UCAT or GAMSAT? which route is harder? which route is easier?

10 months ago by Robert

For a simple comparison of UCAT and GAMSAT, please read this article:


Medicine entry via GAMSAT or UCAT? what’s the difference?

It’s a question anyone wanting to gain entry into medicine will inevitably ask: ‘Am I better off sitting the UCAT and doing an undergraduate medicine degree, or should I sit the GAMSAT to gain entry into a graduate medicine course?’

To make things easier, below is a comparative summary of some of the key elements of both the GAMSAT (graduate entry pathway) and the UCAT (undergraduate entry pathway) so you can make up your own mind. See our earlier blog entries for a simple comparison of studying medicine at Monash or Melbourne and studying medicine at Usyd or UNSW.

Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test

Graduate Medical School Admissions Test

What is the UCAT?

UCAT is the University Clinical Aptitude Test. UCAT is one of three criteria (UCAT, ATAR and an interview) used by most universities in selecting students into high demand health related careers such as medicine and dentistry. Without satisfactory completion of UCAT you will be ineligible for these undergraduate medicine and health science courses.

What is the GAMSAT?

GAMSAT is the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test. The GAMSAT is a test used to select candidates applying to study medicine and other health science courses at Australian universities that offer grauduate-entry programmes. .

What is the UCAT structure?

total test duration: 2 hours test type: multiple choice essay questions: none assumed knowledge: none.

There are 233 multiple choice questions that come from 5 different ‘sub-tests i.e sections:

  • sub-test one: Verbal Reasoning
  • sub-test two: Decision Making
  • sub-test three: Quantitative Reasoning
  • sub-test four: Abstract Reasoning
  • sub-test five: Situational Judgement

What is the GAMSAT structure?

total test duration: 6.5 hours test type: multiple choice and extended written response essay questions: yes assumed knowledge: yes.

The three sections of the GAMSAT are:

  • section one: reasoning in humanities and social sciences (this requires essay writing)
  • section two: written communication(this also requires essay writing)
  • section three: reasoning in biological and physical sciences. (this section does assume a certain level of knowledge)

When do I sit the UCAT?

You can only sit the UCAT in your final year of secondary schooling, or higher. Students who are currently in Year 12 or lower are NOT eligible to take UCAT even if they are undertaking one or more Year 13 subjects.

When do I sit the GAMSAT?

GAMSAT is available to any student who has completed a Bachelor degree, or who will be in the penultimate (second-last) or final year of study for a Bachelor degree, at the time of sitting the test.

How does UCAT help me gain entry into medicine?

Gaining into an undergraduate medical degree entails three, usually equally weighted criteria:

  • ATAR score (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank – year 12 results) and;
  • UCAT score (Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admissions Test) and;
  • Interview score or oral assessment.

How does GAMSAT help me gain entry into medicine?

Applicants are selected for admission into the graduate-entry medical and dental programs on the basis of these three criteria:

  • WAM (weighted average mark) or GPA (grade point average) of bachelor degree and;
  • GAMSAT score and;
  • multiple interview rounds (MMI).

The universities may differ in their weighting of performance on each of the criteria.

So is the UCAT easier and GAMSAT harder?

Consider these final points:

  • GAMSAT is over three times the length of UCAT.
  • GAMSAT requires essay writing whereas UCAT does not: It is entirely multiple choice.
  • UCAT has no assumed knowledge (it is an aptitude test) whereas GAMSAT requires specialist knowledge in areas of physics, chemistry, biology etc.

For more information on the UCAT including UCAT preparation and UCAT practice papers please see MedEntry UCAT preparation.