07 December, 2017
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So you’ve received the email – “Your GAMSAT 2018 results are now available”. You log in to the ACER website frantically, messaging all of your friends who sat GAMSAT with you. You click on the link and download your scorecard. And your GAMSAT score is… drum roll… not what you wanted.
So where can you go from here?
GAMSAT is an utterly ridiculous exam. It’s hard to prepare for, hard to sit and takes a psychological toll. And yet, you succeeded in sitting one of the most dreaded exams in Australia! No matter what the numbers on your scorecard say, this is a phenomenal achievement and shows that you are determined and hardworking. So give yourself a pat on the back! Take a break from studying and stressing and reward yourself for a job well done. And don’t forget to tell your friends, and either commiserate with them or share in their success!
When you’re ready, it’s time to work out what those scores really mean. It’s important to know the entry requirements for all of the med schools – some will place more of an emphasis on your portfolio or your GPA than your GAMSAT score, so all hope is not lost! If you haven’t already, look carefully at the GAMSAT cut-offs for all of the Australian universities, and consider re-arranging your preferences on your GEMSAS application. It always helps to get some background on GEMSAS applications and fortunately for you, one of our other GAMSAT tutors has compiled a
breakdown of the GAMSAT scores and other requirements for different universities. But make sure you do read up on the current university websites – they can change from year to year.
One thing to keep in mind here is that while the bigger universities may be more prestigious, the smaller ones are growing in popularity and often have higher rates of student satisfaction. They also often have lower entry scores! There’s a new kid on the block to consider too – Macquarie will start an MD program in 2018 for full fee paying places.
They type of place you apply for is also very important. Full fee paying places will have a lower cut off than Commonwealth Supported Places. On the other hand, Bonded Medical Places, which require 12 months return of service in an area of need, will have lower cut-offs than other commonwealth supported places. This program is an excellent opportunity to get into med school and then go to work where doctors are really needed.
Consider universities that are not in your city or state – you will only get a single offer from GEMSAS, and you should be prepared to study medicine wherever you can! Moving interstate to study medicine can definitely be a rewarding and enriching experience.
A vast majority of students sit the GAMSAT multiple times before getting a high enough score to get into med school. It’s important to remember just how hard the exam is and that the only way to get better is through practice – both of the styles of questions but also attending the exam itself. Nothing can really prepare you for your first time sitting GAMSAT, so especially if this was your first GAMSAT, don’t give up hope! You know better how to prepare and what sections you need to improve now and your next attempt is bound to be better with a little more hard work.
Make sure you’re not just repeating the study you’ve already done though! Focus on areas you know you struggled with – whether that’s chemistry, or section 1 or essay writing. There are lots of tips on how to target those areas on this blog, as well as general study tips – select a category or use the search engine on the right to find what you’re looking for!
Another option to consider is formal GAMSAT tutoring or a GAMSAT Preparation Course. Preparation courses can provide you with a range of learning materials, face to face classes, specific feedback and lots of practice opportunities.
If you are planning on sitting GAMSAT again, sign up early to save money – late registration = $$$! This has the added advantage of giving you more time to study and to build study into your regular routine – don’t leave it for a few months beforehand to start cramming!
So don’t give up if you didn’t get you dreamed of GAMSAT score – there are plenty of other options and strategies and it’s not the end of your career. Medicine is a long path, regardless of the road you take, so if it’s truly your passion you’ll get there in the end! Good luck