GAMSAT 2020: Everything You Need to Know

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Thinking about taking the GAMSAT ® Exam in 2020? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that at least 10 000 students worldwide will take the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT ® ) this year.

Make sure that you know when and how to register by reading our guide to the GAMSAT ® Exam in 2020 below. If you’re completely lost and need an overview of the GAMSAT ® , visit our guide: What is the GAMSAT ® ?

  1. When is the GAMSAT ® Exam?
  2. How do I register for the GAMSAT ® Exam?
  3. How long are my GAMSAT ® Results Valid?
  4. GAMSAT ® Exam Test Locations
  5. Medical Admissions Process 2020
  6. GAMSAT ® Preparation Materials

When is the GAMSAT ® Exam?

The GAMSAT ® exam runs on two separate occasions in 2020:

2020 GAMSAT ® Exam Dates

March GAMSAT ® exam September GAMSAT ® exam
Test Date
21 March 2020
9 September 2020
Registration Opens
Early November 2019
Mid May 2020
Registration Closes
1 Feb 2020, 9 PM AEDT
20 July 2020, 10 PM AEST
Late Registration Closure
10 Feb 2020, 9 PM AEDT
30 July 2020, 10 PM AEST
Late Fee
Late May 2020
Mid November 2020

If you’ve just missed out on the registration closure dates, late registrations are accepted up to a certain point but will require a late fee - an additional payment of $100

GAMSAT ® Results are generally released about 2 months after sitting the exam. To learn more about how GAMSAT ® Results are calculated and see a list of past release dates visit our guide: Understanding your GAMSAT ® Results

March vs September GAMSAT ® Exam - What’s the difference ?

Apart from the difference in when you can apply with the results from these exams (see How long are my GAMSAT ® results valid? ), there is no difference in the content or structure of the test. Both exams are designed, administered and scored by ACER . As such, there is no difference in preparing for the March or September GAMSAT ® exam as they are essentially the same exam.

There is no penalty or different weighting applied to a September GAMSAT ® Exam score on medical school entry applications.

Many students view the September GAMSAT ® exam as a second chance to obtain a satisfactory result for the next calendar year without having to wait a whole year in between attempts and there are certain advantages to this:

  1. It provides you with extra time to consolidate further on the preparation put into the March GAMSAT ® exam
  2. It allows you to make a second attempt on the actual exam in the same year with the benefit and experience of having already sat the GAMSAT ® Exam

Alternatively, some students also view the September GAMSAT ® exam as a ‘Practice GAMSAT ® Exam’ with the aim of working on flaws in their approach and familiarising themselves with the exam before they sit the exam ‘properly’ in the March of the next year.

Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you take either of these approaches but it is important to remember that any results for the September GAMSAT ® exam are equally valuable to those of the March GAMSAT ® exam, and the results of either can be used in your Medical School Entry Applications.

How do I register for the GAMSAT ® Exam?

The GAMSAT ® Exam is administered and assessed by ACER . One of the most important things you can do if you’re thinking about registering for the GAMSAT ® Exam is to read the ACER GAMSAT ® information booklet . The booklet covers all the information and finer details required for sitting the GAMSAT ® Exam – in the lead-up, on the day and after the test, as well as some information on applying to medical schools.

In order to enrol for the GAMSAT ® Exam you can simply register on the ACER Website .

In terms of eligibility, ACER advises:

GAMSAT ® is available to any person who has completed a Bachelor or an undergraduate honours degree, or who will be enrolled in their penultimate (second-last) or final year of study, at the time of sitting the test Quotes rht

ACER (Eligibility)

How many times can I take the GAMSAT ® Exam?

There is no limit on the number of times you take the GAMSAT ® Exam and many students do in fact sit the exam twice or more. If you have taken it multiple times, you may choose which result to include in your application. Universities will not have access to the scores that you choose not to submit.

Am I allowed a calculator or dictionary?

A calculator is not allowed for any section of the test and standard english dictionaries are not permitted either. An exception applies to those whose first language was not english - You are permitted to bring a printed bilingual dictionary into the exam for use in Sections I and II only.

How do I prepare for the Exam Day itself?

The GAMSAT ® Exam Day is long and exhausting and it’s important that you’re well rested and mentally prepared for the exam. You’ll need to remember to bring specific items on the day as well as plan out your travel there and back.

For tips on how to get yourself set for the big day, read our guide here: Preparing for GAMSAT ® Exam Day

How long are my GAMSAT ® results valid?

Your GAMSAT ® results are valid for 2 years. For example, if you sit the exam during March 2020, the result will be valid for your 2020 application for a medical or health sciences program commencing in 2021; it will also be valid for your 2021 application for a program commencing in 2022. However, it will not be valid for your 2022 application for 2023 entry.

Currency of GAMSAT ® Results

Application Details Valid Results
Apply 2020 for 2021 Commencement March GAMSAT®: 2019, 2020
September GAMSAT®: 2018, 2019
Apply 2021 for 2022 Commencement March GAMSAT®: 2020, 2021
September GAMSAT®: 2019, 2020
Apply 2022 for 2023 Commencement March GAMSAT®: 2021, 2022
September GAMSAT®: 2020, 2021

On the other hand, results from a September Sitting cannot be used for an application in that same year for commencement in the subsequent year. For example, if you sit the September 2020 GAMSAT ® Exam, you will only be able to use the results of this exam for application in 2021 for a program commencing in 2022 and for application in 2022 for a program starting in 2023. You won’t be able to use this result for an application in 2020 for 2021 entry.

