GAMSAT Preparation Companies
The big test GAMSAT prep companies have giant marketing budgets devoted to hiding one simple fact from you: GAMSAT prep can be done very well for very little money (or free!).
Let’s start with the basics: the people who make the test, the GAMSAT folks, have GAMSAT preparation materials (that a pretty old) available on their site.
If you look online now, there are GAMSAT tutors popping up left, right and center, and build a whole brand around the scores that they achieved in GAMSAT. I mean, why not! They understand the students need help and in return - money can be made. But what if GAMSAT students are genuinely looking for effective GAMSAT strategies to add to their already existing GAMSAT prep, instead of purchasing thousands of dollars worth of GAMSAT materials that might not add any value to their revision whatsoever?
It's not a stretch to say that over the years a lot of our students coming to us request GAMSAT strategies when dealing with plateauing GAMSAT scores and to compound it even further - a sense of urgency because the GAMSAT date is too close for comfort.
Ready for the truth about the GAMSAT exam? In this article, we'll cover 5 effective yet easy-to-apply strategies that can lead to a very quick score increase, no matter what your starting point is on your GAMSAT preparation journey.
The Truth Behind the GAMSAT Exam: The Secrets They Won't Tell You
The biggest reason most GAMSAT students fail is because they don't study for the GAMSAT in a way that's different than all their previous exams. It's easier said than done, and all too often, this notion is only realized the truth behind the GAMSAT exam after flunking the GAMSAT the first or second time.
If you want to get into med-school, you'll need a high GAMSAT score. That's why the key to achieving a competitive GAMSAT score is using the same strategies 90+ percentile scorers have used to master the GAMSAT and get into med-school.
Based on your performance, the GAMSAT demonstrates how likely you are to succeed at university level when it comes to studying medicine.
We recommend you take the time to read through our tips to appreciate the truth behind the GAMSAT and actually follow each one because most of the tips here will help you increase your next GAMSAT score in order of magnitude.
[GAMSAT Strategy 1] - Speed Reading
One of the things that makes the GAMSAT so intense is the limited amount of time you're given you to get through each of the sections. While you're writing, especially on exam day, it can actually feel like a ticking time bomb. So tell us, how clearly can someone really think when there is that kind of intense pressure to deal with?
One of the best advice we give GAMSAT students is to hone their craft when it comes to speed reading. Speed reading has been around for a long time and it isn't just about skimming through hundreds of pages or thousands of sentences.
When reading any passage during your revision for GAMSAT or novels that may have been suggested for GAMSAT, avoid reading from one sentence to the other. Instead, reverse engineer yourself to start reading from one idea to the other idea.
An notion might be expressed in a single sentence or in a series of sentences. Your reading speed and understanding will both improve as you keep track of topics.
Learning how to scan through content is a skill you want to develop if you want to learn how to read faster. You might find it difficult at first but remember, when we were taught to read, we were taught to pay attention to every word in a sentence.
However, much of this is unnecessary, because research shows that our adult minds have an amazing ability to fill in information gaps. For example, look at the following piece of text and focus on only the highlighted words:
“After this experience she decided that she would never again date men from Mediterranean backgrounds, no matter how great they looked or their accents sounded. It simply wasn’t worth the pain.”
When you focus on only the highlighted words, you can save yourself the effort of processing every word, allowing your brain to fill in the missing information. The more you do this, the better you will be in saving yourself precious minutes during the GAMSAT exam. Having a solid understanding of what the author of the passage is communicating is extremely valuable, but you can do that in far less time than is really necessary.
Also, before reading any passages in the GAMSAT, look out for any tables, figures, and charts that are also provided. You'll also notice that at the end of every passage, in tiny letters, is the author name, the year, and the title. Read all of that. Why? It will give you a big hint of what the passage you’re reading will be about!
Lastly, carefully reading the title for science passages for GAMSAT Section 3 is also a great little hack because most scientists will tell you their conclusion in the title itself.
[GAMSAT Strategy 2] - Turn off the Voice in Your Head
GAMSAT students are accustomed to sounding out words, which is a habit most of us have acquired from reading aloud in primary school. Most people retain this habit as adults, since we've grown so used to speaking the words in our minds during the years.
The problem with this is that it takes up unnecessary time because we can understand a word more quickly than we can say it.
One way to eliminate the voice is to read blocks of words (as mentioned in strategy 1), as it’s much harder to vocalise sets of words than single words.
You can increase your reading speed by simply eliminating the voice in your head that reads along as you read. But this technique tends to reduce your enjoyment of well-written text, so you may want to turn it back on when you're reading a favourite crime novelist or poet.
[GAMSAT Strategy 3] - Focusing The Highest Yielding GAMSAT Section
A lot of GAMSAT students invest way too much time going through every science textbook in existence because they feel they need to know science 100% prior to taking the GAMSAT exam. This is simply not needed! GAMSAT section 3 does not test your recall of memory but rather your reasoning skills.
A lot of students make the mistake of taking an advanced GAMSAT preparation course, but that absolutely not necessary. Top scorers know that all the knowledge you need is those that have come from A-levels/college. Let that sink in!
Chemistry on the GAMSAT is generally about 40% of the exam. This is a difficult area for most students, so they often spend too much time studying it!
The key strategy with Chemistry on the GAMSAT is to learn the basics, areas which are easy to remember. Focus on the concepts, not the details. Don't make the mistake of taking an GAMSAT Chemistry course when the exam time is near. It's not worth it.
