How To Study For GAMSAT Section 3

In today's article I'm going to describe exactly how to study for Gamsat section 3.

Section three is the science part of the test or as ACER describes it "Reasoning in Biological and Physical Science".

Candidates are required to have knowledge of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics for this part of the exam and ACER states that the biology and chemistry (physical and organic) portion will be 80 percent of the questions (40 percent each) and that the physics portion will be 20 percent.

There are 110 questions in total which must be answered in 170 minutes.

With regards to the level of knowledge required ACER states that a first year degree level knowledge of biology and chemistry is needed and an A level (year 12) standard for physics. However experience has shown that a high A level standard in all three is sufficient and this is the standard to which most candidates taking the test study for Gamsat section 3.

Now let's look at some specific points about how to go about preparing for this difficult test.

1. Don't start with the official ACER questions.

Now I DO RECOMMEND that you purchase all of the official ACER Gamsat tests as these will be an essential part of your preparation.

However they aren't a good place to begin your studies. There are two main reasons for this.

The first is that to begin with, the official questions will probably be too difficult for you and so you'll probably just end up demoralized and demotivated. You need to build up to this level of difficulty.

The second reason is that genuine Gamsat style questions are quite time consuming. They usually have a lot of text to read and diagrams to interpret.

At the beginning of your studies this simply isn't a TIME EFFICIENT way to study a new topic nor to test your newly acquired knowledge.

You need to practice your newly studied skills with lots of shorter style questions first so you can see consistent improvement and gain confidence in your knowledge.

So in SUMMARY the official ACER questions and practice tests are NOT good for learning a new science topic. They ARE a good way to test your skills once your studies have advanced.

2. Start where you are

This may sound trite, nonsensical almost. But the best thing you can do before you begin is to decide what you ALREADY know.

If you're a biology graduate then it's obviously more logical to dedicate more time to the chemistry and physics.

If you're a humanities graduate you'll probably need to dedicate equal time to all three or be guided more by the results of your practice questions.

How to study for Gamsat Section 3

3. Don't memorize information

It's weird, most exams require you to memorize a lot of information but not Gamsat. So why do you even need to study at all?

Well while there will be hardly any questions which require you to just "know" the answer from memory, you will need to know how to perform calculations - lots of them. So make all your study based around performing calculations and solving problems.

4. Use a variety of learning aids

The best way to learn science is with a good old fashioned text book which sets things out step by step.

It's portable, can be read anywhere and you don't even need to make notes. Just highlight or underline the important sections in the book or make notes in the margin. (The problem is most of us were conditioned at school not to write in our text books which is why everyone wastes so much time hand writing separate notes on pieces of paper).

But having said that there's no reason why a text book has to be your only resource.

Nowadays there are multiple formats to learn just about anything, websites, videos etc etc

So keep things interesting and mix it up a bit from time to time.

For a full list of online resources you can read my other article Gamsat Free Online Resources

5. Learn, Practice, Repeat

One of the main difficulties that students have with studying for Gamsat is the vast scope of the material that needs to be covered.

Here we're just covering the science paper, but on top of that you have to master reading comprehension skills for paper 1 and essay writing skills for paper 2.

It's easy to become overwhelmed and even easier to forget something you've already learned as you move on to so many new topics.

So it's essential after you've learned and practiced your new skills to program in time to repeat and revise them regularly as your studies progress.

The best way to do that is to set up a good study plan right at the start.

6. Time Management

Before you sit the real test make sure that you do AT LEAST  one but preferably more full length tests under exam conditions. This will help you to know if you are capable of working at the right pace or not.

The last thing you want to happen on the day of the actual test is to find you have to guess the last 40 questions because you've been working too slowly.

Finally for more tips on preparing for the science section read my other article Gamsat Section 3

Further Resources

For more help with GAMSAT check out Griffiths Gamsat Review GAMSAT Home Study Course which takes you step by step through all three sections with advanced strategies for each.

GAMSAT Home Study Course
GAMSAT Home Study Course