The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (more commonly known as the GAMSAT) is a test used to select candidates applying to study medicine, dentistry and veterinary science at Australian, British, and Irish universities for admission to their Graduate Entry Programmes (candidates must have a recognised Bachelor degree, or equivalent, completed prior to commencement of the degree). Gamsat results are issued as a percentile ranks, rather than a marks out of a total mark. Sitting the GAMSAT is a separate process to applying to study medicine.
Most universities with graduate-entry medical programs require:
* Completion of any Bachelor degree (this includes non-science related degrees e.g. arts, law)
* Obtaining a prerequisite GAMSAT cut-off score
* Achieving a prerequisite GPA - Grade Point Average, or Class of Honours, based on marks from the Bachelor degree
Once a candidate has fulfilled these criteria, they may then apply to universities offering a medicine/dentistry/veterinary science course. If the GAMSAT and GPA scores, or GAMSAT and Degree Class, of the candidate are of sufficient calibre, the candidate may be invited to attend an interview at one or more of the universities to which they applied, based on priority laid out in the student's application. This interview is conducted by established medical practitioners, education professionals and community leaders/members, and aims to elucidate the candidate's personal qualities, ethics, verbal reasoning skills, and motivation to study medicine at their university. If successful at this interview (as one half to two thirds of candidates are), then the candidate may be offered a place on their chosen course at the university.
GAMSAT was originally produced in 1995 by four Australian medical schools as a tool to select for candidates applying to study medicine. In 1999, it was brought into use by British universities - St Georges, University of London first, and subsequently by others including the University of Nottingham, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (Plymouth University and Exeter University) and the University of Swansea. In the Republic of Ireland, the University of Limerick and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland adopted the GAMSAT for medical applicants starting with the 2007 enrolment cycle. It is currently used as the selection criteria for all Graduate Entry programmes in Ireland (UCD, UL, UCC, and RCSI).
GAMSAT is a reasoning rather than knowledge-based test. It is not to be confused with the unrelated UMAT. UMAT is used for applicants to traditional undergraduate-entry medical schools, and is open to high school leavers.
GAMSAT is held only once a year: in late March / early April in Ireland and Australia, and around the middle/end of September in the UK. It is administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and requires timely registration, usually by late January for Ireland and Australia or August for the UK. There is no prescribed synopsis of the test, but it does require the following levels of knowledge:
* Biology and Chemistry - 1st year university
* Physics - UK year 12
* English - general proficiency
The test takes a full day, i.e. from 8am until about 4pm.
* Section I comprises 75 questions in 100 minutes from the Humanities and Social Sciences
* Section II - 2 essays assessing written communication (1 hour) following a 20 minute break (you may not leave the exam room during this 20 minute break)
* Section III - 110 physical science questions in 170 min after 1 hour lunch
A score is calculated based on performance in all three sections, with double weighting applied to section III. This overall score is then used by medical schools to determine which candidates shall be invited to interview.
According to ACER, "quite a few thousand" attend the GAMSAT annually worldwide.