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27-05-2018, 01:57   #1
noddy78779
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Am I too late in starting for September

Hi everyone,


I'm currently in the process of studying for the Gamsat in September although much of it has been essay work for section 2 and nothing else, basically trying to do a short essay under various headings and quotes for 30 mins once or twice a week. Finding freetime at the moment is somewhat of a luxury as I'm working full time, enrolled in a two years masters and on-call a few times each month.



Given my lack of time dedicated to study thus far, I'm just wondering whether there is a point in me sitting the exam in September due to the lack of preparation apparent in sections 1 and 3. Right now my main objective is to focus on preparation guides such as Des O'Neill bundle and YouTube videos for what I don't understand (perhaps Khan Academy as I've read good things) and not much on the theory as from my reading it is more about reasoning and abstract deductions as opposed to theory itself. Am I right in assuming this? I come from a scientific background and currently employed in a healthcare setting so am not entirely concerned about section 3 although would have to refresh my knowledge of physics and chemistry for a few weeks which I would be able to squeeze in between now and then.



September is by no means do or die for me as realistically I will have to work for some time to be in a financially sound place and not rely on loans for when I finally hope to enter the course in September 2019 but probably more realistically 2020 to account for price increases/unforseen circumstances which will enable me to get by without much financial burden for the 4 years. As from reading some posts, financial worries appear to be the main concerns GEM students seem to have and I'd rather give my attention to the course instead of stressing regarding financial issues. Additionally I don't particularly want to have debts over my head upon graduating.


Due to this scenario I am moreso targeting next March to have sufficient points in which case I was intending to use this September as a 'run through' and get a feel for what the day is like. Is this a good idea or am I way over my head? If needs be I'll keep re-sitting till March 2020 till I feel I achieve a score which will be competitive for RCSI and UCD.



Any feedback OR insights anybody has would be greatly appreciated.
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27-05-2018, 15:58   #2
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Sounds good to me. Go for it in September and then you still have a chance in march if you need a second chance.

Gamsat was done here with about 5 months prep, starting with no science background, a job and 3 kids.
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27-05-2018, 22:53   #3
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Some people spend 6-12 months prepping and others less than a week. Everyone is different. I registered late June last year for the September exam, and also intended on sitting it as a practice run. Luckily it went well and I didn’t have to sit it again.

You have plenty of time.
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27-05-2018, 23:15   #4
futuremedic777
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Just to be a marginal example, I didn't revise at all and got an overall 58 and i'm no brainer.
It really depends on how you tackle revision techniques for this type of exam, especially if it's your first time. I avoided revising as it was my second attempt and i already had a scope of the exam format. It's definitely an excruciating experience for most people that take it. I have friends that revised GAMSAT for longs hours, bought courses and paid for their Essays to be reviewed, but came out with a far lower score than mine.

Section 1- It's pretty much impossible to revise for this section, it comes with your own comprehensive "stamina", are you an avid reader? Can you extrapolate information from large text at a sharp pace? 
You can prepare yourself for this within months, but definitely not a section to invest long hours on, the other sections are more tangible.

Section 2- Essays (My strongest score) It's all about the structure, content and flow of your essay. To earn a 60+ score on section 2, your Essay MUST make sense from beginning to end, Jargon is heavily penalised while simple explanations tend to be clearer.

Section 3- The best thing to do is prep for this section broadly if you don't have any  academic background in Bio/Chem/Physics, Learn the basic concepts in the recommended syllabus, not too much focus on detailed information, just an idea of each science topic without diving into the nitty-gritty. Section 3 is all about calculation, Data and extrapolating links to the information provided.

All-in-all you can take my comment as a grain of salt, this was my experience and it could be different for others, especially those with higher scores. Hope it gives you an insight on how much Revision weighs among us all, in comparison to someone like me who didn't revise, the exam itself tests more than just study commitments.

Last edited by futuremedic777; 27-05-2018 at 23:20.
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29-05-2018, 01:41   #5
noddy78779
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Thanks for the tips and support. Much appreciated.


