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What was your study plan?
This is for your most recent GAMSAT attempt. How did you use the available GAMSAT preparation products? If you did not use any of the listed GAMSAT preparation products, tell us how you actually prepared for GAMSAT.
Having no full-time job or study for this year's GAMSAT my friend and I would meet at the library and go through undergraduate Physics textbooks which we both had trouble with on the previous GAMSAT. We'd go over biology and chemistry concepts briefly as refreshers. We went through as many multiple choice questions as we could, starting with discussing the questions together, then attempting them individually and checking/conferring answers after each question, then finally doing timed run throughs of questions, usually in small blocks, but always with the same question/time ratio as on the actual GAMSAT. We tried discussing example essay topics we found with each other, but ultimately decided it was a waste of time because the themes (though following a trend) are so different each year. I personally didn't write practice essays, but I know others have in the past.
only studied for 2-3 weeks
I did some practise questions, tried my hand at a couple of essays. I would advise doing more than this..
I prepared by working through the GAMSAT ACER practice booklets and identifying areas that I needed to improve in. Due to personal problems, I was then unable to find the time to follow up on these areas, so that was the extent of my preparation.
I made the most of practicing the mock exams rather than overloading and memorizing information that was not really required in the actual exam (especially the Science section). The MedPrep book was invaluable in helping with the essay component and perhaps somewhat in the humanities section. I initially spent time learning the basic concepts. Then 1 month away from the GAMSAT I only did practice questions. Helped me into getting all the Uni's I applied for: UniSyd, ANU, Flinders, UQ.
I took 3 weeks off work to solely prepare/cram for the GAMSAT. The first 2 weeks of this "study period" was spent revising my first year university knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology. My revision consisted of reading a first year uni textbook in each area. I wouldn't recommend this to others (unless they don't have a background in science). Even though it did strengthen my core knowledge, the gamsat science questions heavily lean towards problem solving within stringent time limits, so thorough background knowledge is not needed. For the final week of the study period, I first photocopied as many practice questions as I could find (many were from Des O'niel and medprep). I also got my hands on copies of the ACER practice booklets. All these questions were done timed. Finding that there was no issues with my speed, I spent the last couple of days revising organic chemistry, as there seemed to be a strong bias towards it. Notice that I did not prepare at all for sections 1 and 2. I have no idea how one would go about preparing for these, so am not the best person to ask.
Des O'Neil course, ACER books, study group through paging dr, crammed in the last few weeks!
Started studying Des Oniell Science big book in January. Read through each section and did majority of questions. Looked up internet/textbooks when I couldnt understand a topic. The Science book is more of a list of what to know. wouldnt recommend doing the short answer questions in the science book unless you dont have a science background and need to consolidate your knowledge, just get straight into actual MCQs Did Des Oniell short essay course. Mostly to make myself actually practice. but I found the feedback mostly very poor. So I did 3 of each type for the course and then others. Also tried to read the newspaper opinion section most days. February started doing actual practice questions. Did a lot but probably not all the des humanities and science MCQs from the MCQ book. This or anything like it from other providers is the best thing you can do in my opinion. Once you have the basics, just do heaps and heaps of questions, looking up the answers when you get something wrong. Started doing this untimed just to get used to the questions, then very important to start doing it timed, because thats where most people go wrong on the day. March did a full to time practice exam every saturday (2 ACER exams and one practice Des Exam)
I studied for four to five hours every day of the week and did nothing on the weekends. I set myself a timetable and was very strict with sticking to it. I did not jump from one subject to another but rather immersed myself in one for an extended length of time to gain a deep understanding. For example, one week for physics, one week for chem. etc. I studied for six months and then six weeks out I did one practice exam every week and timed everything the same as it would be on the day. I had my essays professionally marked. I found the Gold Standard the most helpful resource.
Study began with easing into the sciences by starting off with HS resources (Yr 12 chem/phys). I would write notes and try to understand concepts. Did this up to tertiary level for the sciences. By about 4-5 months before the exam, I began answering Des O'Neil and ACER questions. As I made mistakes, I would refer back to textbooks to find out what my deficiencies were. I continued to reinforce my knowledge by using different textbooks, Khan Academy, Freelance Teacher. By about 1 month before the exam, I was primarily doing exams and working on my timing For the Humanities, I read the paper on a daily basis throughout the process. I purchased some ExamKrackers books and practised verbal reasoning passages. I really only started S1 $ S2 by about 6 months before the exam. I only did the EK and Des O'neil books for S1 practise. I did the Des O'Neil Essay Course and practised as many esasys as I could. By about 1 month before the exam, I was doing essays under timed conditions.
Spent two months working my way through a physical and organic chemistry textbook trying to understand the majority of concepts. Once this was achieved I focused on answering as many questions as possible under timed conditions. I also tried to write two essays per week under exam conditions for two months prior to the exam. Consolations of philosophy was great to begin to think about various themes that Seemed to appear regularly in the exam.
- Science - use exam crackers, watch you tube videoes, Do ACER answers - Essay - write two a week and get them reviewed on PD..spend 1 hr/day to read about philosophy - Hum - Attempt examcrackers
I went through the acer booklets a few times. Only really did this as a practice run to see what it was like.
I only used the ACER material for part I. I was pretty comfortable with my comprehension and grammar and I did quite well in the sample questions and practice test. I used Medired for part II. It was good for emphasizing what is important for producing a good essay. It also had a few example essays and corrected essays which was good for getting idea for the difference between a good essay and a great essay. I didn't do biology at school or chemistry at university so I focused on these areas for my preparation. I knew that organic chemistry made up a significant proportion of section III, so I spent about 80% of my preparation time teaching myself organic chemistry. I read Barron's ' Organic Chemistry - The Easy Way' and did all of the practice questions. I found it really dry but very thorough. After carefully going through each section and not moving on until every concept had sunk in, I felt entirely confident that I could answer any organic chemistry question in the exam. I used 'Biology for Dummies' for Biology. I did all of the ACER questions and did a timed practice test. I also made sure that I went through each question and each answer to make sure I identified what I did right and what I needed to improve on to get more answers correct.
I haven't done any science since high school, so in June 2010 I signed up for the Open University bridging course for chemistry and worked slowly (ie spent equal time procrastinating as studying) through that for the rest of the year. In January 2011 I signed up for the Open University bridging course for Biology and ripped through that in 3-4 weeks. I intended to do the Physics bridging course as well but didn't leave myself time for it. I also bought a couple of ACER practice exams; I used one at the start of my studies to get an idea of what I would need to learn (at which point I knew that S1 and 2 would be a snap for me but S3 needed some serious work). I used the other two weeks before the GAMSAT, and sat it under test conditions at home to see how I was going timing and results-wise. This was useful because it let me work out which questions to skip in S3 on the day, as they would take me too long to work out. Study pattern tended to be half-one day on weekends in 2010 and 1-2 hours every night in 2011. I was highly sceptical of the various prep courses out there before I did the GAMSAT and having now done it am even more so; science based cramming is fair enough in some ways, but I don't think that same method would work at all for humanities or essay writing.
Commenced three months prior (having not touched "pure" science for over 20 years) with approx 0.5-1.0 hrs per day covering most broad topics. Fortnight out from GAMSAT day: 8+ hours per day dedicated study covering topics (predominantly science) in more depth. Final week: five full practice GAMSATs under real time conditions. One day for revision of key components, rest day.
Read Des O'Neil Science Revision Course (of course couldn't get through it all) and did Acer Test papers.
Revision using gold standard mcat then practice questions on Gamsat practice papers
I only went through the Acer practice booklets and read over some threads on Paging dr
Section 1: Des, MediRed, and MCAT Verbal Reasoning practice questions and going through the answers one by one so I knew why mine were wrong. Section 2: tried to force myself to write 1 per day, minimum 4/week. More as GAMSAT approached. Section 3: MediRed, Des and undergrad textbooks to revise topics and write brief notes. Des Practice questions after doing each topic. Approx 1 month before test date, did all ACER practice material under time constraints and went through every answer I got wrong. And of course, used PD as the best procrastination tool!
Based study around ACER practice booklets, and used that as a guide to study the areas I was not fully competent with. Read past essays to get a feel for the style of writing that was needed in section 2.
Read A.C. Grayling's book. Used Medprep for Section 3
Wrote 5-6 practice essays and had a friend critique them for me. Went through the ACER practice booklet under exam conditions. Used undergraduate physics and chemistry texts to revise key concepts.
I had finished my undergraduate degree 10 years ago and only just scraped into the 10 year rule. I had 3 months to relearn everything. I was living in Darwin so was unable to attend any courses. I used the Des O'Neill prep course to get an idea of what I was required to learn. What I didn't understand I went to Itunes U and khan academy for explanation. I sent the practise essays in and finished that course fairly early. I also signed up for the med prep essay part and had them mark a few of my essays. From memory I had a months access or something to there exams. I had just moved to Darwin and was working a full time job. I pretty much studied flat out, as much as I could for the full 3 months. I only had one attempt at GAMSAT.
I used textbooks - Zumdahl for chemistry (S3, "They say, I say" for S2 and previous general knowledge for S1.
Use undergrad texts, khan and chemguide.uk then move onto des and acer. Practiced essays and timing. Did all practice questions in books. Did acer under timed conditions.
Science 1) I read through Des O'Neil's science books and used text books and Khan Academy for clarification on uncertain issues. 2) I got as many test exams as possible. These varied in quality from excellent (Acer) to bad (Medprep). But even the bad ones were still helpful. 3) Medired books were good quality but a bit short. Verbal Reasoning 1) I read through Examkrackers material. Whilst not the same form as Gamsat it does get you used to reading complicated texts. 2) I went through Des O'Neil and Medired books. Essays 1) I did Des O'Neil's essay course. The feedback was next to useless but the practice in essay writing was good. 2) I watched a lot of documentaries (a bit useless) 3) I watched a lot of TED videos (interesting) 4) I read several introductory short books on a variety of issues (a bit useless)
I read through MedPrep to knock the dust off all my science and maths first. This took about 4 hours/week for approx 3 months. Then I took two weeks off work just before the exam and studied for around 6 hours/day. I used MedPrep as the base source for all sections and referred to DesO when I needed more help getting my head around any science bits. I used DesO and GamsatGuru for practice questions. I then went on to MedPrep and the Acer books for exam practice. All of these resources were bought second hand so I didn't have any essay marking. I did buy PrepGenie's practice exams but I was very disappointed with their quality (they were full of errors) so I ended up only doing one and binned the rest. I didn't do much practice for essay section (maybe 5 x 1hour practice goes) just to get a feel for the timing. I was reasonably comfortable with this section because I am very up to speed on current events and watch/listen to endless thought provoking podcasts. Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Skeptoid, Quackcast, TED, ABC Science Show, etc.
I focused on chemisty and biology to the level required in Medprep. Then completed practice exams
Drew up a weekly timetable which included my study plan. Predominantly spent more time on Sciences and studied for 3 hours per day on that section using Des Oneil's Multiple Choice Questionnaire book. Brilliant resource. Any areas of science I did not know I referred to Zumdahl's Chemistry text book and would read the chapter and do some of the practice questions. If I needed a simpler explanation, I looked on Khan's website and Chemguy. As for Section 1 and 2, I did not study for (Arts is my undergrad degree and I double majored in Political Science). Closer to the exam date, I did practice tests, first in sections and then a full test.
Cram as best as one could juggling family and work at the same time
When I started to prepare for the GAMSAT, I had just finished up the second year of BSc, so a lot of the science content for section three was fairly fresh. Knowing that the GAMSAT questions were built on general principles rather than memorizing little details, I wanted to just have a broad but basic knowledge of the content that they could examine. For my preparation, I primarily used Medired because it was exactly what I wanted. It didn't go into crazy detail but gave simple and easy to understand summaries of the main topics needed for Section 3. Basically, I just spent a few hours on each topic. If I found myself unable to understand the topic from the Medired books alone, I would then consult an undergraduate textbook. I found that Medired was perfect in terms of the level of detail required for the GAMSAT. They had some practice questions, but not many, so I supplemented these with those from undergraduate textbooks as well as questions from related topics I had previously studied in my university degree. I found this to be more than sufficient for me in Section 3. In regards to Section 1, I tried to buy 'The Australian' regularly and read bits and pieces from it. I have a general love of reading, so the fact that I was always reading a novel probably helped a lot in terms of vocabulary and interpreting ideas for both Section 1 and Section 2. For Section 2, I prepared by cutting out the practice essay questions given in Medired. I would make myself write at least one topic a day, pulled from a hat. For the first week, these were written with no time limit other than me knowing that I wasn't allowed to spend too long on it. I would slowly transition over to timed conditions. As the GAMSAT came closer, I would do two essays in the timed space of an hour to get used to the examination conditions. The ACER booklets I saved till last to complete. I wrote out a plan that allocated x number of questions per day leading up to the examination. I wanted to spread it out. I also had access to a number of practice examinations that I completed under examination conditions. These were spaced out so that I did one every few days leading up to the examination. The final days consisted of no practice questions or examinations. They were used primarily to just revise the Medired notes.
Practice essays, ACER books, reading the Des science book and writing notes.
Follow a schedule of topics to be completed each week to ensure all material was covered. This included 4-5 hours of study each Sunday and 2 essays written in 30 min each per week.
I didn't sign up for Paging Dr early enough. I didn't realise what a good resource it was. Griffiths was great, particularly the essay writing. It gave me good pointers on structuring essays. Gold Standard was good with the science especially. I don't remember the essay and humanities as much.
