GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation Guide [Updated 2022]

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GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation Guide [Updated 2022]


Table Of Contents

What is GAMSAT Section 3?

GAMSAT Section 3 preparation is a section within the GAMSAT that deals primarily with reasoning in the Biological and Physical Sciences. As quoted from the official ACER Website. , GAMSAT Section 3 involves a certain level of knowledge associated with first year university Chemistry, Physics and Biology.


The GAMSAT Section 3 blurbs are designed to provide you clues and data so that you can reasonably infer the answers from the passage.

GAMSAT Section 3

Your prep for GAMSAT section 3 is no doubt going to be long and arduous, considering it’s the longest section of the GAMSAT exam. Because GAMSAT section 3 is doubly weighted, the preparation for section 3 of the GAMSAT is often an area that GAMSAT students devote a lot of time to and an area of particular difficulty for those with a non-science background.


GAMSAT Section 3 Composition

GAMSAT Section 3 is broken down into:


Biology - 40%

Chemistry - 40%

Physics - 40%

Prospective GAMSAT students are recommended to have at least a basic understanding and knowledge of science equivalent to first year university.


The below explains the degree of knowledge required for GAMSAT Section 3 preparation.

Degree of Science knowledge required:


Biology – First year university level knowledge required.

Chemistry - First year university level knowledge required.

Physics – A Level knowledge required.

GAMSAT-Section-3-preparation

GAMSAT Section 3 Important Notes


GAMSAT Section 3 has 110 questions to be done in 170 minutes, with each stem of information relating to approximately 1 to 6 questions. 

Exam Criteria for GAMSAT Section 3


When preparing for the GAMSAT, you should know that GAMSAT Section 3 preparation is not a test of theoretical knowledge or memory knowledge, but rather the ability to reason, make logical deductions and form judgements. 


You will be presented with blurbs (as GAMSAT likes to refer to them as) or more commonly known as passages or stimulus. Around this blurb, you'll be asked questions that would test various aspects of reasoning such as identifying, extracting, synthesising and extrapolating information for you to successfully come to a conclusion or use in calculations. 


As such, an adequate GAMSAT Section 3 preparation strategy should be centred on developing and nurturing these problem skills and not on rote memorisation that is commonly done in tertiary courses. That being said, it is important you as an aspiring medical student should learn foundational concepts so that you possess both contextual intuition and skills relevant to the respective GAMSAT Section 3 context. 


What Will GAMSAT Section 3 Test Me On?


Section 3 of the GAMSAT is designed and created to assess your aptitude to:


  • Classify information in new contexts within the blurb / passage
  • Analyse and understand data
  • Discover associations and make judgements
  • Interpret familiarity from one form to another
  • Express and apply hypotheses and make generalisations
  • Infer penalties from models
  • Monitor and assess a line of thought
  • Evaluate evidence, Extrapolate & Interpolate
  • Classify and select evidence relevant to problems in the blurb
  • Produce and apply approaches to solve difficulties
  • Guesstimate and distinguish limits in correctness of information


GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation


When it comes to preparing for GAMSAT  and especially for GAMSAT Section 3, it's important we break theoretical knowledge that you come across into three categories to ensure that you are studying for GAMSAT Section 3 in an efficient (more importantly - time efficient) manner. 


As an emphasis again, the GAMSAT is a test of problem solving and not theoretical knowledge, as often the question stimulus is self sufficient on its own to solve the problem at hand if you have a level of assumed knowledge.


These categories of assumed section 3 knowledge are:


  • Conceptual Knowledge
  • Useful Knowledge
  • Rote Knowledge


Conceptual GAMSAT Section 3 Knowledge


Conceptual knowledge would be defined as fundamental definitions, nomenclature, concepts, calculation methodologies and mathematical foundations that are used to build up a concept. Without it, it would be impossible to answer questions.


A good rule of thumb is to utilise the Feynman Technique or think about how you would teach a particular concept to someone without a background. This would often involve you explaining the building blocks that would be necessary for one to venture deeper into the field.


Examples of conceptual knowledge includes the following:


  • Performing molar calculations in back-titration questions
  • Knowing that an oxidation reaction involves a molecule losing an electron
  • Constructing a simultaneous equation to algebraically find the solution
  • Naming of organic functional groups according to IUPAC nomenclature
  • Being able to interpret genetic pedigree graphs
  • Understanding the contextual function of the citric acid cycle


Useful GAMSAT Section 3 Knowledge


This category would be defined as information that would potentially speed up the process of problem solving as it is able to shortcut steps when answering questions in GAMSAT Section 3.


You should still be able to answer questions without it, but as GAMSAT is limited in time, this category of information helps to both improve your speed and also build self-assurance as you have a rough idea of what should be the correct answer.


Much of the time saved here is being able to rule out obviously incorrect answers and also skim the stimulus far more efficiently as you have an idea of what is relevant.


Each unit of useful knowledge on its own won’t be helpful, but the accumulation of a lot of it will result in a more holistic and intuitive understanding of the GAMSAT Section 3 passages and blurbs and will dramatically improve your efficiency and answering time.


A good rule of thumb for thinking about this category of information is one where you go ‘aha!’ and feel that you gained a better understanding or insight into a particular concept.


Examples of useful knowledge at play includes the following for your GAMSAT Section 3 preparation:


  • Seeing a three paragraph stimulus relating to an ECG and heart diagram, and recognising that a question on atrial contraction only requires information in the diagram.
  • Recognising the solubility of DNA and RNA is related to inter-molecular bonds.
  • Knowing how to determine R/S chirality without needing to refer to the one page stimulus and working it out for the first time in an examination.
  • Understanding how the acid dissociation constant might be transformed into an equation with respect to the base dissociation constant.


Rote GAMSAT Section 3 Knowledge


Rote knowledge as information that you would memorise the night before an examination and immediately regurgitate it from your short term memory the day after.


Knowing this type of niche information would mean you can answer questions without the stimulus and options. Unfortunately there is an infinite amount of information out there and the GAMSAT is not a test of obscure rote knowledge. 


Examples of rote knowledge includes:


  • Propionyl CoA is carboxylated to D-methylmalonyl-CoA in the citric acid cycle.
  • The optimal temperature for sperm production is 34 degrees.
  • Quoting the universal law of gravitation and reciting the universal constant of gravity.
  • Bacteria are monomorphic and environmental conditions surrounding the bacteria can alter its shape, thus making identification difficult.


It should go without saying that the GAMSAT and especially GAMSAT Section 3 is a test of problem solving, one needs to focus on conceptual and useful knowledge and steer away from rote learning. It's important to remember this for your GAMSAT Section 3 preparation.


Some GAMSAT students that achieve great marks in tertiary sciences (A-levels for example) can perform very poorly in GAMSAT Section 3, as most (with the exception of mathematics and physics) involve memorisation as opposed to critical thinking.


On the other hand, you could easily obtain an average mark of 60 by simply knowing fundamental concepts and having an above average problem solving skill sets', but to enter the realm of 70+ you really need to be militant in your Section 3 GAMSAT preparation and double down on slowly building up useful knowledge.


Preparation Strategy for GAMSAT Section 3


For the sciences in Section 3, it's important that you have a concrete strategy for GAMSAT section 3 so that you can attack the science passages with peace of mind.


  1. Slowing down and collecting yourself - maintaining sharp focus and motivation is key to understanding the science passages.
  2. Reading each word of the GAMSAT science passages slowly and carefully. You should be constantly attempting to link any ideas you read about back to content you have already studied.
  3. Although you should be paying close attention to the details, don't get too bogged down by them. Look for the blurb and ask yourself, "What is the point of this? What knowledge does the GAMSAT want me to demonstrate when tackling this specific science passage?" 
  4. If you've purchased multiple GAMSAT preparation resources to practice your Section 3 science then we recommend that you practice on numerous science passages at a time. Reason being is that making sure you can pace yourself during the GAMSAT Section 3 part of the exam is a skill you need to develop and thus you won't be able to master this skill if you're just doing one science passage or blurb at a time.
  5. Make sure you get a good grasp of everything. What I mean by this, is that you need to make sure you revise for Section 3 by making sure you're exposed (even if it is just briefly) on topics or areas in Physics, Biology, Chemistry that you might not feel is important but could potentially come up in the exam. Although the only thing we can go on is past experiences and then make a reasonable judgement on what the GAMSAT sciences might question us on - it is sensible that you do not take things for granted and make sure your a well rounded T-shaped science student ready to conquer Section 3 no matter what.
  6. Learn to focus. Only move to the next sentence if you understand the previous one completely. If you practice this everyday over time your reading speed will improve.
  7. This might not be for everyone but getting used to any strategy to conquer Section 3 will take practice and perseverance. The better you get at Section 3 the faster you'll be able to answer the questions. When reading the science passages for the first time, purposely ignore any figures or tables presented to you.. Half the time the questions are totally unrelated and if you try to start interpreting them before you even read the question stem you might come to some very incorrect conclusions. Just wait until you see what the question asks then refer to the figures/tables. We know students that painstakingly go through each Section 3 science passage trying to understand everything and as a result you'll waste huge amounts of time, which wreaks havoc on your time management as time management is key to your GAMSAT success.
  8. Make sure you're not overwhelming yourself as the answers to your questions are all within the passage.
  9. The best and most underutilised strategy and advice for being great in GAMSAT Section 3 is practice. Make sure you practice, practice and practice some more. Think about it as your first driving lesson. Now think about your second driving lesson... Do you get where I'm going with this?


