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Calendar showing GAMSAT and GEMSAS timeline

GAMSAT Timeline: All You Need to Know

by , 16 November, 2019
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The admissions process for graduate medicine in Australia is a pretty arduous and sometimes confusing journey, particularly for those applying through GEMSAS and to individual universities. There are a number of GAMSAT timeline deadlines, both imposed by ACER for the GAMSAT® exam and by GEMSAS and the other individual universities, and making sure you meet them all can be stressful (not to mention anything else you might be trying to do at the time of application such as university studies).
Whilst applicants should always read through and rely on the relevant guides from ACER, GEMSAS, and the individual universities for the most up-to-date information, we’ve made a summary here of the different components of the graduate medicine application process and have mapped out some deadlines.
Hopefully we can clear things up to make the process just that little bit less confronting.


The Exam

GradReady Enrolments for September 2020 GAMSAT Courses Now Open - Early Bird SaleLet’s begin by going over the GAMSAT timeline. The admissions process begins with you sitting the Australian GAMSAT® Exam on Saturday 21 March 2020. If you’re looking for some advice on how to prepare for the GAMSAT, I’d recommend starting with this guide.
You may have also sat the GAMSAT® exam in March 2019, or September 2018/2019, which are also eligible to be used in applications for medical school commencing in 2021. For an easy-to-understand table of the currency of different GAMSAT® results, head to this page.


Results and Application

According to ACER, the 2020 GAMSAT® results will be available in late May. In 2019 scores were released on May 10, and in 2018, they were released on May 18.
GEMSAS applications should open in late April/early May and close late May 2020. For those who aren’t familiar, GEMSAS stands for ‘Graduate Entry Medical School Admissions System’, and is the organisation that manages applications for the 10 participating schools. The GEMSAS Guide, which is released every year on their website, will be your one-stop shop for all the details of when and how to apply to the GEMSAS medical schools.
Just to make things a little bit more time-consuming, there are additional medical schools that require their own individual medicine applications (and particularly USyd have quite different timelines in some aspects of the application). Non-GEMSAS medical schools have different application processes and dates. USyd applications usually open in late April and close late May. Flinders applications usually open late May and close late June.


How to Order Your Preferences

Given the short amount of time between GAMSAT® exam results being released and your application being due, you should already be thinking about which medical schools you will preference and how your GAMSAT® exam score will fit into the equation. There are 10 schools in the GEMSAS® consortium and you may preference up to 6 in your application.
Keep in mind that USyd and Flinders require their own completely separate applications and do not count towards these 6 preferences.
There is no trick to choosing your preferences – put your most preferred schools first. Remember, if you don’t want to live somewhere or go to a particular medical school, it’s probably best not to preference it. Also, if you end up completing an interview, remember that your application may still be considered for any schools lower on your preference school than that which you interviewed at.
In the end, choosing preferences is a very personal process, and I’d recommend actually taking time to put thought into your preferences as it isn’t uncommon to receive an offer from that university you just threw in at the end of the list…


Supporting Documentation

A variety of documents may be required for the different graduate medical schools (e.g. proof of rural status, transcripts from non-ARTS universities), and these will need to be delivered to GEMSAS or the individual university you’re applying to by certain deadlines. You should consult the GEMSAS guide and the individual university guides early on to make sure that you can arrange to have all the documentation organised in time.
It’s also important to note that USyd require you to have your GPA calculated by UAC, so it is recommended you do this as soon as you have received your GAMSAT® Exam marks and decided to apply to USyd. This also incurs a fee of $128, and usually must be submitted by late May.


The Interview

In early September you will receive your interview offer from the highest school on your GEMSAS preference list that you were eligible and competitive for. It may be possible that you do not receive an offer from your first preference, in which case that school is then off the table (you cannot be considered for an offer of a place at a school which is a higher preference than the school at which you were interviewed). 
Something else to think about, is that given the location of medical schools around this enormous country that is Australia, you may need to actually fly quite far for your interview. So, it is advisable that you plan ahead for this in terms of time off work, and budget for your flight and accommodation. 
The majority of interviews are held between late September and October, however for USyd they are usually held in late July/early August (with offers being sent out in early July). Make the most of the time you have before the interviews to prepare, as strategies will certainly need to be in place to help you optimise your performance. Remember that receiving an interview is by no means a guarantee of a medical place. 
If you do not qualify for an interview at any of your preferences, you will receive a letter from GEMSAS advising you of this around the same time that interview offers are released.


The Offer

This brings us to the moment you have all been waiting for: offers are usually received in early November!
While it’s possible that some candidates who don’t receive an initial offer will receive a second round offer any time up until the course starts (literally, you can receive an offer the week before the course commences), it’s important to know that if you have been offered a place, you cannot reject that place and drop down to a lower preference – any candidate who rejects their offer completely withdraws their application for that year.
But now is the time to celebrate (and start worrying about the labyrinth of administration that is getting your compliance check for your state or territory health service)!



So hopefully that clears up the graduate medical school application process and GAMSAT timeline somewhat. Just remember to always refer to the right sources (ACER, GEMSAS, universities) for the most up-to-date information and instructions on how to complete your application.
Happy applying!
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