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xmc2017
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Will places for the March 2018 GAMSAT run out? How long can I realistically wait to book a spot?
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Akmll
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Hi guys, I've just registered for the march exam! Does anyone know where the Liverpool test centre is?
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daiigou
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(Original post by Akmll)
Hi guys, I've just registered for the march exam! Does anyone know where the Liverpool test centre is?
It changes depending on how many students want to sit it in Liverpool so you won't find out until they release the tickets a few weeks prior.
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(Original post by daiigou)
It changes depending on how many students want to sit it in Liverpool so you won't find out until they release the tickets a few weeks prior.
Isn’t it always on brownlow in the crypt? I went to Liverpool uni and it’s big capacity and exams are pretty much always here when it’s large cohorts (they fit all of life sciences in with no problems)
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(Original post by Volibear)
Might be a silly questions but I've read different answers. Are you allowed a calculator for Section III?
Used to be but not anymore I’m afraid! Would work on logs defo
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Hiya guys,
Because I have too much time on my hands I thought I'd give my/gradmeds two cents on the GAMSAT. I did the gradmed intensive course, and honestly I couldn't rate it enough. Most the tips I will be sharing has come from them however I went a bit rogue on some of the things and it seemed to have worked for me.

I'm sorry this is quite lengthy and rambly- I'm just kind of blurting it out as it comes to me. People might disagree but most of this advice is my own experience/advice of 'experts' at gradmed. I'm only intending on helping! If you'd like to see a list of topics/contents page that the gradmed course covers I'd happily send that- however I won't send the actual content of the book as I think going on the gradmed course is great and would encourage anybody to do so. I will also happily send my essay practices done on the gradmed course/their scoring so you can see what kind of answer gets what kind of score.
Section 1
Spoiler:
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This section is verbal reasoning section. I think when people say practice verbal reasoning in general this is a very bad idea. This could not be further from the UKCAT version- the UKCAT assess your ability to find and retrieve information within a given time scale. This is much more time lenient and more focused on really understanding the analytical and emotional underpinnings of the text. For example, do you know the difference between an allegory or an analogy? The difference is quite intricate. Likewise I remember this year in the paper there was a cartoon of a plane crash, and a man walking away from the wreckage saying 'well back to the drawing board', and I think the possible answers were does this show confidence, or ignorance. Which frankly can be misconstrued and you could argue either side for. So as you can see, there is much more to this than simply find and retrieve. Sometimes, all the answers can be correct and it is much more about which is the 'most' correct.

So the good people at gradmed gave me a book which I worked through for this, they're very good in that theres detailed explanations of each answer however as I've stated above some of the answers just couldn't be directly answered. The author of the book says that there are strong arguments for both, however one sometimes slightly was more convincing than another- this can often be down to personal opinion. I therefore would definitely argue there's a certain element of luck in this section. IE on the day when you're between two very similar answers are you going to reason more to one side than the other. Now, the gradmed mock is argued by some to be harder than the real thing for this section. I'm unsure, but people I know scored better on the real thing than the mock. Having said this, I got 72ish on the mock and 55 in the real thing. Which is obviously a massive drop- I attribute this to having no sleep the day before, being a bag of nerves, and it being 9oclock in the morning after leaving my house at stupid oclock to faff around with registering. I found gradmed very close to the real thing in this section so I find it hard to attribute this to a lack of skill on my behalf (VR is usually very good for me, I do not struggle with time and think of myself as quite literate). Speaking of time, I would say you are still pushed from time but nowhere near to the extent of the UKCAT. I think its very easy to faff around arguing with yourself over certain answers but I would recommend just committing yourself to an answer then moving on.

Either way, whatever resource you use make sure to know understandings of words. Write them down and make little revision cards for them. I thought I knew lots of the words and I did- I just didn't know discrete differences between synonyms and I can't stress this enough. I also highly stress that you shouldn't just read poems which I see a lot of people recommending. Its entirely aimless. There's nothing to be gained from it unless you're testing your understanding. Ultimately, poetry related questions will be asking for purpose, emotional context, or structuring. For structure and purpose I would learn what a stanza is, a polemic, a diatribe etc.

My list of words I found helpful to write down meanings for included the following; allegory, altruistic, maxim, syllepsis, maxim, deductive vs analytical argument, conflated, contrasted, juxtaposed, parrallel, paradigm, conviction, paradox, divisive, disingenious, egregious, diatribe, dialectic, polemic, pastiche, empathy, sympathy, utilitarian, fatalist, nihilist, libertarianism, misdirection, double entendre, pun, irony.

