Though I promised that the next post I would write would be on whether to write a discursive or argumentative essay, something interesting has come up which I believe is worthy of sharing.
I received an email from a course participant from early this year and she told me that she received a score of 100 on the science section. This is a phenomenal achievement and worthy of hearty congratulations. That said, it also points to a crucial thing about GAMSAT - it's just a game!
For a long time, I have had a suspicion that having 2nd year university chemistry under your hat was the key to the science section. All of my friends at university who did well on the science section had completed up to the end of 2nd year organic chemistry. The course participant that received a 100 also was a chemistry major who had completed all of the 2nd year chemistry subjects.
Obviously, she is very bright and talented. However, I have met too many people who have done well on the section (70+) who have had the same academic background for it to be a coincidence.
All of these people reported the same thing - being able to look at the options, hardly read the question and select the correct answer. GAMSAT is clearly a game. In fact, I made the comment to a friend today that I find it fascinating that the market of students interested in getting into med (and it is a market that communicates aggressively) has not cottoned on to this method of preparation earlier. It is by no means commonplace knowledge in the marketplace that 2nd year organic chemistry is the key.
So what does this mean for a training provider like myself? Should we start teaching 2nd year organic chemistry? To be honest, I'm not sure - the key is whether it can be taught in a limited period of time and whether it is feasible to construct useful and innovative pedagogical materials.
I am confident in our offering for Section II in that I believe our course can teach those who are average to score well by virtue of a process in a relatively short period of time. It will be interesting to see whether a pedagogical process can be worked out for the science section. Frankly, I'm not that confident, (there is probably no substitute for 2 years of university level study in the subject) but stay tuned! A revolution may be near!