these. In the week leading up to each test session, the majority of your work should be done, so you may benefit more from brushing up on strengths. At this stage, you should be prioritising your wellbeing, such as introducing or increasing self-care activities. Don’t be tempted to sit a full mock exam too close to either test session, as the negative consequences are far likely to outweigh any gains. Before you start each test session, take comfort in knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare for what’s to come, to get yourself into a positive mindset.

What is remote proctoring and how do I prepare for it?

Remote proctoring involves completing an exam under the supervision of a proctor through screen sharing and webcam monitoring. As part of the test changes for GAMSAT 2024, you will now be required to sit Section 2 of the exam remotely. Also, if you live more than a three hour drive from the closest test venue, you have the option of completing the test centre sitting (Sections 1 and 3) remotely too. 

So what does this mean in terms of exam preparation? To ensure you’re not negatively affected by this change, we recommend the following:

  • Become familiar with the remote proctored test-taking process. View ACER’s introduction to remote proctoring video so you know what to expect in your remote proctored exam. If you’re feeling anxious or unsure about this part of the exam, the best place to start is to simply learn about what’s to come.
  • Ensure you can meet the minimum technical requirements before you book your remote proctored test session. For instance, you will need a stable internet connection and a functioning microphone and webcam.
  • Optimise your room for testing, ensure you have the equipment you need, and practise questions and full mocks in this environment. To further emulate the test day experience, get a friend or family member to act as an online proctor by asking them to watch over you via webcam while you sit a mock exam. The more you do this, the less strange it will become!

  • Get yourself into the right mindset leading up to, and during, the remote proctored exam. For instance, let your household know that you have an important test coming up and cannot be disturbed, get a good sleep before your exam, be ready early on test day, and try to remain calm throughout the remote proctored exam. Although you’ll be sitting the exam at home, you should still treat it as seriously as if you were at a test centre.
Check out our GAMSAT remote proctoring blog for more tips on how to succeed in your remote proctored test session, plus find out how to book your remote exam and view the full list of technical requirements.  

How do I use the new online tests to boost my preparation?

To succeed in the GAMSAT, you should utilise all official ACER preparation materials. Previously only E-books were available which consisted of five booklets of sample and practice questions, and practice tests in PDF format. Now, in addition to the E-books, you can purchase interactive materials for all three sections to boost your preparation.

ACER advises that you use the E-books to familiarise yourself with the style, difficulty, and types of questions that you’ll encounter in the exam. Once you’ve gained this knowledge, you can apply what you’ve learnt in the online practice tests. As Section 1 and Section 3 practice tests contain real items from previous GAMSAT exams, and are delivered via a test replica, you can feel assured that you’re simulating the exam as closely as possible. After completing the practice tests, you’ll be able to review your answers, which is critical for increasing your score. By reflecting on what type of questions you got right or wrong, you can make sure to target your practice accordingly, so that you don’t get stuck in a loop of being unable to improve.

For GAMSAT Section 2, you can purchase ACER’s Online Test Generator (there is no limit to how many times you can purchase and undertake tasks using the generator). It allows you to submit two essays in response to two tasks that you’ve chosen. When you submit your responses, they’ll be automatically scored and you’ll receive a percentile band and score range. You can choose from an untimed and timed version – the untimed version is beneficial for focusing on your writing skills when you begin preparation. When you’re confident with your writing ability, you should practise with the timed version as it simulates the testing conditions (i.e. remote proctoring). 

Something else to keep in mind is, although the official materials will be necessary for your revision, these materials are limited. If you run out of material, you may lose momentum, which could halt your progress. Therefore, many students will benefit from using trusted GAMSAT preparation materials to supplement revision (such as our GAMSAT Online Course). 

What will my day look like if I sit Sections 1 and 3 at a test centre?

If you’re sitting Sections 1 and 3 in person, you can expect to spend around 5 hours and 30 minutes at the test centre (4 hours and 10 minutes of this is test time). As mentioned previously, you can choose between an AM or PM test session. 

Below is an example of a typical GAMSAT test centre schedule:

Morning session (AM)

Afternoon session (PM)

Registration begins

8.00am

2.30pm

Test-takers seated and announcements begin for Section 1

9.00am

3.30pm

Section 1 testing commences

9.05am

3.35pm

Section 1 testing ends

10.45am

5.15pm

20-minute break starts

10.50am

5.20pm

Test-takers seated and announcements begin for Section 3

11.10am

5.40pm

Section 3 testing commences

11.15am

5.45pm

Section 3 testing ends

1.45pm

8.15pm

Test-takers dismissed

1.50pm

8.20pm

As you can see, the PM session ends around 8.20pm, so if you usually struggle with practising in the evenings, it may be better to opt for the morning session. Also note that you only have a 20-minute break between Section 1 and Section 3, where you can leave the test room to eat or use the bathroom. It’s up to you to decide how to use this time, but it’s advisable to eat during the break so that you’re not hungry during the exam. Keep in mind that you’re not allowed to leave the test venue during this short break, and there are no food shops at the venue, so it’s best to bring something convenient to eat.

