The big day is here!
Last minute cramming and revisions are done with, and the moment all the prep has been leading to is finally here. True, it might seem there is nothing left to do but arrive on time and give your best, but a bit of strategic planning for G-Day gives you an edge.
First of all- this in fact has to be taken care of beforehand- check out the exam venue. Visit the venue once, preferably on the same day and time of the week that your test is scheduled. This way, you know how long it takes to arrive from your residence, check out the traffic and calculate accordingly when you need to start off. Not to mention that finding the location will not be a problem.
Arriving at the test centre on time is a must. Latecomers are not allowed entry. Don’t venture out with only the time-speed-distance proportions in mind. Include in your calculations the unexpected: what if your car breaks down or there is unexpected traffic? So, make sure there is some buffer time allotted to the journey. Plus, you should reach a bit early as well.
Reach the venue around 30 minutes before reporting time. This gets you familiarised with the place, and seeing the other candidates, your nerves will calm down as well.
What to Eat, Wear, Carry
Have a good night’s sleep before the exam. This will keep you from feeling sleepy and tired during the test. Don’t fall asleep during the drive to the venue or just before exam starts. You will be groggy and unfocussed.
Exam day jitters are highly likely to kill your appetite, but food intake is mandatory. Of course, eat light. High calorie and/or sugary snacks are a strict no-no as you will be feeling tired later on. Just eat enough to get you through the exam; hunger pangs can be quite distracting.
Carry a bottle of water inside the test room. Keeping yourself hydrated is a must. Wear comfortable clothing. A simple and decent outfit is what you are looking at here.
Don’t overburden yourself with too much to study in your spare time before the exam starts; last-minute cramming is not too helpful, and you will only end up feeling more nervous. Just carry a single book/practice paper. Better still, a book of puzzles can be used as a handy distracter that will keep your mind fresh and sharp as well.
Must and Mustn’t Haves
Travel light. Do not carry anything you can’t take into the exam room, other than the bare essentials of course. Besides, storage space in the venue is going to be limited, and neither the GAMSAT Office nor the exam venue takes responsibility of the security of the belongings.
Before you leave home, double check on your belongings. It would be a shame to have to go back to retrieve something you have forgotten.
The ACER booklet gives a list of must-have and prohibited items. Apart from them, make sure you have everything you need, including a set of pencils (medium soft 2B or HB) – an extra set, just in case- an eraser or two and a pencil sharpener. Carry a wristwatch with you if you feel like it.
Do not forget to take your admission ticket with you. This is your key to the venue.
Identification is mandatory to gain entry into the examination hall. As such, make sure that you have with you one photo identification proof. The following IDs are accepted:
- Photo-bearing Australian keypass
- Photo-bearing New Zealand 18+ card
- Photo-bearing driver’s licence
- Photo-bearing learner’s permit
- Proof of Age photo card
- EU/EA National Card
Each of the abovementioned documents must be current. The passport must have been issued within two years. In case you did not have any of the abovementioned documents, make sure you have obtained them after registering for the test.
The photographs on the IDs must be current and in colour, representing how you look on the day of the test. Unless there is a match, you are likely to get turned away.
Check the expiry date of your documents carefully. Expired documents and photocopies are not accepted as valid, and you will get turned away from the test centre unless you have the current originals.
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The abovementioned documents, and only those documents, will be accepted as proof of identification. No other document, including but not limited to student ID cards, will not be accepted.
The following links will help you obtain or renew proof of age documents with photo identification:
2. Prohibited Items
Certain items are prohibited from the exam venue, so it is better to leave them back home. Do not carry with yourself the following:
- Pencil case
- Electronic personal organiser
- Colouring pencil
- Note paper
- Food and beverages (other than bottled water)
- Books of any kind
- Any kind of recording device (audio or visual)
- Mobile phone
- Portable music system
- Earphones (unless you require them for medical reasons, in which case authorisation of the same is necessary)
- Desk watches/clocks
- Remember that if you are found in possession of any of the abovementioned items once you have sat down for the test, it will be considered unethical behaviour, and the consequences might be severe. Misconduct penalties might include disqualification from the examination or withholding of the results.
Speaking of unethical behaviour, the rules are pretty strict in this regard. All of the following are regarded as misconduct, and the repercussions are severe if you are found guilty of even one.
- Violation of any of the security arrangements for the GAMSAT
- Impersonation, that is, sitting for the exam as someone else or allowing a proxy to sit for you
- Attempting to pass off a fake identification proof
- Attempting to take out from the test room an answer sheet, a test booklet or any part of the same
- Failing to adhere to the instructions of the test supervisor
- Attempting to receive assistance from or giving the same to fellow test takers or take the help of textbooks/notes or any electronic device
- Attempting to disrupt the atmosphere and disturbing the room
- Using any of the prohibited items
- Writing on your test booklet or answer sheet during the reading time or after you are asked to stop writing
- Copying from another candidate, with or without permission
Remember that a lot of the unethical acts- both listed and otherwise- might happen accidentally, or simply because you were not aware of the rules. So, be careful once you are inside the room. Before entering, empty your pockets except for what you are allowed to take in. Be quiet inside the test room, and avoid conversation with other candidates.
Keep Yourself Together
Keep a level head at all times. Nerves are usually high-strung during a competitive exam, but try to stay relaxed. Just remember that you have done your best, and the rest will be just fine. Blanking out right before the exam starts is a common phenomenon; you might feel as though suddenly a lot of what you have studied has slipped your mind. Don’t panic; this is perfectly normal, and you will be fine once you read through the paper.
Dealing with the Paper
Utilise the reading time perfectly. Read carefully through the paper and segregate in your mind the questions you certainly can answer, those that require some time and those you have no idea about. And keep your pencils down while doing this. Once exam time starts, begin by finishing the questions you can answer without a second thought. Next, move on to those you have to think about, but don’t spend more than a minute on each question. If that time passes and you still don’t know the answer, move on to the next one. You can come back to it later. Keep the blind guesses for last.
The GAMSAT examination runs for around 4-5 hours, from the time of your arrival to the completion of the examination itself. This includes the time taken to run regular examination procedures as well. You need to make arrangements likewise if you are being collected post-exam.
An extra ten minutes of reading time is provided before the 3-hour test commences, during which you are not allowed to write anything. Visit the bathroom before the test begins, because you will not be allowed during the reading time and the last 15 minutes of the test.
Extra time is not provided to any student; there is no exception to this rule. Also, there are no rest breaks, although the candidate can request to visit the washroom if necessary.
In a nutshell…
- Carry only the most necessary items for the exam with you to the venue.
- Keep an extra set of pencils and erasers.
- Have a good night’s sleep before the exam.
- Eat something light but filling before the examination.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Reach the exam venue earlier than the time given in the admission ticket.
- Do not carry any prohibited item long with you to the exam venue.
- Avoid committing any unethical conduct, so be up-to-date with all the rules.
- Do not engage in any sort of communication with any fellow candidate.
- Keep a cool head during the examination.
- Start with questions you can certainly answer, and move on to the rest later.
- Keep some time in the end for revisions.
GAMSAT is a hard nut to crack, but not an impossible one. Practice, of course, is the first and foremost step. Give your best to the preparation, and a lion’s share of your worries are over. When you take the test, remember that it is an unseen one, and there might be some questions you cannot answer. Give them your best shot, and apply the months of practice to the rest.