GAMSAT For Dentistry
Are you taking Gamsat for dentistry?
In this article I'm going to cover all aspects of the test for dentistry and also look at all the university programs for dentists in Australia and the UK which require Gamsat and what they typically require from applicants.
However let me first of all congratulate you on your wise career choice.
Whilst most people will be taking the test with the hope of entering medicine, dentistry is also an excellent choice of career which has SEVERAL ADVANTAGES over medicine.
Indeed there are many doctors who if given the chance to choose might secretly go back in time and switch to becoming a dentist.
Dentistry has several advantages over medicine some of which include:
1. Regular working hours
Yes, you can do a nice 9.00 am to 5.00 pm day, no shifts, no night work and no long unsocial hours.
2. Better working conditions
You'll be spending your day sitting down in one place in your nice comfortable surgery. No trudging around long hospital corridors from one ward to another.
3. Less stress
While all medical professions carry a certain level of stress due to our responsibility to the patient and the ever present risk of some emergency occurring, without doubt emergency and life threatening situations occur much less frequently in the dental setting.
4. More money
Over the lifetime of your career, a dentist probably earns more money AND earns it quicker.
For example in the UK according to figures published by Legal and Medical (a firm of specialist financial advisors to doctors and dentists) -
"an F1 (doctor) will earn in the mid £20Ks; even with on-call pay, this only increases to the early £30K mark. The dentist, meanwhile, is likely to be earning £40K plus."
and then at the mid career point...
"the dentist could be earning a comfortable £60K-£90K.... The doctors’ pay grade tops out at around £48K as an STR, with on-call potentially taking this into the £60Ks."
So let's get into actually sitting the Gamsat for dentistry and then take a look at the programs which ask for it.
So first of all the good news.
There is no different GAMSAT test for dentistry. People wishing to apply to dental courses sit the EXACT SAME test as everyone else.
That means that you can go ahead and safely use the same widely available Gamsat preparation materials, books and Gamsat courses as everyone else.
What about scores?
Do dental students need to score as highly as medical students in the test?
In a word - NO.
More good news for dentistry candidates.
For example for entrance to the doctor of dental medicine at the University of Sydney in 2019 the GAMSAT score required was 60.
For entrance to the Medical Doctor program at the same university in the same year the score required was 68.
The situation is the same in the UK.
For example at Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine the score required for entry in 2019 was 63.
At Plymouth University Peninsula Dental School in the same year the score required for entry was just 56.
However, don't let the lower scores allow you to become complacent.
First of all while the scores required are lower, there are generally many less places available on dentistry courses than medicine courses so competition is still fierce.
Secondly to get a Gamsat score of 60 (for example) you still have to be in roughly the top 40% of candidates (based on the 2019 Gamsat percentile curve).
The Dental Programs
OK let's look in detail now at the dental programs which require Gamsat.
These are only in the UK and Australia since there are no dentistry courses requiring Gamsat in Ireland.
University of Melbourne - doctor of dental surgery
There are no interviews for this course, offers of places are made on the basis of GAMSAT score and GPA weighted equally.
This course uses the alternative GAMSAT scoring system which only gives a one third weighting to paper III (the science paper) and not a 50% weighting as per the standard scoring formula.
University of Sydney - doctor of dental medicine.
This course selects candidates for interview based on Gamsat score alone. This course also uses the alternative scoring system outlined above.
Offers of places are made on the basis of Gamsat score and interview performance weighted equally.
University of Western Australia - doctor of dental medicine
Uses the standard Gamsat formula and selects candidates for interview on the basis of Gamsat and GPA weighted equally.
Offers of places are made on the basis of interview score, GPA and Gamsat score all weighted equally.
There is only one dental program in the UK which requires Gamsat:
Plymouth University Peninsula Dental School
This program is open to both school leavers and non-school leavers.
If it has been more than 5 years since you left school or you are a graduate applicant then you have to sit GAMSAT.
Selection for interview is made on the basis of your Gamsat score plus the other information on your application form.
Prospects for people wanting to sit Gamsat for dentistry courses are very good both during the application process and once qualified.
Gamsat scores necessary for entry to dental programs are usually considerably lower than for medicine.
The exam is exactly the same and no different preparation materials from those used by medicine applicants are required.
Once qualified dentists can expect to earn more than doctors and sooner on in their careers.
For more help with GAMSAT check out Griffiths Gamsat Review Home Study System which takes you step by step through all three sections with advanced strategies for each.