What GAMSAT Tips should you know?
The greatest advice I can give is that the GAMSAT is a reasoning test, not a knowledge test. Knowledge is required and it must be integrated into the question so that you can come up with a reasoned response. Do not just memorise the topics in physics, chemistry and biology – you must understand the actual concepts.
Time: Finishing on time is one of the hardest things about the GAMSAT. For Section 1 you have an average of 1.3 mins per question and approximately 1.5 mins per question for Section 3. If a question seems too difficult or time consuming just guess and move on to the next question. Do not let difficult questions throw you off for the rest of the test.
Probability: Aim to cross off wrong answers when finding the correct answer. Most times you can cross at least 1 or 2 answers off. This will increase the probability that you make a ‘good’ guess when you are unsure of the correct answer.
Practice: Please do not sit the GAMSAT exam unless you have completed all four of the ACER practice papers.
You can get some practice material here:
Click Here To Get Your Free Mock GAMSAT Practice Test!
Make sure you do at least two of the four papers under timed conditions. Even if you do not completely understand the answers, at least remember them!
In the previous years some questions were repeated directly from section 3 of a practice ACER exam.
Practicing under timed conditions is important so you can get the feel of working under the same conditions of the exam. This will allow you to adjust to the speed in which you must answers questions in the exam.
You may be thinking ‘what Score and GPA combination do I need?’…
Well, I have compiled the Minimum GAMSAT Scores from Students in PagingDr Forums so you can see the estimated scores required to gain acceptance to each University.
Section I: Humanities and Social Sciences
GAMSAT TIPS FOR SECTION I
Multiple-choice with 4 options
Candidates are provided with stimulus material – poem, magazine, novel, newspaper, song, textbook or journal.
Regular reading and practice are the best preparation for this section. An e-book reader is a worthy investment. E-books can easily be downloaded through the Amazon store and unfamiliar words can easily be learnt via the inbuilt dictionary.
The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald (If you are not a regular reader you should start with this. An easy read, but still covers some really important concepts).
Defying Hitler: Sebastian Haffner (a tale of being a regular person in pre-NAZI Germany. Provides great examples to many quotes in SII that can be related to war).
English Passengers: Matthew Kneale (circulates around problems that an Aboriginal family are faced with when the British settle in Australia. Also provides great examples for SII).
Oliver Twist: Charles Dickens (Great for honing your language manipulation skills. This book has a lot of difficult words and will prepare you to quickly understand classical texts in the actual GAMSAT. Make sure to look up all words that you are unfamiliar with and write them down).
The Penguin Book of Twentieth Century Essays: Ian Hamilton (collection of the best essays written in the English language during the past one hundred years. It is great at exploring a vast range of ideas that can be used for SII).
A Short History Of Nearly Everything: Bill Bryson (It’s like Intro to Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Astronomy all in one wonderfully droll book).
The Story of My Life: Helen Keller (An amazing story of a deaf and blind woman who achieved so much and experienced so much of life despite her handicaps).
A sound vocabulary will be highly beneficial for SI. It will aid in the understanding of texts and can be helpful in crossing off the incorrect multiple-choice answers when in doubt.
An excellent FREE resource to improve vocabulary can be found at vocabulary.com. Get into the routine of completing one mini-test everyday (10 words), which will take less than 5 minutes. Choose the MCAT word list to practice, as this includes words that are commonly found in the GAMSAT SI.
Practice is key.
A free site that provides Section-I-like questions is readtheory.org. It will provide detailed feedback for each series of questions.
Work through the two half-length ACER booklets and save the two full length ones for just before the GAMSAT to sit under timed conditions.
I repeat. TIME YOURSELF! You will adapt to working at this pace and with consistency these stimulus questions will become like second nature.
Section II: Written Communication
GAMSAT TIPS FOR SECTION II
Candidates are to complete two essays – both task A and task B
Five quotes are provided for each task that surrounds a common theme.
Task A deals with socio-cultural issues and Task B deals with social and personal issues.
A title is recommended for each essay. Be creative! The markers are looking for the best ideas. Ideas are more important than spelling, grammar and punctuation.
The best ideas get the best marks, so planning your essay in the first 5 minutes is the key to success.