In summary I think this section is down to knowing your vocab. Which will ultimately help you in Section II also (see below). I do think this section is influenced by luck, there's some real nasty questions and its very hard to get a handle on how you've actually done.


Section II
Spoiler:
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My favourite section!! Honestly a blessing in disguise. Now, gradmed gave us a reading list for this and i think it is a horrendous idea to read the books on that list. I think its good to know the premises and main themes of the books - ie 1984 I used sparknotes. (A tip I will give if you're also doing the UKCAT and practicing VR is that there's a site called spreeder- I put the notes I was learning in there each day, reread them and made my reading faster by changing the time each day and was taking relevant info in at the same time).

Here is how I went about this for the exam- I got 69 (though I feel this was hindered by my severe lack of political knowledge). Prep- apart from learning basic texts. Absolute zilch other than the one day in gradmed.

It's all about technique here. And it most certainly isn't about how much you write- the experts in this write their essays in 15 minutes and get very high scores. This is why I also think it is a waste of time to practice writing essays in full and not just practice the main points. The one thing the gradmed people did stress is to practise precis. That is- practice putting text of about two medium sized paragraphs into 100 words without losing meaning. Then into 50. Then into 10. You'll find you start using longer, better words. This is what you should do in the GAMSAT. Be very efficient and concise with what you're saying so you have more time to make more points and make them well. There's no room for babbling. I didn't do this as I tend not to babble but if you know you do then I'd recommend. None of this 'in my opinion' or 'in the book 'x' the author 'y' says this. Make sure everything your saying has clear intent and purpose, make every word, sentence, and second of your time matter because it sincerely does in such a time pressured essay.

Now section B is easy so I shall get that out the way. Write it around the same way you would a section A- think about your points. Use a personal story to employ those points. Use your point of view and show emotional understanding by exploring opposing points of view through different perspectives of the story. And when I say story, think of four or even five experiences in your life. I promise you that you will have a way to apply those stories to any theme in the GAMSAT and it saves you time having to think about one. Try not to get bogged down in the story and more in answering the question. The marks seem to be easily awarded here and marked by showing emotional intelligence rather than any great linguistic or reasoning skill.

Section A. For this one the guy seemed to think it was all centred on originality. In my humble opinion I think originality is very important but only as important as it is to convey what you're saying well- and the only way to do that is through good vocab and concise writing. Anywho.

My first tip would be to write a title. Immediately that shows structure. Already beating like 30% of people that don't think of this.
Secondly- even if you know absolutely sod all what to write- have a powerful introduction. If you talk to most university lecturers markers tend to read the intro, read the conclusion and skim read the rest. A strong introduction and conclusion makes for a strong finish and ending.
Thirdly- when answering a specific title in the GAMSAT make sure you have identified and you are in some way answering the general theme that matches ALL the titles. This shows you are answering what they're really trying to get out of you for this. Also the question says 'you will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme'.

The gradmed people said through trial and error they have realised first person doesn't seem to make a difference. I did do this in some of my essays. I would say things like 'I find this issue particularly hard to deal with'. I found narrating my knee jerk reaction to some of the titles helpful. It shows you're saying- this is my immediate reaction but here actually I will delve into it deeper. You could of course do this in the third person- whatever you're most comfortable with. Other general essay rules include making sure your spelling is good. Some people believe it doesn't make a difference- I argue that your point may be undervalued if your writing is rife with errors. (I appreciate the irony that at 1am mine probably also is as i write this but whatever). It's annoying to read constant errors and can put someone off the general scent of a good essay. Also, make sure your paragraphs and your argument flows. Its so much easier to read when its structured cleverly, and flows well. ie one point leading logically onto another. The gradmed people made it clear that a good flowing argument is key.

Now onto thinking 'outside' the box this is actually easier than you think it is to do. It's about not just arguing a for and against but arguing in a 'multi dimensional' manner. One easy way to do this is by taking a word in the sentence given and picking it apart. I will use one of the examples used in the gradmed course 'planning and organisation is necessary for success'. Of course, most candidates will give a straight forward answer of for and against. Meanwhile, a better candidate will be going into this much deeper. What is success? If we take success to mean x then ... and you'd listen your normal arguments and then you'd say however, if we take it to mean y on the contrary then the opposite is true and youd use the arguments against. And Im sure within this you'd be thinking that sometimes, winging a situation can be good and therefore planning and success isn't necessary. Candidates should think of wider examples- the example of evolution is great for this and then you'd draw in quotes to explain your point quickly ie 'evolution is red in tooth and claw' is this success etc. And then you've used all your points just talking about what success is and then you can pick apart the word 'necessary'. And you see by picking apart the words you've suddenly got many more aspects to look at it than just the normal, boring ways.