The strategy for GAMSAT section 3 prep is to make sure that you get enough practice and exposure to GAMSAT like questions and thus build up a solid foundation of GAMSAT Section 3 science knowledge.


Science is science at the end of the day and unfortunately GAMSAT does not provide a syllabus of what you should or shouldn't study.


You could theoretically know very little science and scrape by as long as you can compensate in the other two GAMSAT sections. But under no circumstances be idiotic enough to do that.


We've helped thousands retake the GAMSAT simply because they took this strategy of not preparing for Section 3 as well as they should have. GAMSAT Section 3 preparation doesn't need to be that difficult.

Pro tip: Section 3 GAMSAT preparation strategy


Additionally, when you are reading a GAMSAT section 3 preparation science passage that describes protein-protein interactions or mechanical contraptions in physics, you should be visualising the process in your head the whole time and attempting to piece it all together.


When encountering biochemical pathways, it may helpful for you to quickly jot down the order of the molecules and then refer to them when you get to the questions. 


It is important that you have a solid understanding of most of the GAMSAT passage before you get to the questions - you shouldn't be skipping to the questions first or ignoring the passage altogether as many of the answers must be inferred and found from the GAMSAT passage and this is especially one of the most important GAMSAT Section 3 strategy that you need to get your head around.

GAMSAT Section 3 Science Figures and Graphs


Finally, when you get to the figures, begin by reading the caption and title (if available) and looking at the axis labels if the GAMSAT section 3 passage contains a graph (which is most likely will). This will give you an idea of what the data is supposed to show.


On graphs, look for trends within the data points - is there an increase or decrease across the points or does it remain constant? Does this make sense in light of the passage? Feel free to refer back to the sentence or paragraph that cites the figure in question.


For bar charts or box plots, you should be looking for comparisons or any formulas that GAMSAT has provided. If you had done your due diligence in GAMSAT revision then the formulas presented should not be foreign to you.


How To Prepare For GAMSAT Section 3?


The sciences on GAMSAT Section 3 preparation range in difficulty from A-level standard to first, and i some cases second year, undergraduate level knowledge.


Although it is the case that a great deal of information is given in the question, a real understanding of relevant GAMSAT topics is now recognised as a prerequisite for success.


Indeed, part of the problem is the strict time constraints for section 3 GAMSAT, which means students often cannot absorb all the information in a question or passage. 


Part of the aim of our GAMSAT preparation courses for section 3 is to allow you to recognise familiar topics quickly and spot the required methods, techniques and knowledge to answer GAMSAT section 3 passage problems successfully.


As the GAMSAT exam becomes more detailed, the time element constraints to GAMSAT become even more important. So where do you start? 


GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation


The key to studying for GAMSAT section 3 preparation is to not panic and attempt to learn all of the undergraduate level Chemistry, Biology, and A-level Physics - indeed doing all this would be an impossible task. Rather, the topics and skills Acer examine, really do have a foundation in the skills required to be success at medical school. 


While it is true that some areas of GAMSAT Section 3 are difficult conceptually, the key to preparing for GAMSAT Section 3 is to make sure you approach your preparation and revision from a pragmatic GAMSAT understanding, and try to keep things as simplified as possible. 

How-To-Prepare-for-GAMSAT-Section-3

Granted there are science areas like Physics and Organic Chemistry where you'll feel like you're learning a new language, you need to keep things abstract and remind yourself that you only ever need to learn the parts that are relevant to GAMSAT and this is key to preparing for GAMSAT section 3.


Application is key, and a solid understand of biological systems, together with a strong foundation in concepts and scientific principles within all the relevant sciences that you'll get tested on in GAMSAT is vital. 


Remember that across the sciences whether you choose to study for free or purchase GAMSAT preparation materials to aid you in your GAMSAT section 3 studies, it's important that you build extensive knowledge and experience by utilising as many practice GAMSAT questions as possible, along with taking the real GAMSAT past paper examinations, coupled with knowing the common section 3 themes and topics (which you'll be exposed to below).


Constant section 3 revision, together with analysis of ACER past papers as mentioned forms the core materials that will propel your prep for section 3.


There is a great deal to cover and practice and you'll need to set aside months to prepare for GAMSAT and especially appreciate section 3. There are many students that say the materials and notes from our GAMSAT preparation courses if sufficient in providing you with extremely broad scientific knowledge, which is required for the rigours of this very testing examination.

GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation Anxiety

Not Enough Experience in GAMSAT Section 3?

It might be the case that you do not have much experience of multiple-choice papers, and even if you do the ones you have done before were almost certainly nothing like GAMSAT.


For the GAMSAT type questions, not only do you have to have conspicuous facts at your fingertips, but also, for most, a complete readjustment to the approach of problem-solving is needed. For example, you need to realise that:


  • the GAMSAT section 3 question may not be about what you think it is about.
  • the answers themselves sometimes give clues as to the solution (or at least narrow down your choice!).
  • some information in the question may not be needed at all - so be very careful.


Preparing for GAMSAT section 3 requires changing your thinking about thinking. . Yes, this seems like something out of the movie inception - but this is actually called 'metacognition'.


This means you will need to include knowledge about particular strategies or techniques for problem solving and you'd also need to change your thinking in terms of knowing when and where to use these problem solving strategies and techniques.


What is Metacognition for GAMSAT Section 3

GAMSAT preparation Section 3

Metacognition describes the processes involved when learners plan, monitor, evaluate and make changes to their own learning behaviours.


Metacognition is often considered to have two dimensions: metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive regulation.


Metacognitive knowledge refers to what learners know about learning.


This includes:


  • the learner’s knowledge of their own cognitive abilities (e.g. ‘I have trouble remembering dates in history').
  • the learner’s knowledge of particular tasks (e.g. ‘The ideas in this chapter that I’m going to read are complex’).
  • the learner’s knowledge of different strategies that are available to them and when they are appropriate to the task (e.g. ‘If I scan the text first it will help me to understand the overall meaning').


Metacognitive regulation  refers to what learners. It describes how learners monitor and control their cognitive processes.


For example, a learner might realise that a particular GAMSAT strategy is not achieving the results they want, so they decide to try a different GAMSAT preparation strategy.


What type of GAMSAT Section 3 Learn Are You?


A key challenge for student is being able to recognise how well they understand their own learning processes for their GAMSAT Section 3 preparation.


There are four levels of metacognitive GAMSAT learners which provide a useful framework for teachers:


  1. Tacit learners are unaware of their metacognitive knowledge. They do not think about any particular strategies for learning and merely accept if they know something or not. 
  2. Aware learners  know about some of the kinds of thinking that they do such as generating ideas, finding evidence etc. However, thinking is not necessarily deliberate or planned.
  3. Strategic learners organise their thinking by using problem-solving, grouping and classifying, evidence-seeking and decision-making etc. They know and apply the strategies that help them learn.
  4. Reflective learners  are not only strategic about their thinking but they also reflect upon their learning while it is happening, considering the success or not of any strategies they are using and then revising them as appropriate.


Now, I bet you're wondering how can you prepare for GAMSAT section 3? There are an abundant amount of resources out their to help you prepare properly for Section 3 of the GAMSAT. 


Although you’ll hear it all the time that memorisation is not needed, you’d be surprised at just how useful it is going into section 3 with some background knowledge.


Quite often in the exam when we cannot see the relevance of the background knowledge we have learnt. 


Our proprietary preparation GAMSAT courses provide you with the necessary topics that you need to be exposed to aid you on your GAMSAT revision and study.