Want to see some example Section 2 themes and quotes? Click here to get access to our Free GAMSAT Quote Generator
The Meaning of Things by AC Grayling: A great book for generating ideas. It consists of short essays that cover common themes in the GAMSAT. I would suggest reading through 1-2 different topics per day and making sure you really understand what it is talking about. You could even write a couple of sentences about each topic.
AC Grayling’s Essay collection: Find this at www.skeptic.ca/grayling_essays.htm
50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know by Ben Dupre: A great guide to the most important ideas in history. It covers some of the most influential ideas ever conceived in politics, philosophy, religion, economics, science and the arts.
Reading the newspaper is also important in keeping up to date with socio-cultural issues. I recommend reading the comment section of the Sydney Morning Herald or the Economist. I recommend reading 3 articles per day (less than 15 minutes). For UK candidates read articles at www.telegraph.co.uk and the Irishtimes for Irish candidates.
I highly recommend researching in depth about current events in the world – Ukraine/Russia, Islamic State, Palestine/Israel, Boko Haram, and corruption in Bolivia. Don’t forget WW1/WW2. These events can provide examples for a range of different quotes. A simple youtube/google search can be a good starting point.
TED Talks also provide many great ideas – ted.com
Section III: Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences
GAMSAT TIPS FOR SECTION III
This section includes biology, general and organic chemistry all at university level, and physics at year 12 level. Overall the exam consists of 40% biology, 40% chemistry and 20% physics.
Candidates are required to use their knowledge and the understanding of concepts in order to answer questions. This section involves the analysis of tables, graphs, charts and scientific information.
Practicing section III under timed conditions is crucial. The ACER booklets provide GAMSAT-like questions. We have released our own database of study books which contains the highest quality questions ever created. Click here to view AceGAMSAT Products.
Once again practice is the key.
Topic List for GAMSAT:
When studying the units in the following list aim to grasp and understand the main concepts rather than just relying on memorisation.
Bioenergetics, Blood Composition, DNA, Gametogenesis (Meiosis), Genetics, Lymphatic and Immune Systems, Plasma Membrane, Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes, Protein Synthesis, The Cell’s Interior, The Cell Cycle, The Circulatory System, The Digestive System, The Endocrine System,The Eukaryotic Cell, The Excretory System, The Nervous System, The Neuron, Viruses
Acetals/Ketals, Alkenes, Amides, Amino Acids, Aromatic Rings, Carboxylic Acids, Elimination, Elimination and Substitution, Free Radicals, IUPAC Nomenclature, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Principles of Reaction Mechanisms, Protein Structure, Redox Reactions, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Substitution, The Carbonyl Group, The Tetrahedryl Intermediate
Acids and Bases, Avogadro’s Law, Boiling, Boiling, Calorimetry, Chemical Bonds, Electrochemical Cell, Electrolysis, Energy Diagrams, Equation of State, Freezing Point Changes, Gases, Graham’s Law, Hess’s Law, Hybridization, Hybrid Orbitals, Hydrogen Bonds, Ionic and Covalent Bonds, Le Chatelier’s Principle, Lewis Dot Structures, Liquids, Melting Points, Molecular Polarity, Multiple Bonds, Oxidation Numbers, Phase Diagrams, Raoult’s Law, Rate Law, Resonance, Solubility Product, Solutions, The Atom, The Periodic Table, Thermochemistry, Thermodynamics, Titrations
Applying Newton’s Laws, Archimedes’ Principle, Characteristics of Waves, Circular Motion, Diffraction, Doppler Effect, Electric Circuits, Electricity, Gravity, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electromagnetism, Energy and Entropy, Fluids, Fluids in Motion, Force and Motion, Friction. Kirchoff’s Laws, Law of Torques, Momentum, Nuclear Reactions, Optics, Projectile Motion, Radioactive Decay and Half-Life, Reflection, Refraction, Snell’s Law, Sound,The Atom, The Critical Angle, Thin Lens, Trigonometry, Weight and Units, Work, Work-Energy Theorem
Our GAMSAT preparation material covers all the knowledge required for the above topics with 1000+ of the highest quality practice questions.
Khan academy is also a great Free resource for people that prefer to learn by watching videos. khanacademy.org
To keep up with the latest GAMSAT tips and strategies like us on Facebook – AceGAMSAT
Happy Studying 🙂
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