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Top 5 Ways To Save Time On GAMSAT Section 1


1) Read The Questions First – Sometimes

Sometimes it’s appropriate to read the questions first, other times it’s not.


Short Poems, Songs and Units that don’t require very little reading: Questions first.

Poems and songs can often be interpreted in many ways and will always require multiple readings. The material is ambiguous, but the questions are not. Therefore allow the questions to guide your interpretation. Read one question, then look for the answer. Read another question, look for the answer. Each question frames your interpretation of the ambiguous material and informs the meaning you will attribute to it.

In the case of units that require interpretation of charts or diagrams, most of the reading is in the questions anyway. Posters too. You might spend a minute reading the text of a poster, only to discover that there’s only one question – and it asks about the image!



GAMSAT Advice From 1st Year GEM Students

I surveyed the University College Dublin Graduate-entry Medicine class of 2016 to gather some advice for anyone sitting the GAMSAT this year. Word for word, here’s what they had to say:


  • Look around on the forums for advice before planning how you are going to tackle the GAMSAT. Use and The GAMSAT is tough but a good score is achievable. Use the previous experience of others to help you maximise your chances.
  • Start studying early. If you have any decent level of english the essay section will be fine.
  • Don’t waste your money on the preparation courses, there are plenty of free online resources and also get all the sample papers from acer off their website, well worth paying for.
  • Use Khan academy online videos, really helped me through.
  • You have to want it. If you want it badly enough then the study, the stress, the cost, the grinds and the time it takes up won’t matter. I sat the GAMSAT 4 times. The only difference in the last time I sat it, I just wanted it more than anything. I gave up everything for an entire summer and just focused on it. On a side note get the Guru Method books. I know 5 people including myself that used these books to prepare for the GAMSAT and they are all now in medicine. Once each person used them, they got in. I used mine on the 4th time I sat the exam and got more than enough to get in anywhere. All 5 individuals got over 60 too. I know they’re expensive but they are definitely worth it. Grinds in areas you are weak in will definitely help too. I got grinds in chemistry and it without doubt got me through the science section. I know I’ve rabbeted on a bit but main piece of advice is just want it more than anything.
  • Don’t stress! More…

Tutorial: Using Propositional Logic To Spot Logical Fallacies On The GAMSAT

This type of logical reasoning is tested on the GAMSAT every year in one form or another. It won’t always be confined to Section 1, and appears often in Section 3 – Biological and Physical Sciences.

The most common topics to feature propositional logic based questions are:
Section I: Argumentative passages and Data Analysis units
Section III: Hormones, Genetics, Electricity and circuit-related physics questions.

For some examples see:

  • Acer Practice Paper 1: Section III, unit 20 and, to an extent, unit 28.
  • Acer Practice Paper 2: Section 1, Questions 22 – 26
  • Practice Paper Alpha: Unit: 8
  • Practice Paper Zappa: Unit: 5

(If you are within 1-2 months of sitting the GAMSAT you should be gearing up to attempt these practice papers under test conditions. Practice Papers Alpha and Zappa are both available for download here)


What is Propositional Logic

Propositional logic is about determining the truthfulness of statements or ‘propositions’. Sentences considered through the lens of propositional logic are always concluded to be either true or false.

Statements are most commonly denoted by letters such as p, q or c. A statement for which the truth / falsity has not yet been established may be denoted by the letters X, Y or Z.

A statement may be simple or compound. An example of a simple statement is:
My dog’s name is Glen.

A compound statement is a number of simple statements connected by [the aptly named] ‘connectives’. An example of a compound statement is:
My dog’s name is Glen and he is a border collie.



Tutorial: GAMSAT Metaphor Questions

A metaphor is a literary technique used to describe the subject by asserting that it is in some way similar to an otherwise unrelated object or idea


Different Types of Metaphor Questions

The following are a few of the most straightforward ways in which a metaphor-themed question might be posed on the GAMSAT:

  1. The passage describes something – which of the following would be the best metaphor for it?
  2. Which of the following, (A,B,C,D) taken from the passage, is an example of a metaphor?
  3. Why is X a poor metaphor for Y?
  4. Questions about literary techniques, for example:


1. “The boy was as fast as a shrew” (line 9), is an example of which of the following literary techniques?

  • A      Framing
  • B      Simile  (this is actually the correct answer, see below)
  • C      Metaphor
  • D      Symbolism

Any other metaphor questions you might come across will likely just be less direct permutations of those above.



Tutorial: Learning the right words for Section 1

There is a subset of questions on GAMSAT Section 1 which specifically test vocabulary.

These questions are structured in relation to the passages in such a way that it is very difficult to infer an unambiguous meaning of the key words without having a prior understanding of them.

Examples of how these questions might look:

  • According to X, Y has a tendency to be:
  • In comparison with X, Y is:
  • This diagram represents X as:
  • The word/phrase ‘X’ suggests/connotes:
  • The word X (line p) is closest in meaning to:
  • Which of the following descriptions best fits X:
  • X is portrayed as:
  • X treats Y with: