ISAT Exam for Medical University Admission – All you need to know in 2024

Are you ready to embark on your journey toward medicinal excellence with the ISAT exam? Read this blog post!


The ISAT is an exam that some universities in Australia use to select applicants for medical and related courses. It tests critical and quantitative reasoning skills and is available online. The exam consists of two sections, Critical Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, and there is no negative marking for wrong answers. The results are valid for two years and can be used for multiple applications. To prepare for the exam, familiarize yourself with the test format, practice your critical reading and quantitative skills, and take full-length practice tests under timed conditions.

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About ISAT Exam

The ISAT examination is a screening tool utilized by universities in Australia, Malaysia, and Ireland to assess candidates applying to medical and related programs. Designed and conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), this test evaluates students’ critical and quantitative reasoning abilities, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills crucial for university-level studies.

Recognized by prestigious medical institutions such as the University of New South Wales, Monash University, and the International Medical University in Australia, the ISAT is a key component of admission requirements for MBBS/MD programs in Australia and select other countries, complementing academic performance and interview assessments. Admissions to top-tier medical universities are highly competitive, with applicants typically presenting outstanding academic records, strong references, and notable extracurricular achievements.

The ISAT is a standardized assessment tool that offers a common basis for evaluating all applicants, irrespective of their backgrounds.

This article explores the ISAT exam, covering eligibility criteria, syllabus details, examination patterns, fees, registration procedures, and preparation strategies. Additionally, guidance on effective preparation for the ISAT and information on accessing free resources for optimal exam readiness will be discussed.

ISAT Overview:

  • Conducted by: Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Purpose: Admission to specific medical universities in Australia, Ireland, and Malaysia
  • Duration of Test: 3 hours
  • Exam Fees: 427 AUD
  • Eligibility: Open to all individuals with a recognized high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree
  • Exam Dates: Conducted in four test windows throughout the year

ISAT Exam Structure:

The ISAT is a 3-hour online multiple-choice test that candidates can take at testing centers globally. The test is conducted in pre-determined cycles, with specific dates depending on the university and program applied to, and these details are available on the ISAT website.

The exam comprises 100 questions, categorized into two sections: Critical Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. Both sections consist of 50 questions each, interwoven throughout the test. Each question has only one correct answer, and there is no penalty for incorrect responses.

Critical Reasoning questions assess the ability to comprehend and analyze information, apply ideas, draw appropriate conclusions, and evaluate arguments. Quantitative Reasoning questions evaluate the capability to use numerical and mathematical skills for problem-solving, data interpretation, and logical reasoning.

Universities and Courses Accepting ISAT Scores:

1. Monash University, Melbourne: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (Honors)

2. Monash University, Malaysian campus: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (Honors)

3. University of Limerick: MSc Occupational Therapy, MSc Speech and Language Therapy

4. University of New South Wales: Bachelor of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine (MD)

5. University of Tasmania: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD)

6. University of Western Australia: Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)

7. University of Western Sydney: Undergraduate Medicine

8. Estonian University of Life Sciences: Veterinary Medicine

Application Process and Deadlines for ISAT:

1. Registration Steps:

Create an ACER ISAT account on the ACER website, providing personal details, contact information, and preferred test date and location. Receive an ISAT ID upon registration.

Pay the registration fee of 427 AUD online using a credit card (MasterCard or Visa). Receive a confirmation email with the payment receipt and candidate number.

Register for a ProctorU account and await an invitation from ISAT for a ProctorU session.

Book a remote session with ProctorU receiving an email with the admission ticket and test instructions.

Prepare for the test by reviewing the ISAT Information Booklet, which includes test structure, content, sample questions, and scoring method. Access practice materials on the ACER website.

2. Registration Deadlines for 2024:

Test Window 1: January 2, 2024, at 9 pm AEDT

Test Window 2: April 15, 2024, at 9 pm AEST

Test Window 3: July 15, 2024, at 9 pm AEST

Test Window 4: October 14, 2024, at 9 pm AEDT

Preparing for the ISAT:

1. Familiarize Yourself:

Visit the official ISAT website by ACER for sample questions, test structure details, and official practice materials.

