Here at MedicMind, Chloe and I are pursuing graduate entry medicine (GEM), as we previously discussed in one of our postings. Since we didn’t join medicine by the conventional leaving cert path, we are often asked for advice on how to get into GEM. In response, we decided to compile some information on GEM entrance as well as some (hopefully!) useful advice.
For European students wishing to apply to graduate entry medicine (GEM) in Ireland, there are two prerequisites. A minimum of a 2:1 honors bachelor’s degree (NFQ Level 8) in any discipline from a third-level institution is required. The GAMSAT course must also be taken.
Twice a year, in March in Ireland and September in the UK, the GAMSAT test is administered. You may apply for GEM in Ireland using your exam results if you take it in the UK, and vice versa. If you are unhappy with your first score, don’t panic, as many candidates will retake the test. The GAMSAT score you get is valid for two years.
What is covered in the exam?
There are three sections to the actual test. In the first part, reasoning in the social sciences and humanities is discussed. There will be excerpts from plays, poetry, and English comprehensions in this part. These often include four or five multiple-choice questions with four possible solutions attached. Additionally, there are visual stimulants like quick cartoons and provocative pictures. Transcripts of patient and physician discussions are also available. This phase consists of 75 questions, and you have 100 minutes to do it. Before you begin, you have to read for 10 minutes, during which you are not allowed to write.
You get an hour to compose two essays in the second phase, which is the essay section, and five minutes to read them. You will be assigned six quotations every essay, each of which covers a broad topic. You will be required to address at least one of these quotes. While the second essay is more intimate, the first is more polemical.
Catering to Scientific Section
The scientific portion, which includes topics on biology, chemistry, and physics, is the third section. 110 multiple-choice questions (MCQ) are included. This division is composed of 40% each of Biology and Chemistry, and 20% of Physics. While the Physics questions are Leaving Certificate Standard, the Chemistry and Biology questions relate to first-year university coursework. There is a 10-minute reading period at the beginning of this portion, and you will have 170 minutes to finish it.
Since the exam is lengthy and difficult, we thought we’d provide some advice on how to prepare for and take the test. A range of undergraduate experiences are represented among our students, and we’ve also included some of their advice.
The 2023–2024 GAMSAT Section 1 Preparation: Learn Skills and Strategies, 1200 Practice Questions with Helpful Solutions could be of interest to you.
The first piece of advice is to study for this test! In contrast to the HPAT test used for undergraduate admission, parts 2 and 3 particularly demand factual recollection.
Exercise by taking practice examinations! In this test, timing is crucial, and you will lose out on certain questions if you are not ready. In the conclusion, review your responses and attempt to identify any errors you may have made. There will be questions on the exam that are similar to those in the practice exams. One excellent free resource for working through the answers to the Acer practice question books is the GAMSAT Gold channel on YouTube.
- To get used to the writing style and question types, our primary recommendation for section 1 study is to complete as many practice questions as you can.
- It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with literary words like exaggeration, metaphor, simile, and allegory so you won’t be caught off guard on test day.
- It is a wonderful idea to review grades in Section 2. Since each essay is worth the same number of points, you’ll need to become comfortable with time. After all, if you have a fantastic argumentative essay, it won’t matter if you only have 15 minutes to complete your second essay!
- Understand the structure of argumentative and narrative writings. To assist you with this, there are numerous fantastic free internet tools and templates available. Additionally, a primer on what to look for in these essays may be found on the GAMSAT website.
- Learn about quotations and how to read between the lines. There’s no real way to know what will be included in this year’s paper since there’s such a wide variety of possible themes. It’s a good idea to monitor the news and read articles in the weeks leading up to the test since the first paper usually has some connection to current events.
What our peers have to say!
Don’t undervalue these essays or neglect to prepare for them. If you do well in them, you may raise your score.
There are a ton of TEDtalks available online that make excellent essay subjects. They are also a fun and engaging method of studying!
In order to locate helpful articles, set your browser’s homepage to The Irish Times, RTE, BBC, or any other preferred news source. To ensure that you get information on a regular basis, you can also follow their accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
The most common concern is Section 3, especially for those without a background in science. However, it’s crucial to remember the other two sections and not devote all of your time and attention to just
While some individuals purchase expensive materials, a wealth of free knowledge is available online. Some excellent used books, like physics or chemistry for dummies, are also available.
In the event that you lack a background in science, try not to worry too much. You may do really well on this part if you study.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on supplies; search online and at thrift stores for books like “Physics for Dummies.”
Search Facebook for GAMSAT pages. On occasion, they will provide webinars covering the various portions and going over and clarifying some of the questions. If you are unsure about the reasoning behind a certain answer being the right one, this is especially useful for physics and chemistry questions.
- Don’t give the test your whole concentration if you are taking it in your last year. You can’t utilize a fantastic GAMSAT score if you don’t get a 2.1. The GAMSAT may be retaken, but your degree cannot.
- If you must take the GAMSAT in your senior year, attempt to take it in September in the UK as opposed to March in Ireland. At the conclusion of the college year, you’ll have more time to prepare for your final examinations and experience less stress.
- Having said that, a large number of our classmates performed well on the GAMSAT in March of their senior year and in their degree program. It’s up to you where and when to take the test, but keep this in mind when you make your selection!
- If you’re not satisfied with your first score, don’t worry. Only your best GAMSAT score is taken into account, even if you take the test more than once.
- As with any other test, make sure you take care of yourself in the days leading up to it. Since the test day is lengthy, you should make sure you eat healthily and get enough sleep to avoid burning out midway through.
- If the test is being taken at a place you are not acquainted with, arrive the night before and make plans for how you will travel to the location in the morning. Not having to worry about being late or getting lost can ease some of your morning’s tension.
- Eat for yourself! Even if we’ve said it once or twice once, it ought to be said again: the test is lengthy and difficult, as is the day itself. Pack a hearty lunch and bring some snacks to the test! I consumed around three packs of polos. As you notice a decline in your energy, caffeine pills are also quite beneficial.
If you can, try to adhere to “GAMSAT time” during the week before to the test. On the day of the test, try to get up at the appointed hour and eat only when you have a pause. The last thing you want on an already exhausting day is to wake up feeling like a zombie or to be distracted by your growling stomach since you’re not used to eating midafternoon.
Talk to no one at all! You will not benefit at all by listening to other people’s essay responses or how they understood certain questions, so avoid doing so during the breaks.
Spend less time answering questions you are unsure of the answers to. Select a response and proceed.
A bell curve is used to score the test, with certain questions being given more weight than others. As a result, a question with a low answer rate will be graded higher than one with a high answer rate.
You don’t have to begin with question one and go through the series. I started with the questions were rely on book excerpts since I noticed from practice exams that these were the ones where I performed the best. I completed all of the biology questions in the science portion since I thought they would need the least amount of time and I felt the most secure in my answers.