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GAMSAT® March vs September

GAMSAT March vs September: What's the Difference?

by , 08 March, 2024
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The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT®) is a crucial examination for aspiring medical professionals seeking admission to graduate-entry medical programs. One of the key decisions candidates must make is choosing between the March and September sittings of the GAMSAT®. While both test dates follow the same overall format, there are subtle differences that can impact a candidate's performance and preparation strategies.


GAMSAT March vs September: Timing and Frequency

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The primary difference between the March and September GAMSAT® exams lies in their temporal placement within the calendar. The March sitting occurs earlier in the year offering candidates the opportunity to commence their GAMSAT preparation in advance. This timing allows preparation during the summer holidays which is particularly beneficial for those with fewer academic commitments during this period. Conversely, the September sitting is scheduled for the later part of the year and this timing is advantageous for those who prefer a protracted and steady study regimen, allowing for a more gradual assimilation of the extensive GAMSAT® syllabus alongside university academic commitments. The flexibility in scheduling between the March and September sittings empowers candidates to tailor their preparation timelines according to personal commitments and academic calendars, optimising their readiness for the examination.


GAMSAT March vs September: Application Deadlines

Beyond the temporal distinctions between the March and September GAMSAT® sessions, candidates must factor in the application deadlines set by their targeted medical schools. The alignment of the GAMSAT® sitting with these critical timelines becomes imperative, as it directly influences the availability of test scores for the application process. It is important to note that GAMSAT® scores from the September sitting cannot be considered for an application to a medical school in the following year. Opting for a GAMSAT® sitting that synchronises with application deadlines ensures that candidates can submit their scores promptly, enhancing their competitiveness in the admissions process. This consideration not only underscores the importance of careful scheduling but also emphasises the need for prospective medical students to be well-informed about the specific requirements and timelines of the institutions to which they aspire. By strategically aligning GAMSAT® sittings with application deadlines, candidates can optimise their chances of securing admission to their desired graduate-entry medical programs.

Visit our GAMSAT 2024 page for more information about the timeline and important deadlines.


GAMSAT March vs September: Seasonal Variations

An underappreciated difference between the March and September sittings of the GAMSAT® is the significant seasonal variations that can influence candidates' well-being and test performance. These variations extend beyond mere calendar months and may encompass changes in weather conditions and daylight hours. These seasonal nuances can impact various logistical aspects of test preparation, including travel arrangements and accommodation choices. Additionally, the testing environment itself may be influenced by these seasonal factors, potentially affecting candidate comfort and overall testing experience. Recognizing and adapting to these seasonal variations becomes integral in ensuring that candidates are adequately prepared for the diverse conditions they may encounter during their GAMSAT® examination.


GAMSAT March vs September: Preparation Strategies

Customising preparation strategies to align with the distinctive demands of the chosen GAMSAT® sitting is pivotal for candidates aiming to maximise their performance. Those targeting the March GAMSAT®, should strategically intensify their preparation during the preceding summer holiday. This proactive approach ensures that candidates are well-prepared to navigate the unique challenges associated with the earlier sitting, taking into account factors such as seasonal conditions and the proximity of the test date. Conversely, September GAMSAT® candidates must be adept at managing potential distractions linked to the academic year. Balancing the demands of coursework alongside dedicated GAMSAT® preparation becomes crucial during this period, requiring a strategic and focused approach. By tailoring their study plans to the specific temporal and academic challenges associated with their chosen sitting, candidates enhance their adaptability and readiness to face the GAMSAT® examination confidently.


GAMSAT March vs September: Flexibility and Retakes

An appreciation of the differences between the March and September GAMSAT® sessions affords candidates a valuable degree of flexibility, particularly in the context of retakes. This understanding enables candidates to plan for contingencies and reassess their preparedness in the event of unexpected challenges. For example, if a candidate encounters unforeseen difficulties during the March sitting, they can leverage the flexibility of the GAMSAT® schedule to opt for a retake in the September sitting. Conversely, those facing challenges in September have the option to regroup and enhance their preparation for the subsequent March sitting. This flexibility not only provides candidates with a second chance but also allows them to learn from the experience, adjust their strategies, and approach the retake with a more informed and targeted preparation plan. In this way, comprehending the nuances between the two sittings serves as a strategic advantage, empowering candidates to navigate setbacks and optimise their chances of success in the GAMSAT® examination.


In conclusion, the choice between the March and September sittings of the GAMSAT® is a critical decision for aspiring medical professionals seeking admission to graduate-entry medical programs. The temporal placement of these exams within the academic calendar introduces nuanced differences, impacting preparation strategies and performance. The March sitting strategically aligns with the beginning of the academic year, emphasising intensive summer preparation, while the September sitting allows for a gradual assimilation of the syllabus alongside a tertiary education workload. Considering application deadlines further underscores the need for strategic planning, aligning GAMSAT® sittings with critical timelines to enhance competitiveness in the admissions process. Seasonal variations and the impact on well-being and test performance highlight the importance of recognizing and adapting to diverse conditions during the examination. Customising preparation strategies according to the demands of the chosen sitting becomes pivotal, ensuring adaptability and readiness. The flexibility of retakes between March and September provides candidates with a valuable opportunity to navigate challenges and optimise their performance. Finally, understanding the nuances between the sittings serves as a strategic advantage, empowering candidates to navigate setbacks and maximise their chances of success in the GAMSAT® examination.


Before you get your GAMSAT® preparation started, be sure to check out our GAMSAT scores page to learn more about what score you need to aim for to be competitive with your medical school application.