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What is the UK GAMSAT?

Published on
June 7, 2024

What Is The UK GAMSAT?

The GAMSAT, or Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, is a standardized exam used to assess candidates for graduate-entry medical programs. The GAMSAT is administered in the UK, Australia, and Ireland and despite the September sitting of the GAMSAT often being called the "UK GAMSAT" they are in fact, one and the same test. To gain admission to postgraduate medical schools that require the GAMSAT, a high GAMSAT score is crucial to stand out among the competition.

How Long Are GAMSAT Scores Valid in the UK & Ireland?

GAMSAT scores are valid for two years in the UK and Ireland (though this number varies for Australia). For example, if a student applied in 2024 for a program commencing in 2025 the following GAMSAT scores would be applicable:

  • March 2023
  • September 2023
  • March 2024
  • September 2024

September GAMSAT Key Dates for UK & Ireland

Event Date Time (BST)
Registrations open May 2024
Standard registrations close Thursday 4 July 2024 1pm
Late registrations close Thursday 11 July 2024 1pm
Reasonable adjustments close Thursday 4 July 2024 1pm
Refund requests close Thursday 11 July 2024 1pm
Deferral requests close Thursday 11 July 2024 1pm
Written Communication Test Window 31 August - 1 September 2024
Humanities and Biological Sciences Test Window 13 - 15 September 2024
Results available Mid November 2024

How Much Does the GAMSAT Cost in the UK & Ireland?

For the 2024 season, the GAMSAT registration fee for UK candidates is £268 and €365 for Ireland. This fee includes access to an online practice test and some preparatory materials provided by ACER. Additional practice materials can be purchased from ACER directly through your ACER registration portal.

Fee Type Ireland UK
Registration Fee €365 £286
Late Registration Fee €80 £69

Which UK & Irish Universities Use GAMSAT?

Several UK universities in the UK & Ireland require GAMSAT scores for entry into their graduate-entry medical programs. These include:

UK Universities Using GAMSAT

Those applying for Medicine in the UK should make their application through UCAS portal. The closing date for UCAS applications is 15 October 2024.

University Course Code(s) UCAS Code Home Applicants Accepted International Applicants Accepted
Exeter A100 EXETR E84 Yes No
Keele A100 KEELE K12 Yes No
Liverpool A100, A101 LVRPL L41 Yes Yes (A100)
Nottingham A101 NOTTM N84 Yes Yes (A101)
Plymouth A100, A206 PLYM P60 Yes No
St Andrews (Dundee) A101 STA S36 Yes No
St George’s A101 SGEO S49 Yes No
Sunderland A100 SUND S84 Yes No
Surrey A101 SURR S85 Yes No
Swansea A101 SWAN S93 Yes Yes (A101)
Ulster A101 U20 Yes Yes (A101)
Worcester A101 W80 Yes No
Brunel A100 BRUNL B84 Yes No
Imperial A102 I50 Yes No
Chester A101 C55 Yes No

To be classed as a home student, applicants must be nationals from the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

At present, international students are accepted only in the University of Liverpool, Swansea University Medical School, University of Nottingham, and Ulster University.

Irish Universities Using GAMSAT

The CAO (Central Applications Office) processes applications for admission to graduate-entry medicine and veterinary medicine in Ireland. Applicants should consult the CAO website and/or the institutions’ websites for the relevant eligibility criteria for admissions.

  • RCSI University of Medicine & Health Sciences
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick

Given the previous dates, the tentative timelines for CAO applications in 2025 could be as follows:

  • Closing date for applications: 1 February at 5pm GMT
  • Closing date for late applications: 1 May at 5pm GMT
  • Closing date for change of mind applications: 1 July at 5pm GMT

Where Can I Take the GAMSAT Test in the UK & Ireland?

Finding a convenient testing location for the GAMSAT exam is essential for candidates across the UK & Ireland. Notably, during the September session, with more students taking the GAMSAT, there is a broader range of test centers available, especially in the UK.

UK GAMSAT Test Centers September 2024:

  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Derry / Londonderry
  • Edinburgh
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Norwich
  • Plymouth
  • Sheffield
  • Sunderland

Ireland GAMSAT Test Centers September 2024:

  • Cork
  • Dublin
  • Limerick
  • Sligo

GAMSAT UK & Ireland Test Format

The GAMSAT exam format is divided into three sections - Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3. Typically, the Written test, which is Section 2, is conducted earlier in the day, followed by Sections 1 and 3 later on the same day. There is only a break between the Written test (Section 2) and the subsequent sections.

Section Question Type Question Number Reading Time Writing Time
Section 1 Multiple Choice 62 Questions 8 Minutes 92 Minutes
Section 2 Written Essays Two Written Essays 5 Minutes 60 Minutes
Section 3 Multiple Choice 75 Questions 8 Minutes 142 Minutes

For a more detailed breakdown of each section, check out our article: What Is The GAMSAT.

What will the Sept 2024 GAMSAT look like in the UK?

