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

Last updated: 09/01/2024

GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test)

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

GAMSAT costs AU$549 and is usually held twice a year (March and September). The test consists of three sections:

  • Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences (previously known as Section I)

62 multiple choice questions in 100 minutes.

  • Written Communication (previously known as Section II)

Two essays in 65 minutes.

  • Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences (previously known as Section III)

75 multiple choice questions (40% biology, 40% chemistry, 20% physics) in 150 minutes.

The Written Communications section is delivered via remote proctoring from 2024. The other two sections are to be sat at a test centre on another date, unless you live more than 3 hours’ drive from the nearest test centre. If this applies to you, you’ll be able to sit all three sections via remote proctoring.

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.

The test results are valid for up to four consecutive years in Australia. This means if you apply in 2024 for entry in 2025, the following results can be used: September 2020, March 2021, September 2021, March 2022, September 2022, March 2023, September 2023, and March 2024. There is also no limit on the number of times you can sit the GAMSAT, but you can only sit it once per test window (i.e. once in March and once in September).

Check out the official ACER website for further details

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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 either GAMSAT or MCAT is required). 

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 will be held fifteen times in Australia in 2024 (check these dates and dates for other countries here). Registration opens in October and February each year for tests administered from January-May and June-September, respectively, and scores are released 30-35 days after each test date. 

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$335, plus an additional $120 if you are taking the test outside of the USA or Canada. 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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