If you’re applying in 2020 for a course commencing in 2021 ONLY the following results can be used: September 2018, March 2019, September 2019, March 2020

To learn more about how GAMSAT ® Scores are actually calculated, visit our guide: Understanding your GAMSAT ® Scores

When should I sit the GAMSAT ® Exam?

We recommend that you should, at the latest, sit the GAMSAT ® exam during the year prior to the year of your medical school application. For example, if you are applying in 2021 for entry in 2022, then you should sit the exam in September 2020 at the latest. The reasoning here is that if you perform poorly, you have another chance with the next March sitting to achieve a good score for your 2021 application.

Otherwise, you can consider the following:

  • First Year:You might be considering having a ‘practice run’ but it’s important to remember that your results won’t be valid for admissions. Nevertheless, there is merit in this idea as a big part of the GAMSAT ® Exam is exam technique and having experience of it is a huge help - You’ll need to weigh up the actual cost of the exam and the potential benefit and ensure it doesn’t distract you from your uni work - Your GPA is important too!

  • Second Year:As the penultimate year for a three-year degree, this is often the time most students start thinking about the GAMSAT ® Exam. If you do well enough and obtain a competitive score, you can put off thinking about admissions for a year and just focus on your degree (and working on your GPA). If there’s room for improvement then you’ve got another shot next year (or even earlier if you’re able to sit the September GAMSAT ® Exam)

  • Third Year:Sitting the GAMSAT ® Exam in third year, you’ve got the benefit of an almost locked in GPA, and therefore may have a little more time to devote to the exam. You’re also older and wiser and probably have far better exam technique. If you’re in a health or medical science degree, you’re increasingly familiar and comfortable with all that pesky ‘assumed knowledge’. However, the trade-off is that if things don’t go as planned, you’ll need to have ‘plan b’.

The difficulty of the GAMSAT ® Exam cannot be overstated and most students do sit the exam twice or more. Unfortunately it’s not just a question of preparing but also preparing for the right things and in this respect, you can check out our GAMSAT ® Free Trial, for detailed week by week plans of how you should be spending your time and tips on the best preparation strategy as well as free practice MCQs.

Get Access to:
  • 50 Free MCQs
  • Week-By-Week Study Guide
  • Complete Session 3 Topic List
  • Recorded Webinars
Free trial

You can also visit our guide on how to effectively study for the GAMSAT ® Exam with breakdowns for each individual section: How to Study for the GAMSAT ®

GAMSAT ® Exam Test Locations

Australian GAMSAT ® Exam Test Locations 2020

Australia map2

ACER is running the GAMSAT ® exams in the following cities around Australia:

Test Date Locations
March GAMSAT ® Exam
Adelaide Melbourne
Brisbane Perth
Canberra Townsville
Darwin Sydney
Dubbo Wellington(NZ)
September GAMSAT ® Exam
Brisbane Perth
Melbourne Sydney

The test is held on the same date at all test locations. Places are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. As such, if you intend to sit the GAMSAT ® exam it’s important to register early. When registering, you’ll only be able to select preferred test centre, and in the event that your chosen centre is no longer available, ACER will book your exam at the nearest available test location.

Medical Applications Process

Medical Applications Timeline 2020

Event Dates
Application Period. Submit your application through GEMSAS. University of Sydney . Flinders University & Monash Uni are not part of GEMSAS April - June 2020
Interview Offers Released July - September 2020
Interviews are held August - October 2020
Medical Offers Released September - December 2020
Additional Offers made to fill vacancies December 2020 - January 2021

The GAMSAT ® exam is merely the first step in your journey through the Medical School Applications Process. To get a timeline and learn more about the different criteria and cutoffs for Graduate Medical Schools around Australia, visit our guide: Australian Medical Schools - Entry Requirements

GAMSAT ® Preparation Materials

Now that you’re aware of all the key dates for 2020, make a start on your preparation with our guides and free resources:

  1. What is the GAMSAT ® ?

    Everything you need to know about the GAMSAT ® Exam from structure and overview to which universities require the GAMSAT ®

  2. How to study for the GAMSAT ® Exam

    A breakdown of how to approach study effectively and how to set up a GAMSAT ® study schedule

  3. How to prepare for GAMSAT ® Section 1

    An overview of what to expect in Section 1 of the GAMSAT ® Exam and how to prepare.

  4. How to prepare for GAMSAT ® Section 2

    An overview of what to expect in Section 2 of the GAMSAT ® Exam, how to prepare and how to perfect your essay technique.

  5. How to prepare for GAMSAT ® Section 3

    An overview of what to expect in Section 3 of the GAMSAT ® Exam and how to prepare for each of the topics - Biology, Chemistry, & Physics.

  6. Get Access to:
    • 50 Free MCQs
    • Week-By-Week Study Guide
    • Complete Session 3 Topic List
    • Recorded Webinars
    Free trial