Grad med seemed to think you can even write a section B like a section A and get away with it. So I feel that A is one that you should be fussing about and B is one that you should be winging.


Section III
Spoiler:
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My worst most hated section ever. I got 59 in this but I'm very inept at physics/maths/chemistry so take this all with a pinch of salt. The gradmed books for this section is invaluable. The theory is great and all you need to know. I have listed the topics they have in their contents below. I stressed so so hard about the science and I realised on the real thing there is very little here on scientific knowledge. Its like 90% reasoning and maths. Honestly. The great thing about gradmed is they sit the paper twice a year and the replicate the questions so you essentially have unofficial past papers- ie the values etc wont be the same but the scientific reasoning employed very much is. I cant stress how many graphs were in my 2017 September paper. Luckily, I'd seen most of these in the gradmed questions which both saved me time and ensured I was confident with my answers.
I'd point out- most the knowledge they give you on gradmed is useless. Revision is almost futile -i'd just leave and breathe their mock book. However, if a question does come up that you've practised lots or you really do know for example the equations rearranged inside out then thats a massive time saver. Most people that do well in s3 don't finish the test. So whilst knowledge you will not use the majority of it, where you can use it saves you heaps of time.

Biology- If you're a biology grad I wouldn't stress, it's essentially biology a level with a bit of kidney stuff etc sprinkled in. It's honestly not too hectic, a very very large proportion of the biology is assesing graph and table reading. I would not stress about this whatsoever.

Chemistry- I really liked how this was explained on the gradmed course. I'm sure many of you are familiar with AR on UKCAT. Organic chemistry is just about seeing patterns, recognising and applying them. Practise is the key to these. I personally found some of the aromatic ones very very hard. I would practice Alevel organic chemistry and not do the mechanism but just try to envisage working out product from reactants and visa versa. The physical chemistry really isn't challenging at all. Our paper was very heavy with organic chemistry so I'm really struggling to think of much for physical.

Physics- If i over revised and destroyed my soul with anything it was this. 110 science questions - 20 max of these are physics. Of these physics questions, lets say you can get some right from the text or basic scientific principle/reasoning. ie Some will be basic physics like pressure that is in all our understanding and can be deduced from the text. The large majority of physics questions are actually just maths questions whcih is where I highly recommend the maths for science section of gradmed. Learn how to do logs on paper, learn powers, learn square roots. Learn how to use equations and rearrange them. Learn units. Already from these two principles alone you're probably covered for most the questions. I can't tell you how long I spent pulling my hair out over stupid things like calculating vectors when its likely that only two if not one physics bit comes up. Because dont forget things will be physics but linked into biological principles, which you can use your biology to derive. I really would stress for this section- learn your maths. learn how to use equations. learn basic units. learn basic equations and know how to rearrange them but dont remember the rearrangements. Dont spend weeks stressing over learning stuff thats basic scientific principle which, I found, too much revision just made me overcomplicate and overthink things.

Note: Gradmed think you need about 50% to get a score of 60, I would say this is generous. I didnt finish the paper- ie I went through about 40% of the questions and answered fully, satisfied, about 40% i skimmed through and 20% I guessed completely. I thought I'd flunked it massively and while 59 isn't great if you do well in s1, s2 that'll score you an interview for most GAMSAT unis (especially Nottingham)
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(Original post by Volibear)
How much did the course cost?

Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
Around 1.2k for mock included! Very pricey.
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(Original post by Volibear)
That is a lot of money that I doubt most people will have lying around spare

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I actually just sourced the biology book and didn’t book onto it as it was two days and I was saving a lot of money- here is my breakdown Name:  06069E9F-40B2-47E1-8994-F534C398E8F6.jpg.jpeg
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(Original post by Volibear)
Still, considering that it's about two month's rent for me and I'm still in my final year, I think I'm going to have to go for the March GAMSAT without 😂

Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
Yeah- I was really lucky because my parents paid for mine. I actually have two sets of books but leant one set to a friend, if I can get them back I’ll let you know! I’m holding onto my copy unless I get a offer this year haha
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jay-pakchoi
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Hi everyone!

