Preparing to sit the GAMSAT…again
30 July, 2019
So, you’re preparing to sit the GAMSAT exam, again? The second, the third, the fourth time? Or maybe even more! Whether it’s because you flunked the first exam or you’re just persisting for a better mark, there are a lot of pro’s to sitting the GAMSAT again. At the same time, there are a few cautionary measures you should take to ensure you don’t repeat any old mistakes, and that you'll ace the GAMSAT exam this time around.
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Nonetheless, if you’re re-sitting the GAMSAT exam you are definitely not alone. I know how difficult it can be, and so, here are some tips I’ve compiled to get you through yet another study regime and overcome any obstacles you may have faced the first time.
1. Believe in yourself
The idea of having to sit (let alone just pay to sit) the GAMSAT for a second, third, fourth (whatever number!) time can be seriously disheartening. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to boost your morale and encourage yourself to maintain a positive attitude about your performance.
Firstly, the competitive nature of the admissions process and the incredible cut-off scores we’ve seen in past years mean that a re-sit and hopefully a corresponding score boost are often necessary to improve your chances. You’d be surprised at just how many people sit the GAMSAT multiple times before scoring well enough to gain an interview.
Secondly, think about it. You’ve sat the GAMSAT before. You know what to expect, you have a better feel for what’s high yield study, you feel the pressure so it motivates you to revise those motion formulas one more time. You’re surely at somewhat of an advantage to perform better than those who have never sat it before.
Moreover, you’re persistent. If you’re sitting the GAMSAT again then it is likely that you are a diligent worker. Sure, you might feel like you didn’t try hard enough the first time. Or you might be dreading the prospect of doing it all again. But even just deciding to sit the GAMSAT again shows that you’re dedicated. Use that to encourage yourself to study harder and to study better, which brings me to my next point…
2. Identify and address your downfalls
Study better? That sounds easier said than done. But really, if you’re wise enough to reflect on what brought you down the last time you sat the GAMSAT, you’ll be at a great advantage when sitting the exam again.
This can be hard. Obviously, you don’t get to look over your previous exam and see which questions really defeated you. However, you do have the scores you received in each section, and hopefully if you’ve done (or will do) some practice exams you can use those to identify areas of weakness. Once you’ve made a list of all the areas you weren’t so great in, you can dedicate more time in your plan to really address why you didn’t get them right the first time.
Of course, if you’re sitting the GAMSAT again, it doesn’t mean you should neglect whole areas of study that you think you smashed in the past. However, you do have the advantage of knowing these areas that you may need to spend some extra time on. It might even be worth getting some advice from someone who has sat the GAMSAT before who did well in the sections you flunked, and see how they might have done things differently.
Once you’ve identified the parts of the GAMSAT that you struggled with (and don’t worry if this means most of the exam!), you can start making a study plan.
3. Make a detailed plan
Creating a well-defined and scheduled plan is essential to succeeding in the GAMSAT exam, especially if it is not the first time you are sitting it. It can become way too easy to brush over certain areas because you feel you’ve studied them enough the previous time you sat the exam, and this can become dangerous.
Remember, you still need to ensure that you cover all the high yield concepts for the GAMSAT exam, and just because you studied them last year it does not necessarily mean the information or skills are still profoundly ingrained in your memory (I myself am amazingly capable of forgetting tonnes of information and problem-solving approaches right after I sit an exam).
So, getting to the plan itself. You want to set yourself plenty of small goals along the way and factor in some big ones too, for example, when to start attempting GAMSAT® Exam-style questions and when to do the official ACER practice exams. The beauty of study planning is that although you’re not technically doing anything (I am a master procrastinator), it’s important to have a plan of attack and be strategic about the next few months of study. Plus, it’s a nice way to ease back into it all, and at the end of the day, if all it’s doing is making you feel like you’re more prepared, that’s still a good thing.
Having a schedule in front of you can be the first great thing you achieve on your (second, third, fourth, whatever) journey to sitting the GAMSAT again, and kick you into gear with actually knuckling down to the books.
So, after all this you still may be thinking that it really sucks that you are sitting the GAMSAT again. But honestly, this is not the way to look at it! If you really want to improve your second, third, fourth (or, again, whatever) time around, then you need to have positivity, specific insight, and great persistence! If you acknowledge your strengths, address your weaknesses, and set out a detailed and focused plan, you will be sure to improve on your re-sit score.
The GAMSAT is a long road. Especially when you’ve already been down it before. But at least you’ll come at it this time with a much better idea of how to succeed.