The GAT is actually more important than you might think. Here is why.
The General Achievement Test (GAT) is an exam that is three hours in length undertaken by students completing units 3 & 4 subjects. As the name suggests, this exam tests general knowledge and skills in three key areas. English (written communication), Maths (including science and technology) and Humanities (including humanities, arts and social sciences).
The GAT does not directly count towards a students VCE results – so why is it done, and why is it important?
Basically, think of the GAT as the moderator of VCE. The GAT is sat by every student, regardless of their school status, background, or subjects they are studying. Every single student sits the exact same test. This test is marked externally, meaning your school does not mark it, but rather specialised GAT markers do. This means that the GAT is a great tool to determine any discrepancies between schools regarding how they mark their students. It allows the VCAA to check that your teachers have accurately and fairly assessed all your school-based and external assessments.
This can help them, for example, determine if perhaps a certain school is marking more harshly than others, and ensures you do not get penalised by this in your final study score. So, in summary, it is used as a moderation tool. It helps even the playing field to ensure everyone is being marked fairly. In addition, it can also be used as a “backup tool”, helping determine grades in school-based assessments or external assessments if you are unable to sit an examination due to illness, accident and trauma.
You GAT marks are important
There is a clear link between receiving a good GAT result and good academic achievement. So it is important to take the GAT seriously and prepare the best you can. The VCAA understand that some GAT questions will relate more closely to the subjects you study than others. For example, the science and maths questions are important for those studying Chemistry, rather than questions on the arts. This is also taken into account when your GAT score is calculated. You won’t be penalised for not knowing questions in topic areas you do not study. However, they can still carry some weight, so giving every question your best shot is important.
The GAT can still be stressful and overwhelming like many texts and examinations. And although it can be difficult to “study” for the GAT, there are definitely ways you can approach and prepare for the GAT to give yourself the best chance at scoring high. Studying for the GAT will also help reduce any stresses or anxieties you may have.
So how do you prepare? Firstly, familiarise yourself with the format and layout of the GAT. This can be found online here.
Practice, practice, practice
Take time to become familiar with the layout of the questions and the types of questions they ask. The GAT is made up of both writing and multiple-choice questions. Decide in which order you will tackle them and become familiar with time management to get it all done within the three hours. There are also practice and past GAT exams online, which are worth reading and having a go at. Although the GAT you sit will have different questions, it is worth figuring out how you will tackle the questions in topics and subject areas you are not specialised in. Conversely, it is worth deciding how you are going to tackle those questions you are confident in. It is also important to have a go at EVERY question. Even if you aren’t sure of the answer, writing anything is better than writing nothing. So don’t leave an answer blank!
Get a feel for the GAT, do some practice GATs, and you will be fine.
Preparing for any exam or test can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our tutors are specialised in their subjects and are experienced educators. So reach out and book some 1-on-1 time with someone on our team, and we can help you prepare with confidence. Call us on 0409 083 909 or hit the button below, and we will contact you.