If you are wondering the best way to prepare for the GAMSAT physics we have got you covered. In this article we look at an effective study plan, topics, resources, equations and more. Basically, all the tools and information you’ll need to improve your performance.
GAMSAT physics is weird one because in the official information booklet it states that physics accounts for 20% of the questions in section 3. However, in recent sittings, at least 30- 40% of questions have elements of physics in them. Yes, they may not be pure physics question but there require some application of physics knowledge. This crossover is why we recommend you take it seriously and spend a sufficient amount of time preparing for it.
If your degree is in a non-scientific field of study we recommend taking extra time to grasp the core concepts below. We have proposed a study plan that can be used by both science and non-science candidates.
GAMSAT Physics Study Plan
The GAMSAT study plan we recommend was used by 98% of the students that contributed to the 30-day GAMSAT challenge. Most of which did admit they intuitively followed one without realising it. It wasn’t until we began probing into their overall preparation strategy that these elements came to light.
After Step 5: Evaluation, repeat the entire process again. Use the results from the evaluation step to identify areas you need to work on in the next round. Continue cycle until skill and knowledge are at a level you are pleased with.
Candidates with a non-science background: If you’re taking the GAMSAT with only a bit of secondary school sciences that’s at least half a decade old 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 the improveand practicestages. We have recommended some helpful resources below to get you started at the foundation level then build up from there.
Candidates with a science background: For science students, you may find it easier and quicker to grasp key physics topics. As a result, you may find yourself spending more time on the practice and evaluation stage. We recommend practising more graph analysis and interpretation problems, as well as working on maths/mental calculations. Do as much practice questions as possible and learn from incorrect responses. It may be worth spending time to improve your speed.
- Motion and forces– Newton’s laws, momentum, force, velocity, acceleration, gravity, equations of motion, elasticity, pressure, flotation and associated calculations
- Conservation of Energy– forms of energy, changes and conservation in energy, power , work, thermal energy transfer and associated calculations
- Waves– properties, reflection, refraction, sound, ultrasound, oscillation ,resonance and formulation.
- Gases– The gas laws, ideal gas, absolute temperature scale, meaning of temperature
- Electricity and their circuits– voltage, current, series and parallel circuits, short circuits, diodes, transformers and associated calculations
- Atomic Structure– half-life, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, atoms, isotopes and ions
- Radioactive delay– atoms, nuclear radiation, nuclear fission and fusion, mass-energy equivalence, application (X-rays, ultrasound, etc) and energy
- Heat and Temperature– energy sources, temperature changes and efficiency
Remember – where possible, make sure to place emphasis on:
- Analysis and interpretation of graphs
- Relationships and patterns (direct and inverse proportionality, exponential changes, log scales etc).
- Quick approaches/shortcuts to solutions.
- Conversions of simple (eg: µA to mA) and more complex units (eg: g cm-3 to kg m-3).
– Non-Science Students
The following are great resources to kickstart preparation and build on foundation for gamsat physics:
#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. Physics for dummies (Buy on Amazon)
It is easy-to-understand and explains the basic principles of physics in simple terms, providing great insight into core physics concepts for Section 3 of the GAMSAT. A must-buy for candidates in the non-scientific field or need a brush up on core concepts.
– Science students
#1. 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
#2. Lectures by Walter Lewin (Visit channel)
This YouTube channel contains lectures by Walter Lewin in the fall of 1999, spring of 2002 and fall of 2004. He covers mechanics, electricity, magnetism, vibrations, waves and other core concepts in physics. A great channel for section 3 preparation.
#3. Physics Clasroom (Visit site)
This resources includes a set of instructional pages written in an easy-to-understand language and complemented by interactive graphics. An ideal tool to help supplement understanding in core concepts in physics
#4. HyperPhysics (Visit site)
GAMSAT Physics Equation Lists
Electricity and Magnetism:
Study tips for GAMSAT Physics
Study Actively : There is vast amount of scientific evidence that proves that active learning is the most effective way to learn. Once you are comfortable with a concept test yourself afterwards by solving problems.
Make Effective Flash cards: Flashcards are great, they promotes active recall, which is 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). Read more on how to make effective gamsat flash cards.
Focus on Application over Knowledge: During practice set questions that draw on reasoning skills (i.e problem based questions) not memorisation of formulas or facts.
Only memorise to save time: 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.