Preparing for GAMSAT: The Bigger Picture

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in medicine you’ll have gone to a lot of effort to find out about the GAMSAT EXAM and probably even have invested a little bit of money in getting some good hands on practice with some test papers. While of course this website will help you with probably all the information that you need to ever know about the test and question papers to get you a head start, this article is going to look at things a little bit differently. We’re going to consider the bigger picture, we’re going to look at you as a person, and not a test subject and hopefully give you some good sound advice to make you more mentally prepared and ready for the GAMSAT.


Be healthy

It’s a cliche we know , but we’re not just a few kilograms of grey matter that is going to be sitting an exam. Our brain is reliant on these bodies of ours, not just as a cosy place to store and transport it, but also to make the most of it. A tired, stressed and unfocused person sitting the exam is not going to do him/her self justice.

A good sleeping routine is so important for success. You’re going to be sat in the exam room for a long time, and the last thing you want to be doing is flagging halfway through the test. Energy drinks and coffee consumed by the dozen in the build up to the test are just going to make you fidgety and agitated, as well as playing havoc with your sleep patterns. The energy boost that you might get for an hour or two will not ever be able to replace a sleeping pattern that leaves you refreshed and stress free.

And while on the subject of pre-GAMSAT stresswe need to look at ways of reducing your stress to manageable levels. We’re not looking to take away that stress altogether, that after all is a very tall order and might even be a little bit counterproductive. A fractional amount of stress is actually beneficial to you as it forces you to stay sharp and focused, which will improve your chances of doing well. There are many things you can do to reduce stress, but we’re going to just look at one or two ways that would be of benefit to a potential medical student in your position.

  • Relax in any way you can- we don’t care how you do it, but your whole purpose of relaxing prior to the test is just to switch off. What you might normally think of as relaxing behaviour might be anything but. The books you read could just be contributing to all the many pre-exam thoughts running through your head, the movies you watch the same. Strangely enough you actually need to stress yourself out a little bit to get the right way of relaxing. You need to properly scrutinise your relaxation activities to find out if they actually relax you or do the opposite. Once this self stress survey has taken place you can decide what is actually the best method for you to relax
  • Become an athlete. We’ve grouped this one under the stress bullet point as a healthy fitness regime is not only an important way of beating stress but also has a bunch of other interesting side effects. You won’t want to be running yourself into the ground, but really need to carefully undertake a program of exercise. Again you’ll be wanting to consider what works for you and unlike traditional fitness programs your goal won’t be to lose weight or run faster, or lift more, it will simply be to get your body healthy so that your mental agility will be at its finest when test time comes.

While really this holistic way of living can apply to any student about to undertake examinations it will undoubtedly help towards making you more mentally agile and prepared for the test. As you’re about to embark on a medical career it will also serve the dual purpose of giving you a healthy boost and inculcating the same healthy living attitude that you’ll eventually be passing on to your patients.


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