The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test or GAMSAT, is an annual entrance test for students who wish to apply to medical, dental, veterinary and pharmacy colleges in Australian, British and Irish institutes. This is held for post graduate admissions or Graduate Entry Programs, and is conduced by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in alliance with Consortium of Graduate Medical Schools.
To apply for GAMSAT, you should have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of such program in any discipline. No preference if given to science graduates whatsoever. GAMSAT Preparation Only high scores and performance is the criteria.
The most feasible way is to apply online. You will receive the Admission Ticket around two weeks before the test is due. It takes place only once a year typically in the month of March.
Test centers are located in each capital city of Australia, and one in Townsville. Outside Australia, there are centers in Wellington, New Zealand, London, Singapore and Washington DC.
GAMSAT is not a knowledge based test, but a reasoning test to examine candidates’ analyze and interpret written material and graphical presentations. It is a way of measuring your logical and judgmental skills acquired over a period of time and learning. How you solve problems related to a wide range of subjects, is the most important scoring criteria.
The total duration of the examination is five and a half hours on a single day.
Sections of the paper are as follows –
Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences Segment, contains 75 questions and you are given 100 minutes for it. This is a four alternatives – multiple choice questions format. It may have passages in personal, imaginative, and argumentative writing. The segment tests you on conceptual and critical thinking skills, logical reasoning, objective and subjective thinking, understanding abilities.
Written Communication Section, with 2 questions to be done in 60 minutes. How you think and your writing abilities are put to test here. You will have to write on general themes that will be provided, one being a socio-cultural issue and other a personal issue.
Reasoning in the Biological and Physical Sciences, consists of 110 questions, and allotted time is 170 minutes. Your understanding and recall of basic scientific concepts and facts is examined. You will be marked on your ability to analyze, interpret data, discover scientific relationships, formulate and make deductions, compare, categorize information, problem solving, etc. Questions will comprise in Chemistry (40%), Biology (40%), and Physics (20%).
The reading time given to the first and third sections is 10 minutes, while five minutes is given for the second section. You will get a one hour lunch break between Section 2 and 3
Authentic test preparation material is provided by the official website of GAMSAT. You should look up previous years papers to know the format and gauge your abilities. Prepare keeping in mind all the sections as all are important. Mugging up will be of minimal help as it is a test of basics, your knowledge base and logical reasoning abilities.
GAMSAT score is available as a percentile and not total marks. It is calculated on the basis of performance in the three sections, with double weight-age in scoring to the third segment. results are issued as a percentile ranks, rather than a marks out of a total mark. And this score is valid for a period of two years, which means you can apply to medical colleges till two years since you have given the test. Your scores are then to be sent to the desired institutes which then consider it for the Interview Round.
Selection into most institutions depends on three factors – your GAMSAT score, Bachelor’s degree, and performance in the Interview. However, the amount of importance given to each factor is the will of the the respective institutes. If you fulfill all the requirements, then you will win a seat in the institute of your choice.