1. Practice problem-solving
GAMSAT Section 3 is a science-themed problem solving exercise. As such, your practice needs to focus on logical reasoning – to interpret information and draw relevant conclusions accurately.
They key focus here should be to:
- Practice absorbing the stimulus – focus on key images and phrases
- Applying concepts – highlight key words, patterns or examples provided
- Responding to the question – read this properly as it will likely tell you everything you need to know.
2. Systematise visual and graphical interpretation
In GAMSAT Section 3, questions are typically presented in a visual and tabular form. ACER likes to give the weird and wonderful graphs which are often difficult to comprehend. There are a few key skills to finesse:
- Strategise your approach – look at each element of the graph step-by-step (e.g. title, legend, units, exponential curves or lines)
- Recognise the patterns that may be present (e.g. some lines increase in a decreasing fashion)
We go through more of our GamsatScience Method in our private tutoring lessons.
3. Practice pattern recognition
Many ‘pattern recognition’ questions are typically hidden as an organic chemistry (e.g. alkanes) or biology question (e.g. feedback loop). They typically do not require you know theory – know it might seem like you do – and the trick here is to look for patterns such as :
- increasing or decreasing numbers
- odd shapes which may be repeated
- similar shapes
4. Develop core maths skills
The GAMSAT does not allow for a calculator to be used. You will need to have a strong command of basic maths skills (e.g. equations, fractions, logarithms, unit conversions) and this comes with practice. Most of the skills you need will be up to a Year 10 level, and you can practice these skills using the website below:
MCAT maths without a calculator: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_uKI3obn00Z4zrNbkPAw6B3KNZPQ16se
5. Master verbal reasoning questions
The one problem most students struggle with is learning how to break down large blocks of words that can last an entire page. Most of the information is sometimes irrelevant save for the example and the graph/visual illustration that they provide.
Watch out for ‘distractors’ and whilst practicing questions, focus on what’s important so that you get to the correct answer more efficiently.
6. Be selective with resources
The best resources to use are from the official ACER GAMSAT website: https://gamsat.acer.org/prepare/preparation-materials
These questions best reflect what you will encounter in the real exam so there is no point of doing MCAT-style questions that are based more on theory than problem solving.
7. Avoid rote-learning biology, physics or organic chemistry
Many people make the incorrect assumption that need to spend months studying biology, physics and organic chemistry for GAMSAT Section 2. We strongly do NOT advocate for this as the large majority of questions in the GAMSAT are novel regardless of what you have studied.
For example, whilst you might understand organic chemistry – ACER GAMSAT will present you with a completely novel equation that you have never seen before!
8. Attempt ACER GAMSAT questions sooner!
GAMSAT Section 3 preparation can still be very useful. Don’t save the ACER questions to the last as it is important to review why your answers were incorrect.
Studying beforehand can be a great way to practice strategy and gain a framework for understanding new concepts and how to break them down to answer a question.
9. Break down questions strategically
It is important to come up with a method which you will use to break down different types of questions.
There are five different types of questions, so consider how you will break down each type step-by-step.
1. Interpret visual information – graphs, flow charts, tables
2. Practice pattern recognition
3. Develop core numerical reasoning skills – manipulating numbers and equations
4. Master verbal reasoning – decode difficult text-heavy questions
10. Practice ACER GAMSAT Questions
Make sure to complete all ACER GAMSAT stimuli before the GAMSAT exam. The questions you encounter in the GAMSAT are likely going to be much different to anything you have done before.
Don’t get hung up if you have not done so well in one section over the other and make sure to optimise your preparation time.
More blogs coming on how to optimise your preparation for the GAMSAT.
Last of all, good luck! We wish you all the best. 🙂