How to improve your GAMSAT score
21 April, 2019
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The first version of GAMSAT 2019 has passed us, and we are all nervously awaiting the release of results. It is important during this time to still keep in mind how you might improve your GAMSAT score, if the worst should happen and you need to re-sit the GAMSAT either later this year or in 2020. Although it is difficult to generalise how to improve your GAMSAT score across all three sections of the test, this blog will attempt to do so, and offer you some quick tips to globally improve your GAMSAT score – whether you’re a new student to the GAMSAT, a repeat offender, or a seasoned veteran to this brutal test.
Plan your Approach
Firstly, create a study plan. Many students (especially with a background from the natural sciences) dismiss the necessity of having a plan leading up to the GAMSAT, reasoning that they have studied enough of the natural sciences to excel in the GAMSAT. However, it is important to note that (1) the GAMSAT is not just a test of the natural sciences, as two
of the sections are within the humanities, and (2) the GAMSAT does not purely test a candidate’s ability to recall information, and the correct application of knowledge to pattern recognition and complex reasoning is required. A vast majority of high school and early university experiences may not equip the candidate with these particular skills. As such, they must be gained, and to this end, it is essential that a study plan is created – so that you can work constructively and progressively up until the day of the test.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Secondly, and related to the first recommendation, ensure that you equip yourself with plenty of practice questions! Again, the questions in the GAMSAT are really unique, and so it is vital for everyone
to ensure that they have a range of practice questions so that they can understand what kind of skills the test requires, and then ensure they apply these skills again and again in preparation for the test! ACER provides very useful ebooks that should be downloaded by every candidate if the cost is not a barrier, as this is the most direct insight that one will have into the type of GAMSAT questions you should expect
Broaden your Resources
Thirdly, make sure you use multiple sources. Stated yet again, the GAMSAT examines a particular type of problem-solving and complex logic skillset. These skills are typically not gained from reading through your typical chemistry or physics textbook, and thus, it is essential that candidates learn the same material from more than one place. When you are preparing for the GAMSAT, you might go over your university/high school notes, as well as YouTube videos addressing the topic, websites, Khan Academy, etc to relearn the same concepts. Finally, you should then pressure yourself to teach others these same bits of knowledge and/or skills, as this will firmly entrench it in your mind, and demonstrate to yourself that you will be able to apply your knowledge in the GAMSAT.
Finally, and most importantly in my opinion, is to read… read… and read! A vast majority of students who start their GAMSAT preparation, as they are from a natural sciences background, simply do not read enough books (I’m talking non-textbooks here). It is vital to regularly read novels, short stories, poems… anything! As this simple act of reading frequently will enhance your comprehension, grammatical skills, spelling, vocabulary and familiarity with literature, which are all absolutely vital aspects of both sections one and two. Specifically, reading short stories and argumentative essays will be highly important for section two, so that you can have a high level of familiarity with this type of writing before you start practicing writing these essay types
These are just a few small points that broadly answers the question how to improve your GAMSAT score – these should be applicable to everyone! However, your own context and educational background will determine what you need for more specific improvements, and it is vital that you start thinking about this early, rather than later! The best way to discover your specific strengths and weaknesses and improve on them is to enlist the assistance of an expert GAMSAT tutor, such as by enrolling in a GradReady course
. Especially as medical school entry is becoming more and more competitive, preparation is key to optimal performance. Now, as we work hard to improve our GAMSAT score, it is also important that we take all possibilities into consideration. What if I don’t get the GAMSAT score I wanted? What’s next? Find the answer to that question and explore your options in our article Admission Series - What if I don’t get the GAMSAT score I wanted?