GAMSAT or MCAT Watch

AdrianaCZ
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Hello!

Please, does anybody have the experience with both tests?

I am not sure if to take both or if it is better to focus on only one type.

Thank you for any advice!
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ltsmith
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uh, are you looking at applying to american med schools? if yes, take the MCAT.

if not and if you are interested in graduate entry medicine in the UK, take the GAMSAT.
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AdrianaCZ
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Thank you for the prompt answer.

Actually, Australian, where both tests are fine...
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ltsmith
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(Original post by AdrianaCZ)
Thank you for the prompt answer.

Actually, Australian, where both tests are fine...
idk much about australian med school, but i would look at the entry requirements of the institutions you are interested in and decide based on that.
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AdrianaCZ
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The institutions accept both MCAT as well as GAMSAT..
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ltsmith
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(Original post by AdrianaCZ)
The institutions accept both MCAT as well as GAMSAT..
you won't find many people on here who will have sat the MCAT, let alone someone with experiences of both.

i would recommend you ask this question on the studentdoctor forum or on reddit r/premed
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AdrianaCZ
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Alright thank you so much!
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RajahElTigre
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(Original post by AdrianaCZ)
Hello!

Please, does anybody have the experience with both tests?

I am not sure if to take both or if it is better to focus on only one type.

Thank you for any advice!
Hi, I've taken both. They're both pretty different in how they test you. Most people require more study time and science classes for the MCAT because it covers like 5 or 6x as much information and has a psychology/sociology section. If you're not so strong in science, you'd probably have a better chance with the GAMSAT, but I can't say it was easier. It tests more logic and reasoning than the MCAT and requires less of a science background, so I found that the questions were ambiguous sometimes. Even the non-science questions could be pretty ambiguous in my opinion. I have a degree in Biochemistry and thought the scope was a little too simplistic sometimes and ignored important details. The MCAT relies a lot more on your memory and understanding of science so if you know the material well, you'll have more to draw on than just figuring stuff out of the blue with the GAMSAT.

I can't say one is easier than the other because it's a matter of which test better aligns with your thinking. Both test how well you can align yourself with the testmaker's thinking, so try a practice test from ACER and one from AAMC to determine which one you think you're better suited for. There are also more test prep options for the MCAT so it's highly likely that you'll find materials that meet your needs and are cost effective. Also, keep in mind that most places have several test dates for the MCAT throughout the year so if you don't like your score, you can probably retake it in a couple months. There are only 2 GAMSAT dates per year and it takes twice as long as the MCAT for the scores to come out, so I'd advise that you try to get it right the first time (which many find difficult). Hope this helps!
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AdrianaCZ
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(Original post by RajahElTigre)
Hi, I've taken both. They're both pretty different in how they test you. Most people require more study time and science classes for the MCAT because it covers like 5 or 6x as much information and has a psychology/sociology section. If you're not so strong in science, you'd probably have a better chance with the GAMSAT, but I can't say it was easier. It tests more logic and reasoning than the MCAT and requires less of a science background, so I found that the questions were ambiguous sometimes. Even the non-science questions could be pretty ambiguous in my opinion. I have a degree in Biochemistry and thought the scope was a little too simplistic sometimes and ignored important details. The MCAT relies a lot more on your memory and understanding of science so if you know the material well, you'll have more to draw on than just figuring stuff out of the blue with the GAMSAT.

I can't say one is easier than the other because it's a matter of which test better aligns with your thinking. Both test how well you can align yourself with the testmaker's thinking, so try a practice test from ACER and one from AAMC to determine which one you think you're better suited for. There are also more test prep options for the MCAT so it's highly likely that you'll find materials that meet your needs and are cost effective. Also, keep in mind that most places have several test dates for the MCAT throughout the year so if you don't like your score, you can probably retake it in a couple months. There are only 2 GAMSAT dates per year and it takes twice as long as the MCAT for the scores to come out, so I'd advise that you try to get it right the first time (which many find difficult). Hope this helps!
Hi Rejah !

Thank you very much for your advice.

I appreciate your comment and I find it very beneficial.

Good luck with your career.
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RajahElTigre
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(Original post by AdrianaCZ)
Hi Rejah !

