How Long Are GAMSAT Results Valid For?
Gamsat can be taken in either March or September and the results of either sitting are valid for two consecutive years for applications to university after the date of sitting the test.
However bear in mind that the application cycle differs between the UK and Australia so let's look at a specific example to see how this works:
For an Australian candidate wishing to start a university course in 2021, the application would have to be made by May 2020. The last date possible to sit the Gamsat would therefore be March 2020.
Since results are valid for two years, the results from March 2020, September 2019, March 2019 and September 2018 would all be valid for an application to a course starting in 2021.
For a UK candidate wishing to start a university course in 2021, the application would have to be made by October 2020. The last date possible to sit the Gamsat would therefore be September 2020.
Since results are valid for two years the results from September 2020, March 2020, September 2019 and March 2019 would all be valid for an application to a UK university course starting in 2021.
Why Would I Sit Gamsat Two Years Before I Have To?
There are several reasons. The main one is that since most Gamsat candidates are current university students, they may not want to sit Gamsat in the same year as their university finals. This will be the most stressful and critical period to finish their degree with a high classification or GPA, which will also be important for their medical or dental application.
Students may therefore decide to take the Gamsat in their second year when there is less stress and more time available to study for Gamsat.
Other reasons may be that the student simply wants to do a "practice run" before committing to the test 100%. Or that the student wants to maximize their chances and just take the test as many times as possible within the permitted two year period to see if they can maximize their score.
How Many Times Can I Take GAMSAT?
You can take Gamsat as many times as you want, there is no limit. When you apply to a university course which requires Gamsat such as medicine or dentistry, the university is not informed and they do not know how many times you sat the test.
Which Result Do I Use?
If you sit Gamsat more than once, you can choose which one you use as part of your university application. Obviously most people choose the highest result they obtained from their various sittings.
As mentioned above the universities do not know about your other scores or even that you may have sat the test more than once (unless of course you make an unsuccessful application and then sit the test again and then make a further application.)
Are The Scores Comparable?
Students are often concerned that the test may be easier in or harder in some years than others and that if they are competing with people who sat the test in an easier sitting then the process may not be fair.
To make the scores comparable ACER uses a statistical method to scale the results (adjust them) to make scores from one year directly comparable with another.
The exact way they do this has not been revealed as ACER claims it is "propietary knowledge" so students cannot replicate the process themselves to verify the result.
What's The Best Way To Score Highly?
There are a series of steps which can help you to maximize your score -
Firstly, begin investigating the whole process as soon as possible and prepare your own personal timetable for the test.
As we have seen above this may involve sitting the test two years before you make your application, which may mean you begin your Gamsat preparation up to three years before making your application.
This is a long term process.
Secondly, once you've decided WHEN you are going to take Gamsat, make sure you allow enough time to prepare for the test. For most people we recommend about 6 months especially if you are a non-science graduate.
Finally take advantage of the huge amount of resources available out there to help you pass. There's an abundance of useful materials both free and paid. You'll find most of the free stuff somewhere on this blog, so spend some time browsing!