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23-07-2018, 22:59   #1
Janey778
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Where to start with GAMSAT preparation

So it's very last minute but I have decided to do the GAMSAT in September. I'm now completely panicking about sections 2 and 3 after looking through sample questions and I am completely overwhelmed.

I had thought I'd be fine for section 3 as I have a science background, but I really am screwed for the chemistry and physics sections.. I plan on getting Chemistry for Dummies and Organic Chemistry for Dummies, and I already have the leaving cert Revise Wise books for chemistry and physics, but will going through these with the sample questions be enough?

And I don't even know where to start with preparing for section II. Do I need to incorporate the comments into my essay or just discuss the comments?
I plan on getting "the meaning of things" by A.C. Grayling, and I will watch TED talks and read news websites and use vocabulary builders, but I still don't really know how to prepare essays, and I can't seem to find a good marking scheme.. is there any extensive lists of potential topics out there that I have missed?

I had wanted to get the Des O'Neill GAMSAT materials secondhand but they're so expensive or the people selling them are not replying... are the Ace GAMSAT preparation books any good? I don't have much money so can't do one of the preparation courses.

Any advice would be really appreciated!
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24-07-2018, 11:59   #2
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Hi there,

I wouldn't panic if I were you, I was in the same boat last year, I applied to sit the GAMSAT on the final day of applications and I got on alright (I did well enough to be confident of a place in a GEM course this year). I also found it overwhelming. To help get to grips with study I wrote out the different topics to study and checked them off when I was done (like Mechanics for Physics, Thermodynamics for Chemistry etc)

With regards to your questions about Section 3, Revise Wise is good for the Physics questions, as I found the Physics in the GAMSAT to be roughly at the Leaving Cert level. I don't know about it for the Chemistry questions however, I didn't do Chemistry until College, but I think you'd be better set using notes from 1st Year Chemistry at a College level. I have a few notes I could send you if you'd like.

As for Section 2 I don't have much in the way of advice but all I can say is this, I didn't do a single practice essay before sitting my GAMSAT and it came out as my highest score of all three sections. If you're a good writer in any way you'll be fine, I got a C in Leaving Cert English so hopefully that gives you a bit of confidence.

I also can't speak for the preparation courses as I didn't sit them, but I found that just practicing the sample papers was good enough for me.

Best of luck with it anyway, and remember there's always the March sitting.

Last edited by _McD; 24-07-2018 at 12:04.
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24-07-2018, 13:23   #3
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Thank you so much! That was so helpful, I feel a lot better now, thanks.

The chemistry notes would be really appreciated if you wouldn't mind! I did chemistry in 1st year but was terrible, and never thought to keep my notes!

Thanks
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27-07-2018, 11:44   #4
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Section II was the most time squished for me. I think alot of people fall into the trap of going over time on their first essay and then rushing out a second one in the last 15 minutes. For my essays, I more or less followed Griffiths Gamsat reviews section II essay planning schemes and I did fine.
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28-07-2018, 02:45   #5
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I'm in a similar boat to yourself. Posted on here at the end of may regarding start of study but unfortunately got hit with a family emergency that knocked the wind out if me. Anyhow I've registered to sit the gamsat in September also,only just registering on the day they were due to close.

Since then I've just done the des O'Neill papers in section one and my score has gone up quite substantially. Alot of it is to do with understanding of the question itself and the context of the text as I found I was reading to deeply into it . In regards to section 2 I'm listening to podcasts and alternative news websites that generally go against the grain so you have both perspectives on issues going on today. I'm starting section 3 this weekend but am just gonna do questions instead of try force alot of the knowledge into my head, although will also watch some short youtube videos which should be just enough to get a basics of the key concepts (I hope).

Was thinking initially that it would be pointless to sit in September after leaving it this late but I'll just use it as a trial run, get a feel for the day itself as it is a long day to begin with and not put myself under pressure to force knowledge into my head as everyone seems to say it's the application of it and not the facts themselves. Worst comes to worst I'll repeat in march and you can also do the same as intake won't be till august next year also.
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28-07-2018, 18:21   #6
summerstown
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Hi all,

I'm in a similar situation. I am really freaking out about the science. The biology should be fine as I did biology for the Leaving Cert and my under grad course ad many anatomy, physiology subjects, but as for chemistry and physics, I'm so scared!! Any tips on how best to tackle these monstrous subjects with extremely limited knowledge?!

