Admission Tests For Graduate Entry To Medical Schools: GAMSAT Or MCAT

Last updated: 13/11/2020

GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test)

The GAMSAT is a standardised examination administered by Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and is required by most graduate entry medical programmes and some other healthcare professional programmes in Australia for domestic applicants. In most cases, international applicants can choose between submitting a GAMSAT or MCAT score.

GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) logo

The GAMSAT consists of three sections:

  • Section I: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences

47 multiple choice questions in 70 minutes including 6 minutes of reading time.

  • Section II: Written Communication

Two essays in 65 minutes including 5 minutes of reading time.

  • Section III: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences

75 multiple choice questions (40% biology, 40% chemistry, 20% physics) in 150 minutes including 8 minutes of reading time.

Each section is scored from 0 to 100 (adjusted based on the cohort to ensure comparability of GAMSAT scores over time) and the overall score is derived from a weighted average of three section scores, with Section III having twice the weighting. 

While the weighted overall score is used by most medical schools in Australia, it is known that University of Melbourne, University of Sydney and University of Queensland weigh each section equally.

GAMSAT costs $515 and are usually held twice a year (March and September). The test results are valid for two years, meaning that if you sat an exam in 2020, you can use this to apply for courses starting in 2021 or 2022. You may sit the GAMSAT unlimited number of times.

Check out the official ACER website for further details.

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

The MCAT is a standardised examination administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is required by many graduate entry medical programmes in Australia for international applicants (usually one of GAMSAT or MCAT is required). 

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) logo

The MCAT consists of 230 multiple-choice questions from the field of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, psychology and sociology, taken over 6 hours and 15 minutes (excluding break time).

The MCAT is held on thirty different dates in 2020 (scores are released 30-35 days after each test date), with registration opening in October and February each year for tests administered from January-May and June-September, respectively. AAMC allows you to take the exam up to three times in a testing year, four times during two consecutive testing years, and seven times in a lifetime. Registration costs US$320. Usually, scores are valid for three years, but do check individual university application guidelines for details.

Check out the official AAMC website for further details.

Are you interested in attending a medical school in the UK instead of Australia or New Zealand? Check out Medify’s UK Medical School Admissions Guide.

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