Lets start with some of the obvious GAMSAT Section 3 preparation tips and resources and then branch out from there.


Official GAMSAT Section 3 Papers


You will then need to start practising for your GAMSAT section prep with like-for-like section 3 multiple choice questions. This way you can apply what you have learnt over and over again, until it’s second nature. 


Practising multiple choice questions for your GAMSAT preparation  will allow you to become familiar with the style of questioning you’ll get for the sciences in the GAMSAT.


When it comes to studying for your GAMSAT section 3 preparation is that with enough practise, you'll soon be able to see what answers you got wrong and read the answers and explanations to really cement your understanding of the sciences.


Start Revising For GAMSAT Section 3 Early


The earlier you start your GAMSAT Section 3 preparation, the better prepared you will be. Starting early allows you time to really learn the material and understand it – and it means you can cope with any factors the may unexpectedly disrupt your GAMSAT Section 3 revision.


It's important to stress that you do not start cramming in tonnes of information for section 3 as the GAMSAT isn't a memory test.  Also, “cramming” is just not effective for everyone, and will often only create more stress. Spend a couple of hours figuring out the material you will need to know for each exam and map out a revision timetable that takes into account when each of your exams is. 


At CrackGAMSAT, we offer a suitable GAMSAT timetable to help you with your revision.


Our revision timetable is detailed as possible, outlining exactly what you need to do each day, for how long, and make sure you schedule in regular study breaks too.


Without regular breaks you could be headed for stress and burnout, which definitely won’t contribute to exam success. 


What Type of GAMSAT Section 3 Learning Are You?


Everyone learns in different ways. Some like colour-coded spider diagrams, others will be able to learn simply by reading and copying. Some people like to learn through listening to others speak.


Revising for your section 3 GAMSAT can be a highly personal process and it’s worth testing out a few different methods before finding an approach that suits you. This will make sure that you are working smarter, not harder. 


Along the same lines, figure out when you learn best. This may be early in the morning or late at night – again, each person is different. Plan your revision to utilise the times when you think you are at peak productivity levels. 


Be self-disciplined with your Section 3 Preparation


This is probably our most important advice. No matter how you want to dress it up, preparing for section 3 isn’t the most enjoyable of pastimes and I’m sure there are millions of things you would rather be doing than preparing for GAMSAT section 3. But you have to be strict with yourself. Eliminate all distractions and stick to your timetable as best as you can. 


Keep your phone away from you, switch off the wi-fi on your laptop if you don’t need the internet, and make sure you have everything you need before you begin, to stop yourself having to get up.


Keep your phone away from you, switch off the wi-fi on your laptop if you don’t need the internet, and make sure you have everything you need before you begin, to stop yourself having to get up.


If you must have your phone near you, download an app that stops you from continuously checking Instagram or Facebook. Lets face it - in this day and age it's super easy to get distracted. 


Practise Many GAMSAT Section 3 Questions As You Can


It is important to ensure that all this revision doesn’t go to waste and that you are able to apply the knowledge in an exam situation. You need to make sure you diversify your preparing for section 3 by utilising multiple GAMSAT section 3 preparation resources. By doing this you'll  develop a more comprehensive understanding that may not come from a single resource. 


If you haven't done so already, check out our GAMSAT section 3 preparation courses to help you prep right for GAMSAT section 3.


It's a no-brainer. The more you practice, the more you can work out GAMSAT is looking for and you can adapt your revision accordingly. 


Remember you are likely to fail the first couple of time. By fail, I mean you might not get the scores you're looking for and realise you suck super badly in Section 3. It's important you don't get disheartened but persevere. As with anything, practise makes perfect, so keep at it.


Set Your GAMSAT Section 3 Study Environment Up For Success


Now that COVID-19 is upon us, the days of going into the library with your peers and doing all-nighters are well and truly  behind you. Well at least until they find a vaccine. I digress here but the point I'm trying to make is that you don't need to start locking yourself in your room is the only way to revise for section 3.


Varying your environment can also help to keep your revision interesting. Set up different spots around the house as your revision hotspot. If it's sunny, try revising in the garden. You get the idea? 


Noise is a heavily debated topic. Most revision guides will tell you that music or the TV is too distracting, but this is entirely down to personal preference. Most students often like to listen to music when revising for the GAMSAT. Others like to have the TV on in the background (on low volume).


Aim to Conquer GAMSAT Section 3


This is going to hit you for 6 - but did you actually know that most students go into the GAMSAT for their first time as a trial run? Yes - there are students who spend prepare but go into the GAMSAT not that confident just to get a feel for the GAMSAT.


When revising for your GAMSAT section 3 prep you’ll be very familiar with the concept that the section 3 of the GAMSAT is designed to examine your reasoning and problem solving skills rather than your recall of specific content.


However, it is very important that you do have a good understanding and grasp of science for you to do well. Think about it. Can you honestly go into the GAMSAT exam and start figuring out an molecular compound in organic chemistry if you don’t have at least a foundation and basic knowledge in organic chemistry – probably not!


You might be a lot smarter than many prospective GAMSAT students out there and may figure out the answer eventually, but the reality is you need to study and recall at least some important equations or information.


GAMSAT Section 3 Courses & Practice Questions


All GAMSAT students - either implicitly or explicitly hate the science section of the GAMSAT. No matter how many GAMSAT section 3 practice question they go through - it's just never enough. 


At CrackGAMSAT, we offer the most an extensive and comprehensive GAMSAT section 3 practice questions to conquer the GAMSAT.


We're always updating and adding new GAMSAT section 3 preparation practice questions every week providing even more value.


GAMSAT General Chemistry Practice Questions and Courses


Our GAMSAT preparation courses cover all of the core concepts and methods within Physical and general Chemistry, which relate to the exam. Our courses will build from first principles the concepts involved and then develop these into a very specific approach for the examination itself. Often in Chemistry the difficulty is how you need to understand a topic, and the applications to the GAMSAT are very specific.


We will show you the correct methods and ways of thinking, as well as the important shortcuts, which make it a much easier examination. Content will be reinforced and reviewed through problem solving and simulated GAMSAT section 3 practice question.


GAMSAT General Chemistry Study Strategies


The general chemistry content you should make sure you familiarise yourself with for the GAMSAT is:


  1. Atoms and Periodic Trends
  2. Bonds and interactions
  3. Molecules and Stoichiometry
  4. Thermochemistry
  5. Chemical equilibrium and kinetics
  6. Acid-base chemistry
  7. Solutions and gases
  8. Redox reactions
  9. Electrochemistry


GAMSAT General Chemistry Strategy #1


Time is extremely valuable when you study for the GAMSAT. For that reason, you need to study content for application to practice passages and novel situations that the GAMSAT will throw at you instead of for memorisation.


The GAMSAT will rarely ask you to regurgitate a random general chemistry fact. Instead, the GAMSAT will present you a shortened scientific article in the form of a passage, ask you to critically analyse the passage, and ask questions the require you to combine your outside knowledge with knowledge from the passage.


So, what does it mean to study content for application and not for memorization?


When you study any GAMSAT general chemistry subject, you should come up with three ways that the GAMSAT might test you on that content.


Let’s look at an example with nucleophilic acyl substitution. 


Many GAMSAT students panic when they see the words nucleophilic acyl substitution as the reaction can be carried out in a variety of different forms. For example, the reaction looks slightly different in acidic versus basic conditions and the nucleophile and leaving group can take a variety of forms. However, the overall principles behind the various reactions are the same: 


1) A nucleophile attacks a carbonyl carbon.

2) Electrons move to an oxygen atom, which will now have a negative charge.

3) The electrons then move back down from the oxygen atom to reform the double bond.

4) A leaving group will leave.

FIGURE 1. NUCLEOPHILIC ACYL SUBSTITUTION

The three ways that the GAMSAT might test you on nucleophilic acyl substitution are as follows.


1) Triglyceride saponification

2) Transesterification

3) Anhydride cleavage


The first example listed here is very important as it connects multiple GAMSAT topics.


Triglyceride saponification describes the breakdown of triglycerides into the glycerol backbone and fatty acids, and it follows the same principles of nucleophilic acyl substitution. However, this time the R group is the glycerol backbone, the nucleophile is a strong base (such as OH-), and the leaving group is a fatty acid!


GAMSAT General Chemistry strategy #2


In addition to revising the structures of the twenty amino acids, you need to know the properties of each amino acid that are a result of that structure.


Let’s look at an example question:


Which of the following mutations to solvent-exposed residues in a protein is likely to have the greatest entropic penalty?


