A lot of people think because their final year of school is such a busy one, they should forget about doing the UMAT and focus on their studies instead. Some say, “Don’t worry if you are not sitting the UMAT, you can always just sit the GAMSAT during Uni and get into Medicine that way”. Whilst this is true, the graduate entry route is no doubt harder. You compete with a far wider range of test takers. The percentage of students who actually get into Graduate Medicine is also far lower than the UMAT percentage intake.
The decision to sit either the UMAT or GAMSAT is your choice. Below is a table comparing the Undergraduate and Graduate route into medicine to help you decide.
Undergraduate Route v Postgraduate Route
|Undergraduate entry into medicine – UMAT||Graduate entry into medicine – GAMSAT|
|Total test duration||3 hours||6.5 hours|
|Test type||Multiple choice||Multiple choice and extended response|
|Assumed knowledge||None||Yes. You are expected to know about: Humanities Social sciences Biology Physics|
|Number of sections||One section – all three types of questions are now mixed together||Three separate sections|
|When does the test take place?||You can only sit the UMAT in you FINAL YEAR of secondary schooling or higher. Students in year 11 or lower are NOT eligible to sit the UMAT even if they are undertaking year 12 subjects||You can sit the GAMSAT if you have completed a bachelor degree, or will be in your second last year/final year of study in a bachelor degree at the time of sitting the GAMSAT|
|Criteria for entry||Entry into undergraduate medicine has three usually equally weighted factors:
||Entry into graduate medical and dental program is based on these three criteria:
These factors may not be equally weighted. Universities may differ in their weighting of performance on each criteria
|Median age of test-takers||UMAT – 18 years (Usually school-leavers)||GAMSAT – 25 years (from a wide range of backgrounds, lawyers, engineers, scientists, accountants, etc)|
So should I do the UMAT instead?
If you are still undecided, consider these points:
- GAMSAT is almost twice the length of UMAT
- GAMSAT has both multiple choice questions AND essay writing. The UMAT is entirely multiple choice.
- UMAT has no assumed knowledge. (It is an aptitude test) The GAMSAT assumes previous knowledge in several areas of sciences. (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc)
- In order to be able to sit the GAMSAT, you have to spend about 3 more years at University studying a Bachelor degree that may not help you in your medical career.
- By sitting the UMAT, you can start studying what you want straight away. Year 12 is already stressful enough, the last thing you would want is to continue studying at that same pace to achieve a high GPA/WAM in your bachelor degree so you can have the chance to gain entry into graduate medicine.