The GAMSAT test not only assesses your understanding of biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics, but it also assesses your capacity in written communication. These skills are assessed across three sections within the GAMSAT, namely: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences (GAMSAT Section 1), Written Communication (GAMSAT Section 2), and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences (GAMSAT Section 3).
Amongst all these theoretical difficulties in the exam, you are also expected to keep composure under timed pressure and your ability to fend off mental fatigue. With these challenges in consideration, you must be prepared in your GAMSAT studies so you can be thoroughly prepared.
To ease your progress in studying for the GAMSAT and to make sure you are on track, we have designed a GAMSAT schedule in the form of a study timeline. This timeline is optimized to cover all the topics and sections, alongside time dedicated to practice tests.
Before developing a personalised GAMSAT Study Timeline, we must first understand what is covered in the GAMSAT syllabus. Whilst ACER does not provide an exhaustive list as to what students must consider during their GAMSAT preparation, it provides suggestions as to what students may consider as prerequisites to succeed in the exam.
A guideline for GAMSAT study material may extend to the following:
* Capacity of Understanding provides a broad overview of what may be covered in the first year of a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree in relation to biology and chemistry, and from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority with relation to physics.
Mathematics and reading comprehension at a year 12 standard level as well as written communication skills at a first year university standard level are also recommended.
How time is allocated to your GAMSAT preparation is a very important factor to consider in your study. Many students might be juggling between their tertiary studies, employment, their social life, and of course leisure and rest between these facets of life. If you find yourself participating in the aforementioned facets of life, you may want to consider giving yourself ample preparation time.
Studying for the GAMSAT is a marathon, not a sprint. While a three-month study plan may suffice for students with a biomedical science background, many others may benefit from a more extended preparation period. The following phased timeline provides a structured approach to your GAMSAT study plan.
Begin by familiarizing yourself with the GAMSAT syllabus and structure. Use this time to revisit fundamental concepts in biology, physics, and chemistry. It's crucial for establishing a strong foundation. Taking a GAMSAT practice test at this stage is advisable to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
After you've laid a strong foundation, the next three months should focus on application. At this point, you should start solving GAMSAT-style questions to put what you've learned into practice. Consistency and accuracy are key: keep track of your performance to identify where you need to improve. Check our free Question Log, which might come handy here:
The month leading up to the exam should be spent simulating the test conditions as closely as possible. Start taking full-length, timed practice tests to get a feel for the pressure you'll experience on test day. This simulation is not just about gauging how much you know; it's also about figuring out the best strategies for time management and pacing.
The last week before the test is often the most stressful, but it's crucial to avoid burnout. Instead of cramming, focus on light reviews and mental preparation. This is the time to relax and de-stress, so you're in the best possible shape, mentally and physically, on the day of the exam.
Finally, the test day is all about execution. You've spent months preparing, and now it's time to put that preparation to use. Arrive early to the test centre to acclimate yourself to the environment. During the exam, remain calm and composed, focusing on each section one at a time. Trust your preparation and give the test your best effort.
The table below is referred to as a ‘macro’ plan, or rather a condensed GAMSAT study plan outline. For some students, especially those with a biomedical science background, a condensed 3-month study plan may be more feasible. If you find yourself short on time or are looking to intensify your study efforts, our macro plan provides a week-by-week breakdown.
This really depends on your work, social and personal commitments, what type of learner you are, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Three months of targeted, and of course consistent, preparation is recommended for the GAMSAT. Note that you may want to modify your GAMSAT study timeline, either extending or reducing your study time, in accordance with your commitments as outlined above.
You should begin your preparation once you have deciphered how long is required for adequate preparation. For example, a full time biomedical science student may want to study for the GAMSAT over a period of four months, considering their study, work and extracurricular commitments.
Given that the GAMSAT testing window occurs twice a year, in March and September, for this student it would be ideal to begin studying in December for a March exam sitting and June for a September exam sitting.
To begin GAMSAT study, it would be best to first understand what the three GAMSAT sections are assessing. Following this, understanding the theoretical components of the GAMSAT (specifically relating to Section 3). From here, you may want to begin practicing questions under timed conditions.
Similar to previous answers, this depends on your work, social and personal commitments. Some students are able to study throughout the weekdays, whereas others are able to study solely on the weekends.
If you are studying through the weekdays in amongst full time study or work, you may want to consider studying for the GAMSAT no more than two hours per day, taking regular breaks in order to prevent burnout. If you are studying on the weekends, it may be good to take on a high school-esque day plan, where you may want to begin your study day at 9AM and finish at 3PM with two lunch breaks in between.
Yes, you can study for the GAMSAT within a two week period, however it is unlikely that you will be able to refine your skills in such a short period of time to perform well. Though, as previously mentioned, your study schedule should be informed by your work, social and personal commitments, what type of learner you are, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
You may not need an extensive amount of time to study for the GAMSAT per sé, but you will need an adequate amount of time to become accustomed with the question design and timed conditions of the GAMSAT. A month is recommended as the bare minimum for GAMSAT preparation.
For a full time biomedical science student, the average time spent studying for the GAMSAT is three months.
Working full time and studying for the GAMSAT is an incredible challenge as your free time is considerably limited. If you are employed on a 9 to 5 weekday roster, you may want to consider GAMSAT study on the weekend or later at night. If you are a shift worker, you may want to consider developing a more flexible schedule in accordance with your working commitments. It would be best to consider weekly goals if your rosters are quite dynamic, as weekly goals permit for greater flexibility than schedules.
To get a good idea as to what’s assessed in the GAMSAT, you may want to sample some free GAMSAT questions or maybe even sit a GAMSAT practice test to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can be incredibly helpful in developing your GAMSAT study plan.