A. A76V

B. E99D

C. R287A

D. Y78P


The correct answer here is C.  Answer choices A and D are incorrect as the mutations maintain an entropic penalty but do not introduce a new one. Answer choice B is incorrect as the mutation maintains a favourable solvent-exposed residue since both E and D are negatively charged. Answer choice C is correct because the mutation of a positively charged arginine to a hydrophobic alanine would increase the need for ordered water molecules, thereby introducing an entropic penalty.


You’ll notice that the question didn’t directly ask you about amino acid memorisation. Rather, you were required to draw upon both your knowledge of amino acids and your knowledge of entropy.


You should also know your functional groups to the same level of detail that you know your amino acids. If someone asks you to draw a ketone, you should be able to draw it without even thinking. Functional groups are important because their structure allows them to contain interesting chemical properties.


If you can draw out a ketone and analyse its structure, you won’t have to memorise that the carbonyl carbon is electrophilic. Instead, you’ll be able to quickly recall this property by looking at the structure of the functional group itself.


GAMSAT General Chemistry Strategy #3  


Many students assume that the more practice exams and practice problems they take, the better they’ll score on the GAMSAT and especially GAMSAT section 3 sciences. While this is true to a certain extent, these students are not unlocking their full scoring potential.


When you take an GAMSAT passage, you should spend at least the equivalent amount of time reviewing that passage, writing down what you missed so that you don’t miss the question again, and studying the information so that you’ll know it before your next test.


Let’s compare two students: Jane and John.


Jane takes 17 practice tests before her exam, but she doesn’t get a chance to review each practice test before moving onto the next exam. Her score plateaus well before her desired score range. John, on the other hand, takes only 9 practice full lengths before his real GAMSAT. After each exam, however, he spends ten hours reviewing the exam, writing down what he missed, and studying that information. John reaches his goal score and doesn’t have to take the GAMSAT again - a luxury that most GAMSAT students unfortunately do not have.


What is the difference between these two students? Both Jane and John put in a lot of time, effort, and hard work into GAMSAT studying. It is not an easy feat to take 17 practice tests. However, only John spent the additional time to review his exams and figure out exactly what he was doing incorrectly.


GAMSAT general chemistry practice problems.


Question 1

What is the role of an indicator in an acid-base titration?

A.  Protect the base from hydrolysing another species

B.   Increase the Kw of the solution

C. Change colour to signify a pH change

D. Increase the amount of acid in a titration-based experiment


Question 2

At what point on a titration curve is full neutralisation achieved?

A.  Half equivalence point

B. pKa

C. Equivalence point

D. Km


Question 3

A primary alcohol is oxidized with two equivalents of base. Which of the following functional groups will form?

A.  Secondary alcohol

B.  Tertiary alcohol

C.  Aldehyde

D. Carboxylic acid


Question 1 Answer

The correct answer is C. Indicators are used in acid-base titrations to tell the experimenter when the solution has reached or passed a certain pH (choice C is correct). The indicator does not protect the base (choice A is incorrect), increase the Kw of the solution (choice b is incorrect), or increase the amount of acid in the experiment (choice d is incorrect).


Question 2 Answer

The correct answer is C. The equivalence point on a titration is where full neutralization (e.g. COOH going to COO-) has been achieved (choice C is correct). The half equivalence point and pKa are the same, and this is where only half neutralisation has occurred (e.g. equal amounts of COOH and COO- are present) (choices A and B are incorrect). Km is not a term used to describe titration experiments (choice D is incorrect).


Question 3 Answer

The correct answer is D. Oxidation adds extra bonds to oxygen. A primary alcohol has one bond to oxygen, as do secondary and tertiary alcohols (choices A and B are incorrect). An aldehyde has two bonds to oxygen through the double bond and would occur with one equivalent of base (choice C is incorrect). A carboxylic acid has three bonds to oxygen through the double bond and a bond to a hydroxyl group. The carboxylic acid is formed after oxidation with two equivalents of base (choice D is correct).


GAMSAT Section 3 Biology Courses


Our biology courses will provide an extensive coverage of all topic areas required for success in the GAMSAT section 3 biology part of the exam.


As well as presenting information with comprehensive inset problem sections within the core Biology course.


These skills when acquired are then further developed on our bank of simulated question. As well as aiming to give you the knowledge required, our courses will help you develop the unique skills for this component throughout the teaching and reinforced through the accompanying exercises.


How to study for Biology in GAMSAT Section 3


As you know the biology part of GAMSAT Section 3 accounts for 40% of the questions. That’s a huge chunk of Section 3. For biology (much like the other sciences) you’ll get passages and blurbs with a problem-solving context where you’ll be asked to analyse or interpret data.


GAMSAT Biology Strategy #1


The TAID P method is an invaluable approach given the tendency of GAMSAT passages to be based around a scientific passage.


TAID P stands for title, axes, independent variable, dependent variable, and patterns. If you can identify these elements in a graph, figure, or table, you will be able to understand what the data is telling you.


Let’s say you get this figure on an GAMSAT biology passage:

Let’s dive into this example using the TAID P method to help you on your GAMSAT Section 3 biology:


T (title): The title states: “relative p53 protein levels in the presence or absence of drug of interest". From this title, it's easy to deduce that the researchers are treating cells with a drug and measuring the relative levels of a certain protein. If you don’t remember from cell biology, p53 is an important tumour suppressor protein, but a GAMSAT passage will likely given you more background and context. 

A (axes):  The x-axis shows the different treatment groups while the y-axis measures the increase in p53 protein levels.

I/D (independent/dependent variables): The axes make it easy to determine the independent and dependent variables, which are I and D in the TAID P method. First, what are the independent and dependent variables? The independent variable is something that you change on purpose  while the dependent variable is a measured response based on this change. The independent variable is always displayed on the x-axis, the independent variable in this experiment is the treatment used. In this case, the four treatments are: control, 1 uM drug, 5 uM drug, and 100 uM drug. The dependent variable is shown on the y-axis, so we know that relative p53 protein levels is our dependent variable.

P (patterns):  Finally, you need to ask yourself whether there are differences between the control and drug groups. It appears that the addition of drug leads to an increase in p53 protein levels. What if we add a lot of the drug (i.e. a higher concentration)? When we move from 5 uM drug to 100 uM drug, we see only a small increase in the relative p53 protein levels. We should keep this in mind as the passage may ask us a question about these patterns!


Your intent for GAMSAT Section 3 biology is to identify the TAID P elements for any given figure within 15-20 seconds, and the goal is to understand the big picture more efficiently and of course quickly. If you find yourself spending more than 15-20 seconds, finish what you are thinking and move on in the biology passage or go to the biology questions.


GAMSAT Biology Strategy #2


The GAMSAT biology section will ask you questions about different organ systems present in the body as we’ve noticed from past exam papers. As a result, you should be familiar with and understand the following topics very well as they tend to commonly come up for GAMSAT section 3 biology:


  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Genetics
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular systems
  • Reproduction and development
  • Immune system
  • Nervous system
  • Endocrine system
  • Digestive and excretory systems
  • Cellular and Animal Biology


For example, a biology question in section 3 GAMSAT might ask you:


Question 1

Which of the following is a mechanism by which an antibody helps mediate an adaptive immune response?

A. Neutralises antigen

B. Blocks complement

C. Restricts T-cell localisation

D. Phagocytoses antigen


You’ll need to know general properties of how the immune system works to answer this question. What is the adaptive immune response? What are antibodies? How do antibodies function?


The correct answer is A. Antibodies can neutralise antigens by binding to them and preventing them from properly functioning (choice A is correct). Antibodies are known to activate and help direct complement (choice B is incorrect). Restricting T-cell localization is not something that antibodies do, and it would prevent the adaptive immune response (choice C is incorrect). Antibodies are proteins, not cells, so they cannot phagocytose antigens (choice D is incorrect).


GAMSAT Biology Strategy #3


Unlike biology exams you may have taken in college, GAMSAT biology will be much less memorisation-heavy and much more application-based.  


The figures you get on the biology part of section 3 may be complex, but we already discussed how you can use the TAID P method to quickly break those figures down and practice analysing them. One important point is that TAID P takes time to master. As a result, after you take an GAMSAT biology passage, you should come back and apply the TAID P method to every single figure you receive on them.


This will take a lot of time to complete properly and thoroughly (i.e. don’t be discouraged if you spend 20-30 minutes trying to understand the figures from a single passage when you’re practicing), but you’ll become extremely skilled at analysing every information that GAMSAT section 3 throws at you!


