about GAMSAT

 

egamsat gamsat prep

The Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test is an entrance exam used by medical schools
in Australia, and United Kingdom, to select candidates for admitance to their medical and dental programs.
GAMSAT is administered by ACER, the Australian Council for Education Research.

 

 

Registering for GAMSAT

Candidates must sit GAMSAT before they apply to a medical school. GAMSAT Australia is held in March each year and GAMSAT UK is held in September of each year. This effectively provides candidates with two attempts at the GAMSAT each year as results from either exam are acceptable regardless of whether you intend to apply to a UK or Australian University.

To register for GAMSAT Australia go to the ACER website.

To register for GAMSAT UK, go to the GAMSAT UK website.


GAMSAT Preparation

GAMSAT is a difficult exam, designed to test qualitative and quantitave reasoning skills under pressure. Section I, Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, will test candidates abilities to critical interpret, analyze and make judgements upon a range of written media including poetry, essays, tables and graphs, prose and logic puzzles. This section requires no specialized knowledge but candidates will greatly benefit from familiarity with complex texts and an extensive vocabulary.

Section II, Written Communication, will test candidates' writing abilities. In this section candidates will be given two sets of quotes and must write an essay on each.

Section III of the exam, Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences, will cover a range of topics from biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. The test requires a year 12 level of knowldege for physics, and a level equivalent to first year university for the other sciences.

GAMSAT is all about Reasoning and generally does not require the recall of facts and formulas. To be successful in Section III you must have a strong understanding of the key concepts of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. To excel, you must be comfortable in all areas and understand how they interrelate.


Exam Day

Many candidates find their nerves increasing as exam day looms. About two weeks before the exam date you will receive an email from ACER with your admission ticket and details about the venue. Plan out how you are going to get to the venue in advance. On the day before the exam, you should relax and avoid studying, give your brain a rest so it will not be fatigued on the big day.

Ensure you have all the following:

at least 3 HB pencils
2 reliable pens (black or blue)
a non-programmable calculator for Section III
an eraser and sharpener
a water bottle
your admission ticket and a suitable form of ID (driver's license or passport)
a packed lunch in case food is not available

Get a good night's sleep on the night before GAMSAT and have hearty Breakfast - you will need the energy! Ensure you on time, you do not want to stress yourself out by being late, or worse, miss the exam. If you are feeling nervous before the exam, talk to some of your fellow test takers or read a book or magazine. Don't bother bringing study materials as by this stage it will be too late to absorb anything new. There will usually only be a break after Section II, which will last for about an hour. Use this time to eat and recharge for Section III.

 

GAMSAT Results

Results for the exam will be out aproximately two months after the exam. You will receive an email from ACER with a link to your results. As well as a numeric score for each section and overall, you will be able to view a graph showing how you went compared to others.

gamsat results curve

 

Applying to Medical School

For information about the application process you should cojnsult ACER's admissions guide.

Each medical school has its own entry criteria, based on your undergraduate GPA, GAMSAT score and interview performance.Univervisty of Queensland for instance, uses your GPA as a hurdle for entry and then ranks applicants based on their GAMSAT score, without conducting interviews. The table below sets out recent trends in admissions cut-offs:

 

University

GPA required

Estimated Minimum Scores

Offer Criteria

GPA

GAMSAT

Interview

Australian National University

~5.60

 

50%

50%

Hurdle

Deakin University

5.00

 

1/3

1/3

1/3

Flinders University

No cut-off (weighted)

see paging dr table

1/3

1/3

1/3

Griffith University

5.0

Hurdle

50%

50%

Monash University

5.0 (weighted)

see paging dr table

Hurdle

40%

60%

University of Melbourne

Undecided

see paging dr table

1/3

1/3

1/3

University of Notre Dame

5.0

see paging dr table

20%

20%

60%

University of Queensland

5.0

see paging dr table

Hurdle

100%

n/a

University of Sydney

5.5

see paging dr table

Hurdle

50%

50%

University of Western Australia

5.5

 

1/3

1/3

1/3

University of Wollongong

5.0

This school requires submission of a portfolio. Interview are offered according to:

  • 30% GPA
  • 30% GAMSAT
  • 40% portfolio

n/a

n/a

50% interview
50% portfolio


The Interview

When you apply to medical school, you may be offered an interview if you meet the school's entry requirements. In the interview you will face a panel of two to three interviews who will likely be medical academics and/or practicing doctors. Think of this like you would a job interview. Dress smartly, a tie and blazer is not essential but don't expect to do too well if you come in with thongs and a tee-shirt.

When you enter the room the interviewers will introduce themselves to you. It is important to be calm and confident. The purpose of the interview is for the panel to decide whether or not you have what it takes to be successful as a doctor. Obviously the panel will be looking for someone confident, mature and at ease.

The panel will start forming their decision before they even say a word. Body language speaks volumes. How do you carry yourself, what expression do you have, what are you wearing, do you make eye contact? If you appear as a slob or a jittery mess, this would naturally raise concerns about your ability to perform under pressure - a key requirement for doctors.

The panel will also be judging your communication skills, another important skillset. When you converse with an interviewer be sure to maintain eye contact and smile in a friendly manner. Do not figet or look away, and sit up straight. Speak clearly and at an even pace, do not rush through what you have to say or waffle on nervously.

The panel will bring up a range of topics: your background, past experience, why you want to be a doctor, what you hope to get out of your career et cetera. When asked a question, it is okay to take a moment to think before responding or to ask for clarification.

As the interview progresses the panel may engage you in several activities designed to test desired skills in a doctor. These activities can vary but will likely involve interpreting or communicating ideas or opinions. To prepare yourself for this part of the interview keep up to date with events around the world. Know what issues concern the medical community at present. If you did well at sections I and II of GAMSAT you should perform well in this part of the interview.

Towards the end of the interview you will be able to ask questions of the panel. This is a good chance to show intitiative so be sure to have some questions ready. They could be questions about the interviewers' fieled of work, the course
structure, about future specialisations, or anything relevent to you studying medicine.

 

 

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