Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why we don't offer a Section I Course

The answer to this one is pretty simple - I can't think of a strategy for it!

My motivation for establishing GAMSAT Strategies is really because I feel that Section II and III can be 'gamed'.

For example, create a system by which you can create non-obvious insights for Section II and you can score 70+. ACER says they will test first year organic chemistry in Section III but if you study to to second year standard, you can score 70+ due to the simplistic structure of their questions. For Section I - I can't think of anything unique - and I guess that points to what we are all about. We are here to tell you something different. Something you haven't heard before. From the users point of view. If we can't, we don't run a course.

Other GAMSAT training providers give generic advice. Frankly, if you want to go to medical school and you can't figure out that you need to finish all of the questions to give yourself a good shot at scoring highly, well,  maybe you shouldn't be a doctor. Same goes for things like "read the question carefully", "narrow down to two options", "this is how you name an organic compoud" etc etc - I honestly can't believe people get away with charging for material like that.  That's why I started this business.

What do I mean by 'gaming' GAMSAT? Please don't think that I am saying that it is easy to do well - it really isn't. I'm just saying that if you are reasonably intelligent, you shouldn't have too much of an issue provided that you prepare properly  - and by that I mean in accordance with the specific and unique nature of the test (ie employ our strategies) - not the way you studied to do well at high school.

Anyway, enough of the 'we are so different' speal. If you are struggling with Section I, the best advice I can give you is that often the right answer is not clear so just pick one. This enables you to finish the test and hopefully the 50/50 rule will assist you over the entire bank of questions. The main problem arises when students spend enormous amounts of time agonising over a 50/50 decsion (when more time is not going to make it any clearer) and as a result, they don't finish the paper. Do the maths - not finishing is a very bad idea.

If you're not convinced about the maths argument, take my scenario - I finished with 30 minutes to spare, scored 70 and employed the 50/50 rule the whole way through. I'm no genius, I'm just good at 'letting go' of the question when I know that no further clarity is going to be gained by spending more time on the question. Redefine the goal of Section I from "let's get every question right" to just "let's get an answer down for every question" and things should work out in your favour.

Key point for Section I: leave that OCD personality at home. Save it for med school! (You can go back to your high school study methods there!)

Best of luck with the study! :)