Thank you very much for your advice.

I appreciate your comment and I find it very beneficial.

Good luck with your career.
You're welcome. I wish you the best!
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aikaaki
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Having sat both MCAT and GAMSAT, I can confirm the above, i.e. that the GAMSAT is more to do with logical reasoning and you can't really prepare for that. As for MCAT, it's more knowledge based and if you revise all of the sections you can do well.
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SandiyG
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I’m thinking of sitting the MCAT this year. What prep material would you recommend, books, online etc.? And you said you can take it more than twice in a year?
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HowToBeABlobfish
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MCAT is primarily American, and GAMSAT is graduate entry sooooo...
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SandiyG
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(Original post by HowToBeABlobfish)
MCAT is primarily American, and GAMSAT is graduate entry sooooo...
This is in reply to the MCAT please
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aikaaki
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(Original post by SandiyG)
I’m thinking of sitting the MCAT this year. What prep material would you recommend, books, online etc.? And you said you can take it more than twice in a year?
Examcrackers for MCAT VR, Kaplan and Princeton review books, Khan Academy...
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SandiyG
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Thank you very much.
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RajahElTigre
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(Original post by SandiyG)
I’m thinking of sitting the MCAT this year. What prep material would you recommend, books, online etc.? And you said you can take it more than twice in a year?
I think it depends a lot on the type of student you are, how much money you're willing to spend, and how much time you can invest. If you take a practice test and you find that the MCAT style is comfortable for you and you only need to review some of the material more (like your practice test score is 500-505 or higher), you don't need a lot of materials or to spend a lot of money. Kaplan tends to work well for these people and I'd suggest just getting the review books and practice tests from Kaplan and AAMC. You can get more AAMC materials if that makes you more comfortable. This is what I did the first time I took the MCAT and it wasn't a good fit for me because I know the material very well but the MCAT style was difficult for me to adjust to. The second time I look it, I had more time to invest in prep (at least 20hrs/week for 3.5 months) so I did an online prep course from Next Step. It's probably the cheapest online prep course you can get. It's around $1500 I think and you have about 6 months access, whereas Kaplan is at least $2300. Next Step is amazing in my opinion because they give you a TON of materials. You don't have to go through all of it, but it allows you to pick things that work best for you. It helped to bring my practice test scores up more than 10 points. I'm still waiting on my official test results. I got one of the books from ExamKrackers and honestly, it was pretty similar to the CARS book from Next Step. I've heard some really good things about ExamKrackers and their practice tests. Stay away from Princeton Review. Literally everyone I've heard from complains about that company. The material isn't very relevant to the real MCAT, and the practice tests aren't good.

In short, if you don't need much help, save your money and just buy the Kaplan textbooks, practice tests, and AAMC materials. If you need a bit more guidance, go for Next Step or ExamKrackers. Most people use materials from a couple different sources to develop flexibility and try different approaches. And yes, you can take the MCAT multiple times per year. If you're in the US or near by, there are several test dates every month from January to September except February. The UK test dates are: January 19, March 15, April 6, May 23, May 24, June 28, July 19, July 20, August 17, September 13. You can find more info at: https://students-residents.aamc.org/...ting-calendar/. There is a limit to the number of times you can take the MCAT in a year and in your lifetime. I think it's no more than 3x in one year and 7x in your life.
Edit: forgot to mention Khan Academy. They're good for free review videos, but I hated their practice materials. Too different from the real MCAT.
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aikaaki
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(Original post by RajahElTigre)
I think it depends a lot on the type of student you are, how much money you're willing to spend, and how much time you can invest. If you take a practice test and you find that the MCAT style is comfortable for you and you only need to review some of the material more (like your practice test score is 500-505 or higher), you don't need a lot of materials or to spend a lot of money. Kaplan tends to work well for these people and I'd suggest just getting the review books and practice tests from Kaplan and AAMC. You can get more AAMC materials if that makes you more comfortable. This is what I did the first time I took the MCAT and it wasn't a good fit for me because I know the material very well but the MCAT style was difficult for me to adjust to. The second time I look it, I had more time to invest in prep (at least 20hrs/week for 3.5 months) so I did an online prep course from Next Step. It's probably the cheapest online prep course you can get. It's around $1500 I think and you have about 6 months access, whereas Kaplan is at least $2300. Next Step is amazing in my opinion because they give you a TON of materials. You don't have to go through all of it, but it allows you to pick things that work best for you. It helped to bring my practice test scores up more than 10 points. I'm still waiting on my official test results. I got one of the books from ExamKrackers and honestly, it was pretty similar to the CARS book from Next Step. I've heard some really good things about ExamKrackers and their practice tests. Stay away from Princeton Review. Literally everyone I've heard from complains about that company. The material isn't very relevant to the real MCAT, and the practice tests aren't good.