Standalone GAMSAT Biology Practice Questions


The below questions are not provided within a GAMSAT biology passage but we thought we'll throw in some teaser questions to catch you off guard. Give the biology questions below a go for fun.


1. Which of the following immune cells is primary responsible for producing specific antibodies?

A.  Dendritic cells

B.  T-lymphocytes

C.  B-lymphocytes

D.  Mast cells


2. Which of the following best describes the vital capacity of the lungs?

A.  Total lung capacity squared

B.   Equivalent to expiratory respiratory volume

C.  Tidal volume minus total lung capacity

D.  Total lung capacity minus residual volume


3. Which of the following is not a primary mechanism of thermoregulation in the body?

A.  Nasal capillary beds

B.  Tracheal capillary beds

C.  Sweating

D.  Four-chambered heart


Answers and explanation to standalone GAMSAT biology practice questions


1. The correct answer is C.  B-lymphocytes are the antibody production cells in the body. Dendritic cells are involved in antigen presentation (choice A is incorrect). T-lymphocytes are involved in modulating the immune response (T-helper) or killing infected cells (T-cytotoxic) (choice B is incorrect). Mast cells are filled with granules and release histamine, which leads to inflammation (choice D is incorrect).


2. The correct answer is D. Vital capacity is defined as the total lung capacity, or maximum volume of air upon complete inhalation, subtracted by the residual volume, which is the minimum volume of air remaining upon complete exhalation. Expiratory respiratory volume is the volume of additional air that can be forcibly exhaled after normal exhalation (choice B is incorrect). Tidal volume is the amount of air inhaled and exhaled on a normal breath (choice C is incorrect).


3. The correct answer is D. While the four-chambered heart may contribute to thermoregulation via blood flow to the human body, the structure of the heart is not directly responsible for thermoregulation (choice D is correct). Nasal and tracheal capillary beds are important sites of thermoregulation (choices A and B are incorrect), and sweating is a common cooling mechanism (choice C is incorrect).

Pro tip for GAMSAT Biology 


If your degree is in a non-scientific field we recommend taking additional time to grasp core biology concepts that we've outlined above with respect to the 'common GAMSAT biology topics' along with the topics for GAMSAT biology that we've made available when you scroll down further. If you feel you need additional help for biology, don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions at contact@crackgamsat.com.

Study tips for GAMSAT Biology


  • Practice as much as possible and attempt questions after learning new concepts to test your understanding.
  • Hone your critical reasoning and problem-solving skills by looking at the context of the biology blurb or passage by analysing and interpreting the graphs presented to you.
  • Do not memorise unnecessary biology concepts as this won't help you. Instead focus on appreciating and understanding the underlying context of what you're learning when it comes to GAMSAT Biology.
  • Practice your critical analysis or even abstract reasoning for GAMSAT biology passages.
  • Make sure you've got solid understanding of biological systems and foundations for Biology Section 3.


GAMSAT Organic Chemistry Practice Questions


Learning the language and visualisation required for the exam is often one of the biggest challenges for GAMSAT students and at CrackGAMSAT we aim to develop these skills from the beginning allowing you to assimilate the core skills required to do well in the organic chemistry GAMSAT part of the exam.


We aim to build your core Organic knowledge the GAMSAT exam requires. This is one of the keys to Organic Chemistry understanding exactly how much detail is required and in which areas.


How to study for Organic Chemistry in GAMSAT Section 3


Hippy - everyone's favourite! Just in case you didn't catch on, I was being sarcastic. I'm about to present three high-yield GAMSAT organic chemistry study strategies you can use to handle organic chemistry questions.


GAMSAT Organic Chemistry Strategy 1


If someone asks you to draw an aldehyde, you should (in theory) be able to draw it without even thinking. 


The reason functional groups are important is their structure allows them to contain interesting chemical properties. If you can draw out an aldehyde and analyse its structure, you'll be in a better position for the GAMSAT.  

Aldehyde functional group

So, you should know what the following functional groups look like at a bare minimum (purely for faster reference and efficiency):


Carbonyl


Aldehyde

Ketone

Hemiacetal

Acetal

Imine

Enamine

Aldol

Alcohol

Carboxylic Acid

Ester

Anhydride

Phenol

GAMSAT Organic Chemistry Strategy 2


Let’s look at a commonly tested example: the carboxylic acid functional group. If you draw out the structure of a carboxylic acid, you will notice that there are important parts of the molecule that contribute to how it reacts with other molecules.


For example, the oxygen double bonded to the central carbon has some interesting properties. Which is more electronegative: oxygen or carbon? If you said oxygen, that is correct! Oxygen wants electrons a lot more than carbon. As a result, the oxygen will pull on those electrons harder, causing the oxygen atom to have a partial negative charge. As a result, the carbon will have a partial positive charge.


Why is that important? It is important because the carbon is now a reactive atom. The carbon really wants electrons due to its partial positive charge, making it an electrophile. And something with an extra pair of electrons, or a nucleophile, can now attack the carbon and engage in interesting chemistry.


Understanding these properties for each functional group that we just mentioned will help you solve organic chemistry problems without having to remember specific and complicated organic chemistry reactions for the GAMSAT Section 3.


Make sure to pay special attention to understanding the carbonyl functional group, which is any carbon double bonded to an oxygen, and the properties we just talked about as the GAMSAT loves to test students on it.


Standalone GAMSAT Organic Chemistry Practice Questions


Question 1

A researcher performs an organic reaction in which a benzene with an alcohol substituent turns into a benzene with an aldehyde substituent. Which of the following peaks may appear for the product in IR spectroscopy?

A. Broad, 3500 cm-1

B. Sharp, 3500 cm-1

C. Broad, 1700 cm-1

D. Sharp, 1700 cm-1


Question 2

Which of the following best describes why protic solvents decrease nucleophilicity?

A. Protic solvents are too sterically bulky and prevent the nucleophile from contacting the electrophile.

B. Protic solvents alter the chemical properties of the electrophile to decrease the reaction efficiency.

C. Protic solvents can hydrogen bond with the nucleophile, thereby decreasing the frequency of nucleophilic attack.

D. Protic solvents introduce a net positive charge to the nucleophile and decrease nucleophilicity.


Question 3

A researcher is studying a molecule with three chiral centers. The researcher obtains a racemic mixture after several steps of purification. Which of the following stereochemical designations could the researcher have obtained?

A. S,S,S and R,S,R

B. R,S,S and S,R,R

C. R,S,R and S,R,R

D. S,S,R and S,S,S


Question 4

Which of the following elements is MOST likely to be a strong nucleophile?

A. Hydroxide ion

B. Water

C. Ethanol

D. Tert-butanol


Question 5

Which of the following standalone functional groups is most likely to undergo nucleophilic acyl substitution?

A. Primary alcohol

B. Aldehyde

C. Ketone

D. Carboxylic acid


Answers and explanaation to GAMSAT Organic Chemistry standalone practice questions


1. Answer choice D is correct. In the product, a carbonyl group is forming (C=O), and this is seen on an IR spec at 1700 cm-1 as a sharp peak (choice D is correct). A broad peak around 3500 cm-1 is characteristic of an OH, which we would see for the reactant, not the product (choice A is incorrect).

2. Answer choice C is correct.  By forming hydrogen bonds with protic solvents, nucleophiles cannot move as freely in solution and it is harder for them to attack electrophiles (choice C is correct). Protic solvents are not necessarily sterically bulky; water is an example of a protic solvent (choice A is incorrect). The question asks how protic solvents affect then nucleophile, not the electrophile (choice B is incorrect). While protic solvents might make the nucleophile.

3. Answer choice B is correct.  A racemic mixture occurs when an enantiomer pair is present in equal amounts. Enantiomers have opposite stereochemistry at every chiral centre (choice B is correct; choices A, C, and D are incorrect).

4. Answer choice A is correct.  Charge, electronegativity, H-bonding capacity, and steric bulk are important in determining how strong a nucleophile is. Here, hydroxide ions are negatively charged (OH-), strongly electronegative, and have no steric hindrance (choice A is correct). Water and ethanol are not very strong nucleophiles (choices B and C are incorrect). Tert-butanol has a lot of steric hindrance (choice D is incorrect).

