GAMSAT: A 10-year retrospective overview, with detailed analysis of candidates' performance in 2014

Annette Mercer, Brendan Crotty, Louise Alldridge, Luc T Le, Veronica Vele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT) is undertaken annually in centres around Australia and a small number of overseas locations. Most Australian graduate entry medical schools also use Grade Point Average and interview score for selection. The aim of this study was to review the performance of the GAMSAT over the last 10 years; the study provides an analysis of the impact of candidates' gender, age, language background, level of academic qualification and background discipline on performance; and details on the performance of higher-scoring candidates. These analyses were undertaken on the 2014 data; and trends in the data over the 10-year period are noted.

METHODS: In reviewing performance, the main variables considered were: - Overall GAMSAT score and scores for Section 1, Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, Section 2, Written Communication, and Section 3, Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences. - Proportions of candidates achieving a Typical Entry Score. - Impact of gender, age, language background, level of academic qualification and undergraduate course (i.e. subject discipline) on test scores. Descriptive statistics and tests of significance were applied to determine the impact of demographic variables on performance.

RESULTS: The number of candidates is increasing. Test reliability is consistently high. Higher scores overall are more likely for candidates who are male; are less than 24 years old; have an English-speaking background; have an Honours degree or a doctorate; and have completed a degree which is not health-related.

CONCLUSIONS: Performance of the GAMSAT exam over the last 10 years has been stable with high reliability. There are significant variations in candidate performance related to age, gender, level and discipline of previous academic study and language background.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aptitude tests
  • Medical student selection

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