Anyone interested in forming a study group in or about Dublin?
You can sit the GAMSAT UK in September.
i could be (just waiting to hear back about some stuff first :/ ). Where are ya based???
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Think a study group for the GAMSAT 2011 would be a great idea. I would defnightly be on for setting one up. Anywhere in or around Dublin would suit me.
Have only just started studying for them now but am a bit overwhelmed by it all.
Great idea! I'm thinking of sitting it next year. I don't have a science background so September would be too early for me. I'm not really sure where to even begin studying so it would be great to meet up with others who may be in a similar situation.
Let us know where you're based.
Lads, even if you don't think you'll be ready by September I would strongly advise ye to sit it anyway - the GAMSAT is such a weird test and so much of it is about timing that a practice run is a great help. I sat last March with 6 weeks' study and no science background and I got a 57, sat again this year but delighted I had done it once as I thought it definitely prepared me better. Also, you might surprise yourself in September and take some of the pressure off for next March.
Is it not a lot of hassle to do it in UK tho? Also, from reading through the various GAMSAT posts here, I've read mixed reviews regarding the available study guides. Anyone find genuinely useful material??
I found the Griffiths Gamsat review useful for orientating in terms of what is required from the exam. Just note though it is a bit out of date in terms of some of the things it says about the logistics of the day. But as a starting point when you are lost in the sea of GAMSAT it is handy.
I would advocate doing a dry run in the UK if you can afford it. Some people say to got Bristol rather than London as the center is smaller and less stressful. You can get a cheap Ryanair flight and hotel for a night or two.
I'm not sure if I can go to UK, it's a good idea but I have placement in September and I don't want to miss a day of it. Better check the dates! Is it only online you can get the test materials?? I don't have a credit card, only a laser, none of the sites so far take Laser.
It's on Friday 17 September 2010.
I think you'll need a credit card for most sites, even to register for GAMSAT the handiest thing is to use a credit card otherwise you have to do some other shenanigans to pay the fee.
well im on board ........ going to sit them again in sept so will need all the help i can get .....will you be doin it in england aswell
Ah I can't go then! I'm still undecided about whether to do it or not, I did order some books though, hoping it will make up my mind!
While the information is still fresh in our heads and with the benefit of now knowing our scores, I think it would be a good idea to offer experiences of the 2010 process to 2011 applicants. Obviously everyone will have different personal circumstances which will affect how applicable your advice is (time to prepare, background knowledge etc.) so it's worth giving a brief account this before you say how you tackled GAMSAT. Personally, I started preparing for GAMSAT quite late so I found it encouraging to read accounts of people in the same boat who had achieved a good score. Now me...
I got 64(.5 but they rounded me down), which puts me in the 95/96th percentile. Should safely get me into RCSI.
Background: BSc in Biological Science and halfway through an MSc in Immunology when I sat GAMSAT. The BSc helped somewhat with the biology obviously but I was still relatively clueless on the all important chemistry and had never studied physics. The MSc didn't help at all as GAMSAT would never go into that level of detail, in fact assignments got in the way of prep. I hadn't written an artsy essay since ever and I don't read fiction/poetry so was quite unprepared for S1+S2.
Time I had to prepare:
About a month really. I registered late and had to clear an assignment backlog before I went at GAMSAT. On the plus side, I had the last 2 weeks completely clear of any interruption and I had the coffee stores to put in a good few 18 hour days in that time.
What I did:
Bought the ACER papers and Des O'Neills home preparation course including the essay correction. Griffiths GAMSAT Review was particularly useful for S1 I didn't study any further biology at all and just spent an hour or 2 brushing up on the circulatory/lymphatic/respiratory systems. Chemistry took up the vast majority of my time with half of that time spent of organic chemistry. Physics only got 3 days attention max. I bought those "AS/A2 in a Week" books which cover A level physics and frantically worked through the 2 of them in about 3 days. No specific literature/poetry prep for section 1, bar learning a few techniques from Griffiths. I aimed to write 2 essays per day for S2 but in reality I wrote about 15 total over the month.
Definitely the essay preparation, I'd recommend it to anyone. My first essay took me 1hr 15mins and it was useless. In the actual exam I had it down to exactly the hour for 2 essays. I'm glad I didn't invest anymore time into biology. I found that the information was mostly in front of you for biology questions, it was just a case of deducing it. Chemistry prep payed off too. Des O'Neill notes give a very comprehensive syllabus for chemistry study and I'm very glad I had it. Without a solid grounding in both physical and organic chemistry I doubt I'd have achieved a decent score. Between Des' notes, ACER papers, Griffiths and an MCAT book I bought, I had way more S1 sample questions than I'd ever need. These were invaluable too as, in my opinion, doing sample questions is the only real way to prep for S1. Even though I was very short on prep time, I allowed myself an easyish day before GAMSAT and a proper nights sleep. I bought nearly every book and resource I thought might help and am glad I did. Even though some didnt really get used, I always had an alternative explanation of something there if I needed it. Lastly and most importantly, I put GAMSAT firmly on top of the priorities list for the last 2 weeks.
What didn't work and what I'd have done differently:
I should have had a more practical understanding of physics. If I'd known the formula of motion kinetics etc. better then I would definitely have scored better. No matter what anyone says, I still believe you're shooting yourself in the foot if you rely on GAMSAT to provide you with all the formula. There's an awful lot of useless stuff in some sections of Des' notes so use intuition if you decide to study them. I'd recommend the course on the whole, but not the more peripheral sections if you're stuck for time. Alot of the time I found myself getting bogged down by complex chemical reactions etc. when I knew it wouldn't pay off. An overall, general understanding of topics is alot more useful than knowing the name and structure of some obscure enzyme. If I could go back I would have allowed myself more time to prepare. 18 hour days are far from ideal and I gathered a sizable sleep deficit.
You certainly don't HAVE to study for a year to pass GAMSAT but you do need to study, it's not a glorified IQ test. Sure, one or two people will pass without preparation but if you really want medicine then preparation will help alot. Investing in prep material such as Des O'Neill notes payed off, though I wouldn't feel compelled to know everything they recommend. GAMSAT is definitely doable with ~3 weeks prep if you are willing to drop EVERYTHING and punish yourself.
I hope this helps. Other peoples accounts certainly helped me when I was getting into GAMSAT mode. Granted my last minute frantic study regime won't be of much use to anyone until closer to March 2011 but hopefully other people can post what they did and future GAMSATers will find an account of someone who was in a similar situation. If anyone has any questions on anything send me a PM or reply here and I'm happy to answer, I got good support from certain forums (fora?) and am delighted to be able to return the favour .
Thanks a lot for the insight ! That will be very helpful when I start to study !
Congratulations on your score also !
If anyone has any GAMSAT materials that they don't need anymore then please send me a PM as I may be interested in taking them off your hands, seeing as I will be sitting the exam next year !