Our Tips to Help You Score Well on the GAMSAT

07/07/20217 minute read
Our Tips to Help You Score Well on the GAMSAT

The GAMSAT is the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, which is the postgraduate equivalent of the UCAT for undergraduate medical school applicants. The GAMSAT is used for UK, Ireland and Australia medical admissions, and is managed by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research). This exam is a requirement for all postgraduate medical schools in Australia.

The GAMSAT was 6 hours long exam (4.5 hours in a COVID environment) and broken down into the following sections:

  1. Section One: Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  2. Section Two: Written Communication
  3. Section Three: Reasoning in the Physical and Biological Sciences

Click here to read more about each section.

Many of MedView’s students will begin preparations months in advance to familiarise themselves with GAMSAT topics in the months leading up to the exam. After experiencing the exam once, they can then refine their strategy and weaknesses for their second sitting exam.

Each year the number of students competing for a place in medical school increases while the number of spots at medical school is dependent on the medical school itself. For each medical school to select the students they believe are the best fit, a rigorous selection process is created. This selection process looks at both subject knowledge, speed and personality.

Our students have put together a list of their best tips to help future students prepare for the GAMSAT exam.

Start Early

There is a mountain of information you need to learn before the exam, such as memorising formulas for Section 3 Physics and learning in detail Biology and Chemistry theories. One cannot learn this information by cramming it in the night before. You need to start early so you have time to learn the concepts, incorporate them into as many question types and variations as you can and then practice them under timed exam conditions.

Focus on Cognitive Skills

When the GAMSAT was moved online due to COVID-19, the new format was altered to test a student’s cognitive skills rather than content as much. Now the exam is back in person, they haven’t revered back to the old system rather now they have incorporated both skill and content orientated assessment into the exam. This type of assessment is not something you have encountered during high school or university so it can be difficult to grasp.

To do well, building a preparation strategy built around cognitive skills is the key to success. The skills they are testing are problem-solving, interpreting data, communicating ideas in a structured manner and time management skills. These cognitive attributes are vital for becoming a successful doctor and constitute how you approach the GAMSAT exam. From there you can develop the content knowledge to accurately answer the questions.

Structure is Key

Section 1 and 3 of the GAMSAT are testing reasoning and logical skills, however, Section 2 solely depends on how well well you can structure your thoughts and references and how accurate you are in writing, without the ability to use spell check.

To make a good argument in Section 2 your choice of vocabulary and grammar is very important. Make sure to stay away from using jargon.

They are critical factors that can structure your essay and help convey your thoughts cohesively. Section 2 also looks at how well you can incorporate ideas and analyse critical concepts rather than honing in on one angle. Being able to build an essay that is evidence-based and analytical tells markers you have thought out your essay.

Ultimately it is about quality of quantity in regards to the length of your essay. Practice with multiple different prompts and themes so you can build up a bank of relevant statements you can use in your essay when presented with new ideas and topics on the day.

Guess Questions

Yes, that is correct. If you don’t know a question guess it and move on. The time pressure is too intense for you to stop for too long and try to understand it. If you guess the chance of you getting it right isn’t 0 but if you don’t answer it… it is!

The goal is to secure a GAMSAT score higher than the medical school’s expected threshold, so a stronger performance in another section you are more confident with will compensate for any weaknesses.

Practice Under Timed Conditions

Most people do not finish the test! So even during practice sessions, make sure you’re thinking effectively about how you can manage the allocated time for each section.

Our learning platform allows you to make an informed guess, flag the question and move on to the next. So after you’ve finished you can go back and revisit the flagged questions or bring them up with your tutor.

In the actual exam, implement this same method as it will allow you to make the best use of the time and will help you optimise your overall GAMSAT score and performance. It is better to finish the exam and have a few questions wrong than to not finish the exam at all.

Next Steps

MedView is a trailblazer in the education industry known for delivering learning programmes that make admission into med school a reality.

Check out our GAMSAT packages online and start your journey to medical school by increasing your chances by up to 3.5x!