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5 min read

GAMSAT Tips: What do I do on the day of GAMSAT?

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Written By
Anjana Ravi

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, popularly abbreviated as the GAMSAT, is a psychometric evaluation designed to study a student's inner potential to thrive through medical school and future medical practice. The majority of postgraduate medical schools in Australia, in conjunction with GEMSAS, have adopted the GAMSAT as a reliable method to recognise prospective students to begin their medical journey towards becoming doctors.

The GAMSAT exam format has not witnessed notable changes since the dramatic alteration to the online GAMSAT in 2020, which ACER implemented to keep the graduate admission process unimpaired. 

Although most find the GAMSAT a highly strenuous exam, it can be rewarding if you secure a good GAMSAT score to secure a favourable medical place at your choice of university. But bear in mind that achieving a high GAMSAT score is not a strait forward process, demanding perseverance to prevail through the daunting four and a half hours of exam time.

It goes without saying that you have probably invested considerable time and energy into your GAMSAT preparation. However, your GAMSAT score will ultimately boil down to your performance on the day, meaning that optimisation of your thinking, stress management, and overall headspace can make a difference in your performance. 

To help attune your performance on the day of the GAMSAT, we present tips that can influence your productivity positively. 

Best GAMSAT Tips to Implement on the GAMSAT Exam Day

1. Arrive Early to the Test Centre

Remember that the day of the GAMSAT is an integral part of achieving your career goal, so it is essential to be well-prepared to tackle any unforeseen circumstances and have a solid mental space to optimise your performance. 

For starters, leave home early enough to account for any disasters that could occur logistically on route to your exam. How early you need to leave is dependent on the mode of transport that you take, something we also recommend you consider well in advance of GAMSAT test day.

Reaching the test centre beforehand will give you ample time to figure out the test building and the room level. There you will have time to use the restroom, and find the local coffee shop for a GAMSAT day Latte.

Mental preparation is the backbone of the GAMSAT exam, and arriving early is one of the best ways to ensure that you arrive calm, composed, and collected to perform at your best.

2. Assemble Relevant Documents For The GAMSAT

The GAMSAT exam holds a long-standing reputation for being a small bureaucratic nightmare. This is for good reason, as the identification process ensures that nobody is sitting the test for someone else. So it is essential you gather relevant documentation before the GAMSAT to give yourself more time to orientate and find the desk you will sit on your test day.

See to it that you pack all the essentials at least the night before the exam, including:

  • Printed GAMSAT admission ticket
  • Two photo identification documents
  • Pencils, sharpeners, erasers, pens and other stationery
  • Pack light lunch and snacks to munch during the allotted 30-minute break. Note* Ensure that your lunch is not too heavy as it can make you drowsy, which can impact your concentration and accuracy to attempt other GAMSAT sections.
  • Personal medications, if any.
  • Make sure you carry water or other forms of liquids (not coca-cola or fizzy drinks or caffeine) to stay hydrated. Avoid over consumption of water as you will be allotted limited time on bathroom break.
  • Bring cardigans or jackets to maintain your temperature in air-conditioned test rooms. 

ACER publishes the GAMSAT Information Booklet, which can help you check off on items that you must carry on the day of GAMSAT. This avoids any last-minute desperation before the exam.

3. Indulge in Activities that Boost Your Morale Before The Exam

Yes - this is not exactly referring to ‘on the day’, but to use an analogy - you would not run a race the day before you had to competitively run a marathon. Therefore, the day before your GAMSAT we encourage you to indulge in activities that are stress-busters, things that make you calm and relaxed.

What that activity is for you will vary from person to person. For example, some may enjoy listening to music, while others may opt for video games to relax their nerves. If sports are your escapism factor, do so while recognising that it is best to not participate in vigorous physical activities that could injure yourself before the big day. This can severely tamper with your performance, or worse, may prevent you from sitting the exam.

Second, besides engaging in relaxing hobbies, a good night's sleep can keep you energetic and fresh throughout the day. It is proposed that you go to bed early and catch up on that 8-hours of sleep because the following day demands you to be fully charged to avoid burnout during the exam. 

4. Avoid Excess Caffeine On the Day of GAMSAT

The GAMSAT exam can indeed be mentally exhausting, and while an extra dosage of caffeine may lift your thinking ability, remember that it also increases your need to use the bathroom. Note that the GAMSAT exam goes on for five and half hours, which is inclusive of the breaks. So it is not recommended you spend time on bathroom breaks, when you have a time-pressured exam to complete.

5. Avoid A Heavy Lunch On the Day of GAMSAT

Avoid heavy lunch but consume a carb-rich breakfast to keep you energised throughout the day, both mentally and physically. A heavy lunch is usually not advised as it can make you tired, and for this purpose we suggest you carry some nut bars or fruits (banana, apple or mandarins), which are better sweet alternatives to help retain your form on GAMSAT day.

6. Take a Breath, and Remember What The Goal Is

On the day of the exam, you are prone to feel restless but it is important to maintain resolve of what your goals are. Remember, on this day, a lot of the strength of your medical application boils down to this. So prepare to push yourself through the mental pain.

The GAMSAT question themes are diverse to measure your cognitive ability under high pressure circumstances. If you give it your 100% on the day, whether you secure a high or low GAMSAT score, you will know what your current baseline level is, and what you need to do to improve.

To sum up, if you do end up performing lower than you anticipated, it is better to know that you got everything right on the day so that you can accurately identify where you need to improve. 

Where To Next?

We hope this article will provide the icing on the cake for your GAMSAT prep, in addition to your hours of hard work. We hope these final pieces of advice will ensure that you perform to your potential in the GAMSAT exam

If you found these GAMSAT tips useful, be certain to check out an array of Free Resources and Tools we offer at Fraser’s that can boost your morale and GAMSAT scores. Also, read our article, ‘What will September 2021 GAMSAT look like?’ to get all the inside tips on acing this sitting and understanding the intricacies of each part of the GAMSAT.