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UCAT vs GAMSAT

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There are two major pathways into medicine: the undergraduate route (which generally requires you to sit UCAT) and the graduate route (which generally requires GAMSAT). As an aspiring medical student, it can be difficult to know which pathway to take, particularly when some universities strongly market the graduate route.

MedEntry recommends that you choose the undergraduate (UCAT) route, as there are several advantages for you and your future medical career. For more information, check out this blog: https://www.medentry.edu.au/ucat/entry/medicine-at-unsw-or-usyd

This blog summarises the differences between UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) and the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical Schools Admission Test) to help you make an informed decision.

Basic Information

Features

UCAT

GAMSAT

Medical/Dental Schools which accept these test scores

UWA, Curtin, Adelaide, Flinders, Monash, UNSW, Newcastle, JMP, WSU, CSU, Qld, Auckland, Otago, La Trobe

UWA, Flinders, UniMelb, Deakin, Wollongong, USyd, Qld, Griffith, ANU, Macquarie, Notre Dame

Test date

Once a year in July-August

Twice a year, in March and September

Test fees

$305 ($199 for concession)

$515

For how long are scores valid?

One year

Two years

Number of people sitting the test every year in AU/NZ

About 15,000

About 10,000

Preferred by

High achieving students, students sure about their career choice, students who want to start their medical career earlier

Students that did not perform well in high school and/or UCAT, students who are less certain of their career choice

Number of unis which will offer an interview if you score highly

Up to 13 interviews

Only one (apply through GEMSAS but only one interview offered)

Eligibility to sit the test

Features

UCAT

GAMSAT

Who can sit the test?

Must be in year 12 (year 13 in NZ) or later

Must have completed a Bachelor degree, or who will be in the penultimate (second-last) or final year of study, at the time of sitting the test

Can you sit the test during a gap year after high school?

Yes

No

Can you sit the test during university?

Yes

Yes, but only if you are in the second last year of your degree or later

Can you sit the test if you are a graduate or postgraduate?

Yes

Yes

Cohort of people sitting the test

Mainly school leavers (median age 19)

Mainly graduates, postgraduates & professionals (median age 24)

How many times can you resit the test?

You can resit once per year, in Year 12 (Year 13 in NZ) or thereafter

No limit, as long as you are in the second last year of degree or later

Test Details

Features

UCAT

GAMSAT

Number of Questions

233

124 (including 2 essay prompts)

Time allowed

2 hours

6.5 hours (including lunch break)

Number of sections

Five subtests

Three sections

Test type

Entirely multiple choice

Multiple choice + two essays

Difficulty of the test

Fast paced

Requires stamina to endure long duration

Test score

Out of 3600

Out of 100

Cost of preparing

About $200+

Generally more expensive, $600+

Test Content

Features

UCAT

GAMSAT

Prior knowledge

Not required: tests generic or transferable skills

Knowledge of Biology, Physics, Chemistry required

Constructs tested

Verbal reasoning

Decision making

Quantitative reasoning

Abstract reasoning

Situational Judgement

Reasoning in humanities and social sciences

Written communication

Reasoning in biological and physical sciences

Essay writing

Not required

May suit those with strengths in writing

Abstract reasoning

May suit those with a strength in this area

Not tested

As you can see from this table, sitting UCAT is generally less expensive, less difficult, and gives you the greatest chance of entering your dream course. You will also start practising as a doctor at least two years earlier.

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