Creating and studying with GAMSAT flash cards is hands-down one of the most effective ways to quickly learn and retain knowledge, especially when preparing for section two and three.
In this article, we will discuss how to make effective GAMSAT flash cards to prepare for the exam. It is difficult to pin point the origin of flash cards as it has been a method of studying for centuries. However, it is essentially a note card with a question on one side and the corresponding answer on the other side. You retain information by repeatedly reading the question and trying to recall the answer.
Why traditional Flash cards don’t work for the GAMSAT
Flashcards promotes active recall, which is through one of the ways are brain learns most effectively. When you look at the front side of a flash card and think of the answer, you are engaging with the material. In other words, you are attempting to remember the concept from scratch (active recall) rather than simply staring at the passage in your textbook or note book (passive learning). Active recall has been proven to create stronger neural connections which enable you to easily retrieve what you’ve learned at a later date. Thus, they are a great way to prepare for section 2 and section 3.
However, there is one issue with the traditional flash card system, and is that they tend to promotes only the memorisation of facts.
Why Fact-based cards are ineffective for GAMSAT Study
You see the GAMSAT is a reasoning test not a knowledge-based test, which means that flash cards that are designed to promote memorisation or cramming of values, formulas or facts rather than understanding the underlying source of those facts are a WASTE OF TIME. It is important you take extreme care when designing GAMSAT flash cards so as to ensure they promote the application of knowledge.
Good Flash card VS Bad Flash Card
A good GAMSAT flash card is one that tests understanding that can be applied to solving problems in the exam. Lets look at an example and decide if they are good or bad.
I must admit that calling example 1 a ‘bad card’ is a bit harsh, it isn’t a bad card per say as you need to know the first law of thermodynamics in order to apply it. However, during preparation for the GAMSAT we recommend you have a higher ratio of GAMSAT cards that leverage both understanding and application of knowledge like example 2.
Here are few more examples of good and bad GAMSAT flash cards to prepare for section 2 and 3:
Capitalise on the Spacing Effect (Spaced Repetition)
The spacing effect is the phenomenon whereby learning is greater when studying is spread out over time, as opposed to studying the same amount of content in a single session.
Recommendations for making GAMSAT Flash Cards
Anki Flash cards: Anki is a free program that uses flash cards and spaced repetition where you can create flash cards for the GAMSAT. You can think of it as a kind of “smart flashcard program” that leverages spaced repetition and makes memorisation more efficient. Anki is built on top of the premise that you best remember knowledge with periodic and strategically-timed reminders. Which means it’s built on top of the powers of spaced repetition. Learn More
GAMSAT Notebook: The GAMSAT notebook uses flash cards and spaced repetition for students to make GAMSAT notes, rather than the traditional method of writing long paragraphs of text. This is particularly great for students that may prefer writing out flashcards instead of typing it on their computer. The notebook comes with instructions on how to make effective notes and comes with the added benefit of organisation, where you have all your GAMSAT flash cards in one place. Learn More