What is the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test)?
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Here at GradReady, we get it – studying for the GAMSAT ® is hard and it can be tough to get your hands on free GAMSAT ® resources & practice questions. That’s why we’ve worked hard to put together the most comprehensive set of Free GAMSAT ® Preparation Materials available on the market, to help give you a head start on your GAMSAT ® prep and give you an idea of the GradReady approach to studying for the GAMSAT ® Exam.
For those of you dipping into the world of GAMSAT ® preparation for the first time, it can be both daunting and bewildering, from understanding how your GAMSAT ® Scores are calculated to working out the best way to study for the GAMSAT ® exam. We’ve put together some additional free resources and advice below to help you make the right start to studying for the GAMSAT ® exam.
Want to take your GAMSAT ® Preparation to the next level but not sure how? This page contains many resources to help consolidate your GAMSAT ® Prep, but we know it can be overwhelming and you might not know where to start. We’ve asked one of our expert tutors, Catarina, to briefly go through each of the GAMSAT ® Preparation resources available on this page to help you choose the best one for you. Check out Catarina’s Free GAMSAT ® Preparation Materials video guide below!
The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT ® ) is a standardised exam coordinated by the Australian Council for Education Research ( ACER ) designed to ‘assess the capacity to undertake high-level intellectual studies in the medical and health professional programs’. In essence, the GAMSAT ® exam is designed to assess your analytical and critical thinking skills as well as how you organise and communicate your ideas in order to select candidates for graduate level medical studies.
The secret to GAMSAT ® preparation lies in the approach. Make no mistake, the GAMSAT ® exam is focused on examining your reasoning and problem solving skills rather than relying on your previous experiences or your ability to recall specific content. In this respect, it requires a different approach to preparation compared with a typical university assessment.
Preparing for the GAMSAT ® exam can be best summarised as the following:
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Students often ask how much time they should spend studying for the GAMSAT ® exam but the quantitative ‘amount’ of preparation that any candidate should do is a complex question and is difficult to accurately answer.
However, in a practical sense, in trying to determine how much time you need to prepare for the GAMSAT ® exam, it is much more important that you study up to a point where you are able to answer GAMSAT ® -style questions quickly and accurately. It’s recommended that you start your GAMSAT ® preparation early in order to give you time to identify your weaknesses and make necessary adjustments. This subsequently means that you’ll have a considerable amount of time to improve, which is important especially if you’re a cautious candidate or if you are preparing for the GAMSAT ® from a non-science background.
Nevertheless, the GAMSAT ® exam is a diverse test, and even biomedical and science undergraduate students should start their GAMSAT ® preparation early, as even they may require tutelage in certain areas – especially the humanities, which is a general weak point for students with such a background.
Remember: Even starting with one or two hours a week early on can make a huge difference to your GAMSAT ® preparation later down the line as the exam draws nearer.
Overall, we recommend that you start your GAMSAT ® preparation 6 months prior to sitting the exam – i.e in September if you are sitting the March GAMSAT ® exam. The reasoning is that you don’t know what you'll need to work on until you seriously start to plan your GAMSAT ® prep. It also gives you enough time to work on your weaknesses without suffering from preparation fatigue. Remember: Even starting with one or two hours a week early on can make a huge difference to your GAMSAT ® preparation later down the line as the exam draws nearer.
To make the most of your time when you study, set yourself goals and a schedule you can adhere to. Download our free GAMSAT ® Study Syllabus to start your preparation off on the right foot. Targeted and purposeful study is much more effective than just sampling questions in some dedicated time – you won’t progress if you’re not thinking about how you’re studying. Answering a few questions and then dedicating time to read the worked solutions and analyse your performance will be much more high yield than just flying through a lot of questions. When you talk with others about their preparation, do not be alarmed or assured so easily by what they say, effective preparation for the GAMSAT ® exam is highly dependent on your own ability and circumstances.
