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UCAT, GAMSAT or Both?

Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists

Any student who has obtained a bachelor’s degree before beginning the academic year will be eligible to apply for graduate entry medicine. Whilst some universities specify the subject of the previous degree to be science- or health- related, most universities accept all graduates. It is important to consider the entry requirements for each graduate course, which may encompass a-level qualifications or equivalent. Some universities have specific graduate entry courses, which may be accelerated and based upon a shorter 4-year curriculum. All graduates are also allowed to enter standard entry medicine courses. If you are considering applying to study medicine as a graduate, you may be wondering what additional aptitude tests you need to sit. In this article we will outline the variety of criteria of graduate courses and discuss your options as you decide whether to sit the GAMSAT, UCAT, both, or neither.

Before selecting which aptitude tests to sit, carefully consider whether you would like to apply for an undergraduate or graduate entry degree. For each university research the differences in the various courses they offer. Graduate courses may differ to standard entry courses in the following areas: the location they are based, qualification achieved, length of study, or way of teaching (including prosection vs dissection).

On paper, graduate entry medicine is more competitive when comparing applicant to offer ratios; they are often 2/3 times higher compared to for standard entry courses. Do not discard standard entry medicine courses. Many Universities favour graduates with the cohort being largely made up of graduates.

Both the UCAT and GAMSAT require extensive preparation time. Consider if you have to time to devote to preparation when deciding which aptitude tests to sit. Let’s consider the UCAT and GAMSAT separately:

GAMSAT

Applicants will sit the GAMSAT in September or March. Similarly, to the UCAT, GAMSAT is an aptitude test assessing problem solving, critical thinking and writing skills. However, the GAMSAT assesses a student’s knowledge and ability in biological and physical sciences. Students whose undergraduate degrees are in non-scientific fields are still permitted to sit the GAMSAT, but their preparations may need to be more extensive. Sitting the UCAT may be a sensible backup if you are one of these students. The GAMSAT is divided into 3 main sections: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Science, Written Communication and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences. The question formats used in the GAMSAT vary more than the simple multiple choice-based questions used in the UCAT. Sections 1 and 3 are based upon multiple choice formatted questions, as opposed to section 2 which involves 2 thirty-minute writing tasks. Before deciding to sit the GAMSAT you may choose to consider your written communication skills, as these are not assessed as part of the UCAT. It is important to be aware that results for the March Exam series will be released in late May prior to your UCAS application, while students who sit the GAMSAT in September will receive their results in mid-November having applied through UCAS. If you are aware of how well you have done in the GAMSAT before you apply, then you can use this to choose which universities to strategically apply to. The GAMSAT is primarily used for graduate entry courses, however a small number of standard entry courses consider GAMSAT scores of graduates, and these are listed below. Undergraduate students applying to the same course will not be required to sit GAMSAT.

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University

Course

Additional information

Cardiff University school of Medicine

Mb BCh Medicine

 

Keele Univeristy School of Medicine

MB ChB Medicine

Graduate applicants not meeting A-level/ GCSE requirements – must also sit UCAT or BMAT as appropriate

University of Liverpool School of Medicine

MB ChB

 

Plymouth University

BMBS

Graduate or more than 5 years since current qualifications were achieved

University

 

 

Cardiff University school of Medicine

Mb BCh Medicine

 

Keele Univeristy School of Medicine

MB ChB Medicine

Graduate applicants not meeting A-level/ GCSE requirements – must also sit UCAT or BMAT as appropriate

University of Liverpool School of Medicine

MB ChB

 

Plymouth University

BMBS

Graduate or more than 5 years since current qualifications were achieved

The following 4 year courses use GAMSAT as their standard admissions test when assessing students.

University

Course

Additional Information

University of Nottingham Medical School

BMBS Medicine and Surgery

 

ScotGEM (University of Dundee and University of St Andrew

MB ChB Medicine

Should be sat in either the year of application or previous year.

St Georges, London

MBBS Medicine

 

Swansea University Medical School

MB BCh Medicine

Minimum score of 50 overall and 50 in Section 3.

Ulster University Medical School

MBBS Medicine

 

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BMAT

Graduates applying to University of Oxford Medical School BM BCh Medicine 4-year course will be required to sit the BMAT.

UCAT

Graduates will sit the exact same exam as all other UCAT competitors. When quantifying your ranking using percentiles, all scores including those of graduates and non-graduates are accounted for. 

The following 4-year courses use UCAT as their standard admissions test in their application. 

 

University

Course

Additional Information

University of Birmingham

MB ChB Medicine and Surgery

SJT incorporates into overall score post-interview

King’s College London School of Medical Education

MBBS Medicine

 

Newcastle University Medical School

MBBS Medicine

 

Queen Mary University, Barts and the London School of Medicine

MBBS Medicine

 

University of Sheffield Medical School

MB BCh Medicine

 

University of Southampton faculty of medicine

BMBS Medicine

 

University of Warwick Medical School

MB ChB Medicine

 

UCAT, GAMSAT or Both?

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