The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is administered twice a year. In this article we look at the GAMSAT dates and when to start preparing for the exam.
The GAMSAT is administered in March and September each year. For more information on the GAMSAT March sitting and GAMSAT September sitting check out the respective articles on the blog. The table below shares a summary of the key GAMSAT Dates:
|Testing Dates||Mid-Late March||Mid-Late September|
|Registrations Opens||Early November||Mid May|
|Late Registrations Closes||Early February||Early August|
|Results Day||Mid May||Mid November|
For more information on the latest GAMSAT dates visit the ACER website.
When to Start Preparing for the GAMSAT
There is a lot of advice online on when to start preparing for the test. During my interviews for the GAMSAT Study Guide I spoke with over a hundred high scoring students on what advice they would give to other students.
The general response was…it depends.
It depends on how easy you find the diagnostic practice tests.
As part of the GAMSAT study plan, it’s important to recognise your strongest and weakest areas in the GAMSAT as soon as possible. The most reliable way is by attempting a mock exam to identify where your natural capabilities lie. These are diagnostic tests you will use to recognise the following:
- Weakest and strongest section
- Weakest and strongest topic, concept or skill within each section
- Time management within each section (i.e use of time)
The results from this mock will determine the amount of time you should spend preparing for the exam. I recommend not to do much practice beforehand to get a real feel of where your natural capabilities. Generally speaking students with non-science backgrounds tend to find section 3 more difficult so may require more time to get up to speed on science concepts. However, during the research for the study guide I spoke with non-science students that spent the same amount of time as an average science candidate to prepare for the GAMSAT. So it really depends on your individual circumstances.
I propose doing at least 2-3 diagnostic tests, do the first test untimed to get a feel of the questions in the exam. Then do the remaining under timed conditions, I would recommend splitting it up, for instance, maybe do Section 1 and review answers in one day, then Section 3 on another day. For section 2 get friends/family to mark essay or use a gamsat essay marking service.
When I took the GAMSAT back in 2015, I did two practice tests before I fully started with my revision to accurately recognise my weak areas. I recommend you do the same.
|Diagnostic Test Difficulty||Amount of Time to Prepare||Estimated Hours to Prepare|
|Very Easy||1 month||20 hours|
|Easy||2 month||50 hours|
|Ok||3 month||70 hours|
|Hard||5 months||100 hours|
|Very Hard||6 months||120 hours|
The table above is the recommended preparation time for the GAMSAT, calculations were based on my personal experience and feedback from over a hundred high scoring candidates from both science and non-science backgrounds. Nonetheless, it should be used as a rule of thumb and act as a guide to help plan your preparation.