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The 7 days of GAMSAT

Everyone has their own ideas about the best way to prepare for GAMSAT, but one thing is certain, you can’t do it in a week.

So what do we at cbsquared feel you should be doing in that final week leading up to possibly the most nerve-wracking day of your life?

Here are our recommendations-but please note-we understand that everyone is different and different approaches work for different people. So if you already have your game plan sorted, don’t let us ruffle your feathers.

Above all, don’t take this advice as gospel. Pick and choose these suggestions as they fit into your life, your personality and what has been working for you so far.

Above all, be positive and good luck!

7 days ’till GAMSAT

Ideally this should be the very latest that you complete a practice test. You need to allow time to check it through fully in the days ahead – but also rest and wind down before the big day. If you haven’t already – draw up a plan for study to complete in the week leading up to the exam, and stick to it, to avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Remember, you’ve done all you can up until this point, and cramming will not help you or your stress & energy levels leading up to the big day.

6 days ’till GAMSAT

Today you’re beginning your wind-down mode. You should have completed a full day practice test by now, and perhaps today you are doing something much less taxing on the study front, such as working through your answers.

Read through the ACER info booklet and cross check to make sure you understand all the rules and procedures for GAMSAT day. Do a practice commute to the GAMSAT test location if you’ve never been there before, or work out how you are getting there if you’re travelling interstate.

studente medicina
Study burnout: Avoid any of this during the next week!


5 days ’till GAMSAT

Work through some last questions in your weak areas to tidy up your knowledge. Watch Q&A or other current affairs programs to get up to speed on what’s happening around the country and the world and consider various viewpoints on those issues. We suggest only a half days or study (if at all). No late nights up cramming from now to exam day. It’s more important to rest and relax.

4 days ’till GAMSAT

Perhaps write a practice essay and a few more science questions according to your plan. Take a walk and focus on eating healthily and keeping hydrated over the next few days. Work out your strengths and weaknesses and decide on a strategy to stick to once you walk into exam room. It can be really calming to have a plan, and it can help keep you focussed.

  • Will you read through and answer as many questions as possible (in your head) the during reading time? Or will you read through some of the longest stimulus passages?
  • Will you work through the questions in order, or will you attempt all of the Chemistry questions first?
  • Will you fill in the multiple choice answer sheet as you go (recommended that you do this to avoid running out of time at the end-but this is your choice to make) or will you fill it out at the end?
  • Will you do an “equation dump” (write down a bunch of equations that you think might be important to remember) on the paper somewhere the minute you’re allowed to put pen to paper?

Whatever you do-have these questions about your approach resolved now-don’t leave it till the morning of the big day!

3 days ’till GAMSAT

Ideally your last day of study, and only a very light day at that. Avoid panicking or getting overwhelmed with things you don’t know or haven’t had time to study for. There’s nothing you can do about it now, the best thing is to preserve your sense of zen.

Do some exercise to raise your heart rate, make you sweat and boost your endorphins. Imagine you are sweating out all the stress and mental tension that you’ve been accruing over the last few months or more.

2 days ’till GAMSAT

Ideally no study today. If you really want to – limit it to just going over a few questions you’ve already done. Don’t start on anything new. You don’t want to interrupt that calm frame of mind you’re building before the big day. Go for a walk and do some yoga or stretching, especially if you’re feeling a bit sore after the work out from yesterday.

Take some time to reflect on how far you’ve come in the journey to March GAMSAT. The fact that you even launched into this path to give it a go when so many others have thrown it in the “too hard basket”- that deserves recognition and respect.

1 day ’till GAMSAT

Time to really make an effort to relax. If you are itching to keep studying or stressing over the test-go over your strategy and how you plan to travel to your exam location. Eat nutritious and balanced meals and stay hydrated. Take a yoga class (check out, there are plenty of ready made workouts to suit your mood, time frame and yoga ability) read a light novel, meditate and make a big effort to calm your mind.

If you’re at work today – have your lunch outside under a tree. Read a book before bed. Have a chamomile tea. Stay away from screens in the evening. Think positive thoughts and use visualisation to prepare yourself for the big day.

Time for zen.



No turning back now! Take a deep breath, stay focused and positive. You can do this!

For more information about how cbsquared GAMSAT courses can help you achieve your GAMSAT and medical school goals, or just for some guidance and advice about how to kick start your study, please feel free to get in touch.

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Learning How to Learn for GAMSAT

So you’ve decided to give the GAMSAT a go. You’ve downloaded your ACER practice test and some science materials, but the more you delve into it, the more you realise just how much you’ll need to prepare for the GAMSAT.

You begin to feel overwhelmed. You’re not really sure where to start, or if you’re even up for the challenge anymore. You’ve got limited science and maths background after all, and there just seems like so much to learn!

Surely there is some other tool that could help, some strategic approach to learning? Some way to “jump start” your brain into the problem solving gear that you’ll need for GAMSAT?

I often hear these questions from students with feelings of despair and overwhelm. So I was glad this week to have stumbled across a really useful tool that I want to share with my students and other GAMSAT candidates.

It’s a free course entitled “Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects” available via Coursera. (It really is free, just click “enrol” and choose to complete the course without a certificate)

It’s being offered by The University of California San Diego, and was created by Barbara Oakley. In the TEDx video below, Barbara explains how she “fell off the maths bandwagon” and flunked her way through primary and high school maths and science. But at the age of 26, she decided to “change her brain” and is now a Professor of Engineering.

I saw it on, one of my favourite websites (it’s a knowledge forum of sorts, and would make a great inspiration resource for Section II of the GAMSAT, you should check it out!).

This free (it really is free, just click “enrol” and choose to complete the course without a certificate) “Learning How to Learn” course would be a great addition to your GAMSAT study approach. But please keep in mind that you’ll need a whole lot more than this and strategy (currently offered as the main part of a lot of GAMSAT prep courses that have popped up over the last few years).

I personally would be wary of spending a lot of time and money on a solely “strategic” approach, especially if you have limited science and maths background. Unfortunately there is no “silver bullet” to GAMSAT and those with limited background in science and maths will need to dedicate a reasonable amount of time getting familiar with the language of science and the basic functions of algebra and logarithms, as well as a lot of practice with problem solving to be able to do well in Biology, Physics and Chemistry aspects of GAMSAT section III.

The good news is, with a good plan and a positive attitude there’s no reason why you can’t give the GAMSAT as good a go as anyone else!

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