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    I took the GAMSAT twice and scored 76 the first time and 82 the second time. Once in March 2016 as well as September 2016. In March, I ended up scoring 76 despite under performing in section 1 after taking painkillers for a fever and feeling very groggy during section 1. After 3 months of self study - (I started preparation five months before the exam but mostly wasted time on the two months chasing down resources and figuring out what the exam was all about!). I scored S1: 64, S2: 86 & S3: 76.

    For the September exam, my total score went up to 82. A rise in both S1 and S3, and a slight drop in S2. I think the S1 rise is attributable simply to more practice, S2 drop was due to not practising essays anymore (got fed up) and the S3 increase was due to practice and better understanding of Physics.

    The reason I sat the September exam was because I was told by a lot of people that the September exam is actually 'easier' and the distribution is more favourable to get higher marks. Having sat both, I wouldn't say this is true, as the September exam was in some ways a lot of harder and more data analysis driven than the March counterpart.

    I was also able to secure four offers on my first attempt (St George's, Nottingham, Swansea and Exeter) - so I have written a section below on how to best prepare for MMI interviews.

    Previous to taking up GAMSAT, I did Economics at university and worked in Investment Banking. For A levels, I hadn't done any sciences (I did Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Politics, Music & French). At university I wrote a handful of short essays in my first year, and none since.

    As a result, I was approaching all sections of the GAMSAT at the worst possible starting point. I wasted an incredible amount of time looking for appropriate resources, and there is a huge amount of misinformation on the internet with what the appropriate resources are and hopefully I can help with regard to this and the best way to revise for the exam. There are a lot of 'agents' posing to be users and trying to give their books a good reputation on the forums. In addition, there are people who sell books (especially on gumtree) but the books are not what they are described to be, so I urge you to be especially diligent when buying second hand books and not end up wasting money and energy like I did.

    If you have specific questions about each section, or about what study materials I used, feel free to message me or post here, and I will look to get back to you as soon as possible. Here is however a quick snapshot of the material that I came across with another friend who I was studying with. This is how we thought they ranked.

    Collins Advanced Science 8/10: good for general knowledge, if you are jumping into the science at the deep end. However Khan academy and online resources are more than good enough to learn the science from, even from scratch.

    GAMSAT Gold Standard 3/10: other than the practice paper at the end of the book, this book pissed me off. It's marketed as the holy grail of GAMSAT, but it's way too shallow, and the stupid cat animation drove me crazy.

    Grad Med Science books & sample exam papers 8/10: Organic chemistry is not great, physical chemistry, biology and physics good. Exam papers, very similar to the real thing. Don't go on the course, just get the material cheap second hand. I would prioritise in getting some of the past exam papers over the 'textbooks'. Nice to have but not crucial.

    Ozimed Sample Papers 7/10: Very recall based, so unlike GAMSAT in this respect, but a good starting point to check your science knowledge. Verbal reasoning, way too easy.

    Guru Method 7/10: It's decent. Nothing spectacular, their collection of questions are fairly similar to the GAMSAT.

    Medprep Sample Papers 7/10: Fairly similar to actual GAMSAT.

    Des O'neill 9/10: Epic question bank, endless questions, several practice papers. All the practice you need and more. You can get it cheap as PDF.

    Griffiths Review 8/10: Good overview, cheap, worth getting.

    N.B. Obviously get the acer material! I also found the Organic Chemistry for Dummies book rather good for learning organic chemistry from scratch.

    If you are smart, you really shouldn't be spending more than 150 pounds even if you were to procure ALL (excepting the Collins Advanced Science Books - you can however find these in the local libraries, but even then Khan academy and online resources are more than good enough) the materials listed above. Don't get ripped off!

    Update 1
    Now that I have some time, I have written an overview for the three sections.

