METC Institute Blog

How to Prepare for GAMSAT: Vertical Integration - completing exercises for interdisciplinary intuition (Part 3)

Posted by Troy on Jun 26, 2020 5:20:07 PM

 

Welcome to the GAMSAT blog article series – ‘How to prepare for GAMSAT’ by Dr Mat Hinksman, Associate Director of Education and Senior Lecturer at METC Institute.

This 3-part article series explains how the ACER GAMSAT exam is different to a university exam, how to best approach GAMSAT study preparation with applied practice for a deeper level of understanding of concepts horizontally within a discipline, how it’s necessary to integrate vertically interdisciplinary concepts for problem-solving in Section III science exercises, and how it's essential to develop your reasoning intuition for answering questions.

The methods and approaches outlined in the article series are aimed to guide students towards the ideal preparation for developing applied theoretical intuition and a successful GAMSAT outcome.


 

Dr Mat Hinksman Foreword:

Overview

This is high-yield advice for anyone planning to sit GAMSAT in the coming months or years. I have drafted this to put into written form a discussion I invariably have with each student I interact with via my role at the METC Institute.

Often prospective students will send an enquiry asking for more information regarding GAMSAT preparation courses however on meeting to discuss the student’s needs, we spend the majority of our time discussing how to approach GAMSAT. In these cases, discussion about courses is a secondary consideration and rightly so. The ideal approach to the exam should be the primary concern of the student and tutor, and any ‘course’ should naturally follow this approach.

Some students I speak with have never sat the exam and for these students there is great value in discussing with them their approach from the initial stages of their preparation. Other students have sat the examination once or multiple times, and many have also completed preparation courses (in some cases a number of them). In this latter group, students often experience stagnation in their scores and frustration at the lack of progress as a result of completing courses of study (more on this later).

Given emphasising the ideal approach is infinitely valuable for the students who study with us, I thought it useful to share this via this medium in order to reach and assist a larger number of candidates (regardless of their intention of studying a METC Institute course, or any preparation course for that matter). The discussion is lengthy; however it is hoped this figurative stitch-in-time will save you energy and make your preparation proficient.

Dr Mat Hinksman
Associate Director of Education


 

Horizontal and Vertical Integration 

The final point is important and necessitates completion of exercises whether they are GAMSAT-style questions, or simply exercises similar to those seen in textbooks (the latter are still very valuable – if the student cannot answer such questions, they have little chance of success answering GAMSAT-style questions).


Thus after effectively identifying the syllabus, completing a first pass of the material, taking high quality notes, committing to a rigorous pursuit of turning unknown-unknowns to known-unknowns via practice exams, and studying these known-unknowns via further study, the student develops both a horizontally and vertically integrated understanding of the fundamental scientific concepts. The filing cabinet is no longer a filing cabinet, but a detailed network of inter-related concepts that is also an integral component of how the student now understands and experiences their world. Instead of scientific subjects, the network now forms the empirical basis via which the student moves in the world. It looks something like this:

Figure 4: The exceptional GAMSAT student has established a mental model similar to the above. Here the concepts are well understood, but most importantly well integrated within disciplines (horizontally) and across disciplines (vertically).

It is vital to accept the need to integrate the scientific study with the existing empirical understanding (one’s intuition) of the world in order for the former to become intuitive. In other words, for science to become intuitive, it cannot be sequestered in a corner of the mind without connections to what it is the student already knows and understands. For this integration to occur, there will need to be revision and in all likelihood some deletion of what it is one thinks they already know/understand for without these modifications, new knowledge networks cannot be established.

Without these networks, intuition cannot be developed. And without intuition, the student has little chance of answering GAMSAT-style questions in the requisite timeframe as these questions necessitate the application of knowledge in novel contexts. Without integrated knowledge networks, the student will inefficiently spend their exam time recalling and arranging concepts rather than applying concepts to solve problems.

You can easily test yourself to determine if you intuitively understand a concept. Go to a GAMSAT practice problem (such as a simple physics motion problem) and observe whether your default modelling of the issue (and subsequent answer) is along scientific lines, or along previously held erroneous (and at times difficult to overcome) beliefs.