I did the gamsat 2 years ago so my memory of it isn't particularly great. However my main aim was to study consistently. I probably did an average of 2-3 hours most days between january and february using Des's material (I went all out and bought the most comprehensive titanium package). I read opinion articles as often as i could to build my vocab and recorded them in a little notebook - this helped quite a lot for section 1 and 2. Other than this I relied entirely on Des's essay writing course for section 2, which I think was actually the best part of the course. I developed a writing style and structure which I could modify for different essays and a few key ideas and reflections that i could use as personal examples. Overall the essay writing course was great, especially since it got you into a routine - 2 essays a week for 2 months. by the end my essays were definitely improving and i could honestly write them within the set 30 mins and submitted them without editing. The wide range of peer essays provided were also great at both giving new ideas and reassurance that the essays didn't have to be technically perfect, they just had to have depth. Des's MCQ material was alright. However i found the texts and questions tended to be slightly simpler than the actual exam. This might have contributed to me doing worse than expected in section 1 compared to the other ones. However, the practice gained from going through the large quantity of questions was useful since it really got you used to the timing required i.e. 1.2 mins per question for section 1 and 1.5 mins for section 3. Because of this i knew during the exam that i didn't have a minute to spare (ie no toilet breaks unless absolutely necessary) and didn't think twice about skipping a question here and there if it was taking too long. For section 3 I slightly regretted getting Des's science revision book. For a science undergrad the material in the book didn't add anything in particular in terms of content, the attendance course Aassociated with this was good only as a superficial review of the content - i wouldn't really recommend it for anyone who was planning to actually learn any new principles there. Self learning and going through questions at home would be just fine. although the science attendance course wasn't that great for me, the MCQ one was much more useful. He went through some points on technique and we did some questions together. the most helpful part though was definitely the full exam which we sat over the course of a day. They were marked by peers and we used a marking sheet which grouped each question into a particular content group so that we could see what our strengths and weaknesses were. After the attendance courses (which were held a few weekends before the exam) I tended to focus on these areas which i realised i needed to focus more on. I also left a set of the acer questions to quite close to the exam, which i then sat under exam conditions. I think it was during this state that i realised the importance of a good night's sleep and a clear mind! Section 1 and 3 both rely heavily on reading and processing information very quickly, so concentration and focus was key. This was also surprisingly exhausting to maintain throughout the entire exam, especially during the lengthy waiting periods during which the supervisors collected/handed out booklets. As I mentioned before, I did an average of 2-3 hours a day between Jan and feb. It's no use studying excessively since there's no way that stamina can be maintained without a toll over such a lengthy period. I did study a bit more closer to the exam, saying that however it was easy for me since I took the exam in 2nd year and didn't have to worry too much about ignoring uni work for the first 3 weeks of semester. But yes, no matter how much preparation you do, the most important thing is still to get a good night's rest the night before. I was lucky enough to get a lift in the morning and arrived relatively stress free (as compared to my nightmare of a UMAT. Make sure to have a good breakfast and bring a substantial lunch! I also carried a can of V for just in case but never drank it haha.
-did acer practice material -did a bit of reading of textbooks (science) -no humanities preparation
2-3 months before hand. Started out at around 4 hrs a day, ended up at 12+ hrs a day. Had no science background, so spent 99% of time going through 'Medprep' science program. Retrospectively, was ok preparation, a lot of superfluous info, and not very tailored to the GAMSAT exam. Has been useful in medical school however, so was not time wasted. Studied for essays/short answer a couple days before- although have an arts degree so it wasn't a high priority. Ended up doing pretty well with a 62 GAMSAT and entrance into my first choice university in my first year of application :D
Had 2nd level Physics and Chemistry to a poor level but graduated 10 years ago so had to do a lot of review. Never studied Biology previously. Spent three months working through Organic Chemistry for Dummies textbook and workbook, using the science notes from an old Gradmed course a friend had attended and my old physics book from school. For the essay section I read the Economist, New Yorker and Time magazine religiously and timed myself writing essays. Ended up writing about 35 or so practise essays - the first ones were dreadful - but I ended up scoring 87 on the day in that section. It also helped with the comprehension of Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences as a lot of the cartoons used in GAMSAT originated from the New Yorker so were in a similar style, but that was a strong area for me anyway. I worked an average of 5-6 hours a day on it and came out with a 64 on my first attempt.
I had about 7 weeks of prep, with about 2-3 full days a week spent on gammy stuff (I work full time over 4-5 days a week). I took the 2 days off prior to the gammy for last minute prep. S1: Prep: Did all the MCQs from Des' 2009 prep course (books borrowed from a friend) and all the current ACER MCQs. Did none of it under time pressure, just did as a 'break' from essays or SIII prep. Looked up the odd word I didn't know the meaning of. S2: Prep: Did all the ACER practice essays strictly timed to 30min. Did some of the Des ones (which were much harder I thought). I think I would have written about 10 essays total. Most of which my Mum laughed at when I read them to her (esp the Des ones). Honestly, they were rubbish. Practice DEFINITELY helped though. I never had an issue with writing something in 30min, but writing something DECENT in 30min was helped with practice. Tried to write both argumentative and reflective/personal essays but was no good at reflective. My top tips for essays are 1) Do practice essays (ACER are the best practice ones, as the topics are vague - Des etc tend to be rather specific and less ACER-like). Yes, they suck, and they were my LEAST favourite part of my study. However, 2 great things I gained from this were 1) Writing something, anything in 30min. And gradually making this better each time I practiced (I think the first 4 I wrote were total rubbish) 2) Without intending to, I picked up a few quotes (from quotes I'd had to write on for practice) that I was able to use on the day. This was a great bonus I believe. I didn't post my essays up anywhere but this may help you if you want feedback. 2) Don't worry about the style of each essay. I did two argumentative essays. I had intended to do 1 argumentative, 1 reflective (as you used to have to for the gammy), but forgot about this on the day. Clearly you can do whatever you like - whatever you are strongest at. I think I wrote about 2.5-3 pages for each essay. 3) Have a rough idea of essay plan. For me this was literally as basic as para 1: intro para 2-3 or 4: body, para 5: conclusion (sum up arguments, do not introduce any new points). I did NOT deliberately memorise any quotes for the essays. I also could never work out how to do a plan, but this is probably a good idea. 4) Don't worry about using highly intellectual, high-brow examples to back up your arguments. I just used every day ones - my friends laughed when I told them I'd written about 'GSOH' in the personals column. Neither of my essays had any intellectual substance to them at all. 5) If you get a sucky essay topic, turn it into something that you can write about. I learnt this from someone who had got topics on politics. He or she wrote an essay on politics in the workplace. Much easier! For me, as soon as I saw the topic was space travel, I thought 'uh oh'. I have no interest and knowledge in this area personally. However, I barely mentioned anything relating to that at all in my essay - I was very specific to the quote, and, as I said, my essay was more a discussion of how everything in life that is worth doing, is hard to achieve (much like the gammy methinks. ) Edit: Also read a book that was recommended to me by fellow PDers, called 'The Meaning of Things' by AC Grayling. Did short summaries of each chapter. SIII (aka section-of-doom) Prep: I did first year science subjects 7 years ago, so, basically I hard to start from scratch for this (although the light did begin to dawn from the dark recesses of my mind eventually!) My best friend borrowed me a chemistry text from uni. I used this to look up super simple terms like mass number, atomic number, orbital etc. I watched quite a few khan academy videos (but got sick of these eventually). I did all my practice with a graphics calc, though had to use a scientific calc on the day (and now gamsat doesn't allow calcs at all I believe - lucky I did gammy before that happened. P) Des' prep books were a godsend and my mainstay of study for this section. I went through each chapter systematically (org chem, phys chem, physics and selected biol topics - mainly DNA + genetics stuff) and summarised them. I then did nearly all the chapter questions, and I did all his MCQs, and made sure I understood how the answers were arrived at if I didn't get it initially (his worked answers were a huge help in my study). I did the practice exams timed too. I never did a full day practice exam, but rather did each section as individually timed bits. I tried to learn a few of the super common formulas, but mainly just tried to familiarise myself with each topic. I also did all the ACER practice exams timed, and sample/practice questions untimed.
I think the most important aspect of forming a study plan that works for you is identifying your weakness and focus to improve on it. For those who have sat GAMSAT already, you'll have a good idea of where you need to improve on. For sections I and II, I found it helpful to read ILETS test books for their reading comprehension (although section I of the GAMSAT was still a lot harder), as well as doing the Des O'Neil practice exams for section I. Section II I read 'The Meaning of Things' by A.C Grayling: very helpful for essay writing. Find essay questions on the paging dr website and write as many as possible. Section III, do the ACER past papers. Finally make it a full-time job for 2-3 months and put aside almost everything else. Good luck!
Revise good essay technique (TEEL for paragraphs, thesis-antithesis-synethesis for main body) Did some practice essays from questions on PD. Downloaded and did free practice exams from Medprep, e-gamsat Did practice test 2 Didn't spend much time specifically on GAMSAT science (although I was still doing a bioscience degree at the time); some revision I guess from teaching others though.
I read through a basic organic chemistry and refreshed naming and chemical reaction processes. I covered the first half of the text book, and carried out practise exercises in the companion book. In my previous attempts at Gamsat I took Des O'neills writing course (an invaluable resource) and revisited old essays. I also read classical novels to try and engage in different ways of thinking.
Systematically go through each science topic, with particular focus on chemistry, slightly less focus on physics and least amount of focus on biology. For me, science was my weakness and this took the greatest amount of time. Although gamsat promotes S3 as a logical reasoning section, I found it more to be a knowledge test. In my opinion, I found that most questions required some level of "pre-requisite" knowledge in order to actually complete the question (although sometimes this "knowledge" can be found in the passage, but it is much easier when you already have a strong grasp of it). When the knowledge was there, I found the actual reasoning component to be generally quite simple. Examcrackers helped the most with section one. The amount of questions available really heaps with honing reading speed and timing of the questions. The only problem is that it only has one type of text (informative) and you get no practice with poetry, dialogues etc. I felt that it was good to supplement study with Des O'Neil's material to overcome this shortage. I found the best way to prepare for S2 was to go through quotes and topics, and "brainstorm" the essay and write out all the arguments etc on paper in 5 minutes but not actually write out the entire essay. I realised that as soon as I had this down pat, the actual essay was a breeze to write. The purpose of the above was to establish the foundations for this exam, and once i felt confident with that, I then started practicising past exams under set time conditions. I started off being very lenient with time and gradually made it closer to real time conditions each week. Hope any of this helps.
Attended the des oneil attendance courses and studied his books very hard. did the practice questions in there and then practice acer tests. Did the des oneil essay course also which was of good value
Watched Khan Academy videos, did some OziMed tests, Went through most of Des O'Neil material then finished up with ACER books and used PagingDr to find answers and good links for other resources.
Listen to Exam Kracker to sleep. Because I had a reasonable science background already, a big thing I found was useful was to do lots of practice exams. Lots of it. It's more a matter of learning to think like GAMSAT than learning the knowledge. That and time management. For the essays, arguing about politics on the internet (outside of DrPaging obviously) helped a lot.
ACER booklets and Des O'Neill course
All of Khan academy science videos (I have no background in chemistry and physics), Essay practice questions from various sources mostly internet, TED talk, reading books
ACER booklets only. No real study plan
I didn't prepare at all- was having a shot at it to see what it was like and ended up getting a good enough mark to get a place.
Brought the Des O'Neil Science section book which was useless. Having never done science at uni I could not understand any of it. After that I didn't bother to study for gamsat and did ok (59) which was goood enough to get into the uni I wanted.
I took a course and did what it recommended. Go do a course.
2 essays a day I had some textbooks and the medprep notes. I did every question in the medprep notes and skimmed some of my textbooks.
I went through the ACER booklets for Part 1. I practised writing two essays from the ACER booklets for Part 2. I did about half of the science questions from the ACER booklets for part 3. Mostly I relied on recent relevant subjects in my studies at the time for part 3.
Never had done science past year 10. Read the text books and Khan videos starting about 9 months out. Did the Des lecture (it was okay, it scared me more than taught me but it did show where I needed to focus rather than just casually learning). 7 weeks out did a practice test once a week under exam conditions (4 acer, 2 des, 1 other) used that to guide were I needed to study more. Read the newspaper for section 1 and 2!
Began in January 2011 Reviewed organic chemistry in depth Review first year physics in depth Did acer booklets (purple under full test conditions with essays) Practice essays x 6 Examcrackers verbal reasoning tests x 6 Worked through Des O'Neill science course (purchased on ebay) Read full essay course by Des (also purchased online)
Read the MCAT (US) book, including during the breaks in the actual GAMSAT.
Went through all Des O'Neill science materials to prepare for section 3. Read a number of books from the Very Short Introduction series for sections 1 and 2, primarily focusing on those that covered schools of thought in politics, literature and philosophy.
bit haphazard. used all acer material, attended a chemistry course by Corri Baker, went through text books answered the Des Oneil MCQ. Looked at quotes on the net and made essay plan after essay plan. Wrote copious amounts of essays. read newspapers watched current affairs
Practise tests x2 Practised essay writing with my sister (arts major) to mark. Read "The Economist" to bring my brain up to speed - sharpen comprehension skills.
I started studying approx 6 weeks before GAMSAT. Due to the limited time frame I only did practice questions. I used the ACER and Des O'Neill MCQs. I got hold of Des' latest questions as well as ones from previous years. When I came across an area that I did not understand I then referred to a textbook. In terms of essay practice, I not fine Des' course particularly helpful. I ended up using my own essay practice plan. I probably wrote approx 10 essays prior to the day. I made a table of topical issues which interested me (eg. indigenous Australians, social media etc.) and made a few dot points about each issue. I found that this gave me confidence to write across and range of issues.
Do all the official GAMSAT preparation material The DesOneil books were good for learning the science material
Time was a problem with my prep, but the goal was 5-10 questions a night (didn't work every night) for the last few weeks and a few hours on the weekend inbetween university study. I went through all the ACER material as many times as it took to understand (looking through the answers after attempting them)- with the exception of the purple book which I kept for a full day practice test. I also did the green book as a practice test- but I had looked at it previously. Towards the last 2 weeks I did my 10 questions a night timed (to how long I *should* be taking to do them). I did as many Des O'neill questions as I could (I didn't finish the whole book). In the last few weeks I mainly did science questions from there. (Also timed sometimes) I did the Des O'neill essay prep (sending in essays). I also had a private tutor (not an official tutor), who marked around 10 essays (written by hand to the time limit), and gave me feedback. The week prior to the gamsat I did very few questions (some days none), and just tried to eat well and get a lot of sleep, and wake up early all week.
I attended the full practice test day run by Des O'neil, in my opinion the only worthwhile part of his course. I used organic chem and physics text books to give me a background in the topics. I work full time so I used a weeks annual leave to sit through downloaded video lectures of all of MIT open courseware on general chem, physics, another Californian university for org chem. I did very little biology, section 1 and 2 preparation. I also generally do watch a lot of current affairs programs and generally try to read widely.
