Understanding GAMSAT ® Exam

What is the GAMSAT® exam?

GAMSAT ® exam is an admissions test required for postgraduate-entry into medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry or podiatry.

It is issued by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and consists of 3 parts:

  • Part I - Reasoning in Humanities (75 questions in 100 minutes + 10 minutes reading time)
  • Part II - Written Communication (2 essays in 60 minutes + 5 minutes reading time) Students choose from 2 sets of 5 quotes from which to base their essays on.
  • Part III - Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences: 40% Chemistry, 40% Biology, 20% Physics (110 questions in 170 minutes + 10 minutes reading time)

Part I and II are worth 50% of the overall score. Part III makes up the remaining 50%. Chemistry and Biology are tested at 1st year university level and physics at year 12 level.

There will be a lunch break of one hour between Section II and Section III.

There is no break between Sections I and II. Candidates may not leave the test room or access their personal belongings at this time.

Candidates may not leave the test centre before the full testing time has elapsed, except in the case of illness. Candidates leaving during Section I or II will not receive their GAMSAT ® exam scores. Candidates leaving during Section III due to illness are expected to provide a medical certificate explaining their need to leave the test centre. This must be provided no later than seven days after the test day. Failure to do so may result in scores not being released.

Once a candidate has departed the test centre it is not possible to re-enter and continue the test.

You can get more information about the GAMSAT ®  exam by visiting

How do I enrol for the GAMSAT® exam?

You can enrol in the GAMSAT® exam exam by visiting the ACER website.

How frequently is the GAMSAT® exam held?

It is held annually, in mid-March.

For how long are the results valid?

The results are valid for 2 years. For example, if you sit the exam during March 2016, the result will be valid for your 2016 application for a medical or health sciences program commencing in 2017; it will also be valid for your 2017 application for a program commencing in 2018; but it will not be valid for your 2018 application.

How many times can I take the GAMSAT® exam?

There is no restriction on the number of retakes. In fact, many students do sit the exam twice or more. If you have sat the exam multiple times, you may choose which result to include in your application. Universities will not have access to the scores that you choose to not submit.

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 2017 to medical school starting in 2018, then you should sit the exam in March 2016 at the latest. The reasoning here is that you have another chance to achieve a good score for your 2017 application. Unfortunately, people often perform subpar under pressure.

I am currently in first year, can/should I do the GAMSAT® exam in March next year?

If you are currently in your first year, you are eligible to attempt the GAMSAT® exam in March next year. Since Universities will not have direct access to all of your scores, many students sit the GAMSAT® exam more than once and include only their best score in their application to medical school or the other health science areas of study. Therefore, we recommend that you aim to sit the exam as early as possible, which gives you additional opportunities to improve upon your score.

Can I take a dictionary with me into the GAMSAT®exam?

Standard English dictionaries are not permitted. If English is not your first language, you are permitted to bring a printed bilingual dictionary into the exam for use in Sections I and II only.

Can I take a calculator with me into the GAMSAT® exam?

No. A calculator is not allowed for any section of the test.

How much does the GAMSAT® exam cost?

$505, as of 2017.

Which medical schools accept GAMSAT® exam results?

11 out of the 18 Australian medical schools accept the GAMSAT® exam. (In brackets are the projected approximate 2014 postgraduate medical student number at the respective universities)

The projected numbers are based on the information from the following government site The assumption that yearly admission numbers approximately equal yearly graduation numbers was made.


New south Wales


South Australia


Western Australia

Are there any prerequisites for the programs?

No, except for the University of Melbourne. All programs are open to candidates with any degree. The University of Melbourne, however, requires satisfactory completion of approved science subjects prior to entry.

Where are the testing centres located?

There are GAMSAT® exam test centres in each of the capital cities of Australia, and one in Townsville. The New Zealand test centre is in Wellington. You should plan your travel carefully so that you arrive at the test centre no later than 8.15 am local time. Other tests centers are Dubai, London, Singapore and Washington DC. An overseas test levy of $185 applies for these centres, in addition to the registration fee. ACER does not plan to establish any additional test centres, as of 2013. The test is held on the same date at all test centres.

When will I receive my results?

Mid-late May

What are the differences between the September UK GAMSAT® exam and the March GAMSAT® exam?

In short, there is no difference between taking the Australian GAMSAT® exam and the UK GAMSAT® exam, other than the obvious difference in time. Both exams are administered by ACER and should have roughly the same level of difficulty. Even if it feels like one exam was easy than the other in a given year, the result is a reflection of your relative performance and therefore the difficulty level of the exam shouldn’t matter. In terms of exam content and conditions, there is no difference between the Australian GAMSAT® exam and the UK GAMSAT® exam. While one takes place in autumn and the other takes place in spring, there should be no other difference in conditions. Both exams will go for the full day and comprise of the same three sections. Preparation courses for one exam are equally useful for the next exam. The results of both exams can be used to apply for medical school in the two consecutive years after you sit the exam. The only significant difference is when you can use your GAMSAT® exam score to apply for medical school entry. With the Australian GAMSAT® exam, the results will be released before medical school applications close for the next calendar year, so if you perform well you could potentially start medicine the next year. With the UK GAMSAT® exam, the exam itself only takes place after medical school applications close. This means that you will have to wait one year in between sitting the GAMSAT® exam and potentially starting medical school. This is not always such a bad option for students that might need some time to get ready for the demands of medical school.

Didn't Find the Question You Were Searching For?