Once sophisticated knowledge networks are established, the mechanics of answering a GAMSAT science question are something like:

  1. Automatic understanding of where in the knowledge network the question is pitched (e.g. this question is about a frog’s heart so is likely to be in the region of cardiovascular physiology) – in this way, the student pre-empts where things may go and is ready to augment their view of the question as more information comes to light
  2. Understanding what of the local concepts are relevant including which are key, and which are peripheral (e.g. the question is about cardiovascular physiology with potential peripheral relations to respiration, work, fluid dynamics, homeostasis etc.)
  3. Understanding the cardinality of applying such concepts or in other words understanding the steps involved in deriving the solution from the information given. The student needs to be able to perform an accounting of the information that is provided and what is missing that will allow derivation of the answer. Knowledge of concepts is then applied to fill the gaps with the choice of knowledge tailored to the gaps. This involves detailed understanding and experience in applying concepts – what is otherwise known as critical thinking and can only be developed via experience

 

The ideal GAMSAT preparation

After reading all of that, you will already know what the ideal preparation looks like. It will involve:

  • Appropriately identify the syllabus so that your study time is maximised;
  • Include the appropriate theory to the relevant depth;
  • Consider how to properly study this theory (and how to take notes) so as to again maximise study time and make studying more interesting/enjoyable;
  • Include sufficient practice exercises such that you can gain experience applying information and ultimately allowing development of intuition.

Everything else is more or less irrelevant including the medium of delivery. Provided a study plan adheres to the above principles, it will result in success if the student works hard. The plan can be self-directed, or it can be delivered via a formal GAMSAT course. The latter is often chosen by students due to their lack of experience.

We hope you enjoyed this 3-Part GAMSAT blog article series – ‘How to prepare for GAMSAT’ by Dr Mat Hinksman. You might have a few questions after reading this educational series and Dr Hinksman has kindly provided some answers below.


 

GAMSAT Q&As

Do preparation courses work?

This is the wrong question. A better question to ask is do courses emphasise the ideal way to study? (addressed in the section The ideal GAMSAT preparation). Of course there are courses that emphasise this approach. The next logical question is does the course I am considering emphasise the ideal way to study? If so, enrol and study hard. If not, look for another course.

Many courses will simply provide the theory +/- practice questions and fail to emphasise building an understanding of how to use these resources (this is the reason students enrol in multiple courses after experiencing poor results from previous courses).

 

Do you need a GAMSAT preparation course?

Not necessarily provided you are confident in being able to establish a study plan for yourself which encompasses the ideal approach to study (addressed in the section The ideal GAMSAT preparation). If you can organise this yourself, then you do not need a formal course. The majority of students will however not be assured in arranging their own study plan, and in such cases a formal course should be considered (carefully).

 

Why would you need a preparation course?

Students will often state that the theory is available to them online or via textbooks (there are some excellent open textbooks and resources such as the Khan Academy) so why can’t they simply study this material and sit them exam. The short answer is that they can, and if they work hard enough in studying the theory and applying the principles, they can be very successful.

The aim of a quality preparation course is to provide direction to the student by providing them with all of the necessary (and omitting the unnecessary) resources along with guidance on how to use these resources. Good courses will also provide a study plan which orients the student and administers their time appropriately based on their goals.

In essence, a good preparation course serves to administer and orient the efforts of the student thereby maximising effort they had already intended to exert. Courses cannot claim to either provide scientific theory which is not available elsewhere (a ridiculous assertion) or simplify the process such that performing well in the exam will mean minimal work (there is no silver-bullet).

 

Do METC Institute courses work?


METC Institute courses follow the principles of ideal preparation that we have already discussed. Whether a course works for an individual student is largely dependent on their commitment to the process outlined here. Students who are committed to diligently completing METC Institute courses (which are administered according to the principles outlined here) will invariably go on to perform well in their exam.

You can read more about METC Institute GAMSAT courses here, and learn more about our comprehensive preparation METC Institute GAMSAT Programs here.

If you are looking for education excellence and to optimise your chance of success, METC Institute has the most comprehensive vocational preparation programs available in Australia.


 

FOOTER:

Article Part 1 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: understanding what GAMSAT isn’t and is’ - explains what GAMSAT isn’t and is, and the competencies students need to acquire. In addition, it outlines the differences between GAMSAT assessment exams and university assessment exams, and how many students are inexperienced with the style of assessment used in GAMSAT.


Article Part 2 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: horizontal integration - high achiever students and common mistakes’ - discusses how to study and learn, and how a biomedical student may typically approach their studies to establish an isolated understanding of their university biology syllabus – versus how an A-level student will integrate within a discipline horizontally from a deeper understanding and be able to apply integrated concepts within the discipline in new contexts.


Article Part 3 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: vertical integration - completing exercises for interdisciplinary intuition’ –– outlines the vertical integration between the scientific disciplines and the importance of completing exercises and answering questions in order to develop interdisciplinary intuition and understanding of concepts. It explains how GAMSAT style questions necessitate the application of knowledge in novel contexts and the mechanics of answering a GAMSAT science question. It concludes with the ideal GAMSAT preparation breakdown, that will assist students to develop a pathway for the development of their problem-solving intuition.

 

Read More

Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatstudy, gamsatscience, gamsat-score, gamsat-competencies, gamsat-exams, gamsat-australia, gamsat-prep-course

How to Prepare for GAMSAT: Horizontal Integration - high achiever students and common mistakes (Part 2)

Posted by Troy on Jun 26, 2020 5:19:41 PM

 

Welcome to the GAMSAT blog article series – ‘How to prepare for GAMSAT’ by Dr Mat Hinksman, Associate Director of Education and Senior Lecturer at METC Institute.

This 3-part article series explains how the ACER GAMSAT exam is different to a university exam, how to best approach GAMSAT study preparation with applied practice for a deeper level of understanding of concepts horizontally within a discipline, how it’s necessary to integrate vertically interdisciplinary concepts for problem-solving in Section III science exercises, and how it's essential to develop your reasoning intuition for answering questions.

The methods and approaches outlined in the article series are aimed to guide students towards the ideal preparation for developing applied theoretical intuition and a successful GAMSAT outcome.


 

Dr Mat Hinksman Foreword:

Overview

This is high-yield advice for anyone planning to sit GAMSAT in the coming months or years. I have drafted this to put into written form a discussion I invariably have with each student I interact with via my role at the METC Institute.

Often prospective students will send an enquiry asking for more information regarding GAMSAT preparation courses however on meeting to discuss the student’s needs, we spend the majority of our time discussing how to approach GAMSAT. In these cases, discussion about courses is a secondary consideration and rightly so. The ideal approach to the exam should be the primary concern of the student and tutor, and any ‘course’ should naturally follow this approach.

Some students I speak with have never sat the exam and for these students there is great value in discussing with them their approach from the initial stages of their preparation. Other students have sat the examination once or multiple times, and many have also completed preparation courses (in some cases a number of them). In this latter group, students often experience stagnation in their scores and frustration at the lack of progress as a result of completing courses of study (more on this later).

Given emphasising the ideal approach is infinitely valuable for the students who study with us, I thought it useful to share this via this medium in order to reach and assist a larger number of candidates (regardless of their intention of studying a METC Institute course, or any preparation course for that matter). The discussion is lengthy; however it is hoped this figurative stitch-in-time will save you energy and make your preparation proficient.

Dr Mat Hinksman
Associate Director of Education


 

How to study and learn 

If GAMSAT is distinct from the assessments seen at university, naturally the next question is something like how to prepare for GAMSAT. More fundamentally, we should ask ourselves how is it that we learn anything. We start by understanding some basic facts about the world or the nature of things within the scope of our studies.

Depending on the field of study, these facts may come to us via day-to-day life or informal study, or they may come to us via a formal course of study. Either way, we are provided with facts and hopefully given some insight into how these facts were established.

We can illustrate this using an example of how a biomedical student may typically approach their studies. They may commence study of biology and begin studying the cell. They study the subcellular structures such as the organelles, and the plasma membrane. When they are done, they move onto another area of study such as the study of genetics where they learn about DNA, mRNA and the production of proteins.

When they are done, they move onto another topic until they complete the syllabus working hard to memorise the concepts. At the end of the semester, they sit their exams, and get a passing grade of 75%. Job done. Cognitively, they have established an isolated pocket of their mind where exists (sequestered given its fragility) their university biology syllabus – it is disconnected from other areas of their mind (i.e. their general understanding of the world) and serves more or less as a filing cabinet where facts are stored.

What is more, the facts that are stored have no real association with each other – they are simply islands of scientific facts the student can recall when so prompted. It looks something like this:

Figure 1: The mind of the average student who has passed first year biology in a biomedical degree. The cognitive islands of facts that are neither integrated with each other, nor with any other knowledge (this student so happens to also loosely recall some concepts from their high-school physics seen left of image).

