The ACER GAMSAT booklets are the only official practice materials. The sample questions and practice tests best simulate the scope of the real exam. In this article we will look at each one and give an overview on how to use them.
The purpose of the ACER GAMSAT booklets is to give you an idea as to what to expect in each section and monitor improvements over time. In order to explain how to use them, lets first look at the GAMSAT study plan recommended by 98% of the students that contributed to the 30-day GAMSAT challenge, these are candidates that achieved top scores in the exam (over 70+) and successfully got a place into medicine.
So what’s the study plan?
It includes 5 steps, as follows:
Step 1: Recognise
This is the first step and it involves recognising your strongest and weakest areas in the GAMSAT. It is important to identify this early on as it will dictate how you prepare for the exam.
Step 2: Prioritise
A lot of candidates fall into the trap of practising what they enjoy and are good at, whilst neglecting the areas they find more challenging! You ideally want to spend majority of the time working on weak areas, hence the necessity of this step. This step involves prioritising the sections and its topics to ensure you are constantly attacking weak areas and improving your score in the quickest time possible.
Step 3: Improve
Learn tips, concepts, techniques and/or strategies to improve your score in each section of the exam. The goal is to improve your error rate in each section and compile a list of helpful exam tips to improve time management.
Step 4: Practice
Whilst it is important to practice ALL sections of the GAMSAT, this step involves putting everything you have learned into practice by attempting practice questions, remember to allocate an appropriate amount of time practising weak areas!
Step 5: Evaluate
Evaluation is usually in the form of timed practice. You want to replicate the same environment as the exam and assess performance and improvements.
Once you have completed evaluation, repeat the entire process (see image below). This is great way to consistently work on weak areas during preparation.
When to use the ACER GAMSAT Booklets
You can use the ACER GAMSAT booklets during the Recognise, Practice and Evaluate stages of the GAMSAT study plan.
Recognise – to point out strengths and weakness.
Practice – to practice under time constraints and monitor improvements over time.
Evaluate – to mimic testing conditions and gives indication of exam performance.
For better results balance both timed and untimed practice at each stage and pay close attention to the key performance indicators (GKPIs). This is covered in depth in the 30-day GAMSAT Challenge. For now, let’s look at each booklet and how to use them during GAMSAT preparation:
Booklet #1 – Practice Questions
This ebook is included for free when you register for the GAMSAT. It is a short publication that contains the question types found in a full test. Answers are given for all questions and suggested worked solutions are provided for some. This booklet is great for familiarising yourself with the exam and recognising your strengths and weakness.
Booklet #2 – Sample Questions
This ebook is similar to the practice questions booklet, it also contains the different question types that can be found in a full test. This is good for candidates who want to further expand on familiarising themselves with the exam and recognising weak areas.
Booklet #3 – Practice Tests (1 – 3)
ACER provides three booklets that are equivalent to a full test and each will take approximately 5.5 hours to complete under exam conditions. Answers are given for all questions. We recommend using these booklets during the practice and evaluate steps. During practice, attempt questions under both timed and untimed conditions and assess performance. For example, you could set a mini-test for GAMSAT Section 1 where you answer 30 questions untimed and learn from answer rationales. Once completed, then attempt 30 questions under exam conditions. The goal is to compare both performance and monitor error rate. Identify difficult question types, weak areas and suggest ways to improve.
Booklet #4 – Written Communication Practice Test (1 -2)
ACER allows candidates to submit two pieces of writing addressing two specific tasks with their written communication practice tests. The pieces of writing are automatically scored and a percentile band and a score range is provided.
Alternative Resources for the ACER GAMSAT booklets
The ACER GAMSAT booklets are unfortunately not enough questions. If you are looking for more materials, then the following resources are alternatives recommended by past candidates that took the GAMSAT, they include:
Des O’Neill’s GAMSAT Questions (8.5/10)
These provide great GAMSAT practice questions for each section Unfortunately, the hard copies are discontinued. Your best bet would be to borrow or buy them second-hand. However, if you are lucky you may be able to get PDFs online for free. (Buy on eBay)
AceGAMSAT GAMSAT Preparation Materials (7/10)
AceGAMSAT have pretty much every practice material possible for the GAMSAT. Quite a lot of high scoring students I spoke with bought their GAMSAT study package and found it really helpful, one of my colleagues at medical school only used ACEGAMSAT, Des O’neil and the ACER practice questions booklet to prepare and he scored 75! However, he did admit that “The GAMSAT Bible” from ACEGAMSAT was ok but the other books in the study package were great! So might be worth looking into if you want a cheaper all-in-one option. (Visit site)
Gold Standard GAMSAT Full-Length Mock Questions
I wasn’t a big fan of the old Gold Standard GAMSAT preparation book I used when I took the exam but the book series have come a long way, their new GAMSAT practice tests book has received great feedback recently. It contains 10 full practice tests with worked solutions – you get five GAMSAT practice papers are in the book, and five different mock exams are online (accessed with a PIN included in each book). Online access also includes answers and worked solutions for all 10 exams and is continuous for 1 year. (Buy on Amazon)
GAMSAT Essay Marking Services (8/10)
I personally did not use an essay marking service when I prepared for the exam but the following services were recommended to me by other candidates that opted-in for the service:
1. AceGAMSAT Essay marking service (visit site)
2. Gold Standard Essay Correction Service (visit site)