Before you quit reading, there are students reading this article who potentially think they are experts in biology. I’m looking at biomedicine, science students and even some who aren’t doing science-based subjects. However, Biology is really underestimated in the GAMSAT.
Try to do a whole paper and carefully analyse which questions you are getting right and wrong, Biology remains an area that people don’t really improve much on. Now, there are a couple of reasons why this is so. One is that people have that hubris, that they already know what’s going on. The second thing that let people down is the dependance on their background knowledge.
So if you bring a lot of outside information into GAMSAT Biology, you going to get punished. They might show you the citric acid cycle in some weird way that you might never have seen before. Maybe the 1930s interpretation of citric acid cycle with some steps missing. And no you shouldn’t have to memorise it, but you should be able to reason your way through. As you know, reasoning is very important as we have described in many of our videos.
GAMSAT Biology Topics
Our real advice for GAMSAT Biology is to broaden your understanding of biology by looking into the kinds of topics common in the GAMSAT. For example, Animal Biology is really common. They do lots of different animals, different sizes, aquatic, non- aquatics, amphibians, exothermic, endothermic because all of these different reasons and things can be well graphed to be confusing. In the exam they might put exothermic animals vs. endothermic animals, aquatic vs. non-aquatic. They give you four graphs looking the way that they use oxygen over time or over temperature (or weight and temperature). Those kind of things hard to practice because they may not come up in your lectures slides or what you do in your degree.
My recommendation would be to actively look into animal biology. Do some tutorials online, find little papers on animal biology about different characteristics, oxygen consumptions and that kind of things. Pull the graphs and try to understand them. Some topics you can try to cover are:
• Genetics & Pedigree
• Animal Biology
We have got a whole list of the kind of high-yield biology concepts for GAMSAT Section 3. Use the list at all times when preparing for Biology.
Graphs & Math
The third thing with GAMSAT Biology is that graphs and math are very important. Make sure you feel comfortable with logarithms, units, exponents because when it comes to interpretation of the graphs or the shapes of the graphs or linking the different information that is given in the prompts to the visual, it helps to have a strong understanding of math and again drills.
We have a heap of drills as part of our Fraser’s GAMSAT course, but if you are not part of the course, We really recommend going through your year 11 or 12 methods books. Make sure you understand logarithms, make sure you understand exponents, etc.
In general, GAMSAT Biology is kind of similar to Section 1 in a sense. You need to think broadly using the reasoning-based approach. There are some key topics that are high-yielding, very common in GAMSAT Section 3.
Biology Question Log
The last thing to consider is to use a question log like that one we recommend for Section 1. This question log can help you identify where you are going wrong. Section 3 Biology questions follow a very similar paradigm to Section 1. There would be questions that make you find lines; there would be questions that would make you interpret the visuals, or make you find lines and match that to the visuals, there would be questions where you have to extrapolate.
Tag GAMSAT Biology questions that you are doing. While you do them, identify the questions that you get wrong most commonly. You can start to identify and analyse. If you are constantly getting some types of questions wrong, then you can go back and develop strategies to avoid getting them wrong in the actual GAMSAT test.
At Fraser’s we have a question log for Section 1; we also have a question log for section 3. Sign up to our email list to receive the free Frasers Gamsat passport. We would love to send you the Section 3 question so you can make sure you are reflecting on the ways you are going about questions.