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Preparing for the GAMSAT ® Exam

Do GAMSAT® preparation courses work?

According to a review of 50 scientific studies with more than 130,000 participants, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, preparation for any sort of test works and preparation courses are especially helpful - there is no reason to believe that GAMSAT® exam would be the exception.

Here's an excerpt from an August 2015 Harvard Business Review Article explaining why test preparation works:

"A review of 50 scientific studies with more than 130,000 participants shows that practice boosts performance on pretty much any kind of test, for three reasons. First, it decreases anxiety. As you’d imagine, the more trial runs you’ve had, the more confident and calm you’ll be when taking a high-stakes test, because the various formats and questions, as well as the entire experience, will seem more familiar. You’ll also discover what you don’t know, so you can brush up and feel more prepared. Second, practice makes proven test-taking strategies, such as skipping and revisiting difficult questions, come more naturally when the pressure is on. You’ll learn to ignore irrelevant information and make fewer errors in interpretation. And third, repeated test taking can help you develop the very qualities that employers measure."

Applying the above concepts to the GAMSAT® exam - here's why GradReady GAMSAT® courses work:

Firstly, you need to be reminded of the concepts tested in the GAMSAT® exam. The GAMSAT® exam covers a vast breadth of knowledge, from social sciences to essay writing to life and natural sciences. You become very rusty at anything you don’t use on a regular basis; the chances are that you will have at least a few major “rust spots”. GradReady's extensive set of technology enabled resources allows you to most efficiently identify which parts you need to brush up on.

Secondly, you should familiarise yourself with the test. You may have a good knowledge base, but you need to put the knowledge into context. The way that the GAMSAT® exam assesses your knowledge is not always straightforward. GradReady's large question bank and number of online exams - augmented by our suite of advanced online tools - allow you to be completely familiar with the test and easily work on your weaknesses.

Thirdly, you would benefit immensely from the insights of our experienced GAMSAT® exam tutors, all of whom scored well at the GAMSAT® exam. While there is no substitute for hard work, our experiences have taught us that most students could work smarter – both in terms of how to study and approaching the GAMSAT® exam questions.

At the end of the day, taking the GAMSAT® exam is like playing in a sports match - your natural abilities definitely plays a part. But if you do not practice, then you have no chance. Moreover, as in sports, if you do not practice under the direction of a good coach, then much of time spent practicing goes to waste - because the coach, with all their experience, is always going to show you how to practice more effectively and point out your blindspots for you - just as GradReady does for you.

I still don't quite understand, I'm told that the GAMSAT® exam cannot be prepared for?

Let's look at this another way - imagine that you are driving to your lodge in a small town, during a trip in a new country. Maybe you think that your brain and a map are all you would need, and you would make it to your destination easily. But that's only in theory. In reality, you probably stopped to ask for directions, you were probably confused and distracted by the various foreign road signs and driving norms, and you probably had to turn back a few times due to mistakes. In reality, the drive was a lot more difficult than you thought, and a local person, who is more familiar with the roads will always get to the destination more quickly and make less wrong turns than you would - even if you are a renowned rally driver. But it's ok, you weren't in a race; you weren't completing against the local person.

Now look at the GAMSAT® exam. The GAMSAT® exam is the drive. Some people say that all you need are the general skills that you had picked up throughout your life - that is your brain and map in our previous scenario. But that's only in theory. In reality, you need guidance, you would benefit from being taught to recognise the various conventions and question types in the GAMSAT® exam, and you do not have the time to constantly go back to correct your mistakes. In reality, if you are familiar with both the core concepts and how to approach questions based on those concepts, you will always do better than someone who is not.

The GAMSAT® exam course shows you what it means to be truly familiar with the GAMSAT® exam, and that's why GAMSAT® exam students do so well . To learn more about how does each of our features help you specifically, please visit our course detail pages.

How early should I sign up to a GAMSAT® preparation course ?

We recommend that you start 6 months prior to sitting the GAMSAT® 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 work on preparing for the GAMSAT® exam; 6 months should be enough time for you to work on your weaknesses without suffering from preparation fatigue.

If you intend to sign up for our live course, we recommend that you sign up 1 or more months prior to the live classes - so you have enough time, prior to the course, to work through our videos at a comfortable pace. Doing so will allow you to better reap the benefits of the live classes - which will be focused on GAMSAT® exam strategies and the application of knowledge through dissecting MCQs.

How much preparation do I have to do for the GAMSAT®?

The best measuring stick - prepare until you are comfortable with the practice tests.

Considering the impact of the GAMSAT® exam score on a candidate’s career pathway in medical or allied health careers, we would always recommended a conservative approach.

What this means practically is that you should at least do a few practice tests, if you feel that you are a strong candidate, to assess your knowledge. You should also sign up to GradReady's GAMSAT® exam preparation program early, so that you can identify and put in a considerable amount of effort to improve your weaknesses, especially if you are a cautious candidate or a candidate from a non-science background. However, as the GAMSAT® exam is a diverse test, biomedical undergraduate and science undergraduate students require tutelage and direction in certain areas.

What level of knowledge is required for the GAMSAT® exam?

You will require a science background equivalent to first year university chemistry and biology, and year 12 physics to score well in section III – students regard Section III as by far the most challenging section. A good English proficiency and a habit of reading widely will help you to score well sections I and II; however, sections I and II are where biomedical and science undergraduate students have struggled the most, and these areas have been stopping these students from entering medical school especially.

As a biomedicine/science undergraduate student, is there any need to attend a preparatory course?

The logic to How much preparation do I have to do for the GAMSAT® exam? also applies here. Specifically, we know from experience that you will definitely find a review of the non-science concepts very useful. In addition, our tutors will deconstruct the GAMSAT® exam style questions down for you and share with you their strategies perspectives, which will enhance your expertise and chances of getting into medical school.

Why should I enroll in a preparation course for the interview?

We will help you identify areas that you need to work on for a medical school interview. Most people have bad habits, and the habits are invariably magnified during the interviews. In addition, there are certain general strategies that are important for you to know about multiple mini interviews (MMI), which GradReady can help you know Finally, being interviewed by experienced interviewers will allow you to become more comfortable and feel more confident about the MMI process.

When should I enroll in InterviewReady courses?

You should enroll as soon as you receive a GAMSAT® exam score that you are happy with. This will allow the maximum amount of time to work with GradReady to perfect your interview techniques for medical school entry.

How does GradReady's essay expiration work?

At GradReady, we firmly believe that you need to start writing essay early if you want to become better - essay writing skills DO NOT improve if you "cram". As such, we instate a system that encourages students to spread their essay writing over the course of their GAMSAT® exam preparation. Each of your 10 essays must be submitted within a specified time limit - the first essay (Essay 1) will expire 1 month from when you have first signed up.

From then, the last essay (Essay 10) will expire when the course expires, which is the day of your GAMSAT® exam.

The remaining 8 essays will have their expiry distributed evenly across these two dates, to ensure that you are consistently writing essays throughout the duration of the course.

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