Will GAMSAT scores still be comparable to previous GAMSAT sittings?

Yes, ACER uses scaled scoring to ensure that scores are comparable from test to test. A raw score (the numbers of questions answered correctly) is placed on a measurement scale to generate a scaled score. This measure allows a fair comparison between test-takers who take different versions of a test. In addition, this method accounts for differences in test difficulty to ensure all scores are directly comparable. So the higher the GAMSAT score, the better the performance, regardless of the sitting. 

Can I just sit one of the GAMSAT test components?

No, you must sit all GAMSAT test components within the test window (Section 1 and 3 at the test centre, and Section 2 via remote proctoring) to receive your GAMSAT results and be considered for graduate entry medicine or dentistry. You will receive a score for each of the three GAMSAT sections plus an overall GAMSAT score. You will also receive a percentile ranking to help you understand how you’ve performed compared to other test-takers. Dental and medical schools will use your section and overall scores in the selection process but how they use it will differ (e.g. some may have strict cut-off scores).

Succeed in the GAMSAT with Medify

We understand that graduate entry into medicine or dentistry can be challenging. If you’re struggling to prepare for GAMSAT, our GAMSAT Online Course can help. It provides:

  • A robust Question Bank with 2,000+ original GAMSAT-style questions
  • 7 realistic and unique GAMSAT mock exams designed to simulate the real test
  • 50+ in-depth tutorials with guidance from GAMSAT experts
  • Medify’s science syllabus with key topics for biology, chemistry and physics

If you’re not ready to commit to our GAMSAT preparation course, check out our sample questions (Section I, Section II, Section III) and free cheat sheets to start your preparation journey now.

What should I do one month before my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar showing one month left

Keep practising! A month sounds like a long time, but time will quickly vanish. Set SMART  (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals such as reaching a certain score by a certain date or time. 

Niche down even further on your weaknesses – by this stage you should just be focusing on what you find hardest. Make sure you factor in breaks and days off into your schedule, as well as any important events which you need to attend.

Read the 'Good medical practice' by the Medical Board of Australia if you haven’t already. It will inform you about the different duties of healthcare professionals and how they should respond to different scenarios, which is essential for the Situational Judgement Test section of the UCAT.

Try Medify's Skills Trainers, such as inference scanning for Verbal Reasoning, to maximise your score (these are included in our UCAT ANZ Online Course). Make sure you've also completed plenty of UCAT practice tests.

The UCAT exam is two hours with no breaks in between, so practise at least two hours each time to build your mental stamina. You should also simulate the exam environment as closely as possible – this means treating every mock test as if it were a real one. 

For instance, you should sit mock exams at the same time of the day as your actual UCAT exam and ensure there are no distractions. By mirroring the test conditions, not only will it prepare you for what to expect on test day, it should also help to decrease any anxiety leading up to the exam. Otherwise, your brain has to process the ‘new’ way of completing the test.

What should I do one week before my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar showing one week left

At this point, you'll know the format of the exam inside out and will have practised the questions enough times to get used to UCAT timings. Don’t give up – keep preparing in an environment where you cannot be interrupted.

Remember, a lot of your preparation will have been done in the weeks and months before this final week, so be careful not to overdo it and become too fatigued. Your motivation may drop or you might ‘peak’ before the test. Your body needs rest too. 

Now is a great time to introduce or increase self-care in your regime. Whether it’s watching Netflix, gaming, or just running a bath, it’s important to detach yourself from UCAT revision from time to time to avoid the risk of burnout.

In this week you should also prioritise your nutrition and sleep. Eat well, do not miss meals and keep hydrated. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep in the days before the test by avoiding late night cramming or staying awake into the early hours.

If it puts your mind at rest, you can check last year’s UCAT scores, but remember that this is all about your personal journey and performance, so don't get hung up on that information!

What should I do one day before my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar showing one day left

We do not advise doing a mock this close to the exam. Revision won't help you much at this stage and can actually leave you worse off. Instead, use this time to wind down and get yourself into a relaxed state. This will enable you to perform at your best on test day.

Try to get to bed early and avoid things that can affect sleep, such as looking at your phone before bed. If you think that you will struggle to sleep on time, you could try doing some exercise during the day to tire yourself out. 

Exercise can boost your brainpower by oxygenating your brain, helping you learn and aid sleep. Plus, activity makes your body release endorphins, which can reduce anxiety and stress levels.

Make sure you double check your UCAT test centre information, the travel route to the test centre, the time of your UCAT exam, and so on, so you’re well prepared for test day. If someone else is giving you a ride to the test centre, it’s worth reminding them.

What should I do on the day of my UCAT?

Graphic of calendar circling today's date

You should start the day off with a nutritious breakfast and give yourself enough time to arrive early to the test centre to avoid feeling flustered, rushed or stressed.

Remember that buses and trains can be late and that traffic may be heavier than you had hoped, so allow extra time whichever way you are travelling. Find out how to choose a UCAT test centre.

