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How to complete the GAT

All instructions given on this website will also appear in writing on the GAT, so there’s no need to memorise them. Supervisors will also help if students have problems with the instructions, but not with the questions themselves.

Copies of previous GAT examinations and multiple choice questions and answers are available.

See, Past GATS

Permitted and required materials

The following materials are permitted or required to sit the GAT:

  • an English and/or bilingual printed dictionary may be used
    • A thesaurus or a combined thesaurus-dictionary is not permitted
    • Electronic dictionaries and calculators are not allowed
  • a blue or black pen for the two Writing Tasks
  • a pencil for responses on the Multiple-Choice Answer Sheet.

Time and tasks

The GAT takes places in a single three-hour session. There are two writing tasks and 70 multiple-choice questions.

Students may complete the tasks in any order. We advise they complete the writing tasks first.

It is suggested that students divide the three hours into the following approximate time allocations:

Writing task 1

30 minutes

Writing task 2

30 minutes

Multiple-choice questions

2 hours


3 hours

Writing tasks

There are two writing tasks in the GAT. These tasks test students' understanding and communication skills in different ways.

Writing task 1

Written and graphical information are presented in colour. Students need to write a piece that presents the main information in this material. Students should not present an argument. Remember the writing is being assessed, not the extra knowledge students may have about the material. Students’ writing will be judged on:

  • how well they organise and present their understanding of the material
  • how effectively they communicate the information
  • how clearly they express themselves.

Writing task 2
Statements on an issue are presented. Students must write a point of view on the issue based on one or more of the statements. Students are free to include other knowledge or information they may have to support their view. Students should aim to present reasons and arguments to support their view and to rebut opposing ideas. Students need to communicate clearly and effectively to the reader. Students’ writing will be judged on:

  • the extent to which they develop their point of view in a reasonable and convincing way
  • how effectively they express themselves.

Multiple-choice questions

The multiple-choice questions cover mathematics, science, technology, humanities, the arts and social sciences. There are 70 questions in this section, which will take about two hours to complete. Students should attempt every question. Marks will not be taken off for incorrect answers.

Students need to use a pencil on the multiple-choice answer sheet. The instructions will show how to shade the boxes to indicate answers.

The multiple-choice section begins with some single questions, with the rest divided into groups of questions or units. Each unit will offer one or more pieces of information and a number of questions about that information.

Tips on doing the GAT

  • Read all the information carefully.
  • Read each question carefully and try to pick out the key ideas and information.
  • For the multiple-choice questions, try to quickly reject choices that appear wrong, then read the question again and select the answer most likely to be right.
  • Attempt all questions and don’t spend too much time on any one question. Questions can also be revisited later.

Download the front cover of the GAT (pdf - 467.69kb)