The Logistics Of The September 2024 GAMSAT: A New GAMSAT Dynamic

The March 2024 GAMSAT shifted the logistics of the GAMSAT by splitting up Section 2 (essay writing) with Section 1 (comprehension) & Section 3 (sciences). Candidates now complete Section 2 at home via ProctorU 2 weeks before they go to the test centre, at either 8am or 2:30pm (local time), and complete Section 1 & Section 3 under exam conditions on a desktop computer.

The September 2024 GAMSAT will follow the same “split-up GAMSAT” across the following dates:

  • Section 2: Complete at home via Online Proctoring from 31 August - 1 September 2024
    • 2 Typed Essays in 65 minutes
  • Section 1 & Section 3: Complete at test centre via desktop computer from 13 - 15 September 2024
    • Section 1 - 62 Multiple Choice Questions in 100 minutes
    • Section 3 - 75 Multiple Choice Questions in 150 minutes

Section 2 Proctored at Home

  • Every candidate gets to pick a 65 minute time slot to complete their Section 2 Exam via ProctorU between 31 August - 1 September 2024
  • You will be given email instructions on the environment in which you have to complete the Section 2 Exam - you must ensure it is quiet, with no writing / posters on the wall and you have a computer with a camera and microphone to converse with the Proctor before beginning
  • If you encounter technical difficulties, you are able to talk with your Proctor. If this is not possible (internet cut outs), you will have to email ACER and they will sort out a potential alternative for you.
  • You are allowed to bring a 30cm x 25cm erasable whiteboard, or 2 sheets of A4 Paper to use during the exam

Section 1 & Section 3 at a Testing Centre

  • Every candidate has the option of picking a day between 13 - 15 September 2024, and a time slot of either 8am - 1:50pm; or 2:30pm - 8:20pm
  • You need to arrive at the test centre at either 8am or 2:30pm
  • From there, it takes about 1 hour for everyone to sit down and set up for Section 1
  • Section 1 runs for 100 minutes, and you are allowed to bring a 30cm x 25cm erasable whiteboard, or you are provided with 2 sheets of A4 Paper
  • You then have a 20 minute break at the end of Section 1 - you are not allowed to leave the testing centre but you can leave the room
  • You then return for 150 minutes of Section 3, where you are again allowed to bring a 30cm x 25cm erasable whiteboard, or you are provided with 2 sheets of A4 Paper
  • After Section 3, you pack up your belonging and leave the testing centre

What to expect for the September 2024 GAMSAT?

The GAMSAT is a psychometric exam. Unlike university exams which are typically predicated on knowledge and content memorisation, the GAMSAT tests the aptitude of candidates by uncovering psychometric trends in their mindset when they respond to stimuli. In each Section, there are a variety of psychometric skills - such as Logical Reasoning, Thematic Analysis & Mathematical Reasoning - that are tested to build a holistic profile of the psyche and aptitude of each candidate. This composition of the GAMSAT has remained consistent since 2017, and will not change. There have been, however, intriguing trends in each of the Sections that provide us with an understanding of what to expect for the S24 GAMSAT.

Analysing GAMSAT Section 1: The Inference Trend

Pertaining to Section 1, as the GAMSAT occurs over multiple days, every candidate gets a different balance of questions in their 62 questions. Some may get more questions about journal articles, some may get more poems, others may get more questions about diagrams and so on. This has been a recurring trend for the past 3 years of GAMSATs, and will continue to remain for the S24 GAMSAT. As a result, this means that each candidate must ensure that their GAMSAT Section 1 skills are sound across the board - making sure that they have no glaring weaknesses across text types.

Key Trends found in Section 1

When it comes to the psychometric skills tested within Section 1 questions, there have been two key trends noted in GAMSATs of recent times.

  1. Comparative Analysis Increase: First of all, there has been an increase in the quantity of comparative analysis questions where candidates are required to compare the meanings, structure & context of multiple texts to arrive at an answer.
  2. Logical & Deductive Reasoning Emphasis: Second, there has been an increase in logical reasoning & deductive reasoning questions - requiring individuals to assess the evidence and infer the closest answer based on the evidence provided.

Both these trends are projected to continue for the S24 GAMSAT - meaning that individuals preparing for Section 1 should pay close attention to their comparative analysis & logical reasoning skills.

Analysing GAMSAT Section 2: Maintaining the Status Quo

On the other hand, Section 2 has undergone minimal change over the years. Each GAMSAT, candidates are provided with a Task A Prompt Set in Section 2, which has historically related to socio-political issues, and a Task B Prompt Set, which has been concerned more with the intangibilities of the human condition.

Focus on content rather than task characterisation

In recent GAMSATs, including March 2024, there has been an increasing blurring of the “dichotomy” between Task A & Task B Prompts - with potential Task B Prompts appearing as Task A Prompts, and vice versa.

This means that for all candidates, the characterisation of each Task as A or B should not heavily influence their approach, but rather each candidate should focus on the content of the Prompt Set, and compose an effective piece of writing from there.

Keep in mind that as the GAMSAT occurs over numerous days, each candidate will get 2 Prompts from the Section 2 “pool of Prompts” ACER has allocated for the M24 GAMSAT.

