GPAT VS KAPS for Pharmacists | Academically Australia

GPAT VS KAPS for Pharmacists- Examining the Differences

Feb 28, 2024 4 min read
GPAT VS KAPS for Pharmacists

Key Takeaways

  • Both KAPS and GPAT are assessments for pharmacists trying to upscale their careers. 
  • While the GPAT exam helps you get admission to an M.Pharm program in India, the KAPS exam helps you become a pharmacist in Australia. 
  • The KAPS exam is a cost-effective and quick way to establish pharmacy practice in Australia. 

The journey to advance your pharmacy career may often put you into perplexing situations, like deciding which exam to take for the best career opportunities. These choices often shape the trajectory of your professional life and, thus, play a decisive role in your life and career. While the two prominent assessments, the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) and the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) in Australia, stand as pivotal gateways for aspiring pharmacists, deciding which one of them is the best choice for you is often a daunting task. As individuals contemplate their next steps, understanding the difference between these examinations is super important. 

In this blog, we will delve into a detailed analysis of GPAT vs KAPS, exploring their purpose, eligibility, scope, future prospects and more to help you decide the best choice for your career goals! 

What is the KAPS Exam?

KAPS or Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is the exam that global pharmacists need to clear to become registered pharmacists in Australia. The Australian Pharmacy Council conducts the exam across various centres throughout the world. Pharmacists registered in any part of the world can take this exam in their nearest centres. 

The KAPS exam consists of two exams with MCQ-based questions generally held in a single day. After clearing the exam, pharmacists get provisional registration, allowing them to begin paid internships in Australia. After a year of internship, the pharmacists can become fully registered in Australia and get a work/PR visa. 

Read more about the KAPS exam here. (Add the course page photo and link)

What is the GPAT Exam?

The Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) is a national-level entrance exam in India. It is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on behalf of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). GPAT is designed to assess the eligibility of candidates for admission to postgraduate pharmacy programs (M.Pharm) in various colleges and universities across India.

GPAT is a computer-based test that evaluates candidates on their pharmaceutical knowledge, aptitude, and reasoning skills. The exam typically includes questions related to pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, and other pharmaceutical sciences.

The GPAT score is generally valid for one year, and candidates can use it to apply for admission to various M.Pharm programs in participating institutions. GPAT scores are also used for awarding scholarships and other financial assistance to pharmacy graduate students.

What is Common Between Them?

Both the KAPS and GPAT exams are landmark exams for pharmacists, helping them in upskilling their careers. While GPAT allows them to get admission to the top Indian universities for M.Pharm, KAPS allows them to get registered in Australia. 

The goals of both exams are similar, and they are amongst the most prestigious examinations for Indian pharmacists. Some other points of similarities between the two include the following- 

  • Indian pharmacists can take both of these exams. 
  • Both these exams can be taken after a B.Pharm degree. 
  • Absolutely no prior experience is required to be eligible for these exams.
  • The goal of both these exams is to upskill your pharmacy career. 


We will now differentiate between the two pharmaceutical exams on the basis of several factors to help you decide better. 


  • GPAT

GPAT is designed for admission to postgraduate pharmacy programs (M.Pharm) in India. It is focused on upskilling and enhancing pharmacy graduates' academic and research capabilities. Pharmacists who wish to add a master's degree to their skills and grasp a higher level of pharmaceutical knowledge can pursue this degree. 

  • KAPS

KAPS is a pathway for global pharmacists to become registered pharmacists in Australia and set up practice there. It is primarily for registration in Australia, facilitating visa applications, and supporting career opportunities in the country. The primary goal is to provide a pathway for individuals to establish their pharmacy careers in Australia.


  • Both GPAT and KAPS

Both exams can be taken after completing a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy (B.Pharm). No prior professional experience is generally required for either exam.

KAPS Specific:

  • Pharmacy Registration for KAPS

For KAPS, having pharmacy registration in the candidate's home country is required.


  • GPAT

Successful candidates can pursue higher studies, specialising in various branches of pharmacy. GPAT allows individuals to enhance their knowledge and skills in pharmaceutical sciences.

  • KAPS

KAPS provides a direct pathway for individuals to practice pharmacy in Australia, offering opportunities to build a long-term career in the country. Successful completion of KAPS is a crucial step toward obtaining professional registration in Australia.