I suppose its one of those things, will I or won't I scenarios but sure have nothing really to lose as a result so may aswel bite the bullet and give it a run through.


In regards to reading material for section 2 what would you guys recommend. Would newspaper articles from various viewpoints, opinion pieces, podcasts that explore various subjects be of more relevance and suffice as it seems to be a section on broad horizons and balanced perspective moreso than anything. I would consider some of the recommended reading books to be forced reading. Some of them I find interesting so will give a read but for others I'll probably just read synopsis or summaries of to get a perspective. How did ye prep for this section to get some perspective aside from practicing essays?



Purchasing the DON papers today so hopefully get started on them soon. Kinda weirdly looking forward to it, hopefully my enthusiasm isn't short lived
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30-05-2018, 05:16   #6
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I have a business degree, no science background except Leaving Cert Biology studied after work (full-time) for around 2 months with the intention of just using March as a test run but looks like I did enough to get into UL (touch wood). My Essay section carried me.

Strategy is key.

futuremedic777 sounds right on the money!

Section 1 just get used to reading and understanding text stimulus quickly don't panic. Absolutely NAIL your timing down panic is the enemy.

Section 2 - Follow a clear structure/flow and get creative with your ideas. I used a quote from the Dark Knight in one of my essays and got 73 in this section.

Section 3 - Try to get your head around some of the scientific theories so you can actually understand the stimulus and answer accordingly. This was my worst section by far but I knew it would be going in. Just remember a lot of it tests your understanding of graph.

I was in this exact mindset in January and spoke to a good mate of mine who had done it the previous year he told me to crack on with it in March and I've ended up saving myself a year. I couldn't thank him enough come results time.

You can do this.
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30-05-2018, 21:35   #7
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Hi all,

Want to bandwagon on this. I intend to sit in September and so far have only really focused on Section 1. I did a practice test in the Des O'Neill book under exam conditions (timing etc) and came in the top 10% of results based on the sample in the book. I feel pretty comfortable with the practice questions and so was kind of hoping to take my foot off the pedal for practicing Section 1 - is this wise? Does anyone know if the DON practice test is actually a good proxy for the real thing? And is top 10% good or bad?

For Section 3 I will probably be weakest - don't come from a science background, only did Leaving Cert Biology and that was years ago.
I'm at a bit of a loss for where to start revising for Section 3 - I bought the Organic Chemistry for Dummies book as have heard it is good, but not sure where to start for Physics/Chem/etc - is there a prescribed list of topics I should revise/be familiar with?

Any and all help appreciated, thanks everyone.
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31-05-2018, 00:11   #8
futuremedic777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgro View Post
Hi all,

Want to bandwagon on this. I intend to sit in September and so far have only really focused on Section 1. I did a practice test in the Des O'Neill book under exam conditions (timing etc) and came in the top 10% of results based on the sample in the book. I feel pretty comfortable with the practice questions and so was kind of hoping to take my foot off the pedal for practicing Section 1 - is this wise? Does anyone know if the DON practice test is actually a good proxy for the real thing? And is top 10% good or bad?

For Section 3 I will probably be weakest - don't come from a science background, only did Leaving Cert Biology and that was years ago.
I'm at a bit of a loss for where to start revising for Section 3 - I bought the Organic Chemistry for Dummies book as have heard it is good, but not sure where to start for Physics/Chem/etc - is there a prescribed list of topics I should revise/be familiar with?

Any and all help appreciated, thanks everyone.
1. Spend less time revising for Section 1 now, you don't need work on what you might be strongest at.
2. Focus more on Section 3, you'll regret it if you avoid it too long, it's a bigger weight than the other sections, especially if you're not from a Science background, check this page out for topics to start on http://www.gamsat.ie/materials/sciences/

Last edited by futuremedic777; 31-05-2018 at 22:54.
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31-05-2018, 01:36   #9
noddy78779
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiep View Post
I have a business degree, no science background except Leaving Cert Biology studied after work (full-time) for around 2 months with the intention of just using March as a test run but looks like I did enough to get into UL (touch wood). My Essay section carried me.