In terms of main themes & sub-themes embedded within the Prompt Sets, a constant pattern has endured in the last five years of the GAMSAT.

  1. Approximately 90% of Prompt Sets contain relatively broad and general humanities themes that are able to be accessed and responded to. These include themes such as happiness, technology, love and government.
  2. There are, however, 10% of Prompt Sets over the years that have contained more complex and niche themes which require more nuance and time to respond to. Some of the more recent themes like this have been wilderness, optimism, animal companionship and compromise.

As such, we can project that the Prompt Sets for the September 2024 GAMSAT will contain mostly general and typical themes, with about 1-2 atypical and niche themes that some candidates will get.

Analysing GAMSAT Section 3: Maths & Blurring Scientific Disciplines

Section 3 of the GAMSAT has undergone significant change over the GAMSATs.

Shift from Knowledge Testing to Psychometric Focus Testing

Pre-2017, Section 3 was heavily based upon prior scientific knowledge and would favour candidates who adopted a memorisation approach.

Since 2017, however, Section 3 has joined Section 1 & Section 2 in being psychometrically-focused and testing the aptitude and skills of candidates behind each question. This psychometric focus in the natural sciences will continue into the September 2024 GAMSAT.

Maths Playing a Crucial Role

When it comes to the content within Section 3, there has been an increase in the number of questions which require a heavy dose of mathematical reasoning to reach the answer. This “maths-heavy” Section 3 exam has been a constant in the last three GAMSAT, and it is very likely that the September 2024 GAMSAT will be similar.

We have also noticed that increasingly, stems and questions in Section 3 are less defined by whether they derive from biology, chemistry or physics, but rather are more focused on the underlying psychometric skill, such as graphical analysis or pathways understanding, to lead to the answer.

This means that for candidates looking to hone their Section 3 skills, the focus should be on the foundational skills as outlined in ACER’s GAMSAT Information Booklet, rather than simply targeting physics or chemistry.

What is a good GAMSAT UK score?

A good GAMSAT score can vary depending on the university and the competitiveness of the program. Generally, looking at GAMSAT score cutoffs from the last year can give you an idea of what scores are considered competitive.

UK GAMSAT Score Cutoffs

University 2022 Cutoff Score
Exeter 63
Keele 55 (Overall), 58 (Section 3), 50 (Sections 1 and 2)
Liverpool 50
Nottingham 56
Plymouth 65
St Andrews (Dundee) 57 (No section below 50)
St George’s 56
Sunderland Either 55 (Overall), 58 (Section 3) OR 58 (Overall). 55 (Section 3)
Swansea 63
Ulster 55
Worcester 50 overall

Understanding GAMSAT Score Ranges for UK Medical Schools

Analyzing GAMSAT scores can provide valuable insights into your competitiveness for different medical schools. Here's a breakdown of score ranges and their implications:

Good GAMSAT Scores in the UK (60-64):

A GAMSAT score above 60 reflects a strong performance, positioning you well within the competitive pool of applicants. Consider targeting top-tier medical schools like Exeter and Swansea, where candidates with such scores often stand out.

Average GAMSAT Scores in the UK (55-59):

Scores between 55 and 59 is a decent GAMSAT score and indicate a solid performance on the GAMSAT. While they may not be exceptionally high, strategically selecting medical schools that value overall application strength can enhance your chances of success.

Low GAMSAT Scores in the UK (<55):

In the UK, any GAMSAT score below 55 is typically regarded as low. However, even with scores below this threshold, there are still opportunities for success. Some universities, like Liverpool and Ulster, take a holistic approach to admissions, considering various factors alongside GAMSAT scores. By strategically choosing medical schools that align with your strengths, you can enhance your chances of admission despite a lower GAMSAT score.

Understanding these score ranges and each institution's preferences enables applicants to make informed decisions and target medical schools that best fit their GAMSAT performance and overall application profile. It is also worth noting that these score profile differ considerably to Australia and thus “doing well” for UK entrance does not always equate to “doing well” for Australia. To understand the Australia score requisites see our GAMSAT Scores article.

Free GAMSAT Resources

Studying for the GAMSAT can be daunting, but there are plenty of free resources available to help you prepare before you need to consider investing in a preparatory program.

Fraser’s Learning Academy

At Fraser's Learning Academy, we offer a Free Learning Management System (LMS) as our initiative to give back and help make GAMSAT prep affordable for everyone. Our LMS includes a comprehensive study guide, practice materials, an extensive GAMSAT question bank, video tutorials, and mock exams to ensure you are well-prepared for the test. Check it out: Fraser’s Learning Academy

Here are some additional free resources that we highly recommend.

  1. Online Practice Test
  2. GAMSAT 2024 Syllabus

Getting started with your Section-wise prep

  1. GAMSAT Section 1: Reasoning in Humanities
  2. GAMSAT Section 2: Written Communication
  3. GAMSAT Section 3: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences
  4. GAMSAT Example Questions

Related Articles

  1. Section 1: What to Expect & How to Study
  2. Section 2: How to Write High Scoring Essays
  3. Section 3: Tips & Strategy