In short, if you don't need much help, save your money and just buy the Kaplan textbooks, practice tests, and AAMC materials. If you need a bit more guidance, go for Next Step or ExamKrackers. Most people use materials from a couple different sources to develop flexibility and try different approaches. And yes, you can take the MCAT multiple times per year. If you're in the US or near by, there are several test dates every month from January to September except February. The UK test dates are: January 19, March 15, April 6, May 23, May 24, June 28, July 19, July 20, August 17, September 13. You can find more info at: https://students-residents.aamc.org/...ting-calendar/. There is a limit to the number of times you can take the MCAT in a year and in your lifetime. I think it's no more than 3x in one year and 7x in your life.
Edit: forgot to mention Khan Academy. They're good for free review videos, but I hated their practice materials. Too different from the real MCAT.
Hey, do you mind telling me what was your first mcat score? How long did you prepare to go up 10 points?? Did you find it easier than gamsat?
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RajahElTigre
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(Original post by aikaaki)
Hey, do you mind telling me what was your first mcat score? How long did you prepare to go up 10 points?? Did you find it easier than gamsat?
I'm pretty sad about my score, it was 494. My practice test scores back then weren't much better. I prepared for 3.5 months to get my practice scores up to 509. 3-4 months is the standard amount of time needed to prepare for the MCAT. If you take significantly less time, you'll need to invest yourself more. Like treat studying as a 9am-5pm job every day, and that's really exhausting. I don't recommend taking less than 2.5 months because you're going to be really tired when you actually take the exam (it's 7.5hrs!!) and you won't do very well or retain as much information. The first time I took the MCAT I started studying in my free time in January and stopped in March because it made keeping up with my uni work too difficult. I resumed in May-July, and I took the exam near the end of July. I was pretty stressed out from my job and honestly didn't put in enough study and practice time. So it's not always about how long you study. It's about how well you use your time.

Honestly... GAMSAT seemed a lot simpler than the MCAT. The amount of material it covers compared to the MCAT is barely anything. One issue was that there isn't as much guidance out there for the GAMSAT. There are tons more prep materials for MCAT and it's easier to find something that works AND to get a good idea of how you'll do on test day. Most practice tests for the MCAT are scaled and often resemble what score you'll get on the real MCAT. You don't have that opportunity with the GAMSAT so it's kinda just guessing. It's hard to know what direction to push yourself in when you don't actually know how your percentage translates into a scaled score. My biggest issue with the GAMSAT was that the scope of the questions was too simplistic, and that's why I got some questions wrong. Like imagine taking A levels and going back to some of the science questions you did when you were 13. You're going to think the questions are ambiguous sometimes because your knowledge and academic experience are beyond what those questions require. Apparently, most people who take the GAMSAT do not have more advanced science degrees like mine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It only requires maybe two years of beginner and intermediate science classes. An inherent flaw in a test that's so heavily based on logic and reasoning is that a lot of people reason things out differently and will get different answers, but won't necessarily be wrong. I will say though that taking the GAMSAT wasn't as exhausting as the MCAT. Technically, GAMSAT is a bit shorter and you have a nice LONG break halfway through. The MCAT is more of a rush, and if you miss questions in GAMSAT it's not that big a deal. Your MCAT score will plunge if you skip a passage or two.The best way to know which one is better for you is to take a practice test and see how you do. Do a scaled MCAT. People often say if you get 60% of GAMSAT questions right, you'll do well. I'm not so sure of that because your GAMSAT score is not directly related to your percentage. It's scaled.
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