I used the Griffiths GAMSAT guide to provide and overview of the exam and as a syllabus to study for section 3. Then I used the A level in a week books and online resources to try and study for those topics. Finally unused ozmed and acer past papers to test myself.
I only went through each of the official ACER GAMSAT practice books once, then hoped to wing the exam. I did not write practice essays.
Did one and a half question booklets. Was not worried about exam as I have a history of doing well in these sorts of tests. A lifetime of being an avid reader and having broad interests facilitated a good section 1 score and I found having a BSc was sufficient preparation for section 3.
Doing the questions from ACER booklets. For science section any concepts that I din't quite understand I used google to read up on the theory.
Study plan was to learn some of the basic concepts initially and then do as many gamsat style questions and essays as possible. I used Des Oneill, the Acer booklets and the wonderful Paging Dr. I found the Des Oneill course was good with section 1 and 3 of the gamsat, but the essay preparation course was not very helpful as the feedback was small and generalized. I found the purple Acer book (practice test 2) to be the most useful and closest to the real gamsat.
As it was my second time sitting Gamsat, and I did well in my first attempt, I was happy to refresh/revise my knowledge for section 3 by doing practice questions, watching youtube videos or googling when I got stuck and working with a study partner. We had hand-me-down des oneill notes which were not particularly useful, except as a reminder about areas that are commonly examined. My strategy was to focus on what I am good at (organic chem and biology) and not bother even trying with physics as I had only ever done it to a grade 8 level. It worked for me, but may not work for someone without a strong chemistry background. I probably started studying 2-3 months out, knowing that the main section that was feasible to improve was the essay section. Paging dr came was very useful in getting tips from people on how to structure essays, I read online resources about essay structuring and practiced practiced practiced. I probably did 1-2 essays each week over maybe 6 weeks. If I couldn't be bothered writing a whole essay I would do an essay plan and at least think about the topic - then discussing with my study partner and critiquing each other's work. I used paging dr and the practice booklets to get quotes/topics, which was of particular use since they recycled a topic that I had already practiced. In my personal opinion it is almost impossible to study for section 1, it really is based on your vocab/reading with a little luck thrown in, so aside from practicing a few questions to get into the swing of how they are written, I did not study for that section. The most important thing was to be ready for the day, get some decent sleep leading up to it, reduce other life stresses, concentrate on eating healthily etc.
I read various books/materials to improve sections 1 and 2. I skimmed through the Gold Standard textbook for section 3. I didn't do any practice essays, but I did practice planning them out. All in all, I spent roughly 2hrs per week on "study", except on the weeks that I did the practice test booklets. Probably should have done those first, especially the new purple booklet, as it made me realise that the content of the GAMSAT had shifted more from understanding- to knowledge-based (i.e. you had to recall more formulas, methods, etc. than previous years).
3 hours a night after work
revise questions in prep books (des/acer) and learn from questions that got wrong.
Started study in early November. 1 day per week off full time work (Wednesdays) and then 1 full day at weekends. In a rural area so no option to attend study courses - worked alone and used on line resources and text books. Section 1 and section 2 spent 2-3 weeks on at the start of prep, then worked completely on science section until 4 weeks before exam when I revised all of section 1/2 & 3. Did do 1 timed essay each week. For sec III methodically worked through biology areas, physics areas and chem areas (using resource from paging dr from past applicants). I had a detailed plan week by week of areas to cover in order to complete. I studied biol/physics/chem and once one area complete would pick out all gamsat questions on that area and complete them. For each area in section 3 I used Kahn academy and cross referenced with the chem guy. I also used UK A level revision books (as i studied A levels in UK and my science degree in UK). I saved one untouched acer test for a timed test run.
Started off with some general maths review. Read through parts of the Kaplan MCAT science review book I bought on Amazon. Used all the ACER practice questions/exams (all three booklets).
Started studying during the summer break. Specifically focused on section 1 and 2, hence did a lot of wider reading, getting ideas on the current issues, reading books on how to analyse poetry and utilising all online resources for section 1 preparation. Signed up for Des O'neil's essay writing package, and began writing a 1-2 essays per week. Have them reviewed by Des O'neil's staff as well as the pagingdr community. Because of my science background, I focused more on revision of things I've forgotten especially in chemistry and physics. Not much usage of resources. Mainly focused on practice questions from ACER and Des.
Focused almost entirely on the ACER booklets, especially for Sections I and III. Went through all the questions once to gauge the level of preparedness and also to understand the reasoning behind questions in doubt. Went through questions again to ensure that the reasoning was understood. I found this very useful for the second attempt as I realised that the ACER booklet questions are extremely similar in style compared to the actual GAMSAT questions. Undergraduate material was mostly used to cover doubts in physics concepts, especially optics. Most of the effort was spent in the two weeks leading up to the GAMSAT.
went through the list of science concepts provided by des o'neil did des o'neil essay practice read a lot of examcrackers passages
Recent plan was to focus upon the science section. This plan however was sporadic and not nearly as regularly practiced as it should of been. Basically focused on organic chemistry and physics using Khan Academy and the Acer practice booklets. Also browsed Paging Doctor in order to get an idea of previous questions and ask about areas I was having trouble. Overall my study plan was actually learn the science needed.
I studied general chemistry (for Dummies, because it was cheap) and lower level orgo (also for Dummies) for 6 weeks essentially straight through except for mandatory meetings with my PhD supervisor, because I hadn't had chemistry in a few years. I also used the ACER booklets, which I found to be much more difficult than the actual exam. My encounter with Gold Standard MCAT/GAMSAT prep has been studying with a friend who is preparing for the GAMSAT. I've already accepted an offer and just find them to be very good at explaining those little things that we don't necessarily get taught but ought to.
Starting working through the Medprep science sections in January, then the humanities section and finally practiced writing essays in the week leading up to the GAMSAT. In the month leading up to GAMSAT I also used the ACER booklets.
Used ACER and Des O'Neill material to prepare for GAMSAT. Worked through the practise questions under timed conditions. Overall worked through all the material in approximately 1-2 months 4-5 days a week. I also tried to read widely by reading a range of news sources including the Sydney Morning Herald, BBC News, The Economist etc.
I didn't really prepare for my most recent (first) GAMSAT. The little study I did do was look over Des O'Neill's practice questions and the ACER practice booklets.
Learn material and practice questions
I spent 4 hours before the exam doing the acer prep books to get timing right. I the accepted that if I didnt do well it was because I shouldn't be a doctor.
I didn't adhere to a strict plan. Mostly, I relied on general ability for SI and SII. For SIII, my undergrad meant that the bio questions were easy but I was useless at chem, so I'd attempt questions in the acer practice books or griffiths GAMSAT guide and then hit the textbooks where I could identify holes in my knowledge.
I began my study about 2 months before GAMSAT. I worked my way through the Des O'Neill Science Revision Courses for 2010 (textbook) and for sections in science needing more explanation, I used other textbooks from my uni's library and Khan Academy. Once I'd worked my way mostly through this book, I did all the ACER practice booklets, and practice questions in an Examkrackers Science MCQ book. I attended an essay workshop at UQ, where I was taught a method for writing my essays - I found this useful at the time but applied the strategy to my essays on exam day and got a worse mark than I had the previous year (with no prep at all). I also used the ACER practice booklets, as well as reading the newspaper religiously. For Section 1, I used the ACER practice booklets.
Important to know what type of study person you are. I know that I'm a nocturnal owl. I used this to my advantage to efficienalise my time. Do 1 round of questions to get a feel of it, then study. Only do the next few trials after study is completed.
* Used Des O'neils to study theory for science paying special attention to organic chemistry. * Used Des O'Neils to practice humanties MCQs * Used Des O'Neils to practice essays and made sure to take feedback into account each time it was marked * Did entire MCQ bank from Des O'Neils Science and HUmanties courses, as well as all 3 ACER practice booklets and any other MCQs I could find just through searching on the net e.g. there are some MCQ banks for MCAT etc available online * After this, I made a condensed set of science notes to memorise e.g. some formulas etc * Also, made some essay notes to memorise - i.e. an "essay skeleton" - this involved jotting down some good ways to start essays (as intros as the hardest/time consuming part), and ways to transion from one para to the next, and skeleton conclusion so that I wasn't spending time on this in the exam.
I didn't specifically prepare for GAMSAT. As I am an international student, I had the option of using MCAT. I used the Kaplan MCAT set to cover my ground for GAMSAT. Other than that, I just did the weekend to breeze through the ACER materials.
Essay practice and general science revision early on (3 months out from exam). Closer to the exam (last couple of weeks) focused on practice questions and full practice exams.
I studied for 2 hours on week days after work and then one whole day of 7-8 hours on the weekend. I used the med prep study books and did des' exam course and acers practice exams (in that order).
Coming from a non-science background, Khan academy tutorials and Chemguy tutorials helped me to understand things conceptually. I was too focused on broadly understanding scientific concepts rather than doing actual questions and this was a mistake. For section 1, doing multiple choice questions under exam conditions was effective for me. Because I write every day as part of my work, and part of that also involves training in professional writing, I found Des ONeil and Medprep to be of limited value. Further, in my particular case, I found their advice to be a bit formulaic and detrimental. I think the best way is to practice. And to then put the essay away and reread it a week later when you have forgotten about it. Then you can critically review your expression and approach. In my opinion, to do well in section 2, it is important to express yourself clearly and develop your own voice.
I had hoped to study about 8 hours a day for GAMSAT in the summer break for atleast a month. However, this wasn't possible for my lack of motivation. I did about 6-7 hours a week, perhaps a little more. I think the best way I found wasn't to crap concepts and scientific facts, it was to have a crack at the practice questions. As many as I could. For me, I found GAMSAT wasn't a factual or knowledge based exam but one that can be bettered with improved test taking skills including a fast reading speed, ability to decide dud questions when you see them and work under time constraint. Medprep helped with revisiting some of the basic science concepts however the best thing was test taking strategy that they teach especially for essay writing.
Having a science background made me prioritise my study differently I think. I focused on my weaknesses (Essay writing) and tried to write at least 3 essays per week. I also spent time learning new words (subscribed to dictionary.com a year before gamsat-surprisingly helpful!) I took the Des O'Neil course, and although it was helpful, it was hugely overpriced. I recommend doing his essay course because the feedback is very helpful, especially if you haven't witten many essays in undergrad. I used a few science textbooks to refresh my organic chemistry and biology (organic chem in particular) and that was useful because there are a lot of organic chemistry questions i thought.
Section I: I mainly used ACER books, which were fantastic. They helped me time my answers (a big issue for my first gamsat attempt). I find it a bit difficult to prepare for SI, but it helps if you can read a bit faster and understand what is being asked, which can be improved with practice. My first gamsat I got 47, then
58 I kept up to date with issues by reading the Weekend Australian (I had no time to read the daily paper). This helped me read a bit faster whilst thinking about the content. For me, i struggled with finishing the questions on time. On my first attempt, I had
40 questions that I had no chance of going through, I think that this is mainly due to the fact that in that particular exam, there were a lot of questions that required you to read one whole page of text, then answer only 1-2 questions, which took a lot of my time. The second and thrid attempts had shorter passages to read. Secion II: Again, I find this a bit hard to prepare for. Before gamnsat, I hadn't written a proper english essay since high school. I never had the time to sit down and actually write a piece prior to the exam either. I normally sat down, read the quotes and thought about "what is the theme?" and "how I would answer the theme/question" and support my arguments with examples. I found that reading the Weekend Australian helped me with examples. I felt that raising current media issues or using them as examples to the theme, may help with the thought content and show to the examiner that you have really thought about the issue. For example, for this years gamsat with the "affirmative action" theme, I used examples from Gadafi's regime to illustrate how "unaffirmative action" led to a society that is unhappy. Reading AC Greying and Geoffrey Blainey (A short history of ther 20th century) also opened my mind to different ideas. Section III: ACER booklets were sufficient for me, that being said, I do have a science background. I lso read though my first year chemisty and biology notes and I did some chemistry questions from my old text book. For physics (always one of my downfalls) I had cover to cover my year 11 and 12 VCE text books and did pretty much all of the questions. This helped tremendously! Overall, I felt that I had to concentrate on S1 and S11 the most.
1) For section 1 practise, practise to get to appropriate level of time management of complex syntax and long comprehesion passages. 2) Section 2 read and researched widely, kept abreast with current affairs, wrote plenty of essays under exam condition, Because it was my first time made a rookie mistake of writing the essay plan in the same booklet and had to keep turning the page big mistake costed me some precious minutes. 3) Here do the yards and reap the rewards no ifs or buts. If prep time permitting try and gain an understanding of the major concepts tested there is a list somewhere, practise full lenght papers under exam conditions and do full days as well with appropriate breaks, for me a sat a pseudo-gamsat 3 weeks straight on a Saturdays before the exam, So I might have officially sat the Exam Once but my mind was enduring the torture for the 4th Saturday straight.
Isolated periods of study with friends (up to 3 hours) on topics considered important. Topics were mostly science, but a few timed essays were included. Working through ACER booklets (sections I and III). Initially taking my time to get the full and correct answer, then using other booklets as a timed test. I attended a Des O'Neill section III session, but this was not necessary.
I Only had three weeks to prepare properly! So cram, cram, cram! Med prep was not a good resource for cramming section 3 study, because the information is very condensed and without prior science knowledge it will not be very useful. Med prep material for section 1 and 2 was quite good and they provided several full length practise exams which were useful.
Start in August/September Work through the Des ONeil and Medprep science section trying to accomplish 1-2 sections per week. This prep included working on MCQs at the end of every section from Medprep and other MCQ books I obtained. Started with chemistry tutor in November (just for organic chem) - my weakest part of the whole exam. Essay practice course. Write 1-2 essays each weekend and send them away Read books - list given by Medprep (mostly classics and poetry) - good way to become familiar with the material in section 1. Closer to the exam (Jan/Feb) Work on MCQs and practice Q's, practice essays in correct time frame 2 weeks out - work on practice exams in correct time frame including essays 1 week out - do complete practice exam in 1 day (ie GAMSAT simulation)
I read through the Des O'Neil note and then used the practice GAMSAT to test myself, including the Des O'Neil tests, the ACER test and also a couple of free sets of questions that I found on line. The science section was pretty much a refresher for me as I had done science before. The humanitatiran section couldn't really study for at all but having the questions at least allowed me to get into the right frame of mind to answers. I found the Des O'Neil essay pack very helpful, as they allow you to write an essay to time and then post it in to be corrected and recieve feedback.
