General Aptitude Test (GAT)
Objectives
This test measures a student's analytical and deductive skills. It focuses on testing the student's capacity for learning in general regardless of any specific skill in a certain subject or topic. The test measures abilities relevant to:
  1. reading comprehension
  2. recognizing logical relations
  3. solving problems based on  basic mathematical notions.
  4. inference skills
  5. measuring capacity
 
GAT Sections
The test is divided into two sections , the verbal and the  quantitative.
  • The verbal section. This section includes the following.
    • Reading comprehension: Testees are required to comprehend and analyze reading passages by answering the questions given.
    • Sentence completion: Testees are asked to fill in the missing parts in the text to make complete meaningful sentences.
    • Verbal analogy: Testees are required to match the relation between a pair of words given at the beginning of the question and a pair given in the choices.
    • Synonymy: Testees are asked to give a synonym that matches the meaning of the word give.
    • This section includes 68 questions for science students and 91 questions for humanities majors.
  • the quantitative Section

This section includes suitable mathematical problems that match General Secondary Schools Science and humanities majors. It focuses on measurements, inference and problem solving skills and requires only basic knowledge. The section includes 52 science-major objective questions. The questions are divided as follows :

Arithmetic questions                             40 %
Geometry questions                              24 %
Algebra questions                                 23 %
Statistical and analytical questions          13 %
   As for the humanities-major students, GAT   includes 30 questions on arithmetic , geometry and mathematical analysis.
 
Common information about the test
  1. Some trial questions are included in both the verbal and the quantitative sections but they do not calculate towards the final score.
  2. Questions alternate between the verbal type and the quantitative type in all six parts. A 25-minute duration is allocated for each part.
  3. The number of items is fixed in all tests and so are the sections, parts and time duration. Items, however, vary although the same difficulty standard is maintained. To ensure the validity and reliability of the test , test scores are compared to those of the previous tests.
  4. Questions are arranged in order of difficulty from the easiest to the more difficult in each section. Students should answer questions fast enough to cover them all within the limits of the required time. A student should not leave any question unanswered ; guessing by elimination is one strategy that he/she can follow while answering questions.
 
Test duration
The test normally takes two and half hours, divided on 25-minute intervals for each of the six test parts.
 
Preparation for the test
The test is not based on a particular type of knowledge obtained from certain courses the student has covered. The test, therefore, does not require special preparation except for some training relevant to general test-taking strategies. Some basic mathematical and geometry skills will be included in the test.  A student is advised to consult the GAT preparation manual produced by the Center which includes some questions and model answers. The test does not require doing complex mathematical operations, so the use of a calculator is not allowed.
 
GAT timetable
The Center holds the GAT twice, one time during the first semester and the second during the second semester. The student is entitled to picking the time he/she finds appropriate and at the center nearest to where he/she lives. Testing centers are spread nation-wide to save students cost and effort. A circular is sent by the Center to all secondary schools all over the kingdom including the necessary registration information. Students can also visit the Center's website and check the timetable.
 
Procedures on the test day
  • Be sure to be in the exam session in time and on the date and the time slot specified in the registration form.
  • GAT is administered in day and evening sessions. As for the day session, the test starts in all exam stations at 7:30 sharp. You are advised to be at your exam venue by 7:00. AM. Late comers are not allowed in the test session.
  • Evening session. All test-takers are required to be at the exam station 30 to 60 minutes after Maghreb Athan according to Makkah's prayer calendar. Late comers are not allowed in the exam hall.
  • As soon as you arrive at the testing station, go directly to the test supervisor to review your documents and check eligibility and identity.
  • You will be shown your specified seat on which you will find HB2 pencil that you will use to fill in the blanks. You may bring in an HB2 pencil and a sharpener with you as a precaution. Using fountain or ball-point pens is strictly forbidden.
  • As soon as students are admitted into the test hall, question booklets will be distributed and you will be instructed to type your personal information on one side and the answer sheet will be on the back side. All students shall start answering concurrently.
  • If you have any questions raise your hand  and a supervisor will soon be at your place.
  • GAT  duration is 2 and half hours.
  • GAT is divided into six parts , each is allotted only 25 minutes. Test supervisor will tell you the start and end time of each section.
  • During the 25-minute period allowed for a particular part, you may answer and review the question on that section only. You are not allowed to move to the previous or a following part. Your test session might get cancelled in case of non-compliance.

How many times can you sit for GAT?

 A student not satisfied with his GAT score is allowed to sit for this test  more than once. It is not expected, however, that a student shall have a big difference in score if he/she takes it once more, under normal conditions.  A student may produce any of the GAT results he obtained to the university he is applying for. The test  is strictly standardized to ensure equity and fairness.

 

Results

Answer sheets are machine-graded and results are listed and printed and then announced. A student can receive GAT score via the Center's website or through an SMS for those registered for this service. Results are electronically sent to universities and colleges. For student who did the test more than once, only the highest score is sent. GAT is no Pass-Fail test. The recorded score that the student receives represents the relevant position that the student occupies among the total number of students taking the test. Every higher education institution in Saudi Arabia has its own method of interpreting the relevant weight of GAT vs. General Secondary School final score. Competition in university admission is then based on the combined total scores of the GAT and General Secondary School in addition to the score obtained in any achievement test administered by the university (if required).

 

Is GAT a Pass/Fail test?

As we have noted, GAT is no Pass/Fail test. This 100-point test carries a certain relative weight interpreted by the institution the student applies for. GAT score should not be compared to that of General Secondary School score. What really matters is the relevant position of the student compared to those of other students, according to the following table:

 
Score
Student's position
81 and above
Top 5 %
78 and above
Top 10%
73 and above
Top 20 %
70 and above
Top 30 %
65
The average
60 and below
Lowest 30 %