    Overview for section 1
    The best way to improve in this section is to practice, practice and practice. Go back to each error you make and try and understand the specific set of critical reading skills that you are weak at. You will find that your weaknesses will tend to follow a general pattern. For example, I was never very strong at poetry analysis. If sufficient time passes, come back to the same questions and attempt them again, and see if you are improving in your weak areas. When the going gets tough, always remember, critical reading skills will stay with you for the long run, it's not like most other exams where you learn something for one exam only to forget it all a week later.

    Overview for section 2
    It is imperative that you start early and aim to write one or two essays everyday. Initially spend 45 minutes or so per essay really sculpting it. Make it into a model essay, research good examples that you can use etc. Closer to the exam, start speeding up and doing it all under timed conditions. Aim for 450-500 words.

    The trick here is twofold, it is very unlikely for you on the exam day to sculpt two completely original 80+ essays in an hour.

    The first trick is that good old regurgitation really helps in this regard, this is because the themes tend to overlap quite a lot. If you have written 30+ essays, you will find that you can regurgitate the well researched and well sculpted content from various essays that you used previously - like a pastiche.

    The second trick is the 'titling of the essay'. You can provide clarity for the markers by providing a title for the essay. I normally used titles that were questions e.g. 'Is big government or small government more beneficial for societal well-being?' - it complements the essay structure that I have outline below (intro, for, against, synthesis (conclusion)). I cannot stress the importance of effective titling, because it allows you to direct the essay into an area where you have interest in (or into an area where you have written previous essays in) even if the quotes may not be explicitly referring to such an area. For example if politics and government are your areas of interest, quotes regarding surveillance could be transformed into an essay that is about state surveillance. Likewise, quotes regarding leadership can also be transformed into an essay about different government leadership structures and so on.

    I use the same structure for Task A and Task B. If you have this framework, you won't waste time trying to plan the essay in the exam.
    Task A & B - Introduction, argument 1, argument 2 (counter argument), conclusion (synthesis)
    Task A - tends to be sociocultural/philosophical questions
    Task B - tends to be more personal and reflective topics

    Tone for task A - third person, more academic. Try and bring in factual examples, statistics, data, anything that you can use to show off your worldly knowledge! I think this is what really makes this essay shine.
    Tone for task B - I normally approached these more personally and in a first person voice. However, the quotes can sometimes be interpreted in a more 'task A' manner and if so, feel free to write the essay in a task A style.

    Overview for section 3
    You will find that the traditional method of revision isn't very effective for the GAMSAT - e.g. going through the textbook and making notes etc.

    I would recommend that you first attempt an ACER paper and try and get familiar with the GAMSAT style. You will then appreciate how the exam is very much about 'processing information' rather than regurgitating it for section 3, and you can direct your revision time and structure more effectively. You will also find that even without any science background, you can answer a surprising proportion of the questions through logic.

    I used the Griffiths Review 'syllabus' as a rough guide and this http://www.gamsat.ie/ website 'syllabus' as a more in depth guide to structure my learning.

    When tackling the topics, always make sure you have a solid conceptual understanding of what is going on. This is the most crucial aspect for success in section 3. This way, memorising formulas will be easy, as you can derive it rather than rely on rote memorisation. This can help save valuable time in section 3 as you will be under intense time pressure. Often the blurb provides more than sufficient information for you to solve questions, but ACER likes to distort simple formulas to catch you out, by switching out the variables etc.

    The rest is again practice, practice and practice. The Des O'Neill is perfect for this.

    If you have any further queries, drop them here!

    Update 2
    This section is dedicated for MMI interview preparation.

    Firstly, GEM MMI interviews' primary goal is not to try and catch you out or to try and test your intellectual capability. Just by crossing the GAMSAT threshold, the universities deem that you are intelligent enough to handle the rigours of a medical degree.

    Instead what they seek in my opinion are three things.
    1. How well you understand the realities of medicine.
    2. How introspective you are - whether you understand your limitations and how you go about overcoming these.
    3. How composed you are during the interview.

