5 Excellent GAMSAT Prep Resources
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The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is a dreaded hurdle for many graduates seeking to get into medical school.
In 2016 I scored in the top 12%. 2016 was the year GAMSAT Section 3 seemed to become even more reasoning based than it was before (I also sat it in 2015). I am now studying Graduate Entry Medicine at my first choice school.
In this article I will share the resources that I found the most useful when preparing for this mammoth of a test.
1. Griffiths GAMSAT Review
Great resource for Sections 1 and 2! This book is a whirlwind tour of the exam. What will be expected of you? How should you approach section 1 questions? How on earth do you structure the essays for section 2? These and other questions are addressed by this fantastic book.
This is probably the first resource you should pour over. I used the essay structure proposed in this book for section 2.
Note, however, that it does not teach the science and maths necessary to ace the exam. You will need the resources below for that.
Edit: When I was preparing for GAMSAT the price tag was only £35! I recently checked the official website and it’s become very very pricey. So, you may want to try free resources first or pounce on any opportunity to get it cheaper.
2. ACER’s official practice papers & Gold Standard’s answer explanations videos
ACER are the company that administer the GAMSAT and once you have registered for the exam they will send you one free practice half-paper called Practice Questions (red/orange cover). But they also have 4 other practice papers. Absolutely get hold of them!
These papers are the closest to the real exam that you will ever get. So, I recommend that you complete at least two of the papers under exam conditions and use them to gauge how well you are doing with your prep.
Of particular note is the recently released Practice Test 3 (nicknamed the “pink test” because it has a pink cover). Its Section 3 best illustrates the mix of reasoning ability and knowledge that you will need to beat the science section.
When you’re marking yourself make use of Gold Standard’s answer explanations videos on YouTube. Free to access! If you get a question wrong they’ll help you understand why.
3. Khan Academy
Search for pretty much any topic under the sun and you will find a video by Khan Academy that explains it excellently.
I used these videos to study Chemistry, Biology and Physics topics in preparation for section 3.
Many people like to use A level science revision guides as a supplement (or alternative) to Khan Academy.
Leah is an online tutor for MCAT, GAMSAT’s American cousin. I strongly recommend her free mental maths video tutorials.
In GAMSAT you won’t have a calculator so you need to get good at doing maths in your head e.g. calculating logs, multiplying numbers in standard form and dividing decimals.
5. All the exam-style questions you can find!
There are many different companies who have published practice papers over the years. Hoard as many of these as you can and complete as many as you can. Especially under time pressure!
In particular, look out for exam-style questions by Des O’Neill and Ozimed. Keep in mind, however, that the official ACER papers are superior to any other practice papers you will come across (see above).
Bonus Tip 1
You’ll find some free resources on this website! No sign up needed (except for my medical school interviews ebook). Just visit my FREE GAMSAT resources MASTER LIST page.
Sign up to my mailing list if you’d like a notification in your email inbox when I upload a new free resource.
Bonus Tip 2
I’m often asked whether I recommend the massive Gold Standard textbook that costs around £100. Now, I never used this book and did very well regardless.
Plus, people’s opinions regarding the usefulness of Gold Standard range drastically: some say the book is wonderful, and others say that it is a complete waste of money.
In my opinion, it’s not a necessary purchase and considering the price and the mixed reviews it receives you might as well give it a miss and spend your money elsewhere.
Bonus Tip 3
GAMSAT is similar in many ways to the USA’s MCAT (whole-day test, mostly multiple-choice questions, similarities in structure and content).
Yet, I’d be cautious of using MCAT study materials to prepare for GAMSAT. Especially since MCAT seems to require more factual recall and less reasoning ability compared to GAMSAT. Stick mostly to GAMSAT-specific materials to be safe.
Good luck in your GAMSAT prep! Sign up to my mailing list to get more GAMSAT tips in your email inbox.
What are your favourite GAMSAT resources? Let me know by leaving a comment below.