2. Study Guides and Books:

Utilize comprehensive study guides and practice books specifically tailored for ISAT preparation. These resources often include sample questions, explanations, and valuable tips.

3. Practice Tests:

Acquire a set of practice tests to simulate real test conditions. This helps you get accustomed to the exam structure and improves time management skills.

4. Thorough Review:

After each practice test, thoroughly review your mistakes. Understand why you got a question wrong and focus on improving in weak areas.

5. Stay Calm and Confident:

On the test day, remain calm and confident. Read questions carefully, eliminate wrong answers, and trust your abilities.

By following these steps and incorporating various study resources, you can enhance your preparation for the ISAT and increase your chances of success.


On the Test Day for ISAT:

1. Remote Test Setup:

ISAT test takers use the ACER Test APP on their remote computers to take the exam.

All applicants should allocate sufficient time for pre-test procedures.

2. Required Items for the Exam:

A computer or laptop (Tablets and mobile phones are not supported).

Stable internet connection.

A small erasable whiteboard and pen, OR 2 pieces of A4-sized scratch paper, a pencil, eraser & sharpener.

Mirror or other reflective device.

Identity Card.

3. Identity Card:

On the test day, applicants must present one form of current, government-issued photo ID.

The names on the ID document must match the ISAT registration and the ID.

The ID should contain a recognizable likeness of the applicant as they are at the time of the test.

4. Acceptable Forms of Primary ID:

Current National Identity Card from the country of citizenship.

Current photo-bearing driver’s license (learner’s permit, probationary, or full license).

Current passport.

Ensuring that you have the necessary items and complying with identification requirements is crucial for a smooth test-taking experience.

ISAT Scores and University Admission:

1. Scoring System:

ISAT is scored on a scale of 100 to 200.

Mean score: 150

Standard deviation: 15

No negative markings for incorrect answers.

2. Score Calculation:

The score is based on the number of correct answers and the difficulty level of the questions.

3. Result Access:

Results are available on the official ACER portal approximately two weeks after the test date.

4. Sending Scores to Universities:

After receiving results, candidates can have their scores sent to the universities of their choice.

5. University Admission Process:

Some universities in Australia and Malaysia use ISAT scores to select international medical, dental, and health science students.

Universities often rank students based on ISAT scores for interview invitations.

Interview performance, high school results, and ISAT scores are considered for admission decisions.

Each university may have specific ISAT score requirements and cut-offs.

For example, UNSW Medicine requires a minimum ISAT score of 165, and Monash University accepts scores from the previous two years.

6. Score Validity:

ISAT scores are valid for two years.

Scores can be used for multiple applications.

Applicants should know individual university requirements and criteria for effectively using ISAT scores in their admission process.

Conclusion on ISAT Exam

The ISAT exam is crucial for students aspiring to pursue medical education in universities across Australia, Malaysia, and Ireland. This comprehensive test, administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), assesses critical and quantitative reasoning skills, logical thinking, and problem-solving abilities essential for success in medical and related courses.

As candidates prepare for the exam, understanding the structure, deadlines, and application process is paramount. The exam’s online format, divided into Critical Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, challenges students to showcase their analytical and mathematical prowess. The list of universities that accept ISAT scores includes esteemed institutions such as Monash University, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Limerick.

To succeed, diligent preparation is key. Utilizing official resources, practice materials, and comprehensive study guides enhances familiarity with the test format and refines critical skills. The test’s four windows throughout the year allow candidates to choose an optimal time for their examination.

On the test day, candidates engage in a remote session through the ACER Test APP, adhering to specific requirements for a seamless experience. The ISAT score, ranging from 100 to 200, holds significance in the admissions process. Universities utilize these scores, high school results, and interview performance to determine admission offers.

As candidates receive their ISAT scores, the next step is to share these results with their chosen universities. It’s imperative to note that ISAT scores are valid for two years, allowing candidates to apply to multiple institutions.

The ISAT exam acts as a gateway, unlocking doors to medical education and shaping the future for aspiring healthcare professionals. Success in the ISAT demonstrates academic aptitude and positions candidates competitively in the rigorous admissions processes of top-tier medical universities.


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