What Is The GAMSAT?

What Is The GAMSAT?

Becoming a doctor might have been your childhood dream or inspired by a life-changing visit to the emergency room. For some, the title Dr confers a sense of honour, and for others, a stable job with security. No matter your motivation, admission into postgraduate Medicine in Australia, Ireland, and the UK requires you to sit the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT). Such is the popularity of the GAMSAT, it is now required for entry into certain medical programs in Israel, Poland, Singapore, and the USA. 

 
Offered twice a year in March and September, the GAMSAT is a cognitive test developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Those familiar with the GAMSAT know it’s a monster of an exam divided into three sections:


Section I: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences

Section II: Written Communication

Section III: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences


Traditionally, the GAMSAT was facilitated in a paper format; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the test had been moved online. The structure and content of the GAMSAT exam had changed considerably during the pandemic but such was the age of uncertainty, it could be forgiven. Testing centres are now more numerous and due to the digital nature of the exam, is accessible right across the world. Fast forward to 2022 and ACER has settled on an all-day 5.25-hour exam consisting of 62 questions for Section I, 2-typed exams for Section II, and 75 questions for Section III. You can sample our free trial GAMSAT exam here.

The structure and content of the 2022 GAMSAT exam.

Number of Questions

Reading Time

Writing Time

Total Test Time

Section I

Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences

62

8 minutes

92 minutes

100 minutes

Section II

Written Communication

2

5 minutes

60 minutes

65 minutes

Section III

Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences

75

8 minutes

142 minutes

150 minutes

 

You might think sitting the GAMSAT is form of capital punishment, but ACER argues its purpose is to assess your ability to understand and analyse material, and to think critically about issues. Since candidates with non-science backgrounds are eligible to sit the exam, the GAMSAT purposefully tests a wide content base to minimize bias. A recent study commissioned by ACER suggests that students with non-science backgrounds perform better in Section’s I and II than students with science backgrounds. However, candidates with a physical science background tend to perform better overall on the exam.

 

Entry into Medicine can be divided into two parts: the application process and the interview process. The process of applying for admission to postgraduate Medicine is separate from the process of registering to sit GAMSAT. There are a total of nineteen postgraduate medical school streams in Australia, twelve of which requiring a GAMSAT score for entry. Ten of these medical schools utilise the Graduate Entry Medical School Admissions System (GEMSAS) to process applications.

 

When you receive your GAMSAT results, they will show an Overall GAMSAT Score and a score for each of the three test sections. Generally, most medical schools rank applicants with this overall score (you must score a minimum of 50 overall, with no individual section below 50), whereas other universities take an average of the three GAMSAT sections. All medical schools consider your weighted or unweighted Grade Point Average (w-GPA and uw-GPA, respectively) in some form, so it helps to have at least a credit-average to be competitive. And to add another layer of complexity, some schools require a portfolio and personal statement for consideration of an interview offer. Additionally, if you have lived in an Australian rural area, you may be eligible for consideration in rural schemes. The Australian Government currently defines “rural origin” as residency for at least 10 years cumulatively or any 5 years consecutively in regional/rural or very remote communities (Modified Monash Model area, MM2–7).

 

Not to worry, we have done the hard part for you and summarized the important information for select medical school entries below. More information can also be found on the official ACER and GEMSAS webpages.

 

Your GAMSAT results are valid for two years, i.e., if you sat the March test in 2022 you can use the results obtained to apply for a graduate entry course commencing in 2023 and/or 2024. If you sit the September test in 2022 you may use the results obtained to apply for a graduate entry course commencing in 2024 and/or 2025.



Overwhelmed yet? The friendly team at the Institute of Medical Education is here to help! In addition to providing comprehensive GAMSAT preparation packages, we also oversee your medical school applications and guide your choices. If you are lucky enough to receive an offer for interview, our Interview Mentorship Program will give you the best chance at entry. We want to make sure you focus all your attention on GAMSAT and interview preparation, so get in contact with us today and we can lead this journey together.

 

GEMSAS and non-GEMSAS Australian medical school places available for postgraduate Medicine entry in 2022, including Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP), Bonded Medical Program (BMP), and Domestic & International Full-Fee.

Medical School

CSP

BMP

Domestic Full-Fee

International Full-Fee

Comments

GEMSAS

University of Queensland

100

40

180

Approximately 275 places are available for domestic students each year. Provisional cohort of 135 (including rural and BMP quotas), no set quota on ATSI, and International includes 90 UQ-OCHSNER

Griffith University

142

56

35

80 of the available CSP and BMP places include BMedSci Pathway (Griffith University and University of Sunshine Coast)

University of Notre Dame (Sydney)

43

17

60

University of Notre Dame (Fremantle)

71

29

University of Melbourne

177

70

105

Places are also available to eligible Chancellor’s Scholars applicants and Guaranteed Entry Full-Fee applicants. BMP: 30 places available via MD Rural Pathway

Deakin University

86

35

15

5% of domestic places held for Indigenous applicants who apply through the Indigenous Entry Stream. Rural applicants: 25% of places reserved for rural applicants and 30 domestic places are reserved for the Rural Training Stream

University of Wollongong

50

17

17

Students will be placed at either Wollongong or Shoalhaven campuses for the first 18 months of the program

University of Western Australia

63

15

30% of places are available for rural applicants, 10% of places are available for Indigenous students, and 28.5% of all domestic medical places are BMPs

Macquarie University

40

20

Australian National University

64

26

20

40 of the available places are reserved for students through an ANU pathway program

Non-GEMSAS

University of Sydney

225

70

The intake is usually 300 students each year. The 24 student places in the Dubbo Stream are only available to students eligible for a CSP

Flinders University

75

6

A maximum 75% of the total places available are for Flinders University graduates. At least 28% of CSP are available for applicants who come from an Australian rural background. Up to five places are reserved for eligible ATSI applicants and four places are available to Humanitarian Visa holders 


 

GEMSAS and non-GEMSAS Australian medical schools that require a GAMSAT score for postgraduate entry in 2022.