Does anybody have the Des O Neill notes on sections 1 and 2?

Thanks
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28-07-2018, 19:19   #7
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Khan academy is quite good for alot of the basics in chemistry. I also read a bit of one of those basic physics textbooks but to be honest I got a bit tired after doing that for a while.

Luckily they've changed the format of section 3. Its become more of a just answer sciencey themed problems rather than a know ph and pka very well kinda test. So the best advice I can offer is dont worry too much about the test over the next month and sit it on a decent nights sleep if you can.
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29-07-2018, 12:16   #8
Guidance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janey778 View Post
So it's very last minute but I have decided to do the GAMSAT in September. I'm now completely panicking about sections 2 and 3 after looking through sample questions and I am completely overwhelmed.

I had thought I'd be fine for section 3 as I have a science background, but I really am screwed for the chemistry and physics sections.. I plan on getting Chemistry for Dummies and Organic Chemistry for Dummies, and I already have the leaving cert Revise Wise books for chemistry and physics, but will going through these with the sample questions be enough?

And I don't even know where to start with preparing for section II. Do I need to incorporate the comments into my essay or just discuss the comments?
I plan on getting "the meaning of things" by A.C. Grayling, and I will watch TED talks and read news websites and use vocabulary builders, but I still don't really know how to prepare essays, and I can't seem to find a good marking scheme.. is there any extensive lists of potential topics out there that I have missed?

I had wanted to get the Des O'Neill GAMSAT materials secondhand but they're so expensive or the people selling them are not replying... are the Ace GAMSAT preparation books any good? I don't have much money so can't do one of the preparation courses.

Any advice would be really appreciated!
Hi Janey,

I did the Sept 17 GAMSAT and thankfully did well enough to qualify for a place this year.

In general, my main pieces of advice are:

1. Do realistic practise (timed, using MCQ sheets and handwritten essays...also try to do your full-length practise exams according to the day itself as the day itself is tiring!)

2. Choose a few resources and trust them, otherwise you are going to feel unprepared (i.e. you can't decide and so you constantly flick between resources and as you are flicking between resources you become indecisive and as you develop indecision you become less confident etc, haha! Happened to me!)

and

3. Have a timing strategy: I timed myself in batches, so I knew how many Q's I needed to do per interval

My main resources were the official ACER material, gamsatsamplequestions.co.uk and the Gold standard YT series (I did not buy the book).

I also came across Des O'Neill's stuff and Griffith's review. The review is decent and actually amounts to a wee syllabus of sorts.
For SI and SIII, do timed practise and do it on MCQ sheets. As you come across certain topics, study them on Khan academy, Dummies book or whatever suits you. I'd recommend YouTube. In the exam, I answered according to my strengths, so my strongest questions first. Be careful to monitor the MCQ sheet as you may place the mark in the wrong place!

For SII, I did about 10 essays per task in the lead-up. I used the robo-marked ACER utility and Devin from gamsatsampleqs (weblink above^). I paid him but I wouldn't recommend paying if you can get your hands on a friend who has a decent command of both English (LC level) and current affairs. As always, time yourself...eventually! In the beginning, I'd recommend constructing quality essays, then - with time and increased familiarity - move onto timed practise.
My understanding of SII was that I had to respond to the theme with the aid of a quote or quotes. I didn't incorporate the quotes verbatim but did include snippets of one or two.
Tbh, I wrote, or at least I felt I wrote, awkward and babyish essays in the real thing. However, I did have a structure and voiced sensible ideas. In the end, I managed to achieve a 64 in that section. I was a happy camper I tell ye!

Yes, so get going with your preparation. Try your best and do a least one full-length practise exam under realistic conditions. The day before the exam accept what you've done and let go of any guilt spiralling around your skull. Sleep.

