If anyone out there has completed the GAMSAT previously, could they give their opinion on whether the ACER Practice tests are of the same standard?
I'm going through them, finding them much more manageable than the Des O'Neill questions (+ GradReady MCQs).
Thanks in advance.
I would say they are quite the same standard and the closest you'll get to the real thing. Given a lot of time, all the questions are manageable. It's the time constraint that puts the most pressure on.
For section 1 though, I found the exam to be very similar first time I sat it(March 2016), but not as much the second time(Sept 2016). The Sept exam had so many long passages I found it exhausting. Almost every passage was a page long, it threw me as I was banking on doing the nice short and sweet ones first to gain on time for the longer ones but there were so few of them.
Thanks for getting back to me.
Did you find that doing it the first time helped you in your second sitting (bar the differences you've mentioned above)?
Yea definitely, considering I had less time to prepare for the second sitting and went from 53 to 59 so I must have done something right!
Getting the results showed what areas I needed to improve on. The science section was by far my worst section, I got 49. So I devoted around 3 quarters of my study time to that second time round. I figured if it's worth half the exam and I get a good score it would sway my results big time. I improved it to 59.
I did the least prep of all for the essay section first time and ended up getting 57 which I was pleasantly surprised with. So spent the rest of my study time on this section second time round and got a 67.
As I had less time to prepare for the second sitting I minimized my section 1 study as I got a 55 first time round and thought I could pull it off again. From reading other forums this is the section people struggled with improving so I sacrificed it! I did worse in this second time with a 53 but my other scores increased by so much it was definitely worth it for me.
One thing that was annoying about sitting it again was that I remembered a lot of the practice questions from before, or had them marked on paper or had formulae or workings scribbled on the pages. If I saw a circle around say, answer D, I would try to convince myself D was the answer without actually considering the others! I had to force myself to reason through why the other answers weren't the right one, which probably helped me in the end. I ended up filling the answers on a MCQ print out and covering the A,B,C,D's while I answered the question! If I had to go back, I would reprint the Acer booklets to give myself the clean slate again!
Congratulations on your results, your virtually guaranteed to get in going by last years requirements.
That's great advice, thank you very much. I'm very much prepared to do it again in September (I wouldn't be position to start until Sept 2018 in any case) so I will definitely review this advice if/when necessary.
This is probably a pointless question to ask given what I have read about ACER and the exam but it can't hurt either; are there are areas of SIII (and chemistry in particular) that you would suggest are more important to know than others?
Ah thank you, hopefully now the points don't shoot up.
It's hard to say, really. The way I see it, anything can come up. I covered almost everything in both the Chemistry for Dummies Workbook, the Organic Chemistry I for Dummies Workbook and the Physics Workbook for Dummies. I followed the chapters in order and that was pretty much all I did for science. I kind of knew the basics for biology so didn't need to do much for that. Knowing how to read graphs and infer data from them will go a long way for biology. If I needed more information to help answer the questions, a quick google search was all I did. The first time I spent so long looking for material and had too many resources, it was just confusing. I didn't know where to start and didn't know when I was finished with topics. The for Dummies Workbooks are the right level for the Gamsat and you learn by problem solving which is exactly how you want to learn for the Gamsat too.
I fear I have fallen into the trap of having too many resources and getting pulled in several different directions. Thank you very much for your advice - I owe you one.
I have been using those Dummies workbooks also. I will focus more on using them as my main source.
I may as well chance my arm while I have you - any other hints that you feel are relevant?
I'd say just stay positive and keep at it! If you don't plan on starting until Sept 2018 then you have a maximum of 3 Gamsat attempts to get the score you need. Studying on your own for this exam is tough but you just have to accept it and move on. Stay motivated and keep your end goal in mind and you'll stay on track and should do just fine.
One thing that kept me focused was making a realistic study plan and sticking to it. At the start of every study session I would write a to do list and tick things off as I went along. I'd get a little kick out of having all the boxes ticked at the end of the day. I wrote this list on a post-it and stuck it on the divider between my desk and the one on front. That way, everytime I looked up it was the first thing I saw and I quickly got back to work!
Haha - that's great thinking! Will definitely take that on board - going off script and down worm holes has occurred more than once.
Thanks very much for all of your help, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!