Main focus was S3 as non biomed science background. Used GAMSAT practice exams to understand content area & read textbooks to understand the concepts. Didn't take notes or do questions etc. but focused on having a very clear and logical understanding of why things occurred. Exception to this was O-Chem, did practice questions for that. About a month before GASMSAT started doing limited practice questions in ExamCrackers, practice essays & practice GAMSAT.
start practising essays as early as possible do as many questions as possible for section 3
I purchased the mediprep system but honestly never opened it. I found myself too busy with my undergrad to study for the gamsat using the medprep schedule. I skimmed through the acer practice booklets, but didn't do the practice exams. I re-read a chapter on organic chemistry in my year 12 chemistry textbook, and read some literature texts (eg. Austen, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky) to prepare me for section I and II.
Having sat GAMSAT several times previously I did almost no study. I looked over a year 12 physics textbook, and I had spent some time talking with a friend who was also sitting the test about the style of GAMSAT questions.
-Began about a month before. -In first week, read up on VCE/1st year biology and physics as hadn't studied these, also revised Chemistry, which I was confident in (but needed to review Organic). -In second week, looked over practice questions in ACER to see if there were any glaring gaps, then followed these up with textbooks and YouTube tutorials (for example, physics questions regarding light and force, and naming of complex organic compounds). -In the third week, sat two practice exams under exam conditions, allowing a day or two after each to really look at why I got answers wrong (was it a matter of concentration? not understanding the subject at all? getting distracted?). -In the fourth week, relaxed and wrote essays about random topics from current affairs to keep my hand in (and make sure that, post-high school, my handwriting and spelling at speed were still up to scratch). In this week, I also continued to read about science, and do random quizzes and logic tests I found on the Internet and from my MENSA material. I continued to read literature and keep up-to-date with current affairs as a way of making sure my language skills for S1 were sharp. That's about it - organised, but not ridiculously in-depth, it was more about making sure I was in the right frame of mind to be able to work out answers to unfamiliar questions.
Two essays in an hour every day Worked through ACER materials Studied Organic Chemistry for Dummies over a few weeks
I devised a timetable similar to what you have in highschool and divided blocks of time (1-2hrs) into the various subjects I decided to study - Chemistry, Biology and Physics separately and then Essay Writing and Section 1 together. I covered a little of each subject everyday starting in mid January. Getting closer to GAMSAT I also allocated blocks to doing practice questions from Acer books and then to going through the answers to understand how I went wrong. Three weeks out I started doing full practice exams and tried to write an essay everyday, even if I only jotted down ideas and a plan. This helped me with my time management for section 2 on the day. I don't think I ever timed my section 3 practice as in previous GAMSAT attepts I never had issues with time - this time I was more worried about working through the questions thoroughly to get the right answers and it worked for me! For my preparation I used Griffiths to get an idea of what to study; basically I compiled a list of learning objectives that I worked my way through using my undergrad and high school science textbooks plus an OChem one I bought on eBay. I looked at a couple of Des Essay examples a friend gave me and discovered Khan too late to really use but it was good for consolidating OChem concepts when my hand was cramped from writing! I didn't find GAMSAT Gold particularly useful for science but it was good to read through what they deemed important concepts to learn and then use my texts to actually learn it - I hated the way the Gold text was written for science. I also used alot of the essay ideas to write about - but go to the web and just Google essay topics, that way you are covered pretty well for any topic they throw at you. Also look for AC Grayling books - great short essays, but I ran out of time to really look at them.
practiced ACER papers bought a set of old Des ONeil questions from ebay and completed one practice paper every week 2 months before the GAMSAT
I used the blue and red ACER booklets as practice to gauge the types of questions asked. For section 1 practice I used paid online practice MCAT verbal reasoning sections through http://www.mcat-bookstore.com/. I also read various books, newspaper articles etc. to try and be more comfortable with the types of texts used in GAMSAT. For section 2 practice I used the passGAMSAT section 2 course which I found really helpful as I was given feedback for all the essays I attempted. To practice I sat down and wrote 2 essays in an hour like what is required in the GAMSAT so that I would be more comfortable with doing that on the test day. I also found advice on essay structure from past GAMSAT sitters on pagingdr really helpful. For section 3 I found a list of what could be covered in GAMSAT (probably from pagingdr) and pretty much went through that myself with my own textbooks from my 1st year of Med Science. I also made sure I understood all the concepts covered in section 3 in the practice ACER booklets. The Saturday before GAMSAT I sat down and did the green ACER booklet in the way the test is run (with the same breaks etc.). I found that really helpful to prepare me for the test the next week.
Started two months prior exam date. Spent one month refreshing all the theory. Then one month practicing questions and exams whilst still working full time.
I have made a study plan spanning the months leading up to GAMSAT. I will start off my saying I'm a Master's student in Human Nutrition and I feel I have a good base for all three sections. I came up with this plan after skimming through several texts (Paging Dr, GS GAMSAT, and MediRed) and talking to those I knew who had successfully completed the GAMSAT. I have opted to use MediRed as my primary resource as 1) it is the briefest material I had access to (although requires a prior science knowledge), 2) has questions to practise my understanding at the end of chapters, and 3) consolidates the key points. I use the GS GAMSAT textbook as a reference material whenever I am confused about material in MediRed and I use both the online videos and audio track for consolidation of concepts. I also plan on using the GS GAMSAT questions once I have finished with the content. At this stage I'm making my way through section III beginning with Chemistry (Gen then Org), then making my way to physics and finally Bio. So far I do two "content" sessions of about 3-5 hours each per week and starting this week I plan on adding an extra session for practice questions. I've managed to accumulate around about 8 practice exmas and I have those spread out periodically leading up to the GAMSAT (increasing in frequency closer to the date). I have materials for section I and II but at present I'm still working out an optimal study plan for those two sections.
Used Des science course notes and worked through them systematically. Usually had to consult textbooks along the way as Des's notes were too brief and detailed for my understanding. Did as many practice tests under exam conditions as possible.
Regular revision of Des's books, assisted by a private tutor when needed and looking at Kahn academy for extra explanation. Also worked through all of the ACER books and used Des's notes and Paging Dr for explanations when needed.
Did the GAMSAT practice tests. As my humanities section was strong I didn't really do any specific prep. I read a lot and follow current affairs so left that alone. For the essay section I relied on my work skills of report and grant application writing. I spent an hour or 2 most nights after work studying sciences; and spending time out on call with some of my vet friends (basic biology is basic biology!). I spent some time thinking about exam technique and then went from there!
Worked problems from Physics,Biology, chemistry, organic chemistry texts- first year uni ones. Studied every day for months. Went to Des Oneill course Read the paper, and ethics blogs daily. Crossed my fingers.
Went through medprep des o'neill's materials used text books for any unclear/difficult areas
Reduced working hours to 3 days per week. Spent 3 days studying, 3 working and 1 playing. May spend 2-3 hours after work reading/essays etc. Weekends prior to GAMSAT spent sitting full exams, then spending time reviewing answers during the week.
Use text boooks and go throught each chapter. Do questionas in des o'neil and use acer books to see how I ws going. Write at least 1 essay/week.
My overall GAMSAT mark was 81. My USYD interview mark was 128. I got a CSP at USYD as well as my desired clinical school (RPA). I identified the GAMSAT sections and subtopics I found difficult and consequently focused my learning/practice on these areas. I gauged my competencies by doing the official GAMSAT practice material. The only medical school-orientated preparation material I used was Kaplan practice tests. These are available here http://www.demonoid.me/files/details/2144940/0086466464/ (a torrent website). If you want to contact me regarding any of the following PagingDr ID = ipikop Email = email@example.com Reasoning in Humanities and Social Science � Practiced the analogous section ('verbal reasoning') in the Kaplan practice tests under strict time-constraints (ie, attempted to complete the section before the time-limit was reached). Kaplan tests are for the MCAT. Nevertheless, doing the tests develop rapid reading technique and information interpretation, as well as familiarity with test conditions (ie, so they're not so alien on the test day, lowering the chance of getting flustered). It may be helpful to read some poetry + its plain-English interpretation. Written Communication � Devised a 'databank' of broadly-applicable examples, with a preference for present-day issues. For each entry, I understood the background and memorised the key facts (eg, they date of its occurrence). My main sources were Wikipedia, Sydney Morning Herald, and the Australian Medical Association position statements. � Practiced written essays under strict time-constraints. Used quote examples from www.pagingdr.net and/or official GAMSAT practice material. I spent 5 min reading/planning, 20 min writing, 5 min editing per essay. I modelled my essays on the 'band 6' examples given in the Kaplan practice tests - look at these, they are extremely good. With the help of these examples, I developed two styles that I used in all essays: argumentative and expository. The quotes dictate which style can be used. Quotes in which two topic interpretations/positions are evident are amenable to an argument, whereas those with one obvious interpretation must be written in exposition. Key essay tips: *Argumentative or expository. Send me an email if you want me to elaborate on the following. *Argument (balanced and unified): three paragraphs, no introduction. Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Thesis � frame the topic, explain one interpretation of the quote, explore its deeper/societal meaning, give specific example. Antithesis � explain an alternative interpretation of the quote, give specific example. Synthesis � find a resolution to thesis and antithesis, some philosophical statement. Do not introduce new content beyond what is said in the thesis/antithesis. *Expository: about four paragraphs. Introduction, idea 1, idea 2, conclusion. Introduction � extremely short (two sentences), frame the topic, implicitly say what essay will include. Ideas � each an individual paragraph, reader's understanding at point A, want their understand to progress to point B; what do they need to know to make this progression? The Ideas paragraphs fill in these gaps. Conclusion � summarises what has been said, some philosophical statement. *Essay must be short (
1-1.5 written pages) and clear (ie, no grandiloquent words, no verbosity). *Essays must have a humanities/social slant (seems more down-to-earth). *No colloquialisms, no essay title. *Legible handwriting, correct sentence and paragraph structure (ie, topic sentences, one main idea per paragraph). *Chose one quote, understand the quote entirely, strictly address what it says (do not go off-topic even if you know off-topic stuff), read the other quotes to clarify the quote theme (use their ideas if necessary). *If I thought I did poorly, I researched the topic theme on Wikipedia and re-wrote the essay. For all the sciences, practice far trumps reading a lot of stuff. Reasoning in Biological and Physical Science Inquired about Des O'Neil's preparatory course and received a free 'syllabus', which delineates what they think will be the important science subjects to cover for GAMSAT. This turned out to be reasonably helpful. If you want a photocopy, email me. NB: I did not do Des O'Neil's course (it's a waste of money). Chemistry � Practised ChemCal (an online practice chemistry program available to USYD and UNIMELB students). Very good. Send me an email if you want the USYD password. � Practised USYD first-year chemistry past exam papers (covers inorganic and general chemistry: CHEM1101, CHEM1102). Have well-written answers. Available online for free: http://firstyear.chem.usyd.edu.au/Pastexams/chem1101.shtml http://firstyear.chem.usyd.edu.au/Pastexams/chem1102.shtml � Used 'Chemistry' textbook by Blackman ISBN: 9781742465944. I read the entire thing, cover-to-cover (chemistry was my weak-spot). This textbook has entry-level first-year chemistry material highly relevant to GAMSAT (whereas others may have too much material). A decent alternative with way more organic chemistry information (too much) is 'Organic chemistry' by John McMurry ISBN: 9780840054449. Physics � I made sure I knew HSC physics (eg, look at the HSC physics syllabus, do HSC past-papers, they have answers now). Clearly, only the stuff that is relevant to GAMSAT. Available at http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/ � Practiced physics Kaplan tests; however, its relevancy is debatable. MCAT seems to focus on memorisation rather than critical thinking. Worth a look if you have Kaplan tests (they have good answers), otherwise skip this. � Briefly went through 'Cliffs Notes Physics B & C'. Available here: http://www.demonoid.me/files/details/2118630/0086466464/ (torrent). I found it hard to find a textbook that covered the basic problems given in GAMSAT (eg, very basic mechanics, and pulleys etc). This textbook is flawed, but it does cover some of those problems. � For some optics I used 'University Physics' by Young and Freedman ISBN: 080538684X. Awesome textbook, very in-depth, don't use if you don't have much time. Biology � 'Biology' textbook by Neil A. Campbell ISBN: 9780805371468. Extremely good textbook (arguably best basic Biology textbook to date). Only chapters in the 'Animal form and function' section; all are relevant and good. � 'Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry' by Albert Lehninger ISBN: 9781429224161. I have a strong biology background and didn't use this, but for anyone who doesn't, this is the best entry-leve textbook I've ever read; I think it is extremely relevant to GAMSAT and predict it would be very helpful. -ipikop
I bought the Des ONeill package for science revision and I bought a book of multiple choice practice. I didn't really use them fully. I finished all the multiple choice questions for section one, and any other questions for section three that required me to interpret graphs or data. I really didn't prepare for the science section that well at all, and I didn't even look at an essay question. I had always planned to do an honours year and was viewing this year as a "practice" year, I just wanted to see how I would go as a baseline. I ended up getting 62 for section 1, 60 for section 3 and 84 for section 2. The 84 dragged my whole score up to 68. I couldn't give you any tips, really, for how to get an 84 on the essay question, without trying to sound like a wanker, I have just always had a bit of a talent for English (unfortunately not so much for science, my chosen career path). I guess wider reading helps in both section 1 and 2, as the essay topic was about affirmative action, and I do know many people who didn't know what that was. Because I ended up with a 68 (because of the 84 in section 2), I realized that I was able to apply for med this year, and rethought my honors project year. I honestly never thought I would apply or get a good enough score to apply, so that's pretty much why I didn't do that much preparation.
Focussed on structure of exam and the question patterns and conventions.
I didn't have a study plan for my first attempt (wanted to see how competitive I was naturally). All I did was go through the available ACER material which would have taken me maybe 8 hours all up.
Read widely for humanities/social sciences - newspapers, online, books. Discussed current events with friends and partner Practiced essay writing with partner's help Used the ACER booklets as a guide to what to learn - also found PagingDr a great resource and found some online free assistance.
