Gamsat Preparation Materials - Is It All Free Online?
As you might expect I follow the Gamsat forums a bit to stay up to date with students' needs, questions etc to ensure my course is always up to date and relevant.
Here's a typical question plus typical answer I see all the time -
Q. "I'm thinking of doing X,Y,Z Gamsat course, does anyone have any experience with it?"
A. "Courses are a waste of money, it's all free online" (often written by a private tutor touting for clients and wants to discredit courses)
Of course they never actually tell you where online.
It's like my other favourite phrase "do your research"
Usually said by someone with no facts to back them up so they tell you to "do your research" expecting YOU to spend hours on Google to prove them right!
Interestingly, it's extremely rare to see anyone who actually HAS done the course being inquired about actually reply to the question.
Even though there must be loads who've done it or are currently doing it reading that discussion since literally thousands of people do Gamsat courses every year.
And it's very UNLIKELY that none of them ever go on the forums.
But of course if they think the course is good they're not likely to recommend it WHILE they're still preparing for Gamsat.
Gamsat is a COMPETITIVE TEST and no-one in their right mind is going to help someone else if it means that person (or many people since it's posted on a public forum) might follow their advice and do better than them and TAKE THEIR PLACE at med school.
So they'll just keep quiet until after the results come out.
Or maybe they think...
"Well I risked my money on several things before I found something which worked, why should I help you out, experiment with your own money"
My hard drive is stuffed with copies of emails or copies of social media comments recommending my course. But yeah, at least 80% come after Gamsat is over or after the results come out.
But let's get back to "it's all free online".
Then literally the next hundred questions (all actual comments I've simply cut and pasted from the forums) -
Q "What was the cut off score for A,B,C university last year?"
Q "How does X university calculate my GPA?"
Q "Where can I find the Des O'Neill questions? I'm starting to think they don't exist"
Q "I already sat Gamsat twice and my section 2 score was 43 and 47, how can I improve on this?"
Q " I'm really struggling to improve in Section 1 no matter how hard I try. I thought I was doing well in prep for May 2020 but ended up doing really poorly can anyone help?"
Q "Where can I find free practice questions?"
Q "How many dentistry places are available at USYD?"
Q "Where can I find a quote generator to practice my essays?"
Q " I've taken GAMSAT four times now, and my best score is 57. I worked extremely hard for the last exam, and the results have been my worst nightmare. I don't understand where my preparation is lacking. Any advice on how to cope up with a situation like this?"
Q "What resources can I use to prepare for section 1?"
And on and on it goes, hundreds of questions exactly the same.....
EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.
Wow, considering everything is found so easily online it sure looks like there are a lot of dumb people out there.
After all I'm sure before they wrote their question on the forum most of them would've just typed it in Google first wouldn't they?
Since obviously that would be the fastest, easiest way to find the information they're looking for.
Or maybe, just maybe, it isn't so easy to find all this so called free information on the internet after all.
And the people relying on all this free stuff are STILL taking the test 3 times and STILL scoring badly.
Now don't get me wrong, there are some good free resources out there.
As you know there are several lists of free stuff I've provided on this very blog.
So if this is your first time taking Gamsat and you want to give it a go relying on yourself and what you can find online that's fine, it's your decision.
But when someone's already failed 3 times it definitely seems UNreasonable to just give them the same advice "it's all online".
In fact it seems downright cruel.
Even for routine things like cut off scores, how a particular med school selects people for interview or what criteria they use in making final offers, it can be frustratingly difficult to find the answers.
Anyone who's visited the websites of most universities will know how badly designed most of them are when it comes to finding the information you're actually looking for.
Rather than what they want to tell you.
Which is usually how great their uni is and why you should go there, especially if you're an overseas student - yeah the unis just love those overseas students paying their extortionately high fees.
I know... I do this exercise every year.
Now 95% of the material in my Home Study Course ISN'T available for free online (of course).
But in one section I do list a whole lot of useful information about the universities in Australia, the UK and Ireland for your convenience.
Such as past cut off scores, how they select people etc etc.
Also stuff about the format of the test and other things so you've got it all in one place without having to go looking for it.
In other words all the stuff that in theory IS available online.
But it still takes me at least a full week to update this section every year.
And I've already got all the relevant links saved on my computer.
So sometimes it's even worth paying for information that you can find yourself online IF you value your time enough.
Or you could spend a week or two of your OWN TIME looking up boring stuff on the old interwebs.
Or asking the same old questions on a forum.
Time which could be much better spent actually studying for the test.
And one final thing, if I've included it in my paid course, then you know at least that I've FACT CHECKED it.
It's undergone some sort of quality control.
It's not just some random person on a forum telling you something.
Or worse, not telling you and just repeating over and over like a demented Dalek - "it's all online, it's all online, IT'S ALL ONLINE"
Dr Peter Griffiths
P.S If you want all the stuff that's NOT FREE ONLINE then click here to get my Gamsat Home Study System >> www.gamsatreview.com