There is a misconception that the scoring for the GAMSAT ® exam is based on a percentile system due to the way scores are presented when results are released – In fact it is based on Item Response Theory (IRT) , which applies adjustments for each GAMSAT ® exam to standardise the student performance across different sittings. Be open to advice or guidance and feel free to discuss ideas and preparation material that you can integrate into your own approach, but the primary focus should be on yourself.
To help you with your preparation, download our free GAMSAT ® Study Schedule to help you plan out your GAMSAT ® preparation journey. If you’re looking for a more detailed week-by-week breakdown for each section, sign up for our free trial to access a week-by-week study guide for each GAMSAT ® Section.
There are many different types of GAMSAT ® study materials, and different resources will suit different people. These resources include:
GAMSAT ® textbooks are a traditional form of learning that presents information in a systematic way.
If you’re new to or unfamiliar with the content, they’re great for explaining basic concepts.
Helps you to understand basic concepts at a greater level of depth.
Working through chapters of a textbook can give you a framework of topics to study for the exam.
The GAMSAT ® exam does not assess a ‘syllabus’ of required knowledge. It assesses reasoning skills, and can use any type of content to assess this. Whilst some topics do come up frequently in the exam, there is no guarantee that specific topics that you study will appear in the exam.
ACER does not endorse any external resources or textbooks, so there is no definitive textbook that you can use to study from.
GAMSAT ® study guides allow you to plan your time from now until the exam in a way that allows you to cover content and work on your weaknesses. You can either find a study guide, or develop your own. Split your time up to make sure you cover all sections, and allow yourself 3 weeks or so before the exam to sit practice exams. GradReady has study guides of different lengths (3 months, 9 months, etc) according to how far away you are from your exam, and you can download it through the link above.
Allows you to plan and divide your time to cover enough content and GAMSAT ® practice questions for the exam.
Everyone has different schedules and different needs, so each study guide needs to be adapted to suit you.
GAMSAT ® courses are run by external companies to help students prepare for the exam. GradReady, for example, has a number of different courses.
There are also free online courses, but few of these are specific to the GAMSAT ® exam (for example, the Khan Academy videos). In order to make the best use of these free courses, you need to be a strong independent learner with a good idea of your own strengths and weaknesses.
Company-run courses give you a structured approach to your study
Many students in the past have used online and in-person company-run courses and achieved good results
Free courses give you flexibility to use whatever you need
Free courses and videos are ideal GAMSAT ® study materials for independent learners
Free courses may not have the same depth of resources or level of tutoring support that company-run courses do
Difficult to learn independently as it can be easy to get lost in the wealth of information
There are many different practice exams - the exams that ACER themselves have, and then exams that are run by private companies, such as GradReady’s GAMSAT ® Practice Test which mimics ACER’s exam in detail to give students the chance to simulate actual exam conditions. However, it is important to note that only the ACER exams are endorsed by ACER.
These are the best way of assessing how prepared you are for the exam
Allow you to practise exam conditions, not just content
Sitting exams early, before you feel fully prepared, is also advantageous, as it allows you to efficiently identify your areas of weakness and work on them with plenty of time before the real exam
These are time-consuming, as in order to replicate the exam, you will need to give yourself the time allowed in the GAMSAT ® itself. Although, GradReady’s practice test comes with a Mock Exam mode that allows you to practice under real time pressure
The only practice exams endorsed by ACER are their own practice exams
To help you get a better idea of how you can you plan and structure your GAMSAT ® preparation you can visit the free detailed GAMSAT ® guides below:
You can also download the below free GAMSAT ® materials:
Finally you can also sign up for our GAMSAT ® Free Trial which includes a GAMSAT ® Study Guide with an in-depth, day-by-day study schedule for all the sections of the GAMSAT ® exam to help you plan out your preparation. You’ll also get access to 50 MCQs from our Intelligent MCQ Bank and a wealth of other free resources.
Sign up to test our industry-leading online learning technology for yourself:
For those unfamiliar with Reddit, think of it as a giant discussion platform (though this is a very simplified explanation). Subreddits are threads wherein members discuss specific topics. Below are the best Reddit GAMSAT ® threads that can assist with your GAMSAT ® preparation:
It should be noted that as with all online forums, all posts and information should be taken with a pinch of salt. There are many reasons people may post false information and this should always be in the back of your mind when reviewing content. That said, with a discerning eye, Reddit can still be a useful resource for GAMSAT ® preparation.