I did not prepare. Was expecting it to be a practice run.
Used ACER practice books mostly for all sections. No extensive preparation for section 1 except for ACER questions and trying to extend vocabulary to help with understanding some of the passages. Section 2 preparation just involved practicing as many essays as possible (using ACER questions and others found on Paging Dr). Spent most of time preparing for Section 3 - I used my undergraduate material (from first year university chemistry) to prepare for the chemistry sections, my undergraduate degree (Biomedical Science) prepared me well for the Biology so I did not do any further study in that area. Have never done any physics (not even in High School) so did not do any study for Physics - guessed all physics questions in the test (I do not advise this where possible, I was lucky I suppose). Once I reviewed material I just did ACER practice questions.
i only studied for about 3 weeks before GAMSAT (first and only attempt) and went to the library to do TEE past exam papers for English (essay writing), physics and Chemistry. Then i used McMurry Organic Chem from my undergrad course to bring my chemistry up to tertiary level. Also read some newspaper articles to prep for essay writing. Then did the practice Qs from Acer.
I started revising for the GAMSAT in December and tried to do a couple of hours per week using the ample study material provided by Des O'Neil. I also did the weekly essays (timed) that were part of the Des O'Neil writing package. For the essay section I advise you start doing some reading if you haven't in the past. TIME and The Economist are a good start. I finished this revision roughly 4 weeks before the GAMSAT, and from then on I just focused on doing questions and practice papers under exam conditions. I later dissected the questions I got wrong. My study strategy involved 'revising' the science that I had learned in undergrad so that I had previous knowledge as a strength, but being able to do what the GAMSAT is about, i.e. apply the information in the question to find the answer. You also need a good exam day strategy because obviously time is not on your side. I decided prior to the exam what questions I would struggle with, and it came to be maybe 30% of the total material. I left a couple of these until last but most I just guessed. Not worth wasting precious time.
Working through science text books and then practicing the questions in acer or des' stuff. If there were questions I felt week on, I'd more thoroughly learn those topics. A lot of essay practice under timed conditions with des' essay course. A lot of humanities questions under timed conditions - des and acer.
As I already had a science background in biological sciences, my main focus for the gamsat was to work on copious amounts of practice materials. For section three this was mainly from the acer booklets - the practise test, practise questions and sample questions. I would attempt to do them one question at a time for the latter two books to work through each at my own pace until I knew how to get to the answer. Then I worked through the practice test (section 3) from begining to end as a timed test. This was immensely helpful and I found myself using my science texts (Biology by Campell, Chemistry: A physical approach and Des O'neills science section) for reference only. For section two I was fairly unsure how to turn my average passable (english is my first language so I didnt have a lot of trouble) into good and great essays - my first two attempts my essays were 60 and 58. Then I found a wonderful post on paging dr by Miss G giving great tips for writing an arguementative essay. It immediately clicked what I was missing and without a lot more than practicing a couple of essays I scored a 70 average on both essays. Every gamsat candidate should read this - and I would have been prepared to pay Miss G for online essay tutoring because in one post she managed to helpo me pick up what five years of uni (including an incomplete arts degree) failed to show me. For section one I used the acer practise questions, test ect only. I was a little stumpted with what to do about this section. In the three times I sat gamsat I got a 64, 52 and 60 in this section with no difference in study, and it felt a lot like a game of chance.
Studied the preparation materials for about 2-3 weeks before GAMSAT. This involved doing questions from the booklets after class everyday. Practiced writing a couple essays the day before the exam.
I went through the relevant chapters in my chemistry text book from first year university and also purchased a physics text and went through the relevant chapters. I identified the relevant chapters using a checklist from Des O'Neill. I then went through the practice booklets from acer and spoke with friends about their logic and how they came to their answer. I did the Des essay prep course and submitted my essyas for marking, this was useful and also gave me various practice topics to write essays on. I then did the two practice gamsat booklets from acer and looked at how i went wrong and how to improve. Watching the news and current affairs was a big part of my preparation for the essay section. On the day, i had a good breakfast and brought a big lunch to keep energy up.
I set aside 2 full months for preparation. During the first month i re-familiarized with the science knowledge and intensified my reading on all sorts of subjects (sciences, news papers, books, history, literature etc.). I also started doing logic puzzles and riddles just to help thinking out of the box. During the last 6 weeks i made sure i would practice one full test (acer or Des O'Neill) under exam condition. I also wrote one essay per day and practiced as many science and social sciences questions i could get my hands on and tried to really understand how it all worked. In summary Weeks 1-4. familiarize with exam subjects, read broadly, write Weeks 4-8. practice exam under test conditions, write essays and go over wrong answers to fully understand. In retrospect one of the most important deciders at the exam is whether one can read a question and understand/extract information rapidly and accurately. I would recommend mastering this before entering the exam.
As science was the area I was lacking in most, I broke the study up into science sections according to the Gold Standard text, and aimed to complete a certain number of chapters per day. For Section 1, I did the practice tests in the Acer books to accustom myself to the types of questions, timing, and to highlight areas of weakness. For Section 2, I used the Acer books and the Gold Standard textbook to familiarise myself with the structure of the essays required. For Section 3, I primarily used the Gold Standard textbook as a framework for the content that would be covered. In areas where this did not provide sufficient depth, I used textbooks to flesh out the detail. I also used the Acer practice texts a great deal here, both for practice in timing and answering questions, but also to familiarise myself with the depth of knowledge required for each topic. I also made extensive use of the information available on paging dr in formulating my study plan.
I used des O'Neill prep material for science, humanities and essay prep. The practice questions in this material were the most useful following learning the basics for science. I also used a organic chem text book 'intro to organic chem (brown and poon)' which was invaluable with mastering organic chem. I used des O'Neill essay course and found the feedback on essay very useful in improving my writing. To assist with my writing and humanities I read broadly. 'the meaning of things (AC Grayling)' as well as other novels, penguin classics. And the opinion pieces and world news in the broad sheet newspapers. I started studying sciences in the July preceding the GAMSAT, and humanities and essays in the November/december. Overall I completed 3 full practice tests and 5 half practice and many more GAMSAT style questions. This was in valuable in getting timing right. Also wrote around 25-30 essays, all timed and completed as many humanity questions as I could get my hands on.
2 mth study plan Wrote 2 essays a week 4hrs science study 1hr humanities
I had five weeks to prepare (late application). I used Year 12 text books for science input (plus a basic organic chem prep book) and I used practice papers to identify my weak areas and worked on them. I did two full practice exams in the final two weeks within exam conditions. Control of time management was critical.
Attempted ACER practice tests read through ExamKrackers practised essays Attempted Medprep Sample exam- too simplified
ACER booklet questions under exam conditions
Cover biology from set chapters in Biology from Knox et al. Cover Organic Chemistry chapters in Brown and Poon Write lots of prac essays! Test knowledge on GAMSAT and des O neil papers.
Was originally doing GAMSAT as a practice run, but ended up passing and getting a place in med for 2012. I only did some practice exams the week to two prior, but had a good idea of the exam structure and content. ACER practice tests along with some PD reading were the only resources used.
Lots of practice questions. Focused mostly on organic chemistry and essay practice.
GAMSAT 2009 I prepared over about 9 months. I worked through the Sample Questions and Practice Questions booklets to get a feel for the question style, difficulty, and required background knowledge. I saved the full practice exam for a exam-conditions practice a couple of weeks before Gamsat. I found that I was up to speed on the physics and social sciences. I used high school / 1st year undergrad chemistry and biology texts to fill in the gaps in my science. I used MCAT practice tests for multi-choice practice. I found a local tutor to give feedback on essays. I use PagingDr to find out other people's strategies, especially for exam day tips. I made a long post about multi-choice preparation on PagingDr here: http://pagingdr.net/forum/index.php?topic=699.msg69828#msg69828
I re read some of my first year chemistry and physics notes. Also did a section 1 practice book.
Previously taken GAMSAT (approximately 3 hours study per week for 2 months). Zero study for next attempt three years later.
* Cover core concepts in science - used Des O'Neill, ACER to gauge what was required * Look up definitions of words I didn't know from practice questions - this was particularly important for ACER questions, where for example some describing words for cartoons were unknown to me. * Practice writing essays and reading examples - used Des O'Neill - ACER content was too limited * Reading and thinking widely on a variety of issues - newspapers, websites, etc.
I started to prepare about 4 months in advanced. I had to squeeze in my gamsat preparation in between work and study commitments. So there really wasn't a study rather in just fit in what I could. I used mainly des oneil material and attended the des oneil practice exam session which I found useful.
Study hard for at least 5 hours a day for at least 4 days of the week.
The study plan basically revolved around the science section. I slowly went through the science section in the medprep course material but admittedly did not have time to complete it until the very last week. For Essay writing I pretty much did no preparation and the same goes for the first section. The Essay material is hard to prepare for as it involves thinking on the spot but if you have an argumentative personality and are good at concisely getting your point across it will be fine. I do recommend people prepare for section 1 if they have the time but personally the science is particularly important as it counts for double, and although the theory is explained in the exam it is very useful to be familiar with it.
Used Griffith review to set out study plan. Prioritised organic chemistry and chemistry (due to only having a junior science level background there). Discounted most biology and assigned some time to revising existing physics knowledge. Also used to assess the standards required for the written reasoning and essay writing components. 3 months of working 2-4 hours per day (on weekends) from "for dummies" styled undergraduate textbooks (ie. those with no presumed knowledge before high school level). Primarily focused on science, mainly chemistry/organic chemistry. 2 weeks of 9-5 work coming up to the GAMSAT. Worked through all available sample science questions from ACER, reviewed answers, referred to existing textbooks to review concepts which were answered incorrectly and ensure I could complete a full worked answer for that question. Also wrote 2 practice essays (based on suggested topics from paging dr), and worked through written reasoning sample questions from ACER. Minimal review of the results of these, they were more to "get in the swing" of answering those types of questions.
Practice essays + style of writing and what they looking for. revise high school the Year 1 Uni science in all 3 sections + practice comprehension. Used medprep which had a lot of resources, so was able to accomplish most through their resources.
Since this was the first time sitting gamsat and it was my 2nd year of a 3 year degree, I did this gamsat as trial run, the only thing i practiced prior to the examination was timing via doing three timed full length practice papers.
Study Plan was to at least do 1-2 hours a day just to keep the study going and so I felt better psychologically that at least some prep was being done, if not much at times. I used the ACER materials and Des O'Neil platinum package. I tried to split up evenly between the three sections. Section 1, just practised all the MCQs I had from both Des and Acer and also was reading books and magazines (e.g. TIME) to put me outside my comfort reading zone and to look at different styles of writing. Section 2, I tried doing at least two essays a week and closer to gamsat, one every two days. I got my partner to mark them for feedback. Third section, just did as many MCQs as I could but trying to focus on biology as this was my weak point.
Having a time slot studying strategy is key for me, and you must ready to dedicate and obey to your own timetable, but realizing that you are human too is also important, thus make yourself a practical time table,ready to suffer. Modulate mood and conciously deal with trivia that are unrelated to your study, minimising the distraction as much as possible. Self-awareness of own advantages and disadvatages, should you spend more time on difficult but unfruitful knowlegde or more practical and rewardable one, studying smartly is also important. Happy study!
Having a full time job, a young family with two kids and also being 5 years away from uni, I knew I had to start early. I started studying around August/September. I tried to fit in 30 minutes to an hour of study everyday either in the early morning or late night. Towards GAMSAT, I studied for the whole day for 2 weekends to do some last minute cramming. I bought Des Oneill's home study kit for all three sections as well as some Ozimed papers. Having an electrical engineering background, I find section 3 a lot easier than the other two. Physics was a breeze compare to biology/anatomy which I have never done before. I did chemistry both in highschool and uni, so I didn't have much trouble picking it up again. With the essays, I tried to write one every week and asked my sister and husband to check them. Des Oneill also gave me some feedback which helped. I scored 59 in the gamsat which isn't great, but given this is my first gamsat and the short time to write two essays, I am happy with it. I find it really helped to time myself for essays in training my thought process. In preparation for section 1, I read the news everyday (CNN and SMH), Time magazines and revised some novels from highschool (1984, Of mice and men, some Shakespeare, etc). English is my second language, so I brought in a dictionary, but hardly had time to use it. I find Ozimed paper for section 1 too easy compare to gamsat. Throughout my study, I checked PD constantly not so much for the preparation of gamsat, but more for the support of others going through the same thing!
Des O'neill, Khan Academy, Acer Practice materials, enrolled into a single subject through Open Universities - "Intro to Chemistry"
9 months preparation. First 6 months studied some evenings and a few hours on weekend. Last 3 months studied full time. Started hardest topics (organic chem & physics) first (spent most of first 6 months exclusively on these topics). Organic chem, chemistry & physics: worked through ALL of the Des O'Neill background questions. Used VCE (high school) textbooks for physics background. Used DesON background material for chem with some help from VCE/1st year general chem textbooks. Used McMurray's organic chemistry for basics (nomenclature, orbital theory) & Org Chemistry for Dummies for the rest. In general, found the DesON background material too brief & dry, so used it as a guide then re-read the topic in high school or other textbooks. But used DesON questions banks **extensively**. There's nothing special about it, but it provides a solid curriculum at approx the right level, so you cover all the topics & don't have to plan it yourself. Good to support a family-run Aussie business too. Also tried ExamKrackers, but found the MCAT emphasis completely different to GAMSAT - too much detail. Really enjoyed the Griffiths GAMSAT guide - has lots of nice strategy stuff. Nothing earth-shatteringly new, but found the Essay templates & strategy especially useful & simple & no-nonsense. Highly recommend it.
First familiarise with the types of questions using des o neil, then complete all the exams under appropriate conditions.
I used revision of undergrad courses and did as many previous questions as possible
Des O'Neil for essay writing - most useful because you get personal feedback on your essays. Also I got plenty of practice with writing at least 10 essays within a few months. Personal tutoring for Science - I only did high school level physics and chemistry and no biology, plus I have a full time job, so I employed private tutors for each subject, the private tutors were all university students. My tutors focused on ACER questions and Des O'Neil as basis to see the kind of topics to focus on and then explained the theory behind the questions. Paging Dr - also helped alot in terms of the logistics of the application process. It helped a lot from a psychological perspective, i.e. I feel better knowing that so many others are in the same boat. It also helped the most in terms of preparing for interviews, as it has previous interview questions and responses.