Cost Involved

  • GPAT

The GPAT examination itself is not very costly. However, the cost of enrolling in a Master's program after GPAT can range from 10 to 20 Lakhs INR.

  • KAPS

The costs associated with KAPS are typically lower, ranging from 5 to 10 Lakhs INR. This includes the expenses related to establishing a career and practice in Australia.

Future Prospects

  • GPAT

GPAT itself does not guarantee a job. Employment opportunities depend on the candidate's performance in higher studies and the job market. It focuses on academic and research development, preparing individuals for roles in education, research, or industry.

  • KAPS

KAPS offers a more direct pathway to employment in Australia, providing a degree of job certainty. Successful candidates can establish their careers in Australia, enjoying the benefits of working in the country.

Time Involved

  • GPAT

The preparatio of GPAT takes varied time, depending upon the learning speed and previous knowledge of the candidate. However, once you clear the GPAT exam, you have to enrol in a 2-3 year M.Pharm degree course. Now if we talk about the time involved in career enhancement, GPAT takes 2-3 years, and still, there's no guarantee that you'll get a job and an established career right away. 

  • KAPS

Clearing the KAPS exam is a matter of 2-5 months, given you have the correct guidance and material. After clearing the exam, you become eligible to start practising pharmacy in Australia. However, when we talk about the complete registration process, it is completed after 1 year of internship. So in terms of getting a full-time job, we can say that the KAPS exam takes 1-1.5 years to get you fully registered in Australia with a job. 


  • GPAT

A decisive factor that differentiates GPAT from KAPS is the location where career advancement is facilitated after these exams. After taking the GPAT, you have to stay in India and pursue a masters here only. You can get registered in any other country after completing your M.Pharm, but for that, you'll have to take the registration exam (like KAPS for Australia) yet again. 

  • KAPS

Clearing the KAPS exam allows you to migrate and settle in Australia with a work/PR visa which allows your family to migrate with you too!  

In summary, while GPAT is more oriented towards academic and research development, KAPS is geared towards facilitating career establishment and practice in Australia, offering a more direct pathway to job opportunities in the field of pharmacy.

Which One is Better?

Ask yourself these questions-

  1. What are your goals?
  2. How much money do you plan to spend?
  3. What time frame is feasible for you?
  4. Do you prefer a career in India or Australia?

Now, let me give you the answers to these. 

  1. If your goal is to learn more and upskill yourself, you must go for the GPAT exam after which you can pursue M.Pharm. However, if you wish to get a good job and make an outstanding career for yourself, KAPS must be your first choice. 
  2. If you are looking for the most budget-friendly option to establish your career, KAPS is the best option as it helps you set up practice in Australia for less than 5 lakh INR (if you have the right documents and prerequisites.) However, M.Pharm (which is done after clearing GPAT) costs a minimum of 10-20 Lakh in India, and thus, if you are ready for this kind of expense, only then must you think about GPAT. 
  3. Now, how much longer can you wait before you establish your career and practice? If you want to start working instantly, you must take the KAPS exam. However, if you have some time that you want to dedicate to higher studies, you must think about GPAT. 
  4. The most important question is whether you want to live in India and Australia. It is generally the most decisive factor that determines whether you take the KAPS or the GPAT exam. If you wish to stay in India, you can go for higher education, which will help you in finding good jobs later on. On the contrary, if you are ready to migrate to Australia, consider taking the KAPS exam. 

Based on these answers, it will be pretty easy for you to decide whether you should go with KAPS or GPAT for your career enhancement journey. 

Parting Thoughts

GPAT, with its focus on offering admission to the best postgraduate programs in India, opens doors to higher education and skill enhancement. On the other hand, KAPS emerges as a pathway to a promising career in Australia, offering not only registration but also the assurance of employment in the vibrant Australian pharmaceutical landscape.

Ultimately, the decision between GPAT and KAPS depends on individual aspirations, whether it be the pursuit of academic power or the realisation of a dream career in Australia. Armed with a nuanced understanding of these examinations, aspirants can confidently navigate their paths toward a future enriched with opportunities and accomplishments in the realm of pharmaceutical sciences.

Sheenu Sharma
Sheenu Sharma
about the author

Sheenu Sharma is a seasoned writer with several years of experience curating content in the EdTech and healthcare sectors. She believes in delivering information and facts to the readers by crafting compelling stories. Through the platform of Academically, she aims to help global healthcare professionals in their career aspirations and dreams!