GAMSAT 2023: Everything You Need to Know
Thinking about taking the GAMSAT in 2023? Get everything you need to know about sitting the GAMSAT 2023 Exam, from test dates and locations to details on how to register and prepare.
0 min read|
Read 84 times
Thinking about taking the GAMSAT ® Exam in 2023? 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 2023 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.
There’s a lot of preparation to do and deadlines to meet if you’re sitting the GAMSAT ® exam in 2023. If you’re not sure where to start, our expert tutors, Kayley and Siena, have summarised the contents of this page in this GAMSAT ® 2023 video guide.
The GAMSAT ® exam runs on two separate occasions in 2023:
|March GAMSAT ® exam||September GAMSAT ® exam|
18 - 22 March 2023
8 - 12 September 2023
Monday 30 January 2023
Tuesday 11 July 2023
Late Registration Closes
Friday 10 February 2023
Friday 21 July 2023
Refund/Deferral Request Closes
Friday 10 February 2023
Friday 21 July 2023
Late May 2023
Mid November 2023
If you’ve just missed out on the GAMSAT 2023 registration closure dates, late registrations are accepted up to a certain point but will require a late fee - an additional payment of $105
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
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. The transition towards a digital format has now been confirmed by ACER as permanent. Nevertheless, it still requires the same fundamental preparation as the previous paper format 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:
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 in the past 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. There are multiple locations.
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.
This idea arose from speculation on various student medical forums as it was raised that sitting the GAMSAT in September may be easier. This supposed advantage came to be speculated as less people sit the test in September, which means there is less competition and therefore, average GAMSAT ® scores could be higher, or it could mean that you secure a place in a higher percentile.
However, this is not the case. ACER uses statistical adjustment to make sure that the September and March sitting are directly comparable. They also set the same degree of difficulty in each exam.
The 2023 GAMSAT ® exams will follow the same updated format as the 2022 exams, with Section 1 now consisting of 62 MCQs over 100 minutes instead of 47 MCQs over 70 minutes. The exam is made up of 5.25 hours of exam time, however you should anticipate being at the testing centre for around 7 or 8 hours as there will be processing times, waiting times and lunch time incorporated into the day. Section I and II will run together, followed by a 1 hour lunch break, and concluding with Section III.
|Number Of Questions||Total Test Time|
|Section 1: Humanities||62||100 mins (8 mins reading + 92 writing)|
|Section 2: Essay Writing||2||65 mins (5 mins reading + 60 minutes writing)|
|Section 3: Sciences||75||150 mins (8 mins reading + 142 mins writing)|
As for the actual exam content, we know that the overarching trend has been to move away from memorised scientific content to problem solving and lateral thinking skills. Visit our guide - What is the GAMSAT ® for an overview.
The March 2020 GAMSAT ® Exam was forced into a digital format, run remotely with online proctoring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The September 2020 exam stuck with the digital test format, but switched to running tests in-person at a venue. ACER then confirmed that all future sittings will be run as a digital test, held at specific supervised testing centres (see Australian GAMSAT ® Exam Test Locations 2023 ). The digital format offers easier invigilation, data tracking and storage, and is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to run. As such, the 2023 GAMSAT ® exams will be run in the same digital format and there are some considerations you should take in how you prepare for a digital format, for example:
Here at GradReady, we’re proud to present our Free GAMSAT ® Practice Test which is designed to closely mimic the official ACER GAMSAT ® exam, helping you familiarise yourself with the online delivery of the exam before test date.
Sign up for our Free Trial to get access to our GAMSAT ® Practice Test as well as heaps of other free resources!
All payment for the GAMSAT exam should be submitted online by credit card (Mastercard, Visa). The registration fee for the March and September 2023 GAMSAT is $518 AUD. If you register after the cut off date, in the late registration period, then there is also a late registration fee of $105 AUD. For people outside of Australia, there is an overseas levy of $205 AUD.
Sitting the GAMSAT ® Exam can be expensive, but ACER has recently announced that GAMSAT ® Exam results are now valid for four years instead of two. Read this section below for more details.
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 testACER (Eligibility)
There is no limit on the number of times you take the GAMSAT ® Exam and most 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.
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.
If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to do well in the GAMSAT ® Exam without a calculator, check out our blog article No Calculator...No Worries!
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
We have witnessed unprecedented changes to the GAMSAT ® Format in the last 2 years due to COVID-19.
