The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is a rigorous exam and rite of passage for a course in the medical field. You need to be acquainted with such rigorousness as this is just a glimpse of what lies ahead when you study in the field of medicine and take your journey as a medical professional. Complacency and improper preparation are common enemies of exam participants and it is no different in GAMSAT. Proper preparation and study habits are needed to build a good reserve of knowledge necessary to be successful not just in GAMSAT, but also in other types of admission tests.
Read on as we share some effective tips to get yourself prepared for GAMSAT.
Preparing for a major admission test such as GAMSAT can get you hyped up in a lot of ways. The first thing you need to do is stay calm and rationally think things through. It’s going to be tough preparing for the test and being in the actual test itself, so you need to set sufficient time for studies and preparations. You need to prepare for GAMSAT online by first registering for the exams on the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) website. The GAMSAT is offered twice in a year, in March and in September. Registering as early as possible can give you more time for preparation and studying. You can then gather online and physical resources that you’ll need in your studies and reviews, such as textbooks, online videos and resource materials, and copies of sample test papers or official ACER practice materials. Set at least a 3-month timeline for your preparations, including taking practice tests or preparation courses in order not to feel rushed.
Take note that although GAMSAT is an entrance test for those aiming to be health and medical professionals, it doesn’t mean that the test focuses on medical and scientific subjects. The exam structure is divided into three sections:
Section 1: Reasoning in Humanities - This part tests how well you can adapt to non-medical topics when you interact with people. Your critical reasoning, deductive and conclusion-drawing skills are assessed from various non-scientific texts.
Section 2: Written Communication - This section tests how well you can formulate, organize, and convey your thoughts and ideas about a particular subject. When you become a health or medical professional in the future, you’ll be frequently exposed to situations where you need to effectively present your assessments, arguments, or reflections to different people.
Section 3: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences - This is where your knowledge of scientific principles and concepts are tested. The main discipline areas that are covered in this section are as follows:
Chemistry - 40%
Biology - 40%
Physics - 20%
Knowing the coverage of your exam can help you to comfortably proceed with your studies and practice exams as you know the areas to focus on. With this, you build up confidence and self-reliance by getting a clear picture of how the test will be.
Once you have gathered your resources and proceed to study, be sure that you have a system for doing your studies and not just randomly open any book or resources and take down notes. Give yourself an honest assessment according to your strong and weak points. What subjects do you excel in? What subjects are you having trouble with? Find the answers to these questions and prepare the appropriate courses of action. If it’s necessary to learn a particular subject from scratch, you’ll have to devote more time to it so that you can gain a good insight into the important principles and concepts of the subject. Revisit and review key points and concepts for subjects you are good at and allocate a longer time for an immersive study on the subjects that you are having problems with. You might need to shuffle your study sequence to avoid boredom and loss of study drive. Your first month may start with your longer study hours first and then your short hours next. You can exchange this order in the second month and then add practice exams in between the third and subsequent months.
Remember that mental conditioning can play a crucial when it comes to exam crunch time. It’s not enough to stuff your brain with knowledge. Preparing yourself physically and mentally for the test conditions is also needed by taking practice tests, or else you’ll end up answering the test incompletely. The total testing time may last at least 4.5 hours in a testing center or at least 5.5 hours in an online testing setup. The allotted times for each section are as follows: Section 1 - 60 minutes, Section 2 - 65 minutes, and Section 3 - 120 minutes, with a 30-minute lunch or break period. Keeping these timeframes in mind while you take practice exams can help you create strategies and methods on how to efficiently answer the questions in each of the sections within the allotted time. Once you have developed your answering pace, you can work on using your extra time to make quick reviews and corrections, if necessary.
Planning and preparation are essential in any major undertaking, including taking the GAMSAT. Keeping an ample study schedule, strategizing your studies and preparations, and keeping your mind primed for the exam day can help you achieve a good GAMSAT experience. Don’t overdo things and burn yourself out. Enjoy what you are doing, stay committed to it, and take time to relax to succeed in GAMSAT.