We’ve spent the last 18 months working on the 30-day GAMSAT Challenge and interviewed over a hundred high scoring candidates to get some insight into their study plan for the exam.
The GAMSAT study plan I share in this article is the exact approach I used to prepare for the exam and it’s amazing to discover its the same or similar approach used by many of the top scoring students I had the pleasure to speak with during the research of the challenge.
Reminder: Please use the proposed study plan as a guide, everyone experiences learning differently, so the optimal strategy is independent to your study approach. There are things that may work better than others, so be sure to reflect on your study techniques beforehand.
So what is this GAMSAT study plan then?
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. This step is carried out in THREE parts:
- Recognising your weakest and strongest section
- Recognising your weakest and strongest topic or skill within each section
- Recognising time management within each section (i.e your use of time)
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 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 shortest 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 and/or mini-tests, make sure to allocate an appropriate amount of time to practising questions on weak areas! Use the results during practice to construct a game plan
Your Game plan is a list of exam tips, techniques and strategies you intend to use on test day based on trial and error during practice.
Step 5: Evaluate
Evaluation is usually in the form of timed mini-mocks. You want to replicate the same environment as the exam and assess a number of key performance indicators (KPIs). These are key metrics to assess your progress over time and they must be asessed regularly, they include:
- Error Rate/ Accuracy
- Mini-test Results (under timed conditions)
- Game plan evaluation
Error Rate/ Accuracy: It is a measure of the frequency at which you answer questions incorrectly. it is measured as a percentage.
Speed: It is a measure of how quickly you complete a section within its time limitations.
Mini-test Results: A comprehensive analysis and breakdown of mini-practice test results.
Game plan evaluation: An evaluation of how well the tips, techniques and strategies learned in step 3 have improved practice score.
Cyclic Approach of The Study Plan
The study plan is continuous, the results from step 5 are used to recognise (Step 1) new strengths and weakness and allows you re-prioritise accordingly. The idea is that as you go through step 1 to step 5 you refine the topics/concepts you need to focus on for the GAMSAT. This will effectively ensure you are working smart throughout.