Oh, and one more thing! A key point. Accept that you're going to struggle at points in the exam. If you go in thinking that you have to ace it and you come across a tough set of Q's, you'll receive a big emotional shock! If you acknowledge the possibility of struggling you'll be able to let go and move on from a stickler of a question when in the actual exam. TRUST me, do not get bogged down on a single MCQ question! Yes, so - and this may seem a bit contradictory - acknowledge that you will struggle (at times in the exam) yet be prepared to maximize your score (nail your timing strategy, don't leave any blanks and obviously be familiar with the mental reasoning and physical stress associated with the exam).

I also made a wee video outlining my GAMSAT experience
https://youtu.be/VXoX8Qj7eZM
GAMSAT preparation - section by section Ireland

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

Last edited by Guidance; 29-07-2018 at 12:20. Reason: Grammar
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03-08-2018, 13:02   #9
summerstown
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Also just wondering, if I sit the GAMSAT in Sept 2018 , will my results be valid for both Sept. 2019 and Sept. 2020 GEM entry years?

Is it possible to accept a place for GEM in any of the colleges and then defer for 1 year?
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03-08-2018, 13:39   #10
Kirby2k07
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Originally Posted by summerstown View Post
Also just wondering, if I sit the GAMSAT in Sept 2018 , will my results be valid for both Sept. 2019 and Sept. 2020 GEM entry years?

Is it possible to accept a place for GEM in any of the colleges and then defer for 1 year?
Need a serious reason to defer, i’d imagine they’d be quite strict
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03-08-2018, 14:56   #11
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Your gamsat score is valid for 2 years so yes.
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05-08-2018, 12:24   #12
summerstown
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is the following true:

Section 1 = 25%
Section 2 = 25%
Section 3 Biology = 20%
Section 3 Physics = 10%
Section 3 General and Organic Chemistry = 20%
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05-08-2018, 13:38   #13
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Yes pretty much
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13-08-2018, 17:46   #14
Urethra Franklin.
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Hi All, didnt want to start a new thread but this thread seems somewhat relevant so I thought I;d post in here.

So I very last minute (literally on the last day registrations were open) I signed up for GAMSAT.

So I studied a science related course for my degree but I really struggled in my 1st year, I was useless at physics and chemistry. Luckily I didn't have to do it after that.

So I managed to get my hands on some of Des O'Neills science notes but I was getting nowhere with them. So I've started with Khan academy videos and tbh I find it so much easier to understand the concepts and learn. However I was wondering if perhaps Khan academy vids are "too" soft for the GAMSAT. Ive heard of people using them for Physics cause its only worth a small amount on the exam so people don't tend to go to in depth with physics.

Should I be using more comprehensive or different notes when studying for section 3? Can you study for the science section solely from Khan academy and do well in this section? I am in no way expecting to qualify in the September sitting but Im hoping that I wont o to AWFULLY either, to atleast have a good stab at it.
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14-08-2018, 12:24   #15
Celestial12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urethra Franklin. View Post
Hi All, didnt want to start a new thread but this thread seems somewhat relevant so I thought I;d post in here.

So I very last minute (literally on the last day registrations were open) I signed up for GAMSAT.

So I studied a science related course for my degree but I really struggled in my 1st year, I was useless at physics and chemistry. Luckily I didn't have to do it after that.

So I managed to get my hands on some of Des O'Neills science notes but I was getting nowhere with them. So I've started with Khan academy videos and tbh I find it so much easier to understand the concepts and learn. However I was wondering if perhaps Khan academy vids are "too" soft for the GAMSAT. Ive heard of people using them for Physics cause its only worth a small amount on the exam so people don't tend to go to in depth with physics.

Should I be using more comprehensive or different notes when studying for section 3? Can you study for the science section solely from Khan academy and do well in this section? I am in no way expecting to qualify in the September sitting but Im hoping that I wont o to AWFULLY either, to atleast have a good stab at it.
I used Khan Academy for Chemistry, and I found it helpful. I read through biology for dummies (I already have a biology degree, I just read it for a quick overview of everything) to prepare for biology. I didn't have time to cover physics, but that was a decision I made early on in my prep that I was not going to cover it.

The science Des O'Neill notes are terrible - very monotonous to read and a total waste of time. However, their question bank is very good. Work your way through them if you haven't already.

Best of luck with the exam.
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