The implementation of social distancing restrictions and lockdowns around Australia and the world have forced the exam to move away from a paper format to a digital format from 2020 onwards.
|Registration||Pre-testing procedures should be faster as there will be fewer candidates per testing venue than in previous years. However, it is not possible to guarantee start and finish times just in case unforeseen delays occur.||-||~1 hour|
|Section 1: Reasoning in Humanities||Tests critical reasoning skills as well as the ability to draw conclusions based on evidence with stimuli derived from a variety of non-scientific texts.||Reading Time 62 MCQs||8 Minutes 92 Minutes|
|Section 2: Written Communication||Tests your general knowledge and ability to draw on prior knowledge under pressure to construct a cohesive argument or reflection.||Reading Time Writing Time||5 Minutes 60 Minutes|
|Lunch||Take a well deserved break! Consider bringing your own lunch as the break only lasts 60 minutes and purchasing food is not always an option.||-||60 Minutes|
|Section 3: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences||40% Biology, 40% Chemistry, 20% Physics||Reading Time 75 MCQs||8 Minutes 142 Minutes|
ACER has now also released their 2023 GAMSAT ® Information Booklet with details on the format of the exam. The structure of the exam is the same as the updated version in 2022 with Section 1 consisting of 62 MCQs over 100 minutes instead of 47 MCQs over 70 minutes.From 2020 onwards, the GAMSAT ® exam has been, and will continue to be delivered as a digital test at multiple venues over a set time period, usually about 2 weeks.
GAMSAT is offered twice a year, in March and September. GAMSAT which was previously delivered as paper based test will be delivered as a digital test from 2020 onwards.ACER (Information Booklet)
ACER will randomly allocate candidates to testing venues and sessions in their selected test centre location. This is subject to candidate demand and the availability of testing venues at that location. ACER advises to register early as places may be limited.
Candidates should be aware that, if changes to government restrictions for COVID-19 mean the exam can no longer be conducted at an allocated test centre, ACER will contact all affected candidates by email with further instructions.
The structure of the GAMSAT ® Exam has undergone several revisions, outlined in detail below. For the current format, there is a 60 min break between Section 2 and 3. Although the total testing time is 5.25 hours, ACER recommends that students should anticipate being at the test centre for 8 hours with the lunch break and administrative time.
When sitting the GAMSAT ® Exam, students are allowed 2 pieces of paper per session; i.e. 2 sheets for Section 1 & 2 and 2 sheets for Section 3. In regards to other equipment allowed during the exam, this is comprehensively covered in pages 13-14 of the ACER Information Booklet. Also outlined in the information booklet is that students should make sure that they have the correct identification documents prepared before exam day, as well as their Admission Ticket.
|Section 1||Section 2||Section 3|
|Number of questions||75||2||110|
|Reading Time||10 minutes||5 minutes||10 minutes|
|Writing Time||100 minutes||60 minutes||170 minutes|
A quick glance of the numbers above should reveal that the paper GAMSAT ® Exam was a real marathon, with around 6 hours of testing time - Students could in fact expect to remain at the venue for roughly 8-9 hours including administrative time and the 1 hour lunch break.
That is not to say that the new digital format is any less gruelling - Indeed there are additional challenges posed by the digital test, including an inability to directly annotate questions as well as the added element of eye strain from viewing a device screen for such an extended period of time.
|Section 1||Section 2||Section 3|
|Number of questions||40||2||60|
|Test Time (Reading & Writing time combined)||60 minutes||65 minutes||120 minutes|
Interestingly, this particular sitting was delivered remotely with online proctoring. In addition, Section 1 & 2 was conducted in a different session from Section 3. Students could sit Section 1 & 2 on a particular day and Section 3 roughly a week later. There was no separate reading time for this sitting - Reading time was incorporated into the writing time.
It now appears that the format of the May 2020 Online GAMSAT ® Exam will remain a one-off occurrence, reflective of the unique and challenging circumstances at the beginning of 2020 and COVID-19.
|Section 1||Section 2||Section 3|
|Number of questions||47||2||75|
|Reading Time||6 minutes||5 minutes||8 minutes|
|Writing Time||64 minutes||60 minutes||142 minutes|
From September 2020 onwards, the GAMSAT exam moved to a computer based test delivered in supervised test centres, rather than remotely. The above exam structure ran from September 2020 - September 2021, and included a 30 mins lunch break rather than a 1 hour lunch break. Due to the shortened duration, ACER ran two sittings a day, with a morning sitting at around 7 AM and an afternoon sitting at 2PM.