So glad to have come across this thread! I'm a GAMSAT hopeful too and was planning to take the March exam. But due to work and other things i've had some delay in doing revision and prep. I hear that some people have prepared for the GAMSAT in a month so I'm wondering if I should take the march exam or not. I graduated with a degree in Biomedical Sciences last year with a first and I was hoping to apply for GEM 2019 entry.

Does anyone have any tips with tackling section III? so far i've made a note to concentrate on maths aspect of it all seeing. How are other people tackling the exam?

PS. I'm london based too
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daiigou
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(Original post by jay-pakchoi)
Hi everyone!

So glad to have come across this thread! I'm a GAMSAT hopeful too and was planning to take the March exam. But due to work and other things i've had some delay in doing revision and prep. I hear that some people have prepared for the GAMSAT in a month so I'm wondering if I should take the march exam or not. I graduated with a degree in Biomedical Sciences last year with a first and I was hoping to apply for GEM 2019 entry.

Does anyone have any tips with tackling section III? so far i've made a note to concentrate on maths aspect of it all seeing. How are other people tackling the exam?

PS. I'm london based too
I'd definitely sit the exam even with a months revision. Worst case scenario it's a trial run for September.
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Hey, Thank you for the tips.. could you send me the topics list for section III?
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tamsin_athalie
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I'm hoping to sit the GAMSAT in September. I've got an Arts and a Neuroscience background, but I want to brush up on everything. I've not heard many great reviews about the gold standard GAMSAT book and it seems really expensive. Does anyone have any ideas for good study materials? I prefer hard copies, rather than ebooks. I've heard there's some overlap with MCAT for the science questions.
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s2.student
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(Original post by daiigou)
Hi

My advise to you or anyone thinking about starting to revise for GAMSAT is don't think you need to learn everything in terms of facts. What you need to do is try and understand concepts and familiarise yourself with as many as you can. It's a reasoning exam which means they will give you 95% of the information on the page and it's up to you to logically figure out what the right answer is. Get numerate very quickly. That's one of the most important things I did and I went from a section 3 score of 46 to 80 in a year. By numerate I mean learn how to manipulate equations, standard form and logs etc.

For section 1 & 2, ted talks and the ukcat question bank for verbal reasoning helped me a lot. Just remember not to restrict your responses in the essays to a set way because there's no set way.

Finally, and probably the most difficult, learn to enjoy the exam. Having sat it 3 times, I'm actually a little disappointed that I won't have to take it again. That sounds crazy but there's a reason the average people have to take it is 2.5 times.

I took the GradMed course which is honestly invaluable. So if you can afford it (and it's not cheap), I'd 100% advise you go on it. On the other hand, i've got all their study materials, about 25 papers which are honestly so similar to the real thing. Hit me up if you're interested.

Good luck!!
Hi I’m interested in the GRADMED material inbox me the detail please
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daiigou
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(Original post by s2.student)
Hi I’m interested in the GRADMED material inbox me the detail please
I'm really sorry, you're about 3 weeks too late. I have sold it. Thanks for reminding me so i can take that previous message down. Good luck
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s2.student
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(Original post by daiigou)
I'm really sorry, you're about 3 weeks too late. I have sold it. Thanks for reminding me so i can take that previous message down. Good luck
no problem thanks, what are your tips of getting a good score in the GAMSAT
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Charlottehall96
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Intending to take the GAMSAT in September in order to apply for GEM in 2020. Currently studying a part-time teaching degree and working full-time in a primary special needs school so I really don't have a science background! Any tips for how to get a decent score in the exam? Thanks
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Guys I just want to chip in here and say that lots of people get good scores without buying expensive prep courses or books. Don't panic if you haven't got a grand lying around for a course.

YouTube is your best friend. It will teach you everything. Just make sure you keep on applying knowledge to questions. Any questions are helpful, and gamsat-styled ones are even better. I liked Khan Academy and Professor Dave Explains the best, but find channels you like.

I have an English degree and no experience of post-GCSE science and I got 64, 72, 50, giving a total score of 59 / 62 depending on how you calculate it. It's not the best score, but frankly it's good enough. I prepared for it around my full job, and my part time job, and fitting in enough work experience.

I had moments during my prep where I thought I was never going to be good enough in section 3 and wanted to give up, but you CAN do it and you just have to keep going.
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Hi, I would write as many practice essays as possible and look at "Leah4sci MCAT maths without a calculator" on youtube - the latter helped me with all the maths prep. When you register you also get some free practice Qs which are good to go through in timed conditions. Good luck.
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