The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is the admission test required by some graduate medical school programmes. In this article we will look at how much time you need to study for the GAMSAT.
How much time should you study for the GAMSAT? The short answer…it depends.
In a survey answered by over 100 high scoring candidates the average time spent studying for the GAMSAT was 6-8 hours per week over 3 – 6 months. Students with no science knowledge background spent 5 – 6 months.
The most accurate way to accurately gauge how long you will need is by first spending your initial study time attempting official practice questions with no or little preparation. I would recommend using the e-book you receive when you register for the GAMSAT, there are other resources you can use for practice questions, check out more GAMSAT preparation materials. The key thing is that you want to identify where your natural capabilities lie, pick out your strengths and weaknesses in each section (for Section I and Section III) if you score below par on all sections of the exam then give yourself longer to prepare, it is not uncommon for students to take 6 months to prepare for the GAMSAT.
I spent 4 months preparing for the GAMSAT, the key to achieving a high score was recognising my weakest sections as early as possible. Once I had identified them, I spent most of my preparation time improving my skill and regularly analysing my progress.
If you are an avid reader of novels and newspapers and pick up new information in quickly (irrespective of your actual grades) and you have or are completing a science degree, you might be one of the rare students who study for 4- 6 weeks and still end up with a great GAMSAT score!
What To Look For When Attempting Practice Questions
I strongly advice to keep an eye out on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) during practice. A KPI is a type of measurement that evaluates progress over time. It is widely used by businesses to monitor and analyse factors deemed crucial to the success of the company. I strongly advice to adopt this concept to assess your performance so you can make a call on how long you need to prepare for the GAMSAT. By setting KPIs it enables you make smarter decisions about your preparation for the exam:
1. Question Types
Pay attention to the type of questions you find difficult in section I and III. There is usually a pattern, I strongly advise you take note of this.
2. Reasoning Skill
The skill required to answered the questions in each section. Pay attention to things like verbal skills, critical thinking, numerical skills etc.
3. Error Rate
It is measure of your accuracy in each section I and III, it is the frequency at which you answer questions incorrectly within each section. It is measured as a percentage and can be calculated using the formulae below:
Error Rate = (Total number of incorrect responses/Total questions attempted) x 100
It is measure of how quickly you complete a section within the time allocated.