    The third factor is often overlooked but given that at each station, all that the interviewers know about you is your name, it's incredibly important to look assured. As a Doctor, you will be in situations far more stressful than interviews and if you can't handle interview nerves, you are going to come across poorly - I can guarantee you that most if not all candidates are terrified prior to the interview. The key is to have a mindset where you know you deserve the place and why the medical school needs a fine future Doctor.

    To attain such a mindset effectively, you need to buttress it with the necessary preparation. The first is getting some quality work experience under your belt and the second is to prepare for the MMI questions that you will face.

    Work Experience
    MMI interviewers follow a script so it's crucial to keep your answers personal and interesting. To do so, you need to look beyond the 'HCA work' which GEM universities love to recommend. In your work experience, try and organise both clinical and non-clinical experiences whilst covering areas that are particularly topical. Keep a journal - always reflect on what you can do better, how the patient may perceive your actions and what you can do to improve in your service delivery. Never forget to constantly think from the patient's perspective. If you can show off these qualities during interview, you will really separate yourself from the other candidates. Also, make sure to read the surrounding literature in areas that you volunteered in as well as in areas that you are interested in.

    I volunteered at
    1. A hospital ward (basically doing HCA work).
    2. A charity for the elderly (I interacted with a lot of dementia patients) - another topical area.
    3. A charity for the mentally ill - again another hugely topical area.
    4. A charity for disabled children.

    These experiences meant that I was able to cover a wide demographic and different conditions that require different skill sets. This also meant that I could provide personal yet professional examples for every question that I faced during the MMI interviews.

    MMI Prep
    This book is the holy grail.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Medical-Int...icard+medicine

    I made a word document that consisted of every single question in this book (even the traditional interview questions are very applicable to the MMI) and made a framework answer for those questions using my own personal examples. As the MMI is nerve wracking, hectic and often short (it feels very short) it's notoriously difficult to provide structured and clear answers. However, approaching the preparation this way ensures that you can give concise and coherent answers under pressure. It is important to note that you prepare a framework answer for every question instead of writing out model answers. The latter is often very counterproductive as you can sound rehearsed, whereas a framework gives you a clear plan to work with and the intermediate sentence structures are improvised on the spot which means that it does not sound rehearsed.

    After making this document (36 pages in Word), I read it two or three times every month and by the interview time, I knew exactly how I was going to answer every question. The framework method also works as most of the interview questions are variants of one another - especially the ethics questions.

    Read up on the NHS (read journals by both right wing and left wing think tanks) - read some papers that pit the NHS against more privatised systems in Europe that have far better health outcomes (the IEA has a good paper on this). Don't offer the usual platitudes about how great the NHS is. Acknowledge that the underpinning principles of the NHS are admirable but that reforms should be implemented to improve health outcomes.

    Read the documents that are mentioned in the aforementioned book (such as the GMC's good medical practice).

    Read journals on areas that you are interested in, or in areas that you are volunteering in. Be as proactive as possible.

    Go on the Medic Portal MMI mock session. It was impressively similar to the real thing. They also give you great feedback on how you can improve your performance.

    Try and do as many practice questions as you can with somebody who you feel slightly awkward with. It's too comical when doing it with people you are too comfortable with.
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    Why did you sit it again when you got 76 the first time?
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    (Original post by Marathi)
    Why did you sit it again when you got 76 the first time?
    I was ill on the day, and I thought as I had time other than volunteering, I might as well knuckle down and really understand the organic chemistry which I knew very superficially the first time round.
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    (Original post by 10LFC10)
    Any idea just what I would give to "under perform" like that on section 1 :'

    Amazing score, really no need to have wasted money re-doing it! I hope the application has gone well

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I think it would help in terms of medical school, if I have a far better understanding of organic chemistry. I also liked the exam because it wasn't the usual memorise then forget a week later, it forced me to pick up reading a lot, keeping up with contemporary issues for section 2, and to learn how to analyse and process information at a rapid rate for section 3! Good to see a Liverpool fan!

