In this article we explore how to prepare for the GAMSAT biology. All the tools and information you’ll need to improve your performance.
According to the official information booklet, the GAMSAT biology accounts for 40% of the questions in section 3. That is a lot! especially when you think about how much weight section 3 has on your overall gamsat score. It is important to note that biology questions in the exam test application and reasoning, not your ability to regurgitate facts. Rather, they tend to be in a problem-solving context where you’ll be exposed to some mathematical aspects, such as analysing and interpreting graphs.
If your degree is in a non-scientific field we recommend taking additional time to grasp core biology concepts we have recommended below. We have also proposed a study plan that can be used by both science and non-science candidates.
GAMSAT Biology Study Plan
During the creation of the 30-day GAMSAT challenge, we spoke with a total of 135 students. Most of which were successful medics that scored well in the GAMSAT. Upon probing into their study plan we discovered that most of the students followed similar study approach, which we recommend to all all our readers taking the GAMSAT.
It includes 5 steps and can also be applied to both GAMSAT physics and GAMSAT chemistry prep. See image below:
After Step 5: Evaluation, repeat the entire process again. Use the results from the evaluation step to identify new areas you need to work on in the next round. Repeat cycle until you are satisfied with your performance in GAMSAT biology
Candidates with a non-science background: If you’re taking the GAMSAT with little or no exposure to biology then you’ll probably find that you need to supplement study with something basic before you tackle GAMSAT style questions. As a result, you should spend more time in step 3 and step 4 of the study plan.
Candidates with a science background: For science students, we recommend putting strong emphasis on the mathematical aspects of biology, where you practice questions that focus on application and reasoning. Also, spend an appropriate amount working on timing.
- Cell Biology – Structure and Cell Division
- Enzymes – actions and factors affecting rate of reaction, inhibitors
- Macromolecules – Structure and Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
- Body systems – Respiratory, Excretory, Nervous, circulatory, reproductive, lymphatic, digestive, Immune system etc
- Homeostasis – principle and negative feedback e.g thermoregulation
- Genetics – Mendelian inheritance, monohybrid and dihybrid cross, Chromosome structure and components, chromosomal inheritance.
- Microbes – bacterias and viruses: overview and treatment of diseases
- Embryology – Foetus development and pregnancy
- Immunology – Immune system components and mode of function
- Endocrinology and hormonal pathways.
The following are great resources to kickstart preparation and build on foundation for gamsat biology:
#1. BBC Bitesize (Visit site)
The BBC Bitesize is a great tool to to help with revision and learning for all the sciences. Find free videos, step-by-step guides, activities and quizzes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. It is a really good introductory resources for non-science students looking to build their foundation in the sciences.
#2. Prof Dave Explains (visit channel)
Arguably one of the best YouTube resources for self-education in existence. Prof Dave covers core principles in a lot of subjects, including General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics and Biology. His videos have just enough detail for high school and undergraduate students, but are visually engaging and general enough for the common viewer that just wants to learn a few things.
#3. Khan Academy (Visit channel)
Khan Academy YouTube channel one of the best materials to prepare for the GAMSAT. You can find videos on core Chemistry, Physics and Biology concepts to help prepare for Section 3 in the exam. Whether you need a quick brush up on a specific concept or have a non-science background, their easy-to-understand videos are a must watch
#4. Speed Pharmacology (visit site)
Another YouTube channel with short, simple, and entertaining pharmacology videos to help supplement biology knowledge.
#5. Armando Hasudungan (visit Site)
Another helpful YouTube with various subjects from the basics of human anatomy and physiology to the more complex biochemistry and immunology. It is definitely a good resource for improving understanding in Biology.
Study tips for GAMSAT Biology
Study Actively : Enagage with materials as much as possible, attempt questions after learning new concepts to test understanding.
Make Effective Flash cards: Rather than staring at passages in your textbook or note book make flash cards to encourage active recall. Read more on how to make effective gamsat flash cards.
Focus on Application over Knowledge: During practice, set questions that draw on reasoning skills, they tend to be in a problem-solving context where you’ll be exposed to some mathematical aspects, such as analysing and interpreting graphs.
Do not cram: The GAMSAT is a reasoning test not a knowledge based test, which means it focuses primarily on problem solving and on the application of knowledge. Do not concern yourself with memorising or cramming values, formulas or facts, take extreme care to ensure that you understand the underlying source of those values or facts.