Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT)

The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is a selection test developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for medical schools offering graduate-entry programmes open to graduates of any discipline. It is used to select candidates applying to study medicine, dentistry and veterinary science at Australian, British, and Irish universities with graduate entry programmes where candidates must have already completed a recognised Bachelor degree.

You will need to sit GAMSAT UK if you intend to apply for 2009 entry to one of the following 4-year graduate-entry medical/dental schools:

  • University of London (St George’s)

  • University of Nottingham

  • University of Wales Swansea

  • Peninsula Dental School

  • Keele University

The GAMSAT is usually taken by students in their final year of university studies in order to apply for a place on a medical degree course commencing the following year.

The test was originally produced in 1995 by four Australian medical schools and was brought into use by British universities in 1999. The GAMSAT includes the following sections:

Section I - Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences
This comprises 75 Questions that must be answered in 1 hour 40 minutes. Questions in this section demand verbal critical reasoning. conceptual thinking skills.

Section 2 - Written Communication
This comprises two essays based on series of quotes and must be completed in 1 hour. Written Communication is assessed on two criteria. These criteria address the quality of the thinking about a topic and the control of language demonstrated in its development. This is more a test of verbal reasoning than test of English as assessment focuses on the way in which ideas are integrated into a thoughtful response to the task.

Section 3 – Science
This comprises 110 Questions that must be answered in 2 hours 50 minutes.
Areas covered include biology, physics and organic chemistry.

The official GAMSAT UK website describes the test in the following terms: ‘The purpose of GAMSAT is to assess your ability to understand and analyse written and graphically presented material. GAMSAT measures skills and knowledge acquired over a long period of time, as well as the ability to reason, make logical deductions and form judgments. For non-science graduates some specific preparation in the form of a course of reading on relevant basic sciences to first year university level is highly recommended. Some candidates may wish to enrol in a short science course to ensure adequate preparation.’

It also offers the following advice ‘Work steadily through the test. It is not advisable to spend too much time on any one question. If you think you know the answer to a question, mark it, even if you are not certain. Go on to the next question and come back later if you have time. No credit is given if more than one answer is marked. No marks are deducted for wrong answer. All questions have the same value, therefore by attempting as many questions as possible you stand the best chance of maximising your score. Questions are in multiple choice format; it will be advantageous for you to develop your own strategies for answering this type of question.’

The GAMSAT is held once a year in March or April in Australia and around the middle of September in the UK. A score is calculated based on performance in all 3 sections with double weighting towards section 3. 

You may also be interested in reading background information on psychometric tests and aptitude tests.