    Two more interviews left !
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    Thank you so much for this thread, it is very interesting as I have just begun my GAMSAT journey. But my goodness, how much money did you spend on all those prep materials? It seems like you have a whole GAMSAT library :eek:

    I have also heard great things about Des o'neill from Australians but how did you manage to get your hand on then because I hear they are no longer being published. I have a dodgy pdf on section 2 but I've let to look through it. Please post links to for the Des books if you still have them.

    What and where was your first degree? It seems you are very talented, am I smelling a little bit of oxbridge? Would you say that the GAMSAT is purely based on your aptitude or can you master it to get around the mid 60s though tactical studying? I only ask because my written communication is poor, and thinking of section 2 makes me want to cry.

    But good luck with your application! Where have you applied and have you got any offers yet?
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    (Original post by manicmedic)
    Thank you so much for this thread, it is very interesting as I have just begun my GAMSAT journey. But my goodness, how much money did you spend on all those prep materials? It seems like you have a whole GAMSAT library :eek:

    I have also heard great things about Des o'neill from Australians but how did you manage to get your hand on then because I hear they are no longer being published. I have a dodgy pdf on section 2 but I've let to look through it. Please post links to for the Des books if you still have them.

    What and where was your first degree? It seems you are very talented, am I smelling a little bit of oxbridge? Would you say that the GAMSAT is purely based on your aptitude or can you master it to get around the mid 60s though tactical studying? I only ask because my written communication is poor, and thinking of section 2 makes me want to cry.

    But good luck with your application! Where have you applied and have you got any offers yet?
    Some of the books I simply loaned from the local library, the rest PDFs and so on, I split the cost with a friend too, so in aggregate we both spent less than 200. I hope the list will help you avoid wasting money on some terrible books. Just make sure the sellers are legitimate, (google search will yield several), the same applies for the Australian stuff.

    I did my first degree in Economics at Cambridge, but had no science background prior, and hadn't (shameful I know) read or written essays in a long time. I had read a handful of books over the course of several years and so I was woefully under prepared for all three sections. Plus I had been working in finance for a while, so I was out of touch with studying.

    I would say the GAMSAT is aptitude based for sure, it really tests how quickly you can process the relevant information and this applies especially for section 3, however it is possible to get a good score by boosting up your mark in section 2. You can also hone your 'aptitude' by doing plenty of practice. I am despite my degree not very strong quantitatively, but working through the des oneill material helped me to definitely speed up a lot for section 3.

    Section 2, the themes actually end up overlapping quite significantly, and so after going through many titles, you can recycle the content from essay to essay. For this section, I would recommend in general taking a quite academic approach for part A and a personal approach for part B. Well versed Oscar Wilde-esque English is completely unnecessary and it is important to supplement your task A with good examples.

    I would practice by spending as long as you want on sculpting a perfect 500-600 word essay. Do this several times, then start speeding up the process to fit it under the 30 minutes, this is the only method by which your writing will improve, trying to do it all in 30 minutes from the start is futile in my opinion.

    I have 2 offers so far, and two more interviews to go! I applied to the usual GAMSAT unis.
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    (Original post by 10LFC10)
    I found all 3 sections of des oneill on ebay for 35 pounds which had all been scanned in and sent via Dropbox. such a good buy honestly !

    My section 2 has always been fine and I have basically used practice essays (acer, gold standard, des oneill) to comprise a table for section A of pros, cons and examples for each case. This has helped massively ! Even though I don't know it in massive detail, simply knowing this to when I didn't has improved my score so it's a really good place to start

    Plus......TITLES !!!!!!!
    Just bear in mind that the des oneill is somewhat harder and more quantitative at times than the actual GAMSAT. Some of the mental arithmetic is over the top, so don't despair!
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    So heartened to know that you have received offers, congrats!

    Like you, I have no science background and working in the finance industry with little time after work to study. I spent a few months studying content and have just started on the ACER papers (I'm preparing for the March Gamsat).

