10 GAMSAT Study Habits That Work
24 October, 2017
Were just about 6 months out of GAMSAT® Exam and hopefully everyone has started thinking about how they’re planning to approach study. Although we like to think we’ve worked it all out, the majority of us struggle to find a study routine that works for us. Of course we all study differently, but there are things that work for just about everyone. If you can try and implement the following skills, you’ll find your GAMSAT® Exam preparation much more effective and efficient.
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A big mistake made by many people is that the longer you study, the more you will cover. In fact, you’re more likely to absorb more information in the long term if you take small breaks every 45 minutes. Break up the study and restore your mental energy.
- Never study for too long
When you plan to study, you are more likely to follow through and actually study. Procrastination is the enemy here people!
- Plan your study – where, when, what
- Set your starting time and ending time
- How long you are going to study for before taking a break
- Write down exactly what you are going to cover in that time
- Study somewhere that you associate with study and save the other places for relaxation and play. For example, don’t study in bed, you’re much more likely to get distracted and 1) fall asleep, or 2) flick on Netflix and then fall asleep – Get the point?
If you try and get in the habit of studying at the same times each day, it establishes a good routine. Routine is particularly important in times of high stress such as right before exams. If you have a routine that involves study, eating and sleeping at the same time each day, it eliminates the stress that comes with uncertainty. It also trains your brain to concentrate better between these times. If you are more of a morning person, get up at 7am and study until mid afternoon. Alternatively if you’re a late night studier, assign study time between 3 and 10pm for example. Ideally, you don’t want to be studying any later than 8pm to allow you a proper night sleep- unless of course you only thrive on late night study!
- Try and study at the same time each day
Goals help you stay focused and monitor your progress. At the beginning of the day, write a list of all the things you have to complete in the day. As you sit down in each session (which as we said would be ~45 mins), write on a post it exactly what you want to achieve in that time (for example, “complete 30 Section 3 Multiple Choice Questions”). Key to making this skill a successful one is being realistic! Don’t try and be ambitious, if you have heaps to do, don’t rush it, just take a bit more time to do it.
- Set goals
Can you think of the last time you sat down for the day and didn’t touch your phone all day? Yeah, didn’t think so. Leave it in the other room and put it on silent. When you’re preparing for GAMSAT® Exam, nothing is that important that it can’t wait until you’re finished. If you can’t go without for the day, after your 45 minutes of study is up, use your 5 minute break to leave the room and play with your phone elsewhere, don’t infect your study space!
- Leave your phone in another room
Perhaps one of the more important habits to get into is finding a good sleeping pattern. For a teenager at the end of their schooling years (16-17), you should be sleeping well and truly between 8-10 hours a night. A young adult (18-25) does not need as much but still should aim for somewhere between 7-9. Effectively, this means that if you’ve put your pen down at 1am, you need to sleep through until 9am to have adequate sleep time,which just isn’t possible on school/work days. Aim to be in bed by 10pm, this means that waking up any time after 6am, but before 8am will keep you well rested and ready to get studying effectively!
- Sleep right
You’ll never know how you’re progressing unless you test yourself on a regular basis. Yes, we all hate tests, but they’re in fact very important to help you develop good study habits. Use them to find what works, what’s not working and then you can adapt your style accordingly. Find tests online by googling the topic you’re stuck on, or if you’re studying for the GAMSAT® Exam, use the materials from preparation courses. GradReady will be offering a free trial in the coming weeks where you can test yourself on GAMSAT® Exam MCQ questions. They can be a fantastic resource, particularly for Section 3 where practice is 100% the best thing to do!
- Test yourself
On top of testing yourself regularly, test yourself under test conditions. If your exam is going to be in a big hall, find a big classroom or set up a desk in your room with nothing on it but your writing material and paper and have a crack at it. Make sure you complete the test under the exact same conditions: let everyone know not to disturb you, set the same time limit and stick it through without getting up or speaking.
- Practice under test conditions regularly
As you go, write down what’s hard, what you’ve had to Google, what you really struggled to wrap your head around and start there when you begin studying. You’re most effective at the beginning of any study session so use that energy to get through the stuff you struggle with.
- Make a list of things you don’t get and revisit them
The key to success is routine. Even if your workload is intense, if you stick to a routine, you will know where to fit it in and you will be optimally efficient!
- Routine = Success
Good luck and study effectively!