10th January 2022

Whether you are sitting the real GAMSAT or still in your exam-preparation stage, the following tips regarding how to approach GAMSAT-level exam questions effectively should apply. So, let’s dive in and get those GAMSAT scores you need to get into the medical school of your choice!

1. Answer Every Question

You don’t get penalised for incorrect answers, so always choose something – even if you have to guess. If you run out of time, pick a letter and use it to answer all the remaining questions. ACER, the official organisation that administers the GAMSAT, performs statistical analyses on every test so no one letter will give you an unfair advantage. Just choose your “lucky” letter and move on!

2. Pace Yourself

Do not get bogged down trying to answer a difficult question. If the question is very difficult, write the question number on your scratch paper, guess, move on to the next question and return later if time is remaining. You’ll be provided 2 A4 scratch papers at your exam centre for Section 1 and 2, and 2 more sheets for Section 3 to help with this.

3. Don’t Despair If You Can’t Answer Some Questions

Remember that some of the real exam questions may be thrown out as inappropriate, used solely to calibrate the test or “trial” questions. If you find that you cannot answer some of the questions, do not despair. It is possible they could be questions used for these purposes.

4. Don’t Let Others Psyche You Out

Some people will be saying between exam sections, during your real sitting, or on forums during your GAMSAT preparation, ‘It went great. What a joke!’ Ignore them.

Often these types may just be trying to boost their own confidence or to make themselves look good. Just focus on what you have to do and tune out the other examinees.

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5. Read The Question First

Before reading the “stimulus material” of the problem (the passage, article, etc.), some students find it more efficient to quickly read the questions first. In this way, as soon as you read something in the stimulus material which brings to mind a question you have read, you can answer immediately, which is especially helpful for Section 1.

If you read the text first and then the questions, you may end up wasting time searching through the text for answers.

6. Read Carefully

Make sure you read the text and questions carefully. Often students leave out a word or two while reading, which can completely change the sense of the problem. Pay special attention to words in italics, CAPS, bolded, or underlined. Briefly note on your scratch paper anything you believe might be very important in the passage.

7. Select Answers With Care

You’ll be selecting an answer by clicking one of four radio buttons next to the answer options. You must be both diligent and careful because you will not be given extra time to either check it or fill it in later.

8. Skim Read Passages To Find Answers

If you’re running out of time, just complete the questions. In other words, only read the part of the passage which your question specifically requires for you to get the correct answer.

9. Be Strategic With Note-Taking

Expel any relevant equation onto your scratch paper. Even if the question is of a theoretical nature, sometimes equations contain the answers and they are much more objective than the reasoning of a nervous pre-medical student! In physics, it is often helpful to draw a picture or diagram. Arrows are valuable in representing vectors.

10. Ask Yourself: Is This Reasonable?

The final step in problem-solving is to ask yourself: Is my answer reasonable? Problem-based learning permits you to develop upper-level learning skills. You are able to improve your intuition about the ‘reasonableness’ of answers. That’s because ‘intuition’ in science is often learned through the experience of doing many problems; if you do not have a science background, you can explore dimensional analysis throughout the Masters Series Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences textbooks including the chapter practice questions.

A Bonus Tip For GAMSAT Section 3 Preparation

Whenever completing calculations, the following will increase your speed:

  • manipulate variables but plugin values only when necessary;
  • avoid decimals, use fractions wherever possible;
  • square roots or cube roots can be converted to the power (exponent) of 1/2 or 1/3, respectively;
  • before calculating, check to see if the possible answers are sufficiently far apart such that your values can be approximated (i.e. 19.2 ≈ 20, 185 ≈ 200).

Since 2012, calculators ceased being permitted for the GAMSAT. Gold Standard added over 200 pages of GAMSAT Maths in the latest Masters Series edition to help you become quick and efficient with your calculations. You can also attempt over 1800 realistic practice questions using our 10 full-length GAMSAT Practice Tests book – available both on our website and Amazon.

Some Final Thoughts For GAMSAT Preparation

Learn to relax, or at least you must learn to manage your anxiety. Channel that extra energy into acute awareness of the information being presented to you. If you have a history of anxiety during exams to the extent that you feel that it affected your score, then you should start learning relaxation techniques now. You can search online regarding various methods such as visualisation, mindfulness exercises, deep breathing and other techniques that can be used during the exam if needed.

About Gold Standard GAMSAT Prep

Gold Standard GAMSAT is a pioneer in the GAMSAT preparation realm. They published the first GAMSAT textbook ever written in 2010, which is currently in the 2022-2023 edition known as the Masters Series and geared towards the new digital GAMSAT exam format. They are also the first to bring problem-based learning – the current method of teaching at most medical schools worldwide – to GAMSAT teaching on campuses in Australia, Ireland and the UK.

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