What's the worst case scenario? Let's say you know nothing about Chemistry, but know all the other sections extremely well. The impact on your score will be minimal if you do well.
Note, that this is not a reason to give yourself the excuse of ignoring Chemistry or anything else completely. Use these insights with caution as they're general guidelines.
Shifting your attention right away to smartest areas to study for the GAMSAT, can enable your score to increase extremely quickly and this is one of the secrets and truths behind GAMSAT.
Hopefully this is giving you a taste of how top scorers think through their GAMSAT study process.
Using basic top scorer strategies—such as understanding what aspects of the GAMSAT to give your most attention to based on a simple percentage breakdown of the GAMSAT—is helpful in reducing the burden of feeling like you have to learn everything on the GAMSAT.
[GAMSAT Strategy 4] - Use a Pointer
Sometimes, when we read a text, we tend to skip over or reread sentences or sections. This is usually due to poor concentration and can result in losing the flow of what we’re reading. In order to avoid this problem, it is important to reread only passages that are necessary for understanding the material.
You can cut down on regression by using a pen as a pointer and moving your eyes along with it. Train your eyes to follow the pointer, and this will help you to avoid skipping back.
[GAMSAT Strategy 4]Ask Yourself Questions About the Content or Passage Before You Read It
The technique of asking yourself questions about the content you're reading is can drastically improve your reading comprehension, but it is also a useful tool for increasing your reading speed. If you anticipate what useful information will be contained in the text, make a list of questions and then read quickly to find the answers. This will save time spent sifting through irrelevant or repetitive material.
[GAMSAT Strategy 4] Process of Elimination
Process of elimination is probably the most useful technique you have to tackle GAMSAT questions.
Since there is no guessing penalty, process of elimination allows you to increase your probability of choosing the correct answer by eliminating those you are sure are wrong. If you are guessing between a couple of choices. This is definitely one of secrets behind GAMSAT that folks don't talk about enough.
When you're preparing for the GAMSAT, make sure you:
- Strike out any choices that you are sure are incorrect or do not answer the issue addressed in the question.Jot down some notes on your scratch paper to help clarify your thoughts if you return to the question.
- Do not leave it blank! If you are not sure and you have already spent more than 60 seconds on that question, just pick one of the remaining choices. If you have time to review it at the end, you can always debate the remaining choices based on your previous notes.
- If three of the four answer choices have been eliminated, the remaining choice must be the correct answer. Don’t waste time pondering why it is correct, just choose it and move on.
The GAMSAT doesn’t care if you truly understand why it’s the right answer, only that you have the right answer selected. Remember, there is NO guessing penalty on the GAMSAT. NEVER leave a question blank!
Stakes are high: How important is the GAMSAT?
The GAMSAT is an extremely important test. This is because most medical school admissions are based solely on your GAMSAT score.
For example, If you’re applying to a university in Australia that uses the GAMSAT, your application will be seriously lacking if you don’t have a high enough score.
There are a few schools that accept applications from individuals who have not completed the GAMSAT. However, this is very rare. Most people who apply for a spot in an Australian medical school have either completed the GAMSAT or are currently studying for it.
Therefore, you’ll need to know how to prepare for the test and what to expect during the exam if you want a medical career in Australia.
Timing and Duration
The GAMSAT exam is offered several times per year, and you can choose the date that works best for you.
One of the truths behind the GAMSAT is making sure you choose the date that you're most comfortable with and you don't rush it. If you’re aiming to get a high score, you’ll need to have enough time to make sure that you’re fully prepared for the exam.
Content of The GAMSAT Exam
The GAMSAT requires you to use your reasoning skills and analytical thinking when answering the questions.
The questions are designed to test the skills that are required for a career in medicine. Therefore, you’ll find that questions in the multiple-choice section may focus on biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and English.
When it comes to the essay, you’ll be expected to demonstrate your ability to write at a university level. You’ll be required to follow certain guidelines and format the essay correctly.
Make sure that you’re familiar with the type of questions that are asked in the GAMSAT. This will help to reduce your anxiety during the test and increase your chances of achieving a high score.
Strategies for Success On The GAMSAT
If you want to do well in the GAMSAT, you must study and be familiar with the subjects that are included in the exam. This will help you to understand the topics that are tested, and you’ll be able to answer the questions correctly.
To study, you could use past GAMSAT questions as a study guide. - Stay organized throughout your preparation. This will help you to stay focused and prevent you from procrastinating.
You can use a calendar to schedule your GAMSAT study sessions.
We've already mentioned this but we'll mention it again. Take as many practice tests as you can that simulate the real test as closely as possible. This will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
This is a no brainer and you'd be surpised at just how many GAMSAT students actually don't do this but make sure you make time to rest and relax from studying. This will allow you to clear your mind and prevent you from burning out.
You also need to make sure that you get enough sleep.
Finally, don’t get stressed out or put too much pressure on yourself. Make sure that you have fun studying for the GAMSAT. This will help you to stay positive and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
You should also keep a positive mindset throughout your GAMSAT preparation for Section 1, GAMSAT preparation for Section 2 and lastly, your preparation for GAMSAT Section 3 - you need to make sure you stay relaxed.
If you’re aiming to get into a medical school in Australia or any other country that accepts GAMSAT, you’ll need be in the best possible mental health. Good luck 🙂