Worked through acer material first to see topics and kinds of questions then moved on to timing questions and working fast. For essay writing, already had plan of what to write, i.e. about 40% of essay already written. Phrases to use in intro, conclu, and body of essay learned and all was needed was to fill in gaps with topic given. doing too much toward gamsat will make one worse at it - the questions are designed to test understanding and not knowledge - this was important for me to remember in prep for it.
Spent 4 Hours every Saturday at the library studying: -Wrote 2 essays in the first hour -Answered section 1 questions for an hour. -Studied science for section 3 in the remaining 2 hours. Used Acer Materials, 1 Ozimed paper, and library textbooks for questions and for study. Regarding Private tutor: I emailed 5 essays I had written to a post grad student at English Faculty at Usyd (there is an essay writing service for undergrads) who would read it and provide pointers on where I could improve.
Read the humanities questions from the Gamsat practice test so I knew the kind of question that would be asked but did not answer them. Science section - read my old HSC Excel physics guide. Relied on my university knowledge of biology. Read some chapters of a organic chemistry textbook. Looked at the Gamsat practice tests but was too stressed to attempt the science questions.
1. I had done numerous VCE science subjects, and a biomed degree. I'd encourage anyone to pitch your study mainly at chem and organic chem, and then at bio, and then at physics in order of which will give you the reward from your effort. Work hard on the sciences, for most unis this is the most valuable part of the GAMSAT in terms of weighting. 2. I did a practice GAMSAT run earlier in my course (and didn't prep for that initial practice run) which gave me an idea of the timing, the pressure, the length of the exam. And also gave me an indication of where I was at, where my strengths and weaknesses were, which allowed me to study smart! 3. I based my study on the elements I had been weaker on in my previous GAMSAT attempts. I studied approx 1 hour a week in the 2 months leading up to GAMSAT. 4. I had a friend who studied Arts Law read a couple of my practice essays and critique them, giving me advice on structure, ideas and language, as I was out of practice with essay writing and this was a weak area for me. That's it.td>
Study essay writing
I had no specific study plan, and I did next to no study for the science of English sections, most of my improvements came from watching countless hours of internet video clips about politics, theology and science which improved my maturity and understanding of the world, and I felt greatly contributed to my much improved essay writing score in section 2. I also spent a lot of time debating world issues on an internet forum with other members, which helped my writing skills and critical thought processes somewhat. I feel this is one way of helping to prepare for section 2 (in hindsight) and should in some way be reflected on your I purchased Des's science practice book but barely looked at it, I purchased Des's essay course (6 essays) but never wrote any essays or sent any in, however the information for each section was very useful, and that can be read in an hour or two. Most of my study proper (a few hours every week or two) was simply doing practice questions from the ACER books and Des's home study course, and using internet resources such as Paging Dr. to get help understanding the questions I did not have a firm grasp of.
I used the Acer material and from those questions I worked out what I needed the most help with. This was chemistry. I bought the Des O' Neil science preparation book which was quite useful for the chemistry although still had to be supplemented with text books and Uni notes. Also I found the Des O' Neil book to be NOT useful for physics as it did not explain things well enough and also it covered topics that were far beyond the Gamsat expectations. As far as the essay writing goes I just discussed some potential topics with friends which I found to be quite useful. I was discouraged from using any preparation material for this as essay writing is very subjective.
I downloaded the ACER practice booklets as torrents and completed these in the week leading upto the exam, using the feedback from the answers. Having just completed a biomedical degree my sciences didn't need too much study, although I did use some youtube material to learn the important physics (and PD to determine what physics was most important). I read through previous/practice essay questions and thought about them but did not actually write any practice essays. I fluked a 66, although Im sure with more prep I could have done better.
Study plan varied for each section. Section 1: Run through as many practice questions as I could. This included exam cracker textbooks, Des O'Neil questions, and ACER material. Areas I focused on improving were speed of reading, time allocated per question and general comprehension. Section 2: I wrote essays for myself, and with some fellow GAMSAT-ees shared essays for marking. I did pay for the Des O'Neil essay writing course, which was useful for feedback. Areas I focused on improving: Planning my essay beforehand effectively, reducing how much I wrote overall/writing more succinctly and reducing time per essay. Section 3: Brushed up on science areas, and spent time doing practice questions. With hindsight, I should have spent less time on learning concepts, than practising answering GAMSAT style questions. I used textbooks and internet for concepts, and ACER/Des O'Neil study material for answers. In the weeks before GAMSAT I tried to do full length gamsat exams, to practice the endurance component of the exam. I wish I did this more. Preventing burn out during the exam (section 3) is a skill that I believed should be practised. If I had to do it again (which I don't) I would focus on endurance.
The Des O'Neill attendance course was utterly useless and was a waste of time. However, the books, notes and resources that can be purchased from them without attending the attendance courses were very comprehensive and were a useful resource for preparation. I used practise essay topics to construct my own essays, and I also completed many past papers.
Section I: As I didn't study English lit at school, poetry was a glaring weakness for me so I read a lot of it. *Actively* reading a wide range of texts (thinking about the themes, subtext, etc) is one way to improve. You have to be able to pick important (and often annoyingly obscure) bits of information out of a variety of passages and a lot of the time the answers seemed quite subjective. The better your vocabulary, the easier some of it will be. I made a list of all the words I didnt know in my readings beforehand but I don't know how much that actually helped on the day. My score: 69 Section II: Easier to practise and improve at than section I in my opinion. Read a lof of current affairs material so you actually have something interesting to say. I subscribed to Time magazine for this a couple of months beforehand which was immensely helpful. Otherwise browse the net, subscribe to news feed, form some educated opinions. Secondly you have to train yourself to write in GAMSAT mode. Most of my GAMSAT study was writing essays under pressure (5 minutes planning, 25 minutes writing) and looking back, there was a dramatic difference between my first and last attempts at this. If you run out of practise quotes, check out the ones on GMI (links from pagingdr). I wish I had known about these when I was studying! My score: 72 Section III: The ACER guidelines really speak for themselves. Know your year 12 physics reasonably well, basic equations in motion, electricity, have an idea of magnetism, etc. If you have never done physics at least understand some year 11 level stuff. From memory at least half of the physics questions you could work out from year 11 syllabus and there weren't that many. Know your log and indicies laws, which will be exceedingly more important now you can't use a claculator, if that is the case. As far as biology goes, if you have done any at a university level then the concepts will be easy. If you don't come from a biology background, instead of spending 12 hours a week trying to read everything, just do the Sample Questions from the ACER material and then go away and learn what you didn't know. There probably wont be a lot that you didn't already learn from the question iteself. Organic chem in my opinion was the most difficult component of this section. Everyone thinks they are good at it until confronted with some challenging chirality questions. If you are going to study anything from section III, study first year organic chemistry. Focus especially on chirality and get good at QUICKLY recognising isomers, entantomers, etc. My score: 71 All sections: MOST IMPORTANTLY, set aside a couple of whole days to go through properly timed practise runs of the entire test using the ACER practise books. Before I did this, I didn't fully appreciate how draining it was to do a full length test. This also exposes you to the range of different questions and allows you to mark yourself to identify critical areas to study. Make sure you complete the pactise books under timed conditions or you are just wasting your money on them. I didn't buy any courses or material other than the ACER stuff. If don't mind forking out for them though, you don't really have anything to lose.
I used practice exams in the ACER materials and Des O'Neill books for the humanities and science sections. As essays were my weak point, I practiced writing essays, and got my sister (Law/English graduate) to read them and go through them with me.
Used des o'niell material to identify science topics that are used on GAMSAT. Used old university textbooks to review science topics. Practiced science and humanities questions with both des and ACER material. Used des for essay writing practice. Used paging Dr for interview preparation.
used ACER practice material. as i came across questions or areas i wasnt confident with i used textbooks to review the material
I mainly just worked on specific science topics that I was not familiar with. I concentrated most on chemistry, then physics, then bio. I left most of the practice essays and practice questions until the last month or so before the exam (after the Des science revision course). I found the Des practice test was a good wake up call on what the test would be like and what areas I needed to work on. In the last two weeks before the GAMSAT exam. I took time off work and did the equivalent of a full exam (that is, at least six hours on exam style questions) per day.
My plan was to get better than my previous attempt in all sections. However I ended up spending more time on section 3 than the others. This resulted in an 8 point increase in my section 3 score but only a 2 and 3 point increase for section 1 and 2 respectively. I used the examcrackers material as directed and I was very happy with it. I also read a book on how to write essays but I think since I didn't actually bother to practice writing many essays it was of limited benefit.
The one and only attempt I've had so far was a 'practice run' of sorts, I was in my 2nd year of my degree and I knew I had another shot at it the following year. I really just wanted to get a feel for the test and see how well I faired with minimal preparationg and much less stress/pressure hanging on this result. I ended up doing all the official acer material, so the practice question booklets (x2) and both the exams in exam conditions, though the break I took between the first 2 sections and the last was significantly shorter than the actual break given. The practice questions in the first book I did leisurely, looking up the relevent theory whenever I required it and taking notes as I went. I started preparing fairly late, maybe a month before the actual test but as I said I was pretty relaxed at this point. Once I'd finished the first practice booklet I decided to jump on pagingDr and go through some of the threads regarding the topics that are often covered in the science section, my weakest section. Once I'd printed out a list, as well as some motivational accounts by successful med applicants on how they approached the study, I sat down and tried to go through all the points. Sadly I didn't have enough time to go through everything, but it was a good learning experience for my next attempt (2012). I also tried to write a few essays from a list of essay questions I printed from a thread on pagingDr. I only ended up writing one full one and not even in exam time :/ but I was much more confident in my writing prowess than my ability to answer so many science questions in so little time, so I spared little time to improve my essays. After going through as much of the science topics I could with the limited time I had left, I attempted the second test booklet with no assistance. After correcting my answers and again going through the questions I got wrong and why I set out to do the practice exams with 3 days left before the test. Both exams I did at the state library of victoria (great quiet spot where you can do it at a solitary desk and simulate test conditions). After each exam I'd go home and correct it, and again try to learn the little bits and pieces from topics that seemed essential to score well in the science section. The reason I focused so much on the science section was because I had been scoring quite well in section 1 and had an unusual blind faith in my writing ability. Also section III is the easiest to improve on with some study. Do note: I am a Science student so I had a fairly solid knowledge to begin with but the more you know the easier it is to answer the difficult and often long winded questions in that section, hence why I really only focused on section III. I ended up scoring 63 overall so I was fairly happy (sI and sII being my best sections to my chagrin)
Practice, practice and more practice. Everything really but focus on my weaker points, Section 1 really and a bit of Section 2. I used up the plan provided with Medprep material which fitted my schedule very well and provided a mix of topics per week couple with revision question and tests to gauge progress.
As it was my third attempt, I placed more focus on learning to answer GAMSAT style questions rather than studying the theory as I had already covered it in the last two years. I did, however, touch up on any theory that I was uncertain about.
Did the sample questions - saw what I got wrong, what knowledge was lacking. Did self study using undergraduate knowledge. Did the full ACER exam booklet.
(December 2008) Study 2 hrs per day Subscribe to Mediprep January Study 3 hrs per day February Study 3.5 hrs per day March Study 4 hrs per day GAMSAT
I used Des O'Neill Gold package and spent about 3 hours a day studying, 5 days a week from the beginning of the New Year. A couple of weeks I wasn't able to study much at all, and I studied a little bit more as the test got closer. First I did a couple of practice tests without any preparation to get a feel for the sorts of questions asked. I then went through the Des O'Neill science revision textbook and systematically did brief summaries of the areas in chemistry and physics that I wasn't as strong in. I did a couple of essays every week or two over the few months I studied. At first, these took me well over half an hour each to do. As the test got closer, I found I got better at reducing the time spent on an essay and I found ideas came to me more easily (I could sometimes borrow some ideas or examples from essays I'd written earlier). In the final week or two, I mainly practised essays by looking at questions for 5 mins then writing and intro and brief bullet pts summarising the response I would give. Above all, for the two multi-choice sections, PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE under exam time condtions. This is the most important way to improve, as you really get used to the sorts of questions they usually ask, as well as the pace and strategy that is most effective for you in the exam.
I used Khan Academy, ACER practice papers and Des O'Neill's materials for the science section. I used ACER papers and Des O'Neill's materials for the first two sections and also made time to read newspapers (especially the comment part) and books (inlcuding "the meaning of things" by A. Grayling and other similar books). I did as many practice papers under exam conditions as possible.
Set an outline of the science sections that I would have to study each day, and tried to do about 2 hours each day of study. During my breaks I would read online articles for the news, etc. to keep me up to date with what was happening in the world. Other then that, I didn't do that much preparation for sections 1 or 2, which I thought were alright - most of my prep was in section 3 to get the concepts of chemistry/physics/organic.
Did the ACER practice exams. Watched Justice Harvard series and read On the Meaning of Things (a philosophy book). Read some of the first year chemistry textbook from uni to cover some things i'd forgotten. e.g. pH, acids and bases. Used wikipedia to relearn how to name chemicals. Looked at free sample GAMSAT tests on the internet, mainly Part A.
Practising gamsat style questions in timed conditions writing essays and essay plans Reviewing areas of science that I struggled with previously.
General plan was to cover material for at least on hour per night to keep it feasible (Also working full time and finishing another uni course part time). Materials: KHAN academy, ACER sample materials, two out of print high school physics & chem texts, and a number of physics/chem/biol 'for dummies' books and workbooks (which contain worked questions). Study Plan: S1) Casually review ACER sample questions, also some other sample materials from ACER and other test providers covering reading comprehension. S2) Reviewed Griffiths suggested essay structures and hints for quick distillation of topics from quotes. Did 1-2 practice essays per week in the last 4-6 weeks of study under strict timed test conditions, based on a more or less randomly selected general theme, eg 'Freedom vs Safety', Capitalism vs Communism', etc. Reviewed own papers for essay structure, clarity of expressed ideas, as well as general grammar and style. S3) Aimed to read 2-3 chapters per week of high school level & 'for dummies' physics/chem/biol texts, while working through at least 1-2 Khan academy tutorials per night. Created worked examples based on tutorial / book content along the way. Also placed physics / chem notes up around my house in frequented locations: kitchen, bathroom, etc. Three weeks before exam: sat Practice Test 1 under test conditions, followed by practice test 2 the next week. Highlighted areas of weakness based on practice test results and dedicated last week (time off work) to covering those topics.