 

This is the common means of approaching a subject of study and is usually sufficient in getting a university degree and maybe rightly so – why work harder than needed? Some students however are not interested in memorising facts for an exam – perhaps they are more passionate about their study, or are simply plagued with an obsessive need to understand everything. Their cognitive filing cabinet is subsequently more encompassing and better integrated:

Figure 2: The mind of the A-level first year biology student. They have successfully discerned the concepts within the discipline while understanding the relationships between concepts - we can say they have horizontally integrated.

 

We call the ability to integrate within a discipline horizontal integration. To horizontally integrate means students understand their discipline deeply. This student can define the cell and list the sub-cellular structures just like the average student but can then take the discussion in any direction.

For instance, the A-level student will be able to talk about the relationship between subcellular structures, and DNA including the reciprocal interrelations such as the production of hormones by one cell which act on the plasma membrane of another leading to an intracellular signal via G-protein cascade which results in changes in genetic transcription and subsequent translation.

The average student may be aware of these structures and mechanisms, however, is not immediately aware of the implications of the presence of these factors or changes to them. This means the average student has to spend time and energy making connections between understood concepts that haven’t previously been appropriately integrated. In essence, the average student’s incapacity for horizontal integration means they are either unable to answer difficult questions (especially those that necessitate application of concepts in new contexts) or will need significant time to consult the filing cabinet of facts in order to arrange said facts and solve a problem.

For the A-level student, their established integrated network of concepts means they are efficient and accurate. If you are a student who has sat GAMSAT questions and exclaimed to themselves, ‘I can answer the questions, I just can’t answer them in the timeframe provided’, it is probable that you haven’t effectively horizontally integrated concepts within the relevant discipline/s.

An inability to horizontally integrate within a discipline is a serious mitigating factor when it comes to GAMSAT section 3 performance, however there is another major issue (even for A-grade biology students). Many students who have performed brilliantly in their undergraduate degree will charge into GAMSAT study utilising the same methods of study and the same strong work ethic. And why not? This has worked perfectly well to date.

They study existing university texts +/- online resources such as Khan Academy or other resources +/- a GAMSAT-specific textbook +/- formal GAMSAT preparation courses +/- another formal GAMSAT preparation course (because the first one didn’t work). As one can imagine, the student is cast away on a vast sea of information and the cognitive filing cabinet is now brimming with facts – it looks something like this:

Figure 3: The 'GAMSAT: Section 3' cognitive filing cabinet of the average GAMSAT student. The student has identified and studied most of the relevant topics and understands somewhat the interrelationships however is yet to establish proper integration between disciplines (vertical integration). They have also yet to establish unknown-unknowns usually due to relatively little experience attempting to apply the facts which they have diligently acquired to date.

They have been studying for 6 months, 12 months, or 2 years, and they have sat the exam multiple times with minimal or no improvement in their Section 3 performance. The students have been over the syllabus a number of times yet cannot seem to improve their performance.  Most students in this situation will have spent too much time working with theory, and not enough time applying the theory. This is a very general statement. What it means is as follows:

  • The student continues to read over and revise theory passively – a task of minimal yield once the student has performed a first passing of the material and single revision of their notes (they are repeatedly considering their known-knowns)
  • The student has spent relatively little time critically considering the concepts, how they integrate horizontally, and how key concepts integrate across disciplines (vertical integration)
  • The student has not failed enough – they have not exposed themselves to enough errors such that their unknown-unknowns can become known-unknowns

Most students have no trouble in identifying the need to work through the scientific stimulus and take some notes as they go. However, it seems to go downhill from here for most students via a number of potential mistakes:

  1. Inability to identify the breadth of study: Syllabus is not identified in completion, or contains redundant or irrelevant information that results in reduced yield for time spent
  2. Inefficient study: Either due to one or both of the following

a. Inability to take notes: Notes are meant to be a short-hand record of what it is you have studied and understood; notes are NOT a summary of what you read in a textbook/module of study etc. Notes should serve to remind you of what you have encountered and already understood and are therefore a representation of your knowledge to-date rather than a summary of everything you have ever read. Notes are NOT meant to teach you later. In other words, if you do not understand something, do not write it in your notes and move on. Seek to understand it, and then document your understanding.

b. Preoccupation with memorisation: Often students are pre-occupied with memorising details (likely conditioned this way due to high-school/university assessment style) and cannot move on for fear of missing something important. In order to move through the syllabus with some efficiency, students need to understand that success in GAMSAT means acquiring an insight into the fundamental scientific concepts and integrating these rather than creating lists to recall later.

