What is the GAMSAT?

Admissions

16/8/23

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.


In this article, you'll find information about:

Which universities/courses require the GAMSAT?

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

Keele

Medicine

Liverpool

Medicine

Plymouth

Medicine, Dentistry

Nottingham

Medicine

ScotGEM (Dundee and St Andrews)

Medicine

St George's

Medicine

Swansea

Medicine

Ulster

Medicine

Worcester

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 test?

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

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 2023, the test periods are 18-22 March and 8-12 September. The GAMSAT must be sat in one of the allocated test centres in person. The March sitting has more test centres in Australia but fewer test centres in the UK compared to the September sitting.

March 2023

September 2023

Registration opens

November 2022

May 2023

Registration closes

30 January 2023 9pm AEDT/10am GMT

11 July 2023 10pm AEST/1pm BST

Late registration deadline

10 February 2023 9pm AEDT/10am GMT

21 July 2023 10pm AEST/1pm BST

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 can choose the preferred location and will be randomly allocated a test centre.

‘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.

Three 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 2023 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 reasonable adjustments made to your exam if you have any specific needs that could hinder your ability to take the exam in the normal way.

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 GAMSAT exam is delivered digitally and consists of 3 sections. 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 1 hour break between Section 2 and 3.

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 36 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 questions will be at Year 13 level.

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

You’ll have 2 minutes per question on average.

How long is the GAMSAT exam?

The whole exam runs for 5.25 hours, including 21 minutes of reading time. There is also a recess time of 1 hour between Section 2 and 3.

What skills are being tested?

Each section of the GAMSAT is assessing different skills.

Skills being tested in GAMSAT Section 1 - 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. 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. 

See how to practise mindfulness to help you effectively manage stress leading up to the exam. 

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 overall GAMSAT score is calculated

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. 

Finally, use supplementary materials to boost your GAMSAT score, such as sample questions (Section I, Section II, Section III) and free cheat sheets, or Medify’s GAMSAT Online Course. Our course is designed to simulate the new digital GAMSAT and offers 5 unique mock exams, 59 tutorials, mock exam essay prompts and a question bank with over 700 GAMSAT-style questions. Prices start at just $35.

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?

You can purchase some practice papers and questions from ACER to help you prepare for the exam. You could also use Medify’s GAMSAT Online Course, YouTube, or GAMSAT blogs to supplement your GAMSAT preparation.

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 can I prepare for the GAMSAT with a non-science background or if I speak English as a second language (ESL)?

Not everyone who sits the GAMSAT is enrolled or has completed a science degree. 

Almost 30% of GAMSAT test-takers are from a non-English speaking background. 

If you don’t have a science background or speak English as a second language, you need to be more strategic in how you plan your revision. 

How long are the results valid?

GAMSAT results are valid for four years. This means that if you took your GAMSAT in September 2022, your results could be used for applying to medical school in 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026.

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

Your result is valid for up to two consecutive years in the UK and Ireland, and up to four consecutive years in Australia. This means you can use the same results to apply to universities in the UK and Ireland for up to two years after your test date, and apply to universities in Australia up to four years after your test date.

For instance, to apply in Australia in 2023 for entry in 2024, the following results can be used: September 2019, May 2020, September 2020, March 2021, September 2021, March 2022, September 2022 and March 2023.

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 2021, March 2022 and in September 2022 you can use any of those results for admissions in 2023. 

What is Medfy’s advice for the GAMSAT?

GAMSAT is not an exam you can revise continuously for until you rote-learn the content. Rather, you should take the time (at least 3-6 months) to keep refining the skills being tested to build your GAMSAT muscle. 

It’s critical that you take a mock exam to understand which areas you need to improve in, so that you can work on addressing these weaknesses. After learning to address the gaps in your knowledge and skills, you can enforce them with practice questions, and then take a mock exam again to track your progress and benchmark your performance against others. 

Repeating this study cycle will get you closer and closer to GAMSAT success.

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.

How is GAMSAT different from the UCAT?

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?

You can a retake your UCAT while studying another course or during a gap year.

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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