GAMSAT Chemistry: Study plan, Key topics, Resources and more


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In this article we explore how to prepare for the GAMSAT chemistry. All the tools and information you’ll need to improve your performance.

The GAMSAT chemistry accounts for 40% of the questions in section 3 and are made up of two types: general chemistry (i.e study of atoms, bonds and key concepts) and organic chemistry (i.e the study of carbon-containing compounds). Chemistry in the GAMSAT is about the application of certain principles to specific problems and requires a smaller knowledge base than the Biology component of the test. Thus, it is vital to learn key chemistry principles then refine their application in the context of the GAMSAT exam. 

GAMSAT Chemistry Study Plan

We recommend adopting the 5-step preparation plan that can be applied to preparing for both the biology and physics components of the exam. It is the exact study plan recommended by most of the students that contributed to our 30-day GAMSAT prep challenge, designed to act as a virtual tutor and study planner. Includes over 100 exam tips and strategies (click to learn more)

So what is this 5-step study plan?

After Step 5 (evaluate), repeat the entire process again. Use the results from the evaluation step to recognise new areas that you need to work on. Repeat cycle until you are satisfied with your performance.

Candidates with a non-science background: If you’re taking the GAMSAT with little or no exposure to chemistry then you’ll probably find that you need to supplement study with something basic before tackling GAMSAT style questions. We have provided some helpful recommendations below to get you started.

Candidates with a science background: For science students that a familiar with chemistry principles, we recommend putting strong emphasis on refining your learning in the context of the GAMSAT exam.

Key Topics

General Chemistry:

  • Atom and molecules
  • The Periodic Table
  • Bonds – Chemical Bonds, Hydrogen Bonds, Ionic and Covalent Bonds
  • Equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and its applications
  • Thermodynamics – 1st law of thermodynamics, energy, pressure, entropy
  • Acids and bases
  • Electrolysis
  • Lewis Dot Structures
  • Multiple Bonds
  • Resonance
  • Molecular Polarity
  • Hybridization
  • Hybrid Orbitals
  • Gases
  • Avogadro’s Law, Equation of State
  • Graham’s Law
  • Liquids
  • Maxwell’s Distribution Plot
  • Boiling points and Melting Points
  • Le Chatelier’s Principle
  • Solutions and Phase Diagrams
  • Raoult’s Law
  • Titrations
  • Oxidation Numbers
  • Solubility Product
  • Calorimetry
  • Hess’s Law and Rate Law
  • Energy Diagrams,
  • Electrolysis and electrochemical Cell

Organic Chemistry:

  • Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes
  • Stereochemistry – Isomerism, meso compounds etc
  • Substitution Reactions – SN2 and SN2 mechanism
  • Elimination Reactions – E1 and E2 reactions
  • Nomenclature and stereoisomerism in alkenes
  • IUPAC Nomenclature
  • Carboxylic Acids, the tetrahedryl Intermediate, Amides
  • Amino Acids and Protein Structure,
  • Free Radicals
  • Redox Reactions
  • Aromatic Rings
  • Spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Recommended Resources

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 chemsitry.

#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. Organic Chemistry for Dummies (Buy on Amazon)

It is easy-to-understand and explains the basic principles of organic chemistry in simple terms, providing great insight into organic chemistry for Section 3 of the GAMSAT. A must-buy for candidates in the non-scientific field or need a brush up on core chemistry concepts.

#5. Chem Guide (Visit site)

This is a good recommendation for students that have a strong background in chemistry and may need to brush up on key principles.

#6. Organic Chemistry Tutor (Visit channel)

The Master Organic Chemistry YouTube channel is a useful resource for learning core organic chemistry concepts. Principles are well explained and detailed for both science and non-science students looking to learn key principles. 

#7. Tyler Dewitt (Visit channel)

The Tyler Dewitt YouTube channel covers introductory topics in chemistry, using lots of examples, analogies and practice problems. The main topics covered in there library are: Significant Figures, Scientific Notation, Density, Stoichiometry, Nuclear Chemistry, VSEPR Theory, Atomic Structure, Covalent and Ionic Bonding, Thermochemistry, and Gases.

#8. Leah4Sci (Visit channel)

A great YouTube channel that covers complex organic chemistry concepts and mechanisms made easy through simple tutorials, step by step mechanisms, and detailed explanations every step of the way.

#9. Master Organic Chem (Visit channel)

The Master Organic Chemistry YouTube channel is a useful resource for learning core organic chemistry concepts for section 3.

Study tips for GAMSAT Chemistry

Study Actively : Enagage with materials as much as possible, attempt questions after learning new concepts to test understanding.

Make Effective Chemistry 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 the application of principles: During practice, set questions that draw on reasoning skills, they tend to be in a problem-solving context where you’ll be exposed to the application of chemistry principles.

Do not cram: The GAMSAT is a reasoning test not a knowledge based test, which means it focuses primarily 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 underlying principles.

Hope you found that helpful! For a step-by-step preparation guide take the GAMSAT challenge includes over a hundred exam tips and strategies to prepare for the exam. Also, check out the rest of the blog for more GAMSAT tips and our store for free and premium resources to prepare for the exam.

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9 months ago

Hi, im taking the gamsat but i studied Law for my BSc. I did NOT take any science for my a levels. Should i just study the topics that you mentioned? or the whole book? Thanks in advance !