GAMSAT 2021: Everything You Need to Know

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Thinking about taking the GAMSAT ® Exam in 2021? 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 2021 below. If you’re completely lost and need an overview of the GAMSAT ® , visit our guide: What is the GAMSAT ® ?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding social distancing programs that have been implemented worldwide, the information on this page may not always be up-to-date. It is highly recommended that you check the ACER website for the most accurate information.

  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 2021
  6. GAMSAT ® Preparation Materials

When is the GAMSAT Exam?

The GAMSAT ® exam runs on two separate occasions in 2021:

2021 GAMSAT Exam Dates

March GAMSAT ® exam September GAMSAT ® exam
Test Date
17 – 30 March 2021
3 – 16 September 2021
Registration Opens
10 November 2020
Mid May 2021
Registration Closes
Monday 1 February 2021
Tuesday 20 July 2021
Late Registration Closure
Wednesday 10 February 2021
Friday 30 July 2021
Refund/Deferral Request Closure
Wednesday 10 February 2021
Friday 30 July 2021
Late Fee

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 - Around late May for the March sitting and mid-November for the September Sitting.

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/May 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’s technically no difference in how your performance is measured and scored. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition towards a digital format has now been confirmed by ACER as permanent. Nevertheless, the new digital format still requires the same fundamental preparation as they are essentially designed to test the same skills and the results are standardised to be comparable across all sittings. For further details on the digital format, visit our guide here: What is the GAMSAT ® 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 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.

One additional thing to consider is location, the March exam (being the more popular sitting for the application deadline in the same year) has more venues than the September exam. This means that when you decide which GAMSAT ® sitting you should attend, you may need to factor in travel and any associated costs especially if the exam is held in your city only in March. While online proctoring has been used for the May 2020 exam (likely due to the lack of resources and planning for the COVID-19 pandemic), it is unlikely that the GAMSAT ® will use this format again. Candidates are now expected to attend the exam at the locations specified by ACER.

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 sat the exam during March 2021, the result will be valid for your 2021 application for a medical or health sciences program commencing in 2022; it will also be valid for your 2022 application for a program commencing in 2023. However, it will not be valid for your 2023 application for 2024 entry. Note that the below information is specific to Australian universities and the details may differ, particularly for students based in the UK - Students in the UK should check the details on ACER’s website here.

Currency of GAMSAT ® Results

Application Details Valid Results
Apply 2021 for 2022 Commencement May GAMSAT®: 2020
March GAMSAT®: 2021
September GAMSAT®: 2019, 2020
Apply 2022 for 2023 Commencement March GAMSAT®: 2021, 2022
September GAMSAT®: 2020, 2021
Apply 2023 for 2024 Commencement March GAMSAT®: 2022, 2023
September GAMSAT®: 2021, 2022

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 2021 GAMSAT ® Exam, you will only be able to use the results of this exam for application in 2022 for a program commencing in 2023 and for application in 2023 for a program starting in 2024. You won’t be able to use this result for an application in 2021 for 2022 entry. This is because medical school applications, which require submission of GAMSAT ® scores, start around May with offers for interviews being made from August to September (see Timeline below).

If you’re applying in 2021 for a course commencing in 2022 ONLY the following results can be used: September 2019, May 2020, September 2020, March 2021.

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 2022 for entry in 2023, then you should sit the exam in September 2021 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 2022 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 2021

Australia map4

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

Test Date Locations
March 2021 GAMSAT ® Exam
Adelaide Melbourne
Ballarat Perth
Brisbane Townsville
Canberra Sydney
Darwin Wellington(NZ)
Dubbo Wollongong
September 2021 GAMSAT ® Exam
Brisbane Perth
Dubbo Sydney

The test is held over an allocated period 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 a 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. Please be aware that the September exam offers less locations.

Medical Applications Process

Medical Applications Timeline 2021

Event Dates
Application Period. Submit your application through GEMSAS. University of Sydney . Flinders University & Monash Uni are not part of GEMSAS April - May 2021
GAMSAT Results Released Late May 2021
Interview Offers Released August - September 2021
Interviews are held September - October 2021
Medical Offers Released September - December 2021
Additional Offers made to fill vacancies December 2021 - January 2022

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 2021, 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