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Juggling GAMSAT and life

Management Strategies for Balancing GAMSAT Study with University, Work & Other Life Commitments

by , 24 April, 2017
Read 2874 times

It’s a balancing act. It’s all one huge balancing act uncontrollably spinning, whirring and spiralling to my own demise.

Whilst studying for the GAMSAT® Exam might seem like the all-consuming beast that holds the capacity to overpower all other aspects of your life, it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, I’d like to impart a few shards of knowledge on ways through which you might be able to find some balance in amidst the fog and calamity of focused study.

1. Prioritise
One of the first steps to finding balance amidst your GAMSAT® Exam study is to identify parts and aspects of your life that are important to you. Do you work while studying medicine? Do you have family commitments? Do you engage in a team activity or have community engagement (that requires time away from your GAMSAT® Exam study, but brings you joy)?

Consider these other, important, aspects of your life and really consider how much time needs to be dedicated to each. Can some time in one aspect be sacrificed for additional study time? Will that additional study time be productive?

The choice is yours. What I would do is: (a) make a list of weekly activities and study, (b) estimate time for each of your activities, (c) negotiate your time.

2. Planned & Effective Study
You need to diversify. Don’t sacrifice yourself in the name of confined shackles to a desk.

By planning your study time in a method that is effective for you (i.e. exam revision, identifying areas of weakness, knowing which methods work best for you), you can make more time for the things in life that bring you joy. Some ideas that pass the mind are:

  • Make a timetable for GAMSAT® Exam study (a detailed one), or download our free GAMSAT Study Syllabus
  • Make a timetable for non-study commitments, and stick to it
3. Keeping Connected
Connected to others, to self, and your communities.

Whilst delving into academic content and acquiring new skills, preparing for the GAMSAT® Exam, we can honestly lose our connections to the exterior world. We become insular, focused on the infinitesimally minute details. It’s important we don’t become so myopic that our vision for the future blurs; it’s important to maintain a view of the larger portrait before us.

How do you do it? Maintain your connections through text message and face-to-face contact with friends and family. Please, set aside the time to spend valuable and meaningful time with those people who form important support structures in your lives.

Moreover, part of effective study for GAMSAT® Exam is safeguarding against burnout and loss of interest. Ensure you’re well connected with services that supports that willing to get you through the emotional distressing times and haul out depressive shadows or anxious whirlpools. If you find yourself caught in a dark place, secondary to GAMSAT® Exam study or a mixture of life’s throngs, empower yourself with the courage to seek help and speak with a guidance counsellor, your family doctor, or a trustworthy individual who can empathise with your situation and provide some way out.

Balancing it all isn’t easy. Studying for the GAMSAT® Exam, in all three sections, commands an armament of skills that many students struggle to develop. But it is possible. And what, ultimately, is most important, is that you are able to come out of the this period with the potential to continue studying for another 4+ years in pursuit of your dreams.

Prioritise. Plan. Connect.

For more tips on preparing for the GAMSAT exam, and specifically Section 3 Biology, check out our guide on GAMSAT Biology: How to Prepare.