GAMSAT: The Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test


Thinking of going to medical school? 

You already know that the entrance requirements are tough, but did you know that you may be required to sit a specific admissions test by some university graduate medical schools?

What is the graduate medical schools admissions test (GAMSAT) used for?

The graduate medical schools admissions test is used to assess the suitability of graduates applying for a post-graduate medical course. It is particularly useful in circumstances where the graduate’s degree was not in a science or medical related subject.

Graduate medical schools recognise the value of humanities in providing many of the thinking and personal skills needed for a successful medical career, and the GAMSAT test provides a route into graduate medical school for humanities graduates.

What courses require the graduate medical schools admissions test?

The GAMSAT is used by the following universities and medical schools for all post-graduate entries:

  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Nottingham
  • St Georges (University of London)
  • University of Cardiff
  • University of Swansea

The test is also used for some courses at the University of Exeter and Plymouth University Peninsular College.

What is the format of the graduate medical schools admissions test?

The GAMSAT is a demanding examination that comes in three sections, each designed to test a different skill set:

  • Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Written Communication
  • Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences

The first two sections test your general knowledge and thinking skills, while the third section assumes knowledge of the sciences equivalent to first year undergraduate level in chemistry and biology and A-Level in physics.

How and when do you take the graduate medical schools admissions test?

The GAMSAT is taken at official testing centres across the UK in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, London and Sheffield, and you can choose your nearest centre when you apply. The test for 2013 takes place on 18th September - the only date you can sit the GAMSAT this year. However, you can use your 2013 GAMSAT result for both 2014 and 2015 applications for graduate medical courses.

Registration for the 2013 GAMSAT test opened on 3rd June and will close at midnight on 9th August. Late registration closes on 19th August.

What does the graduate medical schools admissions test cost?

There is a fee of £228 for taking the GAMSAT. If you apply after the closing date, you will also have to pay a late registration fee of £60.

How to prepare for the graduate medical schools admissions test

Preparing for the GAMSAT parts one and two is difficult, in that much of it tests knowledge, thinking skills and attitudes that you will have acquired over a long period. However, if you are not confident in your specialist scientific knowledge, as required in part three of the test, you should study first year university text books on these subjects, or consider enrolling on a foundation science course. 

Practice papers, sample questions and online practice tests are available, and you will also find a detailed description of the test at the GAMSAT website.