Strategy is key.

futuremedic777 sounds right on the money!

Section 1 just get used to reading and understanding text stimulus quickly don't panic. Absolutely NAIL your timing down panic is the enemy.

Section 2 - Follow a clear structure/flow and get creative with your ideas. I used a quote from the Dark Knight in one of my essays and got 73 in this section.

Section 3 - Try to get your head around some of the scientific theories so you can actually understand the stimulus and answer accordingly. This was my worst section by far but I knew it would be going in. Just remember a lot of it tests your understanding of graph.

I was in this exact mindset in January and spoke to a good mate of mine who had done it the previous year he told me to crack on with it in March and I've ended up saving myself a year. I couldn't thank him enough come results time.

You can do this.

Thanks for the insight and definitely gives me a kick to get my rear in gear for the next few months ahead. Roll on September.
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31-05-2018, 23:17   #10
Sgro
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Originally Posted by futuremedic777 View Post
1. Spend less time revising for Section 1 now, you don't need work on what you might be strongest at.
2. Focus more on Section 3, you'll regret it if you avoid it too long, it's a bigger weight than the other sections, especially if you're not from a Science background, check this page out for topics to start on http://www.gamsat.ie/materials/sciences/
Fantastic - the syllabus is a huge help thanks very much!

If I feel I have comfortably covered all them topics then, that should be sufficient? No chance of anything off that list coming up?

Thanks again!

Edit: Sorry just saw that site is not an official GAMSAT site. I'm guessing the syllabus then is a best efforts compilation but not necessarily an exhaustive list of everything that could come up?
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01-06-2018, 12:35   #11
futuremedic777
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Originally Posted by Sgro View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by futuremedic777 View Post
1. Spend less time revising for Section 1 now, you don't need work on what you might be strongest at.
2. Focus more on Section 3, you'll regret it if you avoid it too long, it's a bigger weight than the other sections, especially if you're not from a Science background, check this page out for topics to start on http://www.gamsat.ie/materials/sciences/
Fantastic - the syllabus is a huge help thanks very much!

If I feel I have comfortably covered all them topics then, that should be sufficient? No chance of anything off that list coming up?

Thanks again!

Edit: Sorry just saw that site is not an official GAMSAT site. I'm guessing the syllabus then is a best efforts compilation but not necessarily an exhaustive list of everything that could come up?
Exactly, its really based on a widened scope of topics that would come up, anything outside these options would be minuscule or at least related. Section 3 isn't a test on your science knowledge per se, more on how you can handle random data based on science topics.
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11-06-2018, 12:32   #12
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Just going to throw in my 2 cents!

I definitely think 3 months is long enough, particularly if you are coming from a science background. I started in January for the march exam and got on well despite working a full time job. I did study pretty much everyday though for that 3 months (evenings and weekends)
In terms of section 1 I had mcat exam krackers verbal reasoning book however I did find them quite different from the gamsat verbal reasoning.. still might be good practice though. Make sure and do all the ACER practice ones though as this will be your best guide.
For section 2 I was so surprised at my score so I cannot emphasise enough the important of practicing this one! I truly disliked writing essays but made sure to write about 2 per week under timed conditions and kept up to date with current affairs. The most reading I did was newspaper editorials and opinion pieces which I definitely think was helpful.. I also made a list of any quotes that resonated with me and tried to use these in my essays where appropriate. I did read a bit of the A.C. grayling book which is decent but by no means essential I would imagine. I also tried to follow the Des O'Neill advice for essay formatting which I found quite helpful.
For section 3 I used Khan academy (unbelievably useful) and organic chemistry for dummies to learn as much science as I could. The paper in my opinion though is overwhelmingly reasoning based (even more so than the ACER practice papers), that said it is useful to have some knowledge of the concepts and to be able to recognise what the question is based on. Again the most important thing in my opinion is to practice the papers under timed conditions, timing was one of my biggest obstacles!
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