You prepared for months before test day. You looked forward to your new career as a doctor resplendent in the horizon. And you sweated through those hours in the exam to get that GAMSAT score. But what does it actually mean and how do you interpret those results?
When and How GAMSAT Scores are Released
Your GAMSAT results will be generally be available in September for GAMSAT candidates in the UK. GAMSAT Australia and GAMSAT Ireland results will be available in May. As privacy is important the GAMSAT scores will have to be accessed online, so when they are released you can expect an email from ACER explaining how to get them.
Can You Work Out Your Own GAMSAT Score?
Let’s start off by saying what this article can’t help you with. You won’t know what exact score you’ll need in the GAMSAT to get into your medical school of choice, the school’s number of places and hence score needed changes frequently, so all enquiries should be directed there. Here’s what it can help you with: Understanding and interpreting your percentile score.
ACER is pretty clear about the GAMSAT score. According to the info booklet, there is no point in trying to work out the scores at home. The GAMSAT scoring process is highly confidential, which means that even the weightage of the separate sections and separate questions is not given.
What is a Percentile GAMSAT Score and Why it’s Important?
A raw test score is hard to make sense of. A percentile score measures how well you did compared to others who sat the same test. Above is the percentile curve for GAMSAT Australia 2007. If you achieved a score of 59 (which is not bad, but not fantastic) you’d have a score in the 62nd percentile. In other words 62 % of people had a score lower than yours. The percentile is not actually used by the med schools as an entry requirement, but the stats allow you to see how you’ve done compared to other students who have sat the same test. The percentile GAMSAT score is also a useful measure for ACER themselves to see how students have achieved overall.
If, for example, one year’s score of 60 puts a candidate in the 60th percentile. But the next year the same score is in the 50th percentile, the examiners will have to ask some questions about the exam difficulty. This will be of interest to you if you sit the exam more than once.
Read Also: How GEMSAS Uses Your GAMSAT Score
Just because your percentile has gone down from one year to the next it doesn’t mean disaster! What it does mean is that either the test candidates of that year are brighter than those of a previous year, or the test difficulty has increased. The percentile does not really help you except for you to compare your score with others, ACER however might tweak and change subsequent test based on what they learn from the percentile score.
It’s NOT Your Raw Score
You’ll be looking at a score for, say Section 3, and be astounded that it’s not as high as you had calculated. You are certain that you got every question right, but the score doesn’t show that. How could that be? To make the GAMSAT scores comparable from year to year ACER scales the scores, so the number you see next to each section is not your raw score.
To put it in a nutshell, the GAMSAT overall score is calculated like this (as per the ACER Info Booklet):
Overall Score = (1 × Section I + 1 × Section II + 2 × Section III) ÷ 4.
The GAMSAT scorecard will show your scores in each individual section. Each of these scores are calculated on a scale of 1-100, and not not percentage marks.
The scores are calculated to several decimal places, but your scorecard will reflect the rounded figure. You can calculate your percentile rank with the help of the chart ACER provides along with your score.
This is what the GAMSAT scorecard looks like:
So What is a Good Score?
There have been confirmed cases of students getting over a GAMSAT score of 80 for the test (so the score of 77 and above is actually very good). An average score normally sits around the mid-to-high 50’s, with a 75th percentile around about the low 60’s. However, bear in mind that if your GAMSAT score is lower or higher than this it purely depends on what score that your chosen university is currently accepting.