General Achievement Test (GAT)

Use this page to prepare you for the GAT. It provides an overview of what the GAT is and why it is needed. Work your way through each section. The last section contains details about doing a practice GAT.

  • Section 1 - GAT Overview

  • Section 2 - Best Strategies to Approach the GAT

  • Section 3 - Writing Task One

  • Section 4 - Writing Task Two

  • Section 5 - Multiple-Choice Questions

  • Section 6 - Tips and Tricks from a GAT Assessor

  • Section 7 - Practise your GAT responses

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GAT Essentials

Who: All students studying a VCE Units 3/4 subject or VET Units 3/4 subject are required to study the GAT. Please check lists posted at school.

When:  Tuesday, 5 October, 2021. Please be at school at 9.30 AM.

Where: You will be allocated a location (room) and a desk. Make sure you know your VCAA student number. Contact the KRC on if you don't know your number.

What: One three-hour and fifteen minute 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:

Reading Time 15 minutes
Writing task 1 30 minutes
Writing task 2 30 minutes
Multiple-choice questions 2 hours
Total 3 hours and 15 minutes


Bring: 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.

Who: Direct your questions or concerns to the following:

Director of Senior School Mr Hamish McCrum
VCE Coordinator Mr Steven Biggin
Year 12 Coordinator Mr Andrew Chamings
Year 12 Coordinator Mr Shane Murphy
Year 11 Coordinator Mr John Sullivan
Year 11 Coordinator
Mr Liam Young

Section 1

The GAT - An Overview

The GAT is a test used for statistical moderation of a student’s end of year results and will be used as part of the 'consideration of educational disadvantage’ process this year.

It is vitally important that students have a clear understanding of the assessment requirements of the GAT.

GAT results:

  • do not count directly towards a student’s VCE results
  • help check that school-based and external assessments have been accurately assessed
  • contribute to statistical moderation of school-based assessment results
  • help calculate Derived Examination Scores
  • determine scores in school-based assessment, external assessment and if a derived examination score is required due to illness, accident and trauma.

There is a close correlation between receiving good GAT results and academic achievement.

Some GAT questions relate more closely to achievement in particular studies. The VCAA takes this into account when it calculates students’ expected achievements in each study for each school. For example, GAT results in mathematics, science and technology play only a minor part in calculating students’ expected achievements in humanities studies.

Section 2

Best Strategies to Approach the GAT

This video by Lisa Tran provides an overview of how to approach each GAT writing task and how you could allocate your time.


Section 3

Writing Task One

Read this material - 2016 GAT
  • 2016 GAT Paper

  • GAT Strategies materials

Writing Task One

Written and graphical information are presented in colour. You need to write a piece that presents the main information in this material. Write an informative (expository) piece of writing or a report. You should not present an argument. You are being assessed on your writing - not on any extra knowledge you have about the material of what you think about it.

Your writing will be judged on:

  • how well you organise and present your understanding of the material
  • how effectively you communicate the information
  • how clearly you express yourself.


Find links between the ideas and synthesise the material.  Synthesise = combine (a number of things) into a coherent whole.

Organise the material and write about as much about the material as possible.

Demonstrate you understand the material and write about it without being repetitive. Paraphrase and summarise it in fluent, organised piece of writing.

Section 4

Writing Task Two

Writing Task Two

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.
2016 Writing Task 2

Section 5

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.

  • Attempt all questions and don’t spend too much time on any one question. Questions can also be revisited later.
  • try to quickly reject choices that appear wrong, then read the question again and select the answer most likely to be right.

Section 6

Tips and Tricks from a GAT Assessor

Don't Miss This Section!

Our very own Ms Slater takes you through the writing tasks and presents tips and tricks she has learnt from being a GAT assessor.

To prepare, you will need to read the material for writing tasks one and two from the 2019 GAT.

Writing Task One 2019
Writing Task 2 2019
  • 2019 GAT Paper

  • 2019 GAT Multiple-choice answers


Section 7

Practice GATs

You now have the opportunity to practise your GAT responses.

GAT 2018 Writing Tasks One and Two. 

Allow 15 minutes for reading time. Plan and write (not type) responses for Writing Tasks One and Two.

Multiple-Choice Questions

You can use the multiple-choice questions from the GATs. VCAA provides the answers for you to check your responses. They do not provide models of previous GAT writing task responses. Use the 2018 and 2019 GAT papers.

To get feedback from a GAT assessor on the 2018 GAT Writing Tasks:

Read and respond to the 2018 GAT.  Clearly name your GAT writing Task responses along with your student number. Please write in black or blue pen - not pencil.

Leave them at the College reception, Year 12 Study Centre or email your response to Last papers will be accepted on Wednesday, September 29. You will receive feedback from a GAT assessor via email.

  • 2018 GAT Paper

  • 2018 GAT Multiple-choice answers

Please direct questions and queries about this page to Mrs Julia Petrov - Director of Teaching and Learning.