    I feel that spending alot of time doing content study was not very helpful (in my case) as the ACER questions I came across were on topics which I didn't manage to cover :hmpf:

    Thankfully I'm learning from the solutions and I really gotta try to comprehend the science passages quickly because I can take forever to read and understand the stimulus. I have Des O'Neill questions and it's certainly a good practice resource. Gonna hit 'em all!
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    (Original post by buckbeak123)
    So heartened to know that you have received offers, congrats!

    Like you, I have no science background and working in the finance industry with little time after work to study. I spent a few months studying content and have just started on the ACER papers (I'm preparing for the March Gamsat).

    I feel that spending alot of time doing content study was not very helpful (in my case) as the ACER questions I came across were on topics which I didn't manage to cover :hmpf:

    Thankfully I'm learning from the solutions and I really gotta try to comprehend the science passages quickly because I can take forever to read and understand the stimulus. I have Des O'Neill questions and it's certainly a good practice resource. Gonna hit 'em all!
    Best of luck and yes do keep chipping away!
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    Thanks Osiris!

    By the way, how did you find the ACER Sample/Practice/Test 1 & 2 papers? Were they similar to the actual exam (in terms of difficulty) for sections 1 and 3?

    Any worth redoing all the papers if there's time before the big day?
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    (Original post by buckbeak123)
    Thanks Osiris!

    By the way, how did you find the ACER Sample/Practice/Test 1 & 2 papers? Were they similar to the actual exam (in terms of difficulty) for sections 1 and 3?

    Any worth redoing all the papers if there's time before the big day?
    Papers are worth redoing, and yes the ACER papers have pretty good overlap with the actual exam.

    Although, the GAMSAT I actually did were a lot more to do with figuring out information from graphs etc.
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    Need your advice, Osiris:

    Des science question bank is unbelievably difficult (esp titration!) and any confidence that I have goes down the drain. The ACER papers are more manageable, thankfully.

    I am thinking of skipping insanely tough Des questions but should I ensure I am able to do every question? I guess my question is, is the actual Gamsat similar in difficulty to the Des practice questions/tests?
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    (Original post by buckbeak123)
    Need your advice, Osiris:

    Des science question bank is unbelievably difficult (esp titration!) and any confidence that I have goes down the drain. The ACER papers are more manageable, thankfully.

    I am thinking of skipping insanely tough Des questions but should I ensure I am able to do every question? I guess my question is, is the actual Gamsat similar in difficulty to the Des practice questions/tests?
    Des is harder, and as I wrote up above the mental arithmetic is over the top, but I would recommend that you at least look at the answers and make sure you understand the reasoning behind them.

    Gamsat is more similar to the acer but not far off the des.

    Focus on data interpretation, and if you can do the Des data interpretation, you will find the gamsat very manageable.
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    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Thanks Osiris - The passages are mostly dense and I agree it will be good practice to go through them.

    Another question: did you feel that strong science knowledge is required to get Des questions right, esp the Chem ones? It doesn't look like answers can be derived just by using the passage information, which is in contrast to Gamsat.

    Just don't wanna freak out over my lack of science knowledge (even though I spent a few months learning them, its never ending!).

    As always, thank you and appreciate your advice, Osiris!
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    (Original post by buckbeak123)
    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Thanks Osiris - The passages are mostly dense and I agree it will be good practice to go through them.

    Another question: did you feel that strong science knowledge is required to get Des questions right, esp the Chem ones? It doesn't look like answers can be derived just by using the passage information, which is in contrast to Gamsat.

    Just don't wanna freak out over my lack of science knowledge (even though I spent a few months learning them, its never ending!).

    As always, thank you and appreciate your advice, Osiris!
    Most of the time they give you the equations for the sciences so you should be able to do them.