While there is no one ‘best’ GAMSAT ® preparation material, there are a number of resources that are quite helpful. What’s most important is finding what works best for you. This unfortunately can at times feel like a bit of a ‘trial and error’ process. This will be well worth it in the long run - remember it’s about studying smarter, not necessarily harder.
Below are some great starting points.
ACER GAMSAT ® preparation materials are available for purchase (both online and e-books) and will allow candidates to practice questions from all 3 sections. These will closely resemble the types of questions encountered on the day.
It might seem too obvious to mention, but in the pursuit of the ideal GAMSAT ® resource, candidates (from science backgrounds) often forget that teaching from their own undergraduate degrees are great sources for the fundamentals. Review your notes from previous classes or make new ones!
On the other hand, if you have a low GPA, you may be wondering what this means for your medical school application. Find the answer in our blog article: What are My Options for Studying Medicine If I Have a Low GPA?
There is an increasing amount of fantastic learning tools that can be found online. These will often be more helpful for S3 study, however they can also help contextualise and explain concepts encountered in S1 and S2. A few examples are:
If you do feel that you’re struggling to get some direction for your study or feel that you could benefit from guidance, we at GradReady are happy to help. We are experienced in assisting prospective students conquer the GAMSAT. ® In addition to the free resources listed on this page, we have different GAMSAT ® preparation courses that are suited to different learning requirements.
Section 1 of the GAMSAT ® Exam is also known as “Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences”. ACER uses this multi choice section to assess your interpretation of qualitative information as well as your reading comprehension. As a result, it could be considered the foil to GAMSAT ® Section 2, which is an assessment of your language production.
For a detailed breakdown of how to prepare for Section 1 visit our guide below:
We’ve compiled a list of free GAMSAT ® preparation resources for Section 1 here:
If you’re looking for a free GAMSAT ® Section 1 Reading List, the below may help:
Useful Authors for Books & Short Stories
Section 2 of the GAMSAT ® exam, also known as ‘Written Communication’, assesses your ability to express your thoughts in a logical and effective manner in response to two sets of stimuli. According to ACER , it is meant to be a reflection of your ability to produce and develop ideas in writing. As the only written section of the exam, Section 2 is more often than not the bane of most students sitting the exam, particularly those with a pure science-background.
For a more detailed breakdown of how to prepare for Section 2, visit our guide below:
You can find some more free GAMSAT ® preparation materials here:
In addition to the Section 1 Reading List, you can add the following free GAMSAT ® resources that are geared towards helping with your GAMSAT ® preparation for Section 2:
The following books are not free but may be of value – If you’re lucky, you might be able to find them at your local uni library:
Section 3 of the GAMSAT ® exam, also known as ‘Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences’ is designed to test your reasoning and problem solving skills within a scientific context.
It is the only section for which ACER provides clear guidelines on expected prerequisite knowledge, and is therefore, for some, the easiest section to prepare for. GAMSAT ® Section 3 is also the longest section of the GAMSAT ® exam and is weighted accordingly, being usually worth double Section 1 or Section 2 (exceptions do apply - Make sure to check our Guide to GAMSAT ® Results to learn more).
For a detailed breakdown of how to prepare for Section 3 and individual topic lists for GAMSAT ® Biology, Chemistry and Physics, visit our guides:
You can also have a look at the area specific free GAMSAT ® Preparation materials listed below.
The following book is not free but is useful for those who did not study physics and who may want something more basic. It’s quite fun to read and very insightful – Again, if you’re lucky you might be able to get a free e-copy through your university library.
Don’t forget to also sign up for our GAMSAT ® Free Trial and take advantage of 50 free MCQs from our Intelligent MCQ Bank, a week-by-week study guide for each section of the GAMSAT ® Exam as well as a wealth of other free resources.