The benefits of doing a GAMSAT preparation course
29 April, 2016
If our previous article about when to start preparing has jolted you into action, and you’re thinking about whether the GradReady GAMSAT preparation courses are for you, have a read through my admittedly non-impartial (but honest nevertheless) opinion on our preparation courses.
GradReady offer two main types of courses – attendance courses and online courses. The attendance courses include live teaching over three weekends and are held in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth (usually at the major university in that city) while the online courses are just that – purely online. However, there are variations between included content and also lots of optional add-ons so this blog post will mainly address some of our teaching philosophies (I know that sounds douchey but if Masterchef contestants can each have a food philosophy, I can have a teaching philosophy!).
From personal experience doing a different preparation course myself, which was solely lecture based over one weekend, and now having taught the Sydney GAMSATReady course for the past two years, some of the big differences that stand out for me are the following:
- Small class sizes – GAMSATReady classes are capped at 18 students and as a tutor it means I know all my students by name, can easily gauge where their competency levels are at, and tailor my teaching to individual needs. For my students who have subsequently ran into me at uni, or at the shops or done the online course to sit the UK GAMSAT® Exam as well, it means your old tutor will (non-creepily) identify you by your hair style and where you sat in the classroom (hi Claudia!).
- Interactive classes – This seems like common sense, but when you’re running a lecture or seminar, no matter how interactive you try to make it, the logistics (a big room, small voices, little personal interaction) mean that you get those two annoying people asking all their questions while you sit quietly in the corner taking photos of the slides in the hope that you’ll actually be able to learn something later, in your own time. On the other hand, when you’ve got a small classroom and a class who know each other, there’s far more scope for discussion and for asking that all important question so your tutor can then take the time to explain something in a different way – a way that you understand. I’ve also found that in most of my classes, my students form their own study groups and that adds another valuable dimension to their preparation (nothing that we can take credit for of course, but it’s all part of a more interactive and collegiate learning environment).
- Course structure – Classes are held over 3 weekends so rather than cramming everything into one weekend where you’ll struggle to stay awake, let alone retain anything, you have time to synthesise and consolidate your learning between each session.
Online courses (all included in the attendance courses)
- Online content – In addition to the live classes, students also have access to the online features, such as diagnostic tests, online exams, 4000+ MCQs with thorough explanations, theory videos and marked practise essays. So in essence, you’ve got a one-stop shop for your entire GAMSAT® Exam preparation.
- Comprehensive essay marking and feedback – When I did a GAMSAT® Exam essay course as a student I just got a mark, a few words in the margin and the marker’s initials with no possibility of follow up. And that was as useless as a screen door on a submarine. I’ll admit that as a humanities tutor I’m biased about this, but the GAMSATReady course is so much more useful. Being able to receive comprehensive feedback with suggestions for improvements and a real tutor who you can follow up with if you’ve got questions is invaluable.
- Add-on options – As you progress, if you find that you want to purchase more essays, or private tutoring for a particular subject you can easily add them on through your online account.
- Technology-based monitoring of your progress – our MCQs are separated into dozens of sub-topics, and our system will track how well you do in each field during your study, enabling you to focus your study where required.
- Ongoing support – In addition to the usual customer support you’d expect, you also have access to our tutors all the way until the GAMSAT® Exam via the online forum. You can ask questions about specific MCQs or seek advice on study techniques or essay ideas and one of our specialist tutors will personally respond. As most of us are current medical students, we know what it’s like to be going through the gauntlet of GAMSAT® Exam preparation and we genuinely want to help you succeed.
Ok so I know that ended up sounding a bit cheesy, but to see some of the GAMSATReady students I tutored now at uni with me and even at the same clinical school (hi Cam!) is awesome, and hopefully from your perspective it’s nice to know we’re invested in this as well.
For more information on our GAMSATReady course options, check out our website https://www.gradready.com.au/gamsatand if you’ve got any questions, feel free to get in touch with your local Operations Manager (https://www.gradready.com.au/gamsat/contact).