I used the ACER Booklets in the month leading up to GAMSAT, supplemented with organic chemistry videos on youtube (Chemguy) and revision of my notes from first year physics on forces and electricity. Unfortunately, I only found PD AFTER the GAMSAT. /
WHAT WAS YOUR STUDY PLAN? Disregarding Section 1, I calculated the percentage of marks that each component comprised in the exam (e.g. Essays 33%, Chem X%, etc.). I then just tried to study as much as possible, making sure I allocated my time approximately in these proportions. For Section 2, I read the SMH Opinion section each day, wrote around 4 practice essays a week under exam-ish conditions (2 in 60mins), having found random groups of quotes from online sources, and watched TED talks. I also signed up for the Des O'Neil essay course and read those materials and submitted essays for marking/feedback. For Section 3, I got Dummies guides to phys/bio/org chem and went through those, and went through a full inorganic chem textbook doing questions from there as I went.
being near illiterate, having only a rudimentary grasp of grama, and spelling everything fonetically, i found the regular and disciplined writing of essays and general reading immensely helpful. Not wanting to intimidate myself from giving this gamsat gig a crack from the outset, i started off gently, with the literary likes of �spot goes to med school� and eventually progressed to more advanced readings such as �Spot goes to ethics class -- why should Spot not defecate on his neighbours garden�. regarding the science, the most valuable technique was trying to do everything under time pressure, be it past papers, Des� stuff, or the questions accompanying �Spot does physics -- why does Spot�s urine dribble downwards when he cocks his leg�
Not really planned. But study almost everyday after work.
I aimed to: - Revise my undergrad chemistry notes - Do a practice run of the science questions and check I was up to speed with the biology. (I meant to do biol revision, but found 'revising biol' too big a topic, so I just looked at the type of questions they were asking). - Do a practice run of the ACER books - humanities and essay - once or twice, that was my strong point. - Look at physics topics covered in the book's questions and do learn those topics (I had never done physics before - in then end, I didn't cover much physics so just skipped most of those questions in the exam - only coming back to them when I finished the rest I knew - there wasn't much time left) All in all I did not do nearly enough preparation, and I didn't do great, but I did well enough to get into the uni I wanted to so I was happy. It would probably have been better to use a more structured approach. I found the whole - revise all science very unmanagable, and in the end didn't do much at all, but one of the bought programs would probably have been good. You are never going to use that knowledge again so you only need to do short-term learning - having said that, a lot of the science questions required quite a detailed understanding to be able to complete quickly - - I think it is the time contraint that limits a lot of people's marks - I probably could have answered a lot more of the physics questions if I had more time, but it took me ages to work through them. I would really recommend you go through and answer all the questions you can do easily first, then go back and work through the slightly harder ones, and then go back to try the time consuming ones / guess ones last - but leave enough time to fill in random guesses of all the unanswered questions.
I just spent several hours per day going over each section and then doing a practice test at the end of each week.
I read some of the acer prep material & the medired science section the day before.
I focussed heavily on exam technique- poor timing and nerves had been my main downfall in previous years and I wasn't prepared to let that happen again! Unfortunately I found the only prep materials that actually resembled the real thing were the Acer books and (although not perfectly) the Des O'Neils books.
studied for 3-6 months full time (no other commitments) Focused on Des Oneill material and Examkrakers Did a lot of MCAT style practice question kept up to date with reading newspapers, magazines etc
Do as many Practice questions as you can!
No plan as such, just very minimal and very specific study in areas that i perceive as difficult and likely to be in the exam based on the pagingdr member contributions.
I have a very strong backgroud in Science and I know that will be my advantage over others. I looked through the Guru to see they level of science that is required which gave me a good confidence boost because I can master them. I used Guru mainly for section 1 and 2 which i am very poorly on. I used it to learn the system of GAMSAT and what they are looking for in the essay and the standard essay structures. I used section 1 material to learn what will be expected in the real GAMSAT, such as poem, cartoon and literature reading. I found out that it is hard to increase section 1 and 2 score in a short time especially since I had English as a 2nd language. But what I did is to try score section 1 and 2 above 50 and a very good section 3 score to boost everything, especially that section 3 is double weighted. Fortunately I got section 1 and 2 just above 50 and a very good score for section 3, giving my GAMSAT an overall of 73. I think it is important for for people like me to play their strength card, i.e. section 3 very well, and then make sure they still pass the 50 mark for the other 2 sections.
i immersed myself in science preparation. I watched biochemistry courses on YouTube and iTunesU, MCAT Gold Standard, Examkrackers and the book Organic Chemistry For Dummies which I think was the most useful of them all.
Tried not to over study. Started 1 month out with ACER books and first year chem notes
Use the Summer holidays to my advantage. Identify weak spots from a diagnostic test. Build a study schedule early in your preparation designed around your identified weaknesses to polish them off by the time final preparations for GAMSAT are due, and incorporate a few hours dedicated to honing your strengths. For me, this was essay writing practice.
Most of my study consisted of reviewing material from my undergrad degree. Used the Acer practice questions as an indication of the broad concepts that may be covered. No particular time/content management. Section 1 & 2 - Read a lot of editorials/opinion articles from various newspapers and magazines. Section 3: Textbook/notes from undergrad, Medired material, Acer practice questions
My main study was doing the des oneill practice exams and essays. I studied for several hours each day for about a month. the des oneill practice exams were a great help, but a lot of the study materials were outside the scope of what was required for the exam: for example, you don't need to know the process of how bones develop for the test. The practice essays were good too, writing 300 word essays with a begining, middle and end in 30 mins takes a bit of practice.
I did barely any preparation as I completed GAMSAT a year early and saw it as my 'trial run' The thought of writing practice essays also made me nervous so I made a few bullet points for some example questions but didn't write full essays. In the end my score was reasonable enough that I didn't attempt GAMSAT again.
S3 Used Des O'Neil as a guide to WHAT needed to be covered. Watched freelanceteach.com to understand then did relevant Des questions. S2 Did essay course (Des) feedback a bit ambiguous though.Repetition of essay plans rather than actual essays written from Acer topics. S1 Did acer and Des questions
Firstly trying to understand what was required. USed Paging Dr a lot. Looked at practice questions to get a "feel" for it. Did a baseline practice exam using ACER material - scored
50% correct. Realised I needed to focus most of my attention on Section 3 due to my limited science background. Already felt confident in S1 - no prep required there except a few practice questions. Attained lists of tested topics for S3. Planned my full-time study over my uni summer holidays (3 months) Began working through the topics with the help of textbooks and friends as tutors and stuck to timeline. Did the MedPrep live course in Jan/Feb. Used only MedPrep for S2. Worked through MediRed revision book in last 6 weeks before exam. Took exam in March. Felt I still knew nothing of the chemistry except a few questions here and there which was 50% of S3. Got S1 - 68, S2 - 65, S3 - 48 total 56.
Went through the ACER sample questions and practice tests and revised first year sciences with my undergrad notes and textbooks.
Use internet resources such as itunesU and Khan academy. Used the acer practice booklets and in the few months beforehand wrote 3+ essays per week. Was at university in the weeks leading up to the GAMSAT, so this helped to get my brain focussed.
Spent 2 months in total studying- average 2-3 hours a week. Did 25 practice essays- using Des O Neil Essay Course. Received great feedback for the essay correspondence course. Improved my essay score from 61 (first attempt) to 67 (second attempt). Worth purchasing. Sections I and II- Just did practice questions from Acer and old Des O neil bronze package (borrowed from a friend).
Coming from a non-science background I needed to learn a lot of science. I did year 12 bio, chem and physics at TAFE then did one uni bio unit and a chem unit. These were undertaken in the 2 years prior to the GAMSAT. Immediately prior to the GAMSAT (couple of weeks before) I practiced humanities MCQs using the ACER booklets and did a Des ONeill Essay writing course.
I had no science background whatsoever so I started by reading a Dummy's Guide to basic chem, physics and organic chem. I read them all in the first month of study (December). I then bought the Gold Standard GAMSAT text book and started reading and doing practice questions in that throughout January as well as referring to the internet & youtube for clarification of topics I found difficult. By Feb I had briefly covered all the necessary topics so I started doing the ACER practice tests (to time) and reviewing them.
I started aboout a month out using year 12 chemistry and physics books to 'get my head back in the game'. After a week or two I used example questions in the quizzes provided by acer and random ones I found on the internet to prepare more closely to the questions that would be provided. A week from the actual exam I took the practice exam from acer and the score I got was quite close to my mark on the actual exam.
I attempted last September in UK. I had just had another test for the Medicine School of my home country 2 weeks before taking GAMSAT but the structure and the contents of the 2 exams were really different so I must admit that I have specifically studied just 2 weeks for GAMSAT test.
My most useful resource for studying for GAMSAT was actually YouTube Organic Chemistry tutorials. There are some great lecturers on there explaining things in really simple ways. My study was either from YouTube or from the official ACER material.
Section 1: Just did Des O'Neill's practice questions. They are a decent representation of what to expect, however I feel that real GAMSAT questions are more vague and difficult to answer. Section 2: I was supposed to do Des O'Neill's practice essays, but I only did half. Didn't do anything else here. Should've written more essays. Reading sample essays Des provided was very helpful. Section 3: Just went through the Des questions and did not bother with his big book of science facts. Looked through my own chemistry text books and Khan Academy when I came across a concept I didn't understand. I was too rushed for time, so every time I had to learn something new, I only gained a rough idea of it.
I found setting a topic to finish every week will help me focus but sometimes things happen so rather than loose track I can do my things then come to where I stopped and continue on ward.
Do as many practice q's as possible. Do most of Khan Academy.
Daily practice questions from Des O'Neill and ACER. Daily bio and chem study from textbooks. Monthly complete mock exam (x2 only). Always pondering technique. Course in speed reading. Used Paging Dr to observe techniques that others used.
self directed learning
studied hard for organic chem by undertaking it at a university level but this was fortunate as i required it that year anyway as a core subject went to library in holidays and did practise papers/study went on pagingdr forum to get advice and see cuttoff etcs strategised as to the best univeristy to apply for but this was before the preferences matter little. i.e my GPA would have only allowed me into 2 unis and so placed those first etc studied with a friend to not get bored and keep motivated kept studying all this was for my 1st/2nd attmept the third time, i was lucky as i didn't study much but i had incidental study from university subjects anyway so that covered it, and also questions were repeated from previous years of which i remembered/puzzled a better way to work on them overall very lucky this year to get in. was in progress of second bachelors to get a new GPA. thought it was a good idea and it is but was getting very tired of the 2nd degree and not getting the highest marks
Revise all scientific areas using Gold Standard, undergrad textbooks and the internet in the months leading up to GAMSAT. Do the quizzes and small tests from these textbooks. Read popular literature novels during the summer before GAMSAT (Mary Shelley, Cormac McCarthy, Bram Stoker etc). Watch Khan Academy and other eductaional videos/lectures on YouTube every night before bed. Read the Australian editorials and other non-fiction to expose myself to as many different creative and critical writing styles. Practice writing a few essays about suggested quotes/topics from the Gold Standard GAMSAT book. In the two weeks leading up to GAMSAT I started doing the ACER exam booklets and started timing myself.
Had not done science since highschool. I just focused on chemistry and some physics. Did not worry about biology as I thought I would be able to figure out them during the exam. Did a lot of practice questions for all sections in the month preceding the exam. This was very helpful.
Did the practice questions from ACER. For any that I got wrong I looked up the relevant subject matter to ensure I understood it.
I went through the acer practice test once.
Background; Computing+Finance background. Didn't have any time to attend any preparation course (working full-time in finance - sometimes long hours). Didn't hire any tutor. Studied independantly. Study Plan; Studied on the weekends from the beginning of November to the end of January (
3months) Studied on the week day nights and almost all weekends during February and March before the exam (
1.5 months). GAMSAT preparation products used; 1. Paging Dr for textbooks/resources suggestions 2. Des O'Neil Science Revision book 3. Des O'Neil Home Study MCQ book 4. Des O'Neil Attendance MCQ book 5. ACER practice books 6. Examkrackers Verbal resoning book 7. First year University text books + internet for in depth explaination of some Science topics. 8. Watched ABC's big ideas + Q&A programs for latest current affairs + social issues 9. Paging Dr for general conversations to keep me from going insane.
I mainly focused on section 3 because it is the easiest to improve on. Furthermore, it is worth twice as much as the other sections so I relied heavily on this section to boost my marks (and it worked out well!) For section 2, I took a few papers which rely heavily on essay writing (namely geography and English papers) in order to grasp the general structure of essay writing. I also asked friends studying humanities subjects such as law and commerce to help me. I did not know how to prepare for section 1 so I decided I would just wing it. I purchased the GAMSATguru package and I used it for basic science revision mainly. I did all of the practice questions and timed myself for each set of questions so that I could answer 1 question per minute. I read the essay guides and "how to" guides for essay writing - they were somewhat helpful. There is not a lot of information on section 1 but they included practice questions which I used. I mainly focused on the questions in the ACER practice booklets. I made sure I could answer every question in the science section and that I understood all of the theory of each topic that came up. I also attempted section 1 and the essays, however, I did not spend much time on those two sections.
Section I - used the ACER practice books to understand the sort of questions involved. Section II - no study, as proficient essay writer in undergraduate studies and have worked as writer covering current affairs for several years (reasonable level of confidence, proved correct by score in this section). Section III - my plan involved starting by looking at my old VCE chemistry textbooks, then proceeded to using whatever advanced textbooks I could find at home, and then used Khan Academy for anything that didn't make sense.
Practice essay writing and MCQs repetitively
Obtained all the aver practice booklets, went through the first two books at my own pace to gain an understanding as to the type of questions that will be asked and to find my weaknesses. I then used external sources to work on my weak points before attempting the practice test papers under exam conditions. I also attempted to write one essay per day.