Medical School

Program Offered

GPA Requirements

Portfolio/Personal Statement

Interview Selection

Comments

GEMSAS

University of Queensland

Medicine

uw-5.0/7.0

GAMSAT and GPA

There will be no variation to the GPA assessment methodology for periods of study that were affected by COVID-19. PhD and Master’s by Research given maximum GPA of 7.0. Must complete two prerequisite biological science courses

Griffith University

Medicine

uw-5.0/7.0

GAMSAT and GPA

2020 Calendar year scores can be omitted from GPA calculation at the request of the applicant. PhDs and Master’s by Research receive automatic GPA of 7.0

University of Notre Dame (Sydney)

Medicine

w-5.2/7.0

âś“

GAMSAT, GPA, and Portfolio

There will be no variation to the GPA assessment methodology for periods of study that were affected by COVID-19. Calculate GPA on most recently completed three years FTE of study (not including Master’s by Research or PhD). Portfolio assesses personal statement, leadership experience, service to community/church involvement, and other academic or life achievements

University of Notre Dame (Fremantle)

Medicine

University of Melbourne

Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry

w-5.0/7.0

GAMSAT and GPA; interview for Medicine, only

2022 COVID-19 pandemic results not considered in GPA calculation; however, Honours will be considered. Prerequisite courses must be considered for Dentistry and Optometry. Minimum 65 WAM for Optometry

Deakin University

Medicine

w-5.0/7.0

GAMSAT and GPA

2020 Calendar year results will not be used in the GPA calculation. Calculate GPA on most recently completed three years FTE of study (not including Master’s by Research or PhD). Applicants may be eligible for interview offer bonuses: rural residency (4–8%), prior clinical experience (4%), work experience (2%), financial disadvantage (2%), and Deakin graduate (4%). 

University of Wollongong

Medicine

w-5.5/7.0 hurdle

âś“

+ Altus Suite (CASPer & Snapshot)

GAMSAT and Portfolio

There will be no variation to the GPA assessment methodology for periods of study that were affected by COVID-19. GAMSAT/GPA not used for offer. Portfolio assesses leadership, capacity to work with others, service ethic, high-level of performance, and rural residency

University of Western Australia

Medicine, Dentistry

uw-5.5/7.0

GAMSAT and GPA; no interview for Podiatry

Domestic applicants who were successful in obtaining an interview for 2022 entry averaged a GPA of 6.75 and GAMSAT score of 72.2. PhDs receive automatic GPA of 7.0. There is no 10-year rule for entry to UWA which means that we will consider applicants with degrees older than 10 years. 

Macquarie University

Medicine

w-5.0/7.0 or 65 WAM

âś“

GAMSAT, GPA, and Personal Statement

There will be no variation to the GPA assessment methodology for periods of study that were affected by COVID-19. PhD and Master’s by Research given maximum GPA value in w-GPA calculation. A 3% bonus will be applied to the w-GPA of ATSI, rural, and Macquarie University Bachelor of Clinical Science applicants

Australian National University

Medicine

w-5.6/7.0

GAMSAT and GPA

Applicants may be eligible for interview offer bonuses: Honours (2%) and Master’s/PhD (2–4%)

Non-GEMSAS

University of Sydney

Medicine, Dentistry 

w-5.0/7.0 hurdle

âś“ Dubbo Medicine stream

No Interview

Offers consider GAMSAT and GPA, only. Medicine will be offered concurrently in Sydney and Dubbo streams. Dentistry requires biology prerequisites

Flinders University

Medicine

w-5.5/7.0 hurdle

GAMSAT

Offers include GAMSAT, GPA, and interview score. A maximum 75% of the total places available are for Flinders University graduates


 

GEMSAS and non-GEMSAS Australian medical school evaluation of domestic offers for postgraduate Medicine entry in 2022.

Medical School

GPA %

GAMSAT %

Portfolio/Personal Statement %

Interview %

GEMSAS

University of Queensland

25

25

50

Griffith University

25

25

50

University of Notre Dame (Sydney)

50*

50

University of Notre Dame (Fremantle)

University of Melbourne

25

25

50

Deakin University

25

25

50

University of Wollongong

50

50§

University of Western Australia

30 (22.5)‡

20 (15)‡

50 (37.5)‡

Macquarie University

50

50

Australian National University

25

25

50

Non-GEMSAS

University of Sydney

100†

Flinders University

33

33

33


* Applicants are ranked for interview by combining the scores calculated from the GPA, uw-GAMSAT, and Portfolio

‡ Rural entry requirements, including 25% rural rating

§ CASPer score included

† Should it arise that applicants are ranked equally, further selection tools such as interview, Situational Judgement Test, or GPA may be used