3. Focusing on theory over practice: Students who spend too much of their time passively revising theory will fail to perform in Section 3 of GASMAT due to an inability to apply concepts. Often students are comfortable revising, but uncomfortable completing exams as they feel they will perform poorly (which is to be expected in the beginning). Focusing on theory over application of theory leaves the student with a poor appreciation of their weaknesses (unknown-unknowns) and in a state of blissful ignorance.

The better students spend the same amount of time on application of theory as they did on theory. It is only via practicing application of knowledge that students are able to identify their shortcomings. Once identified, the unknown-unknowns become known-unknowns, and the student can revert to passive study of that specific known-unknown. There notes are updated (to reflect what it is they now understand) and they move back into active study. The cycle repeats when the student is unable to answer a question, or gets a question wrong (more unknown-unknowns becoming known-unknowns for the student to work on).

 

Please navigate below to Part 3 in the GAMSAT blog article series – ‘How to prepare for GAMSAT’ by Dr Mat Hinksman.


 

FOOTER:

Article Part 1 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: understanding what GAMSAT isn’t and is’ - explains what GAMSAT isn’t and is, and the competencies students need to acquire. In addition, it outlines the differences between GAMSAT assessment exams and university assessment exams, and how many students are inexperienced with the style of assessment used in GAMSAT.


Article Part 2 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: horizontal integration - high achiever students and common mistakes’ - discusses how to study and learn, and how a biomedical student may typically approach their studies to establish an isolated understanding of their university biology syllabus – versus how an A-level student will integrate within a discipline horizontally from a deeper understanding and be able to apply integrated concepts within the discipline in new contexts.


Article Part 3 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: vertical integration - completing exercises for interdisciplinary intuition’ –– outlines the vertical integration between the scientific disciplines and the importance of completing exercises and answering questions in order to develop interdisciplinary intuition and understanding of concepts. It explains how GAMSAT style questions necessitate the application of knowledge in novel contexts and the mechanics of answering a GAMSAT science question. It concludes with the ideal GAMSAT preparation breakdown, that will assist students to develop a pathway for the development of their problem-solving intuition.

 

Read More

Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatstudy, gamsatscience, gamsat-score, gamsat-competencies, gamsat-exams, gamsat-australia, gamsat-prep-course

How to Prepare for GAMSAT: Understanding what GAMSAT isn't and is (Part 1)

Posted by Troy on Jun 26, 2020 5:18:52 PM

 

 

 

Welcome to the GAMSAT blog article series – ‘How to prepare for GAMSAT’ by Dr Mat Hinksman, Associate Director of Education and Senior Lecturer at METC Institute.

This 3-part article series explains how the ACER GAMSAT exam is different to a university exam, how to best approach GAMSAT study preparation with applied practice for a deeper level of understanding of concepts horizontally within a discipline, how it’s necessary to integrate vertically interdisciplinary concepts for problem-solving in Section III science exercises, and how it's essential to develop your reasoning intuition for answering questions. The methods and approaches outlined in the article series are aimed to guide students towards the ideal preparation for developing theoretical intuition and a successful GAMSAT outcome.


 

Dr Mat Hinksman Foreword:

Overview

This is high-yield advice for anyone planning to sit GAMSAT in the coming months or years. I have drafted this to put into written form a discussion I invariably have with each student I interact with via my role at the METC Institute.

Often prospective students will send an enquiry asking for more information regarding GAMSAT preparation courses however on meeting to discuss the student’s needs, we spend the majority of our time discussing how to approach GAMSAT. In these cases, discussion about courses is a secondary consideration and rightly so. The ideal approach to the exam should be the primary concern of the student and tutor, and any ‘course’ should naturally follow this approach.

Some students I speak with have never sat the exam and for these students there is great value in discussing with them their approach from the initial stages of their preparation. Other students have sat the examination once or multiple times, and many have also completed preparation courses (in some cases a number of them). In this latter group, students often experience stagnation in their scores and frustration at the lack of progress as a result of completing courses of study (more on this later).

