2014 GAMSAT UK results… you win some you lose some

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Yeah. I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst and I got the bomb dropped on me. This time around, I performed worse in all three of my sections – probably because I didn’t really study for it. Section I dropped from 57 to 54, section II dropped from 72 to 56, and section III dropped from 75 to 68. I suppose this is my natural aptitude. Oh well, there’s nothing much to say but that there’s always March I guess?  Hopefully I can balance my time with studying a summer breadth.

In other news, I finished all my exams yesterday and I feel iffy about them. The anatomy component of human structure and function (HSF) was manageable, the physiology component of HSF was a little more confusing, and I felt like I gave up studying for microbes. Results come out in a few weeks, so I guess time will tell. I’m so glad I did glee singing and didn’t have to do an extra exam. Freedom!

Finally went to see Les Misérables today too. We got there at 11am and lined up for rush tickets ($45) to the 1pm session. The seats we got weren’t too bad (P row stalls on the left), the performance gradually got better towards the end and the music was pretty standard. I’ll admit I teared up a few times! Brunch before the show:

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I’m flying out in a few days time for Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong, so I’ll be quite preoccupied with pre-departure preparations. Looking forward to experiencing the different cultures and the food – I shall be taking lots of photos for you all to see, so stay tuned!

Cheers,
J

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5 thoughts on “2014 GAMSAT UK results… you win some you lose some

  1. Congrats on another great GAMSAT score! To me that is a fantastic result, however I know that it varies country to country on what is considered ‘good’. I scored a 58 which I am happy with but like you I will be repeating in March to make absolute sure I get the uni I want for medicine. Is there any way you could do a blog post about GAMSAT prep that would include info on materials used, hours spent, courses taken etc.? I know you’re disappointed with your score, but I would be over the moon if I got a 61! 🙂

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  2. Thank you so much E, it’s so good to hear from you! A job well done to you too and I think it’s a great idea to give it another shot!
    I don’t really feel like outlining how I studied through a blog post because I honestly don’t think it was that effective (maybe I’ll change my mind about this?), however I’ll outline it in this reply for sure – bear with me:

    First thing I did was I got my hands on a GAMSAT preparation package (about 6-7 months before the March test) because I had no idea where to start. I knew I wanted an early start because I’m known for a hard worker and not a genius. My choice was Des O’neills Silver Package, which costed me around $1,000AUD – very very expensive for some words on paper, so I recommend getting your hands on a second hand set, which you could probably find some past GAMSATers who are eager to sell.

    In the pack, you’ll find 5 books/booklets. They are: the ‘science revision course for GAMSAT’ book, the ‘practising science MCQs for GAMSAT section 3’ book, the ‘practising humanities MCQs’ for GAMSAT section 1′ book, the ‘writing better essays for GAMSAT 2013* complete course’ booklet, and an extra booklet of notes accompanying the science revision book. *Each year they update this booklet with different essay questions.

    I began going through the science revision book and the practising humanities book before my second semester started and didn’t get very far into the material before university studies took a priority. After the semester ended (about 4 months until test date) I took a few weeks off and then started to buckle down. During my 3 months of summer break, I probably did around an average of 3 hours of studying a day. Like there are days where you go out with your friends and do zero study, and there’s days you get so immersed into the material you might do 6 hours.

    During summer break, I tried to juggle the science revision book, the practising humanities book and the essay booklet. I managed to finish the science revision book first, before dedicating more time to humanities, where my weakness is. Humanities was really frustrating for me because sometimes you get everything wrong in a passage, and your friend gets almost everything right, and there’s no real way to communicate the correct answers unlike in science. Towards the end of the humanities book, I started writing essays more frequently. First, untimed, but then I tried placing time limits, eventually shortening them to half an hour.

    So summer break ended and I eased my foot off the gas pedal before pressing a little harder again a few weeks before test date. I started doing the ACER sample/practise questions at this point to try and familiarise myself with their style of questions. One thing I didn’t do though was the science practise MCQs book because I ran out of time – I managed to go through a little bit of it though. All in all, I think time management is key.

    ‘Did the material help?’ – I hear you ask. In some respects I think it did, whereas sometimes you just don’t know. For example, I found the essay booklet the most helpful because it outlines how to structure your essays and it gives lots, I mean LOTS of example essays, good and bad (what to do and what not to do). As for the science revision book, I think it helped me consolidate my knowledge, although I found a lot of information that I don’t think I may have been required to know in the test, such as human anatomy. The humanities practise question book on the other hand was not as helpful as the former 2 – I went through the whole book and my score for section 1 was no where near the scores of my other sections. As for the science practise questions, I just don’t know because I didn’t get very far through the book.

    Hope this helps E, and good luck for March 🙂

    Cheers,
    J

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    • Thank you so much for such an informative response! This definitely helps and I will absolutely be buying a second hand Des O’Neil package! I just have one last question. Have you heard of any good Australian Gamsat taught courses? I plan to travel to Australia at some point before March and am considering attending one while out there. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer, E.

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      • Hi E,

        It’s my pleasure, as it does get lonely posting without anyone commenting! As for GAMSAT courses in Australia, I haven’t really heard many people take them. This is my opinion, but I mean GAMSAT is something that you are either talented in, and/or is something that requires lots of time and effort. Going to a course may help you get off to a good start, but it’s grinding the material that helps you in the long run. I mean in terms of time, GAMSAT courses only run over a few days, whereas you could be doing bookwork for weeks on end. Also, courses are not cheap at all – they usually come with a package of already overpriced books so they can milk more money out of you. If I were traveling to Australia, I’d spend my money on food instead!

        If you can find one, I think a GAMSAT tutor is a good idea because you get direct one-on-one feedback for however long you want them to tutor you for. People who run courses probably wouldn’t want to see you again after the course has ended unless you are signing up for another course.

        Even for essay writing, I sent my essays to Des O’neills before the due dates for online correction and no-one replied. Instead I just gave them to a few friends who were good at English and listened to the feedback they had to offer. Friends are less reliable than tutors, but hey it’s a free service.

        On the other hand, I think going to a interview workshops isn’t a bad idea because they can’t really teach you that in books.

        Thanks for reading E 🙂

        Cheers,
        J

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  3. Hi J,

    Haha, glad to hear that I am not annoying you then! OK, I might reconsider doing a Gamsat course then as I know they are so expensive and probably not worth it. Luckily in Ireland there are no interviews so I won’t have to worry about finding a course for that 😉 . As always, thanks for your help. E.

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