Make sure you know how to get to the test centre – for instance you could consider taking a map with you. If you’re using your phone for directions, make sure it’s sufficiently charged and that you have spare data (otherwise you can download the map ahead of time to use offline).

On test day you will be expected to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled test time to complete the check-in process.

You need to bring:

  • Your test confirmation email
  • Photographic ID from the approved list

When you arrive at the test centre, it’s likely that you’ll be experiencing a heightened sense of adrenaline. This is completely normal, but it could be helpful to learn some mindfulness tricks to reduce your stress levels. For instance, you could focus on your breathing to help you relax.

Don’t forget, during your test there are one minute introductions between each subtest. You can skip these, but we recommend using the time to mentally refresh yourself.

If you’ve stuck to your revision plan, and followed our advice above, the best thing you can do on test day is to try and keep as calm as possible. Take solace in the fact that you have prepared for weeks/months to get to this point, and channel any nervous energy into doing the best you can during your UCAT test. 

What should I eat and drink leading up to the UCAT?

You should think about your diet well ahead of UCAT test day. Focus on foods that release energy slowly (that is, which have a low glycaemic index, or GI) which will stop you from feeling hungry. These are ideal for UCAT preparation, as well as on test day itself.

Try eating protein and low-GI carbohydrates, such as meat or baked beans, brown (whole grain) rice or pasta, or wholegrain breakfast cereals or muesli. However, do not stray far from your usual diet on the day of the test in case you feel sick. You may want to try these foods out at the same time of day a few weeks in advance.

Be wary of energy drinks and coffee. If you’re not used to them then don’t drink them, especially in large quantities. Caffeine can acutely increase anxiety, and the sugar rush of an energy drink is soon followed by insulin slamming on the brakes, leaving you feeling worse than before. These products are no substitute for a good night’s sleep, eating properly and exercising.

No food or drink is allowed in the test room so eat a healthy meal before your UCAT test and ensure you’re hydrated. While you should make sure you’re drinking enough water, do not overdo it, otherwise you might need the toilet while the timer is ticking.

Please note, access arrangements are available if you have a disability, learning difficulty or long-term medical condition. You may be entitled to extra time and/or rest breaks, and allowed certain items, such as water, at your test centre workstation. 

What happens at the UCAT test centre?

  1. At the registration desk, you will be asked to show a valid photographic ID and a printed/electronic copy of your confirmation email from Pearson VUE. 
  2. You will be asked to sign a signature pad and take a photograph.
  3. You will be given spiral bound laminated sheets and a black marker pen. You may also request earplugs.
  4. Do not take anything other than your ID into the examination room. A locker or a coat hanger will be available.
  5. Go to the bathroom if you need to.
  6. Once the staff have prepared your exam, you may enter the exam room. You may be asked to undergo a body check (e.g. turning up your pockets and rolling your sleeves).
  7. The staff will guide you to the seat, or you may be able to choose your desk. Take some time to prepare yourself and relax. Your two hours have not yet started.

What is the UCAT test environment like?

This image shows a typical UCAT test environment:

Taking the UCAT at a test centre

There is no audio element to the test, but you can request earplugs to block out any noise that might disrupt your concentration. 

You will have access to a basic onscreen calculator which may be useful for the Quantitative Reasoning and Decision Making sections.

You will be given a laminated notebook and marker pen. Consider using these for:

If you require an additional notebook and pen, you can raise your hand and ask the invigilator. Although the invigilator will check that your pen is working before the test, we advise double-checking this to avoid seeking assistance during the test.

What happens during my UCAT test?

  1. Once you are ready, follow the on-screen instructions.
  2. Your exam will be in the following order:
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Decision Making
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Situational Judgement
  1. You will have one minute before each section to read the instructions. You can skip it, but this will not give you an extra minute to answer the questions. Use this time to give your mind a quick break.
  2. If you have any issues, such as requiring a toilet break, you can quietly raise your hand. However, your time will continue running.
  3. After your exam, there may be an opportunity to answer a short optional survey on UCAT ANZ preparation and the quality of the venue.
  4. Raise your hand when you've finished and the examiner will guide you out of the exam room. You need to return your laminated board and marker pen.
  5. Collect your belongings and leave the test centre.
  6. Your UCAT ANZ results will be emailed to you shortly (usually between 30 minutes and one hour). All results will be delivered to UCAT ANZ Consortium universities automatically.
  7. If you’ve achieved the scores that you desire, well done.
  8. Even if you haven’t achieved the scores you wanted, congratulate yourself for getting through a really tough process. You've done exceptionally well just to get to this point. Plus, you can always take the UCAT again next year or consider graduate entry to medicine – do not give up on your dream!

Do you need help preparing for the UCAT ANZ? Head over to our UCAT ANZ Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through the whole process.

We provide a huge bank of 20,000+ questions, 24 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams, 50+ hours of video tutorials, and performance feedback. We've also upgraded our UCAT mock exams 13-24 and revised our practice question bank to enrich your preparation journey.

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