Given emphasising the ideal approach is infinitely valuable for the students who study with us, I thought it useful to share this via this medium in order to reach and assist a larger number of candidates (regardless of their intention of studying a METC Institute course, or any preparation course for that matter). The discussion is lengthy; however it is hoped this figurative stitch-in-time will save you energy and make your preparation proficient.

Dr Mat Hinksman
Associate Director of Education


 

What GAMSAT isn’t

We will start by talking about what GAMSAT is not. When you go to university, your (and hopefully the faculty’s) aim is to receive, comprehend and apply principles pertaining to a particular discipline such that when you leave their tutelage, you have an organised understanding of a component of the world/life (your area of study) which can be used as a tool to solve problems. In order to ensure you have developed such competency, you undergo assessments, and these are supposedly representative of the problems you will be asked to solve in reality. You complete an exam, and your performance is used as a surrogate for your ability in the professional world.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for most students), university exams are not overly difficult - those who show up most of the time and study intensely for a short period of time before an exam usually pass without issue. Some even score maximum subject scores. Some courses are harder than others, but essentially all courses are similar in that universities are in the business of passing students who meet a minimum performance threshold. In order to answer questions in these exams and achieve a pass or better, a superficial level of understanding or worse, simple memorisation will suffice. Medicine is no different. When you enter medical school, passing is again relatively straightforward provided you turn up and pay some attention.

Based on the discussion so far, one likely suspects that GAMSAT is unlike university examinations and this is true. We will discuss how it is different in the next section, but firstly we should consider why it is different. GAMSAT is part of a selection process for entry into medicine (which only happens to be a competitive pursuit given excessive demand vs supply) and so exists to discriminate or resolve the most suitable candidates out of a cohort which contains many suitable students. Contrast this with university assessments which seek to resolve only those candidates who fail to meet a minimum standard. The university may give students high distinctions, credits, and passes, however they are fundamentally only interested in those that pass and those that fail to pass.

Many students will be inexperienced with the style of assessment used in GAMSAT. Practically speaking, it is important to understand the nature of the assessment as it shapes the style of questions you will be asked. While it is of some limited utility to know that the exam is used as a tool to select students for medicine, it is of immense utility to understand that the questions are written to facilitate this process.

 

What GAMSAT is

We therefore transition into discussion about the nature of the exam and the questions it contains. The three sections of the exam are quite different with their own challenges.

The first focuses on understanding human expression and affairs (loosely referred to as the humanities section) and offers students perhaps the narrowest window to improve their performance given it is relatively short and – more importantly – comprises questions that the candidate will already be somewhat equipped to answer given their experience of the world (i.e. there is no formal pre-requisite knowledge outside of being a human being that has some experience interacting with other human beings via the medium of the English language).

In some ways, the second section is similar. It requires students to write two essay responses to sight unseen topics. These topics are broad in order to provide an appropriately sized canvas for the candidate to express their depth of thought, and to demonstrate their ability to communicate.

Finally, the third section of the exam is perhaps the most arduous given its length and necessity for substantial prerequisite knowledge. Most of the discussion here focuses on the third section of the exam. The third section presents the candidate with problems born out of the domains of biology, physiology, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

The most poorly understood aspect of the exam is the preceding sentence and one should go back and read this again. It means that while the questions in section three of the exam necessitate a strong knowledge of scientific principles in each of the subjects listed, knowledge itself is insufficient in order to answer the question.

Possessing knowledge places the candidate in a position to answer the questions, but the candidate will only develop proficiency by understanding what of their knowledge is relevant, and how they can apply it. So, there are two competencies to acquire – knowledge, and application. Generally speaking, university examinations require students to know and understand course content – it is not routine for them to rigorously assess application of knowledge except for some degrees (one of which is engineering).

Please navigate below to Part 2 in the GAMSAT blog article series – ‘How to prepare for GAMSAT’ by Dr Mat Hinksman.


 

FOOTER:

Article Part 1 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: understanding what GAMSAT isn’t and is’ - explains what GAMSAT isn’t and is, and the competencies students need to acquire. In addition, it outlines the differences between GAMSAT assessment exams and university assessment exams, and how many students are inexperienced with the style of assessment used in GAMSAT.


Article Part 2 ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: horizontal integration - high achiever students and common mistakes’ - discusses how to study and learn, and how a biomedical student may typically approach their studies to establish an isolated understanding of their university biology syllabus – versus how an A-level student will integrate within a discipline horizontally from a deeper understanding and be able to apply integrated concepts within the discipline in new contexts.