As of a change announced by ACER in November 2022, your GAMSAT ® results are now valid for four years. Previously, results were only valid for two years. For example, if you sat the exam during March 2023, the result will be valid for your:
In addition, this change is backdated, so GAMSAT ® exam results from September 2019 can be used for medical schools application in 2023 with a 2024 start.
Note that the below information is specific to Australian medical schools 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.
|Application Details||Valid Results|
|Apply 2022 for 2023 Commencement||
March GAMSAT®: 2021, 2022
September GAMSAT®: 2020, 2021
|Apply 2023 for 2024 Commencement||
March GAMSAT®: 2021, 2022, 2023
May GAMSAT®: 2020
September GAMSAT®: 2019,2020, 2021, 2022
|Apply 2024 for 2025 Commencement||
March GAMSAT®: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
September GAMSAT®: 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
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 2022 GAMSAT ® Exam, you will be able to use the results of this exam for application in 2023 for a program commencing in 2024, for application in 2024 for a program starting in 2025, for application in 2025 for a program starting in 2026, and for application in 2026 for a program starting in 2027. You won’t be able to use this result for an application in 2022 for 2023 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 2023 for a course commencing in 2024, ONLY the following results can be used: September 2019, May 2020, September 2020, March 2021, September 2021, March 2022, September 2022 and March 2023.
To learn more about how GAMSAT ® Scores are actually calculated, visit our guide: Understanding your GAMSAT ® Scores
There are many advantages to ACER’s latest change. This means that a strong result from an earlier exam will last for longer, eliminating the need to sit multiple exams if you did well the first time around. This can save on the not-insignificant cost of the GAMSAT ® exam.
It may mean, however, that more students can apply for a particular year, making medical school entry more competitive. Similarly, there will be a wider range of GAMSAT ® exams taken into account for application, and every year has a slightly different range of marks: a GAMSAT ® score of 70 was in the 91st percentile in March 2021, but in the 96th percentile in March 2019. Universities, however, only take the GAMSAT ® score, rather than the percentile.
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 2024 for entry in 2025, then you should sit the exam in September 2023 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 2024 application.
Otherwise, you can consider the following:
If you take a year off after year 12 before commencing a three-year undergraduate, you could sit the exam in March or September of this year and the results would still be valid. If you’re taking the year off to work anyway, this could be a great opportunity to study for the GAMSAT ® without the extra work of needing to keep your university GPA up.
You might be considering having a ‘practice run’. With the most recent change from ACER, you are now able to use this result for application to Australian medical schools. It may be helpful to sit this exam now if you are fresh from chemistry, physics or biology knowledge from year 12, or if you’re comfortable with writing year 12 English or English Literature essays. Some universities weigh the final years of your undergraduate more heavily than the first year, so there is less pressure on your GPA in the first 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)
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.
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 ®
ACER is running the GAMSAT ® exams in the following cities around Australia:
|March 2023 GAMSAT ® Exam||
|September 2023 GAMSAT ® Exam||
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.
There are additional testing locations in other cities throughout the UK, USA, Ireland, and Singapore. A complete list of these testing locations can be found in the ACER GAMSAT information booklet.
|Application Period. Submit your application through GEMSAS. University of Sydney . Flinders University & Monash Uni are not part of GEMSAS||March - May 2023|
|GAMSAT Results Released||Late May 2023|
|Interview Offers Released||August - September 2023|
|Interviews are held||September - October 2023|
|Medical Offers Released||September - December 2023|
|Additional Offers made to fill vacancies||December 2023 - January 2024|
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
Now that you’re aware of all the key dates for 2023, make a start on your preparation with our guides and free resources:
Everything you need to know about the GAMSAT ® Exam from structure and overview to which universities require the GAMSAT ®
A breakdown of how to approach study effectively and how to set up a GAMSAT ® study schedule
An overview of what to expect in Section 1 of the GAMSAT ® Exam and how to prepare.
An overview of what to expect in Section 2 of the GAMSAT ® Exam, how to prepare and how to perfect your essay technique.
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.
Get even further details and specific tips for the Biology component of Section 3 of the GAMSAT ® Exam
Further advice and information specific to GAMSAT ® Section 3 Chemistry - Get a detailed breakdown of various topics.
Not sure about the value of preparing for GAMSAT ® Physics? Think again - The Physics component of Section 3 can be a key separator of student performance, get further details on how to prepare.
A breakdown of how to approach GAMSAT ® study effectively if you come from a non-science background.