    Focus however more on organic chemistry. A lot of chemistry questions in the actual Gamsat did require some prior knowledge. Also due to the time pressure, it is also better if you know the science off the top of your head.
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    I'm hoping to sit the GAMSAT in September, as well as the UKCAT.
    I've heard so many horror stories about it, and once cancelled my test after booking it.
    Thank you for the information about the useful resources.
    If I start revising now, will I have enough time to practice well enough to get a good score in Sept?
    Also, how much time should I spend revising per day?
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    (Original post by Ninja_R)
    I'm hoping to sit the GAMSAT in September, as well as the UKCAT.
    I've heard so many horror stories about it, and once cancelled my test after booking it.
    Thank you for the information about the useful resources.
    If I start revising now, will I have enough time to practice well enough to get a good score in Sept?
    Also, how much time should I spend revising per day?
    You have a ton of time until September. I really can't comment, as I don't know your background, or how effectively you study, but a few solid hours of concentrated work a day should suffice?
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    Hi Osiris,I am looking to do the GAMSAT in September and am interested in buying the books in bulk off you. How much did you want for the entire set?
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    Hi Oisiris, are these resources still available? I too live in West London and can be reached on . Would love to just buy the whole lot in one.
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    (Original post by Osiris Wintereisse)
    I took the GAMSAT twice. Once in March 2016 as well as September 2016. In March, I ended up scoring 76 despite under performing in section 1 after taking painkillers for a fever and feeling very groggy during section 1. After 5 months of self study. I scored
    S1: 64
    S2: 86
    S3: 76

    For the September exam, my total score went up to 82. A rise in both S1 and S3, and a slight drop in S2. I think the S1 rise is attributable simply to more practice, S2 drop was due to not practising essays anymore (got fed up) and the S3 increase was due to practice and better understanding of Physics.

    The reason I sat the September exam was because I was told by a lot of people that the September exam is actually 'easier' and the distribution is more favourable to get higher marks. Having sat both, I wouldn't say this is true, as the September exam was in some ways a lot of harder and more data analysis driven than the March counterpart.

    Previous to taking up GAMSAT, I did Economics at university and worked in Investment Banking. For A levels, I hadn't done any sciences (I did Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Politics, Music & French). At university I wrote a handful of short essays in my first year, and none since.

    As a result, I was approaching all sections of the GAMSAT at the worst possible starting point. I wasted an incredible amount of time looking for appropriate resources, and there is a huge amount of misinformation on the internet with what the appropriate resources are and hopefully I can help with regard to this and the best way to revise for the exam. There are a lot of 'agents' posing to be users and trying to give their books a good reputation on the forums. In addition, there are people who sell books (especially on gumtree) but the books are not what they are described to be, so I urge you to be especially diligent when buying second hand books and not end up wasting money and energy like I did.

    I think it would take far too long, if I were to write up on everything, but if you have specific questions about each section, or about what study materials I used, feel free to message me or post here, and I will look to get back to you as soon as possible. Here is however a quick snapshot of the material that I came across with another friend I was studying with and how we thought they ranked.

    Collins Advanced Science 8/10: good for general knowledge, if you are jumping into the science at the deep end.

    GAMSAT Gold Standard 3/10: other than the practice paper at the end of the book, this book pissed me off. It's marketed as the holy grail of GAMSAT, but it's way too shallow, and the stupid cat animation drove me crazy.

    Grad Med Science books & sample exam papers 8/10: Organic chemistry is not great, physical chemistry, biology and physics good. Exam papers, very similar to the real thing. Don't go on the course, you can easily just teach yourself.

    Ozimed Sample Papers 7/10: Very recall based, so unlike GAMSAT in this respect, but a good starting point to check your science knowledge. Verbal reasoning, way too easy.

    Guru Method 7/10: It's decent. Nothing spectacular, their collection of questions are fairly similar to the GAMSAT.

    Medprep Sample Papers 7/10: Fairly similar to actual GAMSAT.

    Des O'neill 9/10: Epic question bank, endless questions, several practice papers. All the practice you need and more. You can get it cheap as PDF.

    Griffiths Review 8/10: Good overview, cheap, worth getting.

    N.B. Obviously get the acer material!

    If you have any further queries, drop them here!

    Hey!

    I wanted to ask if you came across ACE GAMSAT and if its worth using it?
    Also do you know if those Des PDFs are still available? They seem pretty useful.

    Thanks!!
 
 
 
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