Article Part 3 – ‘How to Prepare for GAMSAT: vertical integration - completing exercises for interdisciplinary intuition’ – outlines the vertical integration between the scientific disciplines and the importance of completing exercises and answering questions in order to develop interdisciplinary intuition and understanding of concepts. It explains how GAMSAT style questions necessitate the application of knowledge in novel contexts and the mechanics of answering a GAMSAT science question. It concludes with the ideal GAMSAT preparation breakdown, that will assist students to develop a pathway for the development of their problem-solving intuition.

 

Read More

Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatstudy, gamsatscience, gamsat-score, gamsat-competencies, gamsat-exams, gamsat-australia, gamsat-prep-course

How to write a GAMSAT essay

Posted by Mat on Apr 24, 2019 12:54:00 PM

So far in this series of articles we have looked at an introduction to successful GAMSAT preparation and an overview of GAMSAT Study techniques. The next few articles will focus on the individual sections themselves with this article concentrating on writing the ideal GAMSAT essay.

Section II of GAMSAT can be a challenging section for those who are unprepared. The section requires the candidate to write two complete essays in 60 minutes. Instead of the luxury of simply colouring in the circles on an MCQ sheet, Section II presents candidates with the challenge of synthesising a novel response in the shape of a formal essay. More challenging is that the candidate does not know what the topic will be, and the fact that there are two essays that need to be written.

Writing strong GAMSAT essays requires sophisticated skills in two domains: essay structure and composition, and content. The importance of these two proficiencies are emphasised officially by ACER:

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatessay

GAMSAT Key Concepts in Biological Science

Posted by Mat on Feb 15, 2019 9:13:55 AM

In your study of physiology and biology, you will no doubt have come across the concept of organisms being based on organs which are in turn based on cells. Not all cells are the same and it turns out that complex life requires a rich diversity of cell types. In order to understand biological systems most students will have studied the cell, its specialist components, and their functions. From here, students typically study the different forms of cells (prokaryotes vs eukaryotes etc.) and the different forms of life (single-cell organisms vs multicellular complex life).

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatsection3

GAMSAT Key Concepts in Chemical Systems

Posted by Mat on Feb 1, 2019 10:59:24 AM


In the previous blog-post and webinar, we discussed the key principles which underpin the
phenomena witnessed in the physical sciences. In this discussion we referred to the hierarchy of
sciences:

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatscience

GAMSAT Key Concepts in Physical Science

Posted by Mat on Jan 18, 2019 11:09:24 AM

GAMSAT candidates often ask how to study for GAMSAT Section III. A useful way to begin can be to focus on the physical sciences and work your way up.

The physical sciences lie at the heart of all the other disciplines relevant to Section III of GAMSAT. This is reflected in the hierarchy of sciences:

 

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatscience, gamsatsection3

Graphical Interpretation in GAMSAT

Posted by Mat on Jan 4, 2019 3:28:55 PM

In previous webinars and articles, we have assessed various aspects of GAMSAT and the topics, themes, and concepts pertaining to the exam. In these articles, we have commenced with an enquiry into the nature and rationale of the topic – we will do the same here with graphs as it is necessary to review this prior to considering graphs in the context of GAMSAT.

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatgraphs

GAMSAT Study Techniques

Posted by Mat on Nov 22, 2018 4:25:54 PM

Often members of the Academic Faculty of the METC Institute are asked, how should I study for the GAMSAT?

In order to answer this question, one has to first consider the nature and rationale of the exam. This article will focus on Section 3 of the GAMSAT as typically students reference this section when making such queries. Unlike university examinations which are designed to assess acquisition of knowledge, Section 3 of GAMSAT is written to test for competencies in problem solving via the application of knowledge. This often involves novel contexts that students have never seen. While the context is often new, the principles underpinning the assessment item should be familiar to students who have studied for the exam.

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation, gamsatstudy, gamsatscience

How to Prepare for GAMSAT

Posted by Mat on Nov 7, 2018 12:36:07 PM

This post is the first in a series that will detail the ideal approach to GAMSAT. While the ideas and approaches discussed in this series will make your GAMSAT preparation more efficient and ultimately successful, it is hoped that they may also enrich other aspects of your present and future life. The principles discussed in the series are amenable to application in virtually any other challenging endeavour.

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Topics: gamsat, gamsatpreparation