5. Answer choice D is correct.  In order for nucleophilic acyl substitution to occur, a nucleophile must attack the electrophilic carbon of a C=O double bond. A primary alcohol does not have a C=O double bond (choice A is incorrect). In order to make the carbon in the C=O double bond more electrophilic (want electrons more), there must be groups that pull even more electron density away from the carbon. An aldehyde only has a hydrogen, which will not pull the extra electron density away (choice B is incorrect). A ketone has an attached hydrocarbon group, which will not strongly pull the extra electron density away (choice C is incorrect). A carboxylic acid, however, has an OH group that will pull extra electron density away from the carbon of the C=O group, making it more electrophilic and more likely to undergo nucleophilic acyl substitution (choice D is correct).


GAMSAT Physics Courses


A key aspect of our GAMSAT Physics courses is to guide you through the key mathematical skills required for the GAMSAT exam. Your time is very valuable (I know, I know - we keep mentioning this. To prepare for GAMSAT Physics you should focus on the high-yield GAMSAT physics material, and we’ll highlight the high-yield physics topics and make sure we provide all of the content you need to know for the GAMSAT physics questions, in addition to GAMSAT Physics study strategies that will help you nail your GAMSAT physics questions. 


First and foremost our GAMSAT section 3 practice question and revision materials will provide you with an understanding of number, logs, graphs and units that can easily add to your score. As we go through the core topic areas required we will develop these methods, as well as showing you the shortcuts to solving what can seem complex mathematical problems.


Study Tips for GAMSAT Physics Section 3


GAMSAT Physics Strategy #1: Know the 'big' formulas and their units.


Like many students, terms such as “work” or “force” ring a bell in your head, but you may not have the formulas on the tip of your tongue. However, just as it is essential on the GAMSAT to know your amino acids backwards and forwards, “big formulas” like the work or force formulas are no exception. Memorising these types of formulas will allow you to efficiently answer the questions much faster. You know why? Yes, you guessed it – TIME!


What do we mean by “big formulas"? We define a big formula for the GAMSAT as any formula you see on an ACER practice question, whether it comes from the question packs or one of the ACER full-length past paper exams. If a formula shows up on GAMSAT practice questions, it is fair game for your actual exam.


You can also extend this definition to practice questions you take from GAMSAT preparation providers. If it shows up on an exam or practice problem, it is a big formula!


How does this strategy help you ace GAMSAT Physics? Let’s look at a practice question: “How much work is done when a protein is extended by 5 nm using 50 pN of force?” If we know that the formula for work is work equals force times distance, we can solve this question by simply multiplying 5 nanometres by 50 picoNewtons.


A lot of GAMSAT students have a habit of panicking when asked physics questions in a biologic context. We are much more used to seeing the following question: “How much work is done when a student moves a block 5 metres using 50 N of force?” Remember, the formulas you are using here are the exact same!


The multiplication from our original problem, 5 nanometres by 50 picoNewtons brings us to another point that students often struggle with.


How do we multiply 5 x 10-9 by by 50 x 10-12?


GAMSAT math is tricky, but it is absolutely manageable. You are of course not allowed to use a calculator on the exam and ACER knows this.

GAMSAT Physics Strategy #2:


Let the answer choices guide your approach on math problems you’ll face in GAMSAT Section 3 physics.


Let’s say the four answer choices for our problem are:


How do we multiply 5 x 10-9 by by 50 x 10-12?

A.  1.50 x 10-18 J

B.  2.50 x 10-19 J

C.  2.55 x 10-20 J

D.  5.50 x 10-21  J


At first glance, those tricky answer choices appear similar, but let’s take an even closer look. Let’s say we simplified our math by removing the scientific notation, So, we go from 5 x 10-9 times 50 x 10-12 to 5 times 50. That’s easy, right? We know it is 250.


Now, lets simplify the answer choices by removing the scientific notation.


The four answer choices for our problem are now:


A.  1.50   J

B.  2.50  J

C.  2.55 J

D.  5.50 J


Which answer choice is most similar to 250? If you said answer choice B, you would be correct. It does not matter where we place the decimal—anytime we multiply 5 by 50, we will get a number that looks similar to 250, but not 150 (choice A), 255 (choice C), or 550 (choice D). Without even looking at the scientific notation, we were able to determine the correct answer.


Let’s say, however, the answer choices for our problem looked like this:


A.  250 x 10-18 J

B.  250 x 10-19 J

C.  250 x 10-20 J

D.  250 x 10-21  J


Now, we do care about the scientific notation. How do we multiply 5 x 10-9 times 50 x 10-12 ?


Use this tip: think of solving the multiplication of these numbers as a two-part process. First, multiply the numbers before the scientific notation. When we multiply 5 by 50, we get 250.


Second, add the exponent values, which are -9 and -12 in this case. There is no need to fear this math equation either: if we add two negative numbers together, we get an even bigger negative number. -9+(-12) is the same as -9-12, or -21. When we piece together step 1, which was 250, and step 2, which was -21, we arrive at answer choice D: 250 x 10


GAMSAT Physics Strategy #3


Use the TAID P approach to analyse figures, graphs, and tables.


We went through this approach when we discussed how to prepare for GAMSAT biology. If you skipped it, the TAID P approach stands for title, axes, independent and dependent variables, and patterns.


By analysing these five components of a figure, you are well on your way to understanding the blurbs within GAMSAT Physics.


For example, let’s say you receive the following graph on an GAMSAT physics passage:


[A] VERSUS TIME FOR A FIRST-ORDER REACTION

  • T (title): The title states: “relative p53 protein levels in the presence or absence of drug of interest". From this title, it's easy to deduce that the researchers are treating cells with a drug and measuring the relative levels of a certain protein. If you don’t remember from cell biology, p53 is an important tumour suppressor protein, but a GAMSAT passage will likely given you more background and context. 
  • A (axes):  The x-axis shows the different treatment groups while the y-axis measures the increase in p53 protein levels.
  • I/D (independent/dependent variables): The axes make it easy to determine the independent and dependent variables, which are I and D in the TAID P method. First, what are the independent and dependent variables? The independent variable is something that you change on purpose  while the dependent variable is a measured response based on this change. The independent variable is always displayed on the x-axis, the independent variable in this experiment is the treatment used. In this case, the four treatments are: control, 1 uM drug, 5 uM drug, and 100 uM drug. The dependent variable is shown on the y-axis, so we know that relative p53 protein levels is our dependent variable.
  • P (patterns):  Finally, you need to ask yourself whether there are differences between the control and drug groups. It appears that the addition of drug leads to an increase in p53 protein levels. What if we add a lot of the drug (i.e. a higher concentration)? When we move from 5 uM drug to 100 uM drug, we see only a small increase in the relative p53 protein levels. We should keep this in mind as the passage may ask us a question about these patterns!


You should aim to identify the TAID P elements for any given figure within 15-20 seconds. The goal is to understand the big picture without getting lost in the small details. If you find yourself spending more than 15-20 seconds, finish your current thought and move on.  


You shouldn’t spend too much time on any given figure during your first reading of the passage because there may not even be a question on that figure! For example, if a GAMSAT Physics passage has two figures and a table, the GAMSAT exam writers may only ask a question about the table, meaning you didn’t even need to understand the figures in the first place.


Importantly, however, after you finish taking a passage figures that you encountered, even if the passage didn’t ask a question on them. By doing this, you will become quicker and more confident at analysing many types of figures. Over time, there will be very little that the test writers can give you that you haven’t seen before!


GAMSAT Physics Strategy #4


Use the units to your advantage.


Let’s say you receive an GAMSAT problem asking you to obtain power, and you know two values: speed and force. At first glance and after checking GAMSAT physics tip #1, you can’t think of a formula that relates these terms.


Many GAMSAT students would panic, but now is the time for GAMSAT physics tip #4 to kick in.


Let’s break down the units that we do have. Power is equal to Work/time, and the units are Joules/second.


We know that the equation for Work is Force*distance, and force is represented by Newtons while distance is represented by metres. So, let’s replace Joules with Newtons * metres as shown below.

Using GAMSAT physics tip #4, you're able to relate the units of speed (metres/second) with force (Newtons) in the power equation. Now, the formulas will already be available on the passage that you can reference.


So you wouldn't need to memorise these formulas if you're thinking the formulas won't be made available. We've only outlined these tips for reassurance and for faster efficiency.


GAMSAT Physics Practice Questions


Let’s look at the following GAMSAT Physics equation:


At which of the following locations in the body is hydrostatic pressure the greatest if a student is standing up?

A. Feet

B. Knees

C. Hands

D. Head


Using GAMSAT physics strategy #1, we should recall the formula for hydrostatic pressure. Even though no numbers are used in this problem, we can use the formula to our advantage.


Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure in a given liquid at a certain depth. The formula is P = density * gravity * depth/height, or P = dgh. D is often notated by rho, or a tilted p.


How does this equation relate back to our situation? Let’s think of the student as a container of blood with the student’s head being the top of this container and the student’s feet being the bottom of this container.

Now, back to our formula.


P = dgh


Since the fluid density and gravity will be the same in this student’s case, the only variable we can alter is depth. If we define the top of the container as height 0, where is the deepest part of the container? Is the container deepest where it corresponds to the student’s head, hands, knees, or feet?


If you said feet, then you are correct! Pressure (P) and depth (h) are directly proportional according to our formula. So, when depth is the greatest, pressure will also be the greatest and you will choose “feet” as your answer.


The two main variable relationships you should be familiar with are directly proportional and inversely proportional. A direct relationship means that one variable will increase with the other and looks like this: x = y. When y increases, so must x. A inverse relationship means that if one variable increases, the other must decreases. You might draw it like this: x = 1/y. When y increases, x decreases.


Standalone GAMSAT Physics Practice Problems


1. Which of the following best describes the second law of thermodynamics?

A. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion

B.  Energy cannot be created or destroyed

C. Entropy increases over time

D. The entropy of a perfect crystal at absolute zero is equal to zero


2. Which of the following is the equation given by Newton’s second law?

A.  PE = mgh

B.  F = ma

C.  PV = nRT

D.  V = IR


3. A students states that thermodynamic products are more energetically stable than kinetic products. Is this statement correct?

A.  No; kinetic products form much more quickly than thermodynamic products.

B.  No; kinetic products sample more conformations due to their speed and can therefore arrive at a lower energy state.

C.  Yes; thermodynamic products form more slowly but achieve a greater level of stability.

D.  Yes; thermodynamic products require a lower temperature to find a stable form.


4. A researcher plots pressure versus volume for an interesting chemical reaction. The area under the curve of this plot best represents:

A.  Temperature increased

B.  Work done

C.  Bond dissociation energy

D.  Heat of fusion


5. Two solid objects at different initial temperatures are brought into contact with one another and achieve thermal equilibrium. The process that produces this form of heat transfer is:

A.  Conduction

B.  Convection

C.  Radiation

D.  Production


Answers and Explanations to Physics Practice Problems


1. Correct Answer is C. The second law of thermodynamics discusses entropy and states that entropy increases over time unless there are restrictive forces (choice C is correct). Choice A is Newton’s first law. Choice B describes the law of conservation of energy. Choice D describes the third law of thermodynamics.

2. Correct Answer is B.  Newton’s second law states that force is equal to mass multiple by acceleration (choice B is correct). PE = mgh is the equation for gravitational potential energy (choice A is incorrect). PV = nRT is the ideal gas law (choice C is incorrect). V = IR is Ohm’s Law for circuits (choice D is incorrect).

3. Correct Answer is C. The statement made by the student is true: thermodynamic products are more energetically stable than kinetic products (choices A and B are incorrect). Thermodynamic products form more slowly, but they are more stable and achieve a lower energy state (choice C is correct). Thermodynamic products actually require a higher energy to find a stable form because they often have a greater activation energy needed in order to form the lower energy state. As a result, they require a higher temperature. A lower temperature will favour the kinetic products (choice D is incorrect).

4. Correct Answer is B. The area under a pressure versus volume curve (PV curve) is equal to the work done (choice B is correct; choices A, C, and D are incorrect).

5 . Correct Answer is A.  Conduction occurs when two solids are brought into contact with one another and transfer heat (choice A is correct). Convection occurs when a fluid flows over another object and produces a transfer of heat (choice B is incorrect). Radiation occurs when electromagnetic waves transfer heat between two objects that are not touching (choice C is incorrect). Production is not a commonly used form of heat transfer (choice D is incorrect).


GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation Topics and Syllabus


You might be wondering what the GAMSAT section 3 science part of the GAMSAT exam entails and what areas you might need to study for? 


The below is a complete list of areas that you should be going over when it comes to GAMSAT section 3 science. There is no GAMSAT Section 3 syllabus, so do not under any circumstances assume that the list we've outlined before for each of the science is by any means the be all and end all of your science studies. 


At CrackGASMAT we provide you with topics that have commonly come up in the past and this is the precedence that we take when it comes to advising our students on the GAMSAT section 3 science. 


For your GAMSAT Section 3 preparation, here are the GAMSAT Section 3 science subject areas you should study:


Common GAMSAT Section 3 Physics Topics


The questions we often get asked is - "What are the Common Topics for GAMSAT Physics?" topicsWe've created the list of common GAMSAT section 3 physics topics that will help.


  • The Atom
  • Radioactive Decay and Half-Life
  • Electricity vs. Gravity
  • Electric Circuits I
  • Electric Circuits II
  • Electric Circuits III
  • Kirchoff's Laws
  • Kirchoff's Second LAw
  • Characteristics of Waves
  • Interference of Waves
  • Diffraction
  • Optics
  • Sound
  • Doppler Effect
  • Electromagnetism 
  • Elecromagnetic Spectrum
  • Reflection and Refraction
  • Thin Lens
  • Snell's Law
  • The Critical Angle
  • Force and Motion
  • Weight and Units
  • Friction
  • Applying Newton's Laws
  • Trigonometry 
  • Projectile Motions
  • Work, Circular Motion
  • Circular Motion Problem
  • Work-Energy Theorem 
  • Energy and Entropy, Momentum
  • Laws of Torques 
  • Fluids 
  • Fluids in Motion
  • Archimedes' Principle


Common GAMSAT Section 3 Biology Topics


The questions we often get asked is - "What are the Common Topics for GAMSAT Biology topics?" or "What are the GAMSAT Biology Syllabus or topics we should know for GAMSAT Section 3".


Below we've created the list of common GAMSAT section 3 Biology topics that will help you on your GAMSAT Section 3 Biology study.


  • The Eukaryotic Cell
  • Plasma Membrane
  • The Cell's Interior
  • DNA
  • The Cell Cycle
  • Protein Synthesis
  • Viruses
  • Prokaryotes vs. Eukaryotes
  • Bioenergetics
  • The Neuron
  • The Nervous System
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Menstrual Cycle
  • The Circulatory System
  • Blood Composition 
  • Lymphatic and Immune Systems
  • The Digestive System 
  • The Excretory System 
  • Gametogenesis (Meiosis)
  • Biology Syllabus
  • Macromolecules
  • Carbohydrates
  • Nucleic acids
  • Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Cell theory
  • Cell size
  • Visualisation of cells
  • Cell structure
  • Eukaryotes
  • Endomembrane system
  • Mitochondria and
  • chloroplasts
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Cell movement
  • Fungi
  • The Cell Membrane
  • Structure
  • Phospholipids
  • Passive transport
  • Active transport
  • Endocytosis and exocytosis
    Energy, Metabolism and Respiration
  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • Cellular metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Aerobic respiration
  • Kreb’s Cycle
  • Electron transport chain
  • Enzymes
  • Mitosis and the Cell
  • Cycle
  • Binary fission
  • Interphase
  • M Phase
  • Sexual Reproduction and Meiosis
  • Stages of meiosis
  • Meiosis VS mitosis
  • Genetics
  • Punnett Squares
  • Mendel’s second law: The Law of Independent
  • Assortment
  • Male VS female chromosomes
  • The Nervous System
  • Resting potential
  • Action potential
  • The synapse
  • Types of neurons
  • Divisions of the nervous system
  • The eye
  • The ear
  • The nose and mouth
  • The Endocrine System
  • Chemistry of hormones
  • Hormones in detail
  • Reproduction
  • Male reproductive system
  • Female reproductive system
  • Mouth and esophagus
  • The stomach
  • The small intestine
  • The pancreas
  • The liver and gall bladder
  • The large intestine
  • Absorption
  • The kidney
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • Anatomy of the cardiovascular system
  • Blood vessels
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Immune System Muscle
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Cardiac muscle
  • Smooth muscle
  • Bone
  • Cartilage
  • Joints
  • Skin
  • Homeostasis


Common GAMSAT Section 3 Organic Chemistry Topics


Another important question we often get asked is - "What are the Common Topics for GAMSAT Organic Chemistry?" topics  or "What is the GAMSAT Organic Chemistry Syllabus or topics we should know for GAMSAT Section 3".


We've created the list of common GAMSAT section 3 Organic Chemistry topics that will help.


