Do you think GAMSAT is really difficult? How many times have you sat? According to various studies, there’s numbers floating around that say the pass equivalency of this exam varies between 15% to 20%. Hence, are you afraid that you would be one of those from the batch of 80% to 85%?
You are not alone in this and this article will help you understand how you can prepare for this daunting examination – GAMSAT! Even though the best way to succeed in an examination is to prepare for it, still, a lot goes around it.
If your strategy is not right when it comes to preparation, then no matter how many hard-earned and sleepless hours you put into the preparation, it is likely that you will not succeed. It is all about the mindset and the way people organize themselves in order to do well.
Do you wish to be like everyone else? Approximately 10000 students will take GAMSAT this year and it can be hard to separate yourself from the pack. Let’s look at the ways in which you can keep your preparation on point, and pass the GAMSAT in one go.
1. Take Up Scientific Reasoning and devote your time to it.
There are many reasons why GAMSAT is difficult – for instance, the exam is 6 hours long! It is usually because the test is designed to assess a candidate on all levels of their knowledge from humanities to sciences. One key component of the GAMSAT is the ability of a candidate to reason with science – particularly biology, chemistry and physics.
If you want to excel in the exam, then you will most certainly have to brush up your base knowledge and learn to apply this knowledge. You will not be given hints on any of the topics, which you have covered for the test in your entire academic life, to date. The questions typically rely on reasoning skills.
There is a baseline or foundation of knowledge you need for the exam but you will not be well served by memorising textbooks or specific scientific principles. There are some formulae and rules that will help, but you need to be cautious about memorising too much.
It’s more important to try and understand the reasoning behind certain principles and formulae so that you can apply them to novel problems and questions that you’ll face on the exam.
Time also plays an important role in this exam. The exam is both a marathon and a sprint. Hence, make sure you prepare well and you get enough practice time under timed conditions as you will have to beat the clock on exam day.
2. Preparation matters most when you know how you will be assessed
If you don’t know what skills and attributes the exam is trying to assess you will be unable to organise and structure your preparation effectively.
To help you get an insight and maximise your preparation, it can be useful to consult an expert in the GAMSAT like GradReady – You can visit their website here. You’ll be able to get a better idea of how to focus your preparation for the exam and use the wisdom of current medical students who have sat the exam and passed.
It’s also important to prepare yourself for the amount of time you need to sit the exam so that you can ensure that you can get through the entire exam. It is usually conducted from 9 AM in the morning and ends at 5 PM in the evening. In between, you are also provided with an hour-long break for lunch. You’ll need to practice under time pressure and exam conditions to ensure that you can get through the whole day as students often struggle to focus and perform after the lunch break.
There are only a handful of test centers across the country, so make sure you have made your appointments on time, or else, you will surely be disappointed by the ill-choice of test centers, which you may end up getting for GAMSAT. Staying close to the test center will help you to be on time and avoid any last minute stress.
3. Your Writing Skills will be put to test in the GAMSAT
One of the other key challenges of the exam is the essay writing component. How many times have you faced the difficulty of having the ideas and thoughts in your mind yet not being able to express them effectively on paper, under time pressure?
You need to overcome this if you want to outperform everyone on the GAMSAT. The key to cracking section 2 is to write regularly in preparation and get feedback. If you are a science-based undergrad, then you need to pay special attention to this section.
Even though science-based undergrads have the advantage of being well-prepared for the scientific reasoning section, they can often lose out if their writing skills are poor. This section requires candidates to write 2 essays in an hour, often an argumentative and then reflective essay.
Hence, your response and ideas need to be cohesive and well structured, and you will have to channel these through examples and effective use of vocabulary in your essay.
Listening to a lot of Podcasts, TED Talks on broad topics and revise both sides of current issues in the media to help put together an ideas bank. Once you put all these into action, only then will your true preparation begin.
So now, what are you waiting for? Your preparation begins today if you want to see yourself excel in postgraduate medicine and save lives around the world!