I used official acer questions for section one I wrote essays in response to passages in " the meaning of things " for section two I used acer materials, khan academy and online textbook material for section three
Read a few science books for the science section. Get a tutor once a week for 6 weeks. Practice writing an essay a day. Go through as many practice questions as possible. Do all the available practice exams under exam conditions (especially ACER booklets). Attend the Des O'neill course towards the end of my study preparation
I formulated a study plan using the ACER materials as a guide, then studied the specific topics i.e. science/reasoning/essay writing etc regularly for app. 4 months prior to the exam. My preparation involved 2-3 hours study, 5 days per week for 4 months prior to sitting GAMSAT. In addition, I utilised the PD chatrooms, other internet sites for advice from previous students/study resources. I also regularly read newspapers to keep up with current affairs topics. I found plenty of free resources on-line, without having to fork out for expensive learning materials or courses. I also found the local library a useful resource for free books.
Basically read the official GAMSAT prep stuff then studied the areas I was weakest in using my undergrad textbooks.
I sat 2 chemistry subjects at Summer School and got a journalist friend to mark and help me with SII
I briefly read through the example booklets. Any questions I thought I couldn't answer I used khan academy and revised the topic until I felt I had a strong understanding of the concepts involved. I then sat the test.
I attempted about half the practice questions in an acer book the night before the exam. I did not prepare otherwise.
Just completed lots of practice questions. ACER and second-hand Des O'Neill books. Volunteered- provided free tuition to some first-time GAMSAT-takers.
I started studying from the end of November, about a week after uni exams had finished. As a non-science person, a lot of my time was devoted to learning and understanding the science content, for Section 3. I bought a 2nd hand copy of the Des O'Neil course, and also used Zumdahl Chem, Organic Chem for Dummies, and various physics and chemistry textbooks. I also used Khan Academy and other youtube videos extensively. I went through the recommended topics given by Des O'Neil, and studied them one by one, using a combination of the resourced mentioned. I found the Des stuff to be very useful for consolidating and testing myself, however I relied on the other sources to actually learn the content. While I focussed mostly on Section 3 throughout December, I also practised essays as much as possible for Section 2. Initially I just did essay plans based on quotes, and untimed essays. Gradually I began to be more strict on myself, and started to simulate the actual GAMSAT more. I also read regularly - things like The Australian (Opinion section), SMH, helium and aldaily. I also watched interesting videos on TED.com regularly. In terms of Section 2, I maintained this form of preparation (writing essays and reading up on current affairs) throughout December, Jan, Feb and March. In hindsight, I should have spent more time doing proper practice essays. In regards to Section 1, this is what I spent the least amount of time and effort on. It was hard to find things to help prepare for it - I tried analysing random cartoons and poems, it helped a bit but wasn't the best. For Section 1, I went through a lot of ExamKrackers Verbal Reasoning passages - strictly timed. I believe this helped a little, mainly in increasing my speed. The Des materials were excellent for Section 1 prep, pity there wasn't more. I didn't want to go through them all too quickly, and wanted to save some for closer to the exam. I did not touch the ACER practice material until much later on, probably not before February. From then on, I did a fully timed practice test each week - using ACER full samples as well as Des O'Neill full samples. I made sure I didn't cram much in the final couple of weeks, and had a relatively low-key end to my studying.
I studied using MCAT materials, specifically the Berkeley review (which is AMAZING). They have different topics to learn from (i.e. general chemistry, organic chemistry etc etc) and each booklet is quite detailed, but not overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of practice questions to consolidate your learning, and they give very detailed answer responses to the questions. Not once did I find their explanations insufficient. My understanding of chemistry, biology and physics really improved. Another good thing about the Berkley review is that they teach you shortcuts to solving chemical, physical and mathematical equations. I started studying back in October, and had to juggle this with full time work. I would work 8.30 - 5 and study from 6 - 11. This was my routine for most days. I would have one day a week off from study, which I used to spend time with my partner, family and friends.
Sat the Acer practice exams under timed conditions. Course related study helped me indirectly study for section three (which was the section I performed best in).
Studied about 3 hours per day consistently starting well before Gamsat in October/November. Mainly focussed on science as that was my weakness being from a humanities background. Did Des O'Neil everything - Science, Essay Writing and MCQ's course. Engaged a private tutor - sometimes you just need someone to explain why a particular answer is right even if you have the answers to the questions. A tutor also helped me to change my approach to questions and answer quicker. Have all study finished at least 1 month - 3 weeks prior to Gamsat and just do practice questions and revision in the leadup. Lots of Essay writing practice. Need to get in the habit of writing short concise 5-6 paragraph essays.
40 hours per week for 5 months = 700 hrs read 1.5 first yr chemistry textbooks yr 12 physics textbook 1 anatomy & physiology textbook, did practice essays and mcq s form des o'neill attended w.end lectures from des
As I had no background in chemistry or physics I used both the medprep material and the Khan Academy videos to teach myself those subjects, along with some general first year textbooks and a couple of the for idiots guides. I can't stress enough how helpful the Khan Academy videos are, especially if you have no background in any of the science areas. As for biology I had done quite a bit in my undergrad so I just revised my lecture notes and old text books. As for the humanities and essays sections, coming from a background in the arts I didn't feel the need to really prepare for those topics other than just reading a wide range of text types leading up to the GAMSAT.
I was in hindsight very lazy with my prep. I left 90% of my study to the absolute last moment and then stressed myself into a study/cram frenzy. I used the notes from the Des O'niel course that a friend went to the year before. I found the science section particularly useful however perhaps a little too much to take in in the short time I far myself. I also found myself googling science topics as a bit of a refresher as I did a lot of anatomy, biology, physics and chemistry during my undergrad degree. I used the acer practice exams for the short answer English prep and found it very useful, particularly in discovering the trends that the questions seemed to be looking for when they were a little obscure. The Des O'niel notes on essay writing were invaluable. I wrote my essay in the exact format he quoted and scored very well. It also helped in time management as two essays in an hour is quick!
Good humanities background; nil science. Taught myself GAMSAT science out of borrowed textbooks. Used PagingDr, ACER practice booklets, Griffiths Review & Medprep mostly just to check I'd covered all necessary topics. Khan Academy was great for explaining anything I didn't fully understand. Did about seven full practice tests in an accelerating pattern in the weeks leading up to GAMSAT. Served me very well (75).
Do at least one essay a day for the 3 or 4 weeks before Gamsat day. I went to a quote website and each day, would randomly pick a different quote and write an essay on it. I used the basic essay formula of: - Intro (define the topic, quote, etc) - Thesis (argument for the quote) - Antithesis (argument against the quote) - Synthesis (bring the pro and con arguments together and come to a conclusion; summarise) Write down all the science topics that you come across in practice exams that you don't have a great grasp on and look these up in textbooks, medprep topics, etc. Read as much as possible (newspapers, books, internet articles, etc) Practice doing entire exams to prepare yourself for the mental exhaustion that you get in the real gamsat exam.
I gave myself 116 days to prepare, after having studied quiet hard last year, it was a matter of recalling everything again. First half was science revision with a timed proper essay task a week. After Des' science weekend, were my last two weeks to finish up/triage science knowledge. From there on in, it was a practice chapter from Des' MCQ books a day and a full trial every Sunday until the exam. This meant I had effectively "done" the GAMSAT 6 times before the actual day came.
For the biological and physical sciences section, my strategy was to work out the overall topics that needed to be covered and learn the basics using textbooks (Yr 12 Chemistry textbook, Principles of Physics, an undergrad organic chemistry textbook and an undergraduate bioscience textbook combined with class notes from first year bioscience student). Once I felt I had covered the topics, I had a go at the sample and practice ACER tests and addressed what areas I lacked understanding in. Revised those areas and attempted the Practice test 1 and 2. I looked at the Practice tests in the 3 weeks before the exam. For the humanities section, I went through all the ACER material and made sure I understood all questions and words - there were recurring questions and words in the exam. I also read the newspaper daily and analysed editorials, letters and comics/illustrations. For the written communication, I started off trying to write essays to the topics from the ACER material ignoring time limits. I worked out the major themes that were evident from the material and wrote points for them and researched examples so that I could present a more detailed approach. Lots of examples overlap. Then, I gave the essays to friends/family to critique. There were a few people that I'd have review the essays and I found it was a great way to gain different perspectives on the themes, often with ideas and interpretations that I hadn't considered. I found this really helped with constructing well reasoned presentation of thoughts and also confidence in approaching the essays with an open mind. Overall I tried to study about 5-6 hours a week from June-November, went away for December/January. In February and March I tried to do as much study as possible.
Studied organic chemistry until I knew it inside out, then do at least 100 questions a day for 1 month and a half prior to the exam. Also, did 6 full exams under exam conditions.
Almost all prep confined to the week before the exam. Did the practice questions (to time), read over some examcrackers physics, wrote a few essay plans to time and a couple of essays.
two months before GAMSAT. I spent the vast majority of my time going over the chemistry sections in the Des science book with a small amount of physics in there too, and I tried to write two timed essays every week using the prompts list I located on paging dr (I started off giving myself an hour and 20 to write them and gradually cut it down to the required time). After I felt I had covered the science material in reasonable depth I started doing the practice tests/practice questions (both ACER and Des), and I split the practice question books into sections of similar size to those on the test (i.e. if the science question contained 80 questions, I'd do 80 practice science questions at a time) in the same time limitations as on GAMSAT. In other words I never did practice questions untimed and this certainly seemed to help a lot with time management in the science section in particular.
Section 1: Did Acer sample books to get an idea of the questions. Used Examkrackers Verbal Reasoning (1 test per day) leading up to the test. Discovered that poetry was my weak point so I loaned some books on poetry critique from the library. Timed myself on the Acer practice questions to get quicker at doing everything within time. Section 2: Had discussions with friends on various topics. Subscribed to Time Magazine. Used Quote Garden to collect about 4 quotes on one topic each day; coming up with the ideas was my weak point so that was the focus here. Used Acer booklets to get an idea of speed: how much I could write in 1/2 an hour. Section 3: Started off watching Gold Standard DVDs (whole series) and Khan Academy vids. Then studied my biology notes from Year 12. Skipped Physics "book" study. Focused on organic and inorganic chemistry: loaned some first year textbooks and went through from front to back making notes. Summarised my notes onto little flashcards and tried to learn the formulas. Used Examkrackers 1001 question books to test my knowledge.
Practice papers + study focus on organic chemistry as section1 & 2 are natural strengths but section 3 a nightmare
Studied my own notes one week before the exam
I took a university level chemistry class for one year as I did not study much science in my first degree. I found this to be quite helpful, particularly for organic chemistry which I think is the most content-based science section of the GAMSAT. I also used the Des O'Neill practice materials - the practice exams are helpful but I think the science background book is poorly organised and do not highlight the key areas of learning as well as they could. I also obtained Kaplan test prep materials for the MCAT and found the science background books to be really helpful for learning basic science. I have a strong arts/ literature background so I only did practice exams for the verbal reasoning section. I also did not really practice for the essay section. I did sit down and list various topics and experiences from my life that might be relevant to a potential essay and I found this to be helpful for organising my thoughts. In terms of study timetable - I took the chem class for two semesters and then took some time off from studying. For two months before the GAMSAT I studied about 8 hours per day. It was easier for me to take a break from work and focus just on test prep. I also took the Syd U physics refresher course which was a good way to learn some basic physics and meet other GAMSAT prepsters.
Study plan Reading section - 2 past papers Essay section - read examples from past papers. Did not write any practice essays Science section - used ExamKrackers for Organic chemistry along with Org Chem text book as i had not done any of this. used ExamKrackers for chemistry Did past papers for Biology and physics - no additional study for these.
I just learnt a fair amount of physics as I'd never really done it before. did this buy going through Khan Academy. Didn't write any practice essays but I did write plans for quite a few questions. Decided on a generic plan for any topic rather than write a heap of essays. ACER books were particularly good for science section.
I looked over the practice booklet from acer, maybe looked up a couple of things in a textbook and watched news reports for issues I thought might be relevent. Mostly just relaxed and tried not to stress over it.
Started 12 months out by slowly working my way through AS and A Level Chemistry and Biology books (Cambridge) *very good books* and Physics and Organic Chemistry for Dummies *first few chapters only worth it*. At 6 months out I enrolled in Des O'Neill Silver Course (6 Essays, Non-Attendance) and slowly worked way through Science book. At 3 months out, I spent 2-3 hours most nights completing Des O'Neill courses and supplementing ambiguous areas with aforementioned textbooks. Also, wife was undertkaing health science degree so assisted her with Chemistry/Anatomy. 2 weeks prior to GAMSAT I took time off work and worked my way through 3 Acer booklets and many many off-the-cuff essays.
Watched Khan Academy videos for Section 3 to refresh basic sciences. Read obscure books to help with Section 1. Read Philosophy books to help with Section 2. ACER tests were of most help.
I used info given to me by friends, my own past experience in sitting GAMSAT, the Des O'Neill prep course and other prep material from friends to identify my weakest areas and focus on those
I sat the GAMSAT twice. The first time i did a lot of revision of ACER practise booklets but no real preparation on exam technique and peace/clarity of mind and gained a 57, the second attempt i did little revision above going over old notes but this time prepared mentally for the test on exam technique and keeping calm and my grade went up to 61
My study plan consisted of practising rather than learning per se, and focusing on those areas which I had scored lower on in previous attempts. I used the acer practice booklets for most of my study, as well as some Des O'Neill booklets which I had borrowed from a friend. "The New MCAT" by Kaplan also proved useful.
I went through the theory for the sciences before attempting the practice questions, found that with a basic understanding of theory application was easier. In terms of essays I just wrote as many as possible asked friends and family to review the writing and for the first section, read more books and newspapers.
For my most recent Gamsat attempt, it was actually my second test so I prepared differently to my first one. I realised that all the essay prep for the first exam was not useful in the test because I had not practiced essays on the topics that came up. Therefore, I didn't actually write any essays as part of my study. I also found that I didn't improve in the humanities section by using the prep materials in my first attempt - i.e. Medprep, Kaplan books, ACER booklets. Therefore, I didn't study for this section in my second attempt. I only studied science for my most recent Gamsat to try and increased my science score as I felt it was the only section I could improve on. I used my undergraduate science textbooks and the Kaplan books mainly as well as doing practice tests. However, I didn't find the Medprep books that useful for in-depth science review. They were great for my first Gamsat as it had been many years since my science degree, but there wasn't enough detail in them to try and increase the science score to something high.