  • Stereochemistry 
  • Reaction Mechanisms I
  • Reaction Mechanisms II
  • Reaction Mechanisms III
  • The Carbonyl Group
  •  Acetals/Ketals 
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • The Tetrahedryl Intermediate
  • Amides, Amino Acids
  • Protein Structure
  • Elimination I
  • Elimination II
  • Akenes I
  • Free Radicals, Redox Reactions
  • Redox Reactions 
  • Aromatic Rings
  • Spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Elimination vs. Substitution
  • Basic and Common Functional Groups
  • 3D bond-line structures
  • Identifying lone pairs of electrons resonance
  • Hybrid orbitals
  • Alkanes
  • Naming alkanes
  • Naming substituents
  • Constitutional Isomers of alkanes
  • Newman projections
  • Cyclohexane and chair conformations
  • Stereochemistry
  • Isomerism
  • Important concepts in stereoisomerism
  • Designating R and S
  • Relationships between enantiomers and diastereomers
  • Meso compounds
  • Fischer projections
  • Substitution Reactions
  • Alkyl halides
  • The SN2 mechanism
  • The SN1 mechanism
  • Preparation of Alkenes
  • Nomenclature of alkenes
  • Stereoisomerism in alkenes
  • Elimination reactions
  • E2 reactions
  • E1 reactions
  • Hydrohalogenation
  • Hydration
  • Hydrogenation
  • Halogenation
  • Alkynes
  • Alcohols and Phenols
  • Physical properties of  alcohols
  • Acidity of alcohols and phenols
  • Preparation of alcohols
  • Spectroscopy
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Aromatic Rings Nomenclature of aromatic rings
  • Aromatic Substitution
  • Reactions
  • Electrophilic aromatic substitution
  • Sulfonation
  • Nitration
  • Activating groups
  • Deactivating groups
  • Aldehydes and Ketones
  • Introduction Nomenclature of aldehydes
  • Nomenclature of Ketones
  • Preparation of aldehydes and ketones
  • Important reactions of aldehydes and ketones
  • Carboxylic Acids Nomenclature
  • Structure of carboxylic acids
  • Acidity of carboxylic acids
  • Preparation of carboxylic acids
  • Reactions of carboxylic acids
  • Amines
  • Classification
  • Nomenclature
  • Properties of amines
  • Preparation of amines
  • Important reactions of amines
  • Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins
  • Structure and properties of amino acids
  • Acid-Base properties
  • Peptide synthesis
  • Protein structure
  • Protein function


Common GAMSAT Section 3 General Chemistry Topics


The questions we often get asked is - "What are the Common Topics for GAMSAT General Chemistry?" topicsWe've created the list of common GAMSAT section 3 General Chemistry topics that will help.


  • The Atom
  • The Periodic Table
  • Chemical Bonds
  • Hydrogen Bonds
  • Ionic and Covalent Bonds
  • Lewis Dot Structures
  • Multiple Bonds, Resonance
  • Molecular Polarity
  • Hybridization
  • Hybrid Orbitals
  • Gases
  • Avogrado's Law
  • Equation of State
  • Graham's Law, Liquids 
  • Maxwell's Distribution Plot
  • Boiling, Melting Points
  • Le Chatelier's Principle
  • Solutions, Phase Diagrams
  • Raoult's Law
  • Boiling
  • Freezing Point Changes
  • Acids and Bases, Acids and Bases: Strong
  • Acids and Bases
  • Titrations
  • Oxidation Numbers
  • Solubility Product
  • Thermochemistry
  • Calorimetry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Hess's Law, Rate Law, Energy Diagrams
  • Electrolysis
  • Electrochemical Cell.


Free GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation Resources


You might feel we're reiterating some of the stuff we've already mentioned in this article but we've gone ahead and put some links down below to provide some additional free GAMSAT section 3 preparation resources and materials that might prove useful.


If you haven't already, check out our free GAMSAT preparation resources. This will hopefully enable you to get some more free materials to utilize for your GAMSAT prep. 


Here are some more free materials for GAMSAT Section 3 you can use. 


Best GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation Resources


As mentioned already, GAMSAT requires knowledge of Biology and Chemistry to undergraduate level as well as Physics at a A level (or equivalent).


However, the application of this knowledge is unique to GAMSAT and the real skill comes not purely from acquiring knowledge but its application.


Knowing which areas are relevant and how they can be applied is one of the most important skills you will learn in your GAMSAT preparation. 


All of the sciences in GAMSAT Section 3 preparation have certain strategic themes running through them, and understanding these will allow you to reduce the time spent analysing questions.


The level of material you will need to cover can seem daunting, but the key is a focused approach across each of the sciences, and a continual application of what you are learning to the GAMSAT itself. This is replicated in the thousands of questions students make use of on our GAMSAT preparation courses, which aim to show the application of theory in this unique setting. The capacity to explore, learn, gain, and apply knowledge is key, as is the ability to extrapolate and interpret without the need for laborious calculation.


A more detailed GAMSAT syllabus of the core topic areas required for GAMSAT Section 3 is included in our GAMSAT preparation courses. 


The GAMSAT examines you on a wide range of skills, which will form the basis of your approach to learning at medical school, when fully prepared for section 3 of the examination our courses will help you demonstrate:

  • How to take an analytical approach to a GAMSAT section 3 problem
  • How to organise your approach when presented with a problem
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Good time management
  • That you can work through complex Section 3 science problems
  • Good decision-making skills
  • That you can multitask under pressure

After years of development, CrackGASMAT are pleased to announce the most sophisticated and in-depth online GAMSAT learning available for your GAMSAT preparation. 


Building on our years of experience, extensive GAMSAT materials and GAMSAT section 3 question banks, all GAMSAT students will receive full access to our unique online GAMSAT cloud preparation platform.


Created specifically for GAMSAT and developed over a period of a few years, our platform provides the following benefits:

  • Access to GAMSAT section 3 questions across all the sciences
  • Unique learning GAMSAT resources
  • High quality video lessons and section 3 examination techniques

Our unique platform is created to adapt and tailor to your specific study needs, and all this is collated within our intelligent dashboard, allow you to analyse your GAMSAT performance over time, as well as comparatively within the entire preparation journey. 


Conclusion

Creating a GAMSAT study schedule is key in setting yourself up for success on GAMSAT test day.


The GAMSAT is a fundamental part of your medical school application and one of the most important initial considerations for admissions committees when evaluating your application. In a daunting exam and for some the even more daunting part if Section 3 as the GAMSAT could test anything – considering there’s no section 3 syllabus.


The GAMSAT exam is meant to provide admissions committees with a way to compare students from a varied range of backgrounds.


With such a huge task ahead of you, it can be difficult to know where to start. Hopefully this article has provided some clarity on what you can do to aid you on your preparation and revision and broken down ways to help you organise your preparation time effectively – and tips to overcome the stress so you can perform at your best!


If you have any questions or want us to clarify anything please do not hesitate to reach us by emailing us at contact@crackgamsat.com.


It's also a good point to mention that the first step to doing great in the GAMSAT is to have a GAMSAT mindset. Science topics can be difficult, and understanding them often relies upon learning how one concept builds upon another.


If you have decided to enrol on a GAMSAT course, don't be afraid to ask your GAMSAT instructor questions or request more detailed explanations, as this will help you better understand the material covered on your GAMSAT test! Paying attention in your GAMSAT class will also help you  tackle any GAMSAT assignments provided. 


GAMSAT Section 3 preparation can be very challenging for a lot of students. The science part of the GAMSAT exam tends to focus on a wide range of materials from vocabulary, applications, and problems presented in the GAMSAT stimulus. While the subject material may vary by science fields, there are some helpful pointers for how to study for GAMSAT section 3 if you have decided to study for GAMSAT at home.


There are many advantages to online GAMSAT courses; they allow you to learn whenever, wherever, and however works best for you, making it easier to earn your place in medical school while balancing work and family commitments. And without having to attend classes in person, GAMSAT online learning affords you access to top comprehensive GAMSAT courses for section 3 that might have otherwise been isolated or highly inconvenient.


Thanks for getting to the end and we hope you found this article on GAMSAT Section 3 preparation A-Z guide helpful. Also, if you haven't already done so, we've created an article on free GAMSAT preparation resources you can use, along with free GAMSAT practice questions to provide you with even more free help for your GAMSAT Section 3 preparation. 

About the author 

CrackGAMSAT

90% of your GAMSAT problems can be solved by CrackGAMSAT. Solving the other 10% just requires good procrastination skills and a huge amount of coffee :)

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