10 Top Tips for GAMSAT Section 3

Section 3 of the GAMSAT is the science part of the exam and is known as “Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences”. It is the final and longest part of the exam. You will have a thirty minute break before sitting this section so make sure to bring some high energy snacks!

This is the section that most students find the hardest and the most daunting. But fear not, following this guide will allow you to conquer your fears of section 3 and get a high mark!

GAMSAT trophy cartoon

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the GAMSAT format and timings have changed, below is the new breakdown of the timing and disciplines:

GAMSAT Section 3

SectionDisciplineNo. of MCQReading TimeWriting TimeTotal Test Time
Section 3: Reasoning in Biological and Physical SciencesBiology: 40%
Chemistry: 40%
75 Questions4 multiple choice answers for each question8 minutes142 minutes150 minutes

These timings allow you to spend approximately 2 minutes per question.

ACER states that a first year university level is required for biology and chemistry and Year 12 is required for physics in GAMSAT section 3.

Here are ten top tips for developing your strategy to approach section 3 of the GAMSAT:

Top 10 tips for GAMSAT Section 3

  1. Start Revising early
  2. Make a plan
  3. Revise biology, chemistry, and physics
  4. Use a variety of resources
  5. Become familiar
  6. with mental maths
  7. Learn equations
  8. Practice, practice, practice!
  9. Time yourself
  10. Remain focused
  11. Stay calm

Top 10 tips for GAMSAT Section 3

1.     Start Revising early

Cramming does not work for the GAMSAT exam and will only add to your stress and anxiety. It’s recommended to start revising at least 3 months prior to sitting the GAMSAT.

GAMSAT Section 3 revise early cartoon

2.     Make a plan 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when studying for the GAMSAT because the list of potential topics is extensive. Make a plan and note when you’ve covered a topic. This will provide reassurance for those moments when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere!

GAMSAT Section 3 making a plan cartoon

3.     Revise biology, chemistry and physics

Although it may be tempting to slightly disregard physics as it is the least common topic, you will need to cover all of the disciplines to ensure a good GAMSAT score.

Check out our tips for revising and approaching each of the different science disciplines (insert link to future articles)

GAMSAT Section 3  atom cartoon
GAMSAT Section 3  DNA cartoon
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4. Use multiple resources for GAMSAT Section 3

There are plenty of GAMSAT and high school science books out there but it’s good to use a range of resources. Khan academy is a great resource; make a note of topics you’re not comfortable with whilst practicing questions then watch a video to provide a comprehensive explanation. It may also be easier to visualise the GAMSAT Section 3 topics rather than reading from a textbook, this is especially the case for 3D processes such as protein folding or stereochemistry.

Here are the links to some great resources:

Khan Academy

Armando Hasudungan

Revision World

BBC Bitesize

GAMSAT Section 3  resources cartoon

5.     Become familiar with mental maths

We’ve all become very reliant on calculators but unfortunately you won’t be provided with one in the GAMSAT, brushing up on mental maths is key. It’s probably been a few years since you’ve had to manipulate fractions into common denominators therefore revising the basics will help. Logs and scientific notation are also important for GAMSAT section 3. Additionally, learning when to round up or round down will increase your speed, for example gravity is 9.8ms2, you may find it easier to round this up to 10ms2when multiplying it in an equation.

GAMSAT Section 3 mental maths cartoon

6.     Learn equations

Although equations may be provided for certain questions, it is a good plan to learn the most common equations so that you do not have to rely on them being provided. You should also practice using the equations so that you are comfortable with them. It is good practice to use standard units so become aware of how to convert these.

GAMSAT Section 3  equations cartoon

7.     Practice GAMSAT Section 3!

Practice is the most vital part so attempt as many questions as you can. GAMSAT section 3 questions are probably quite different to any exam you’ve done before so try to practice as many questions as possible. This will allow you to become familiar with the format and style of the questions. It will also allow you to relax a bit more on the day of the exam. Official GAMSAT preparation materials can be purchased from the ACER website, click here .

8.     Time yourself 

Although 2 minutes per question may seem like a lot, some questions will require more time than others. Time is one of the greatest challenges of the GAMSAT and therefore you need to learn to manage it well. Allow yourself to get comfortable and gain confidence with the questions and once this is achieved, start timing yourself when practicing questions. I definitely do not recommend timing yourself at the beginning of your revision, at this point it is more useful to become familiar with the questions styles.

GAMSAT Section 3 timings cartoon

9.     Remain focused

You need to read every part of the information provided within a question stem with great attention. This section aims to test your ability to interpret new information and is less about rote learnt knowledge. Although understanding a topic is useful because it will enable you to interpret the new information faster, you will most likely be provided with unfamiliar systems or organisms. For example, the circulation of a fish instead of a human may be examined and this is purely to test your ability to analyse and use information provided within the passage.

GAMSAT Section 3  remain focused cartoon

10.  Stay calm

Although revision of the science topics is necessary, the stem of GAMSAT section 3 questions normally contain the majority of information required for answering the questions. So if you are presented with something that you are not familiar with, do not panic, take a breath and read through the stem again. Pay great attention to any bullet points and you may also need to refer to previous answers for more information.

GAMSAT Section 3  stay calm cartoon

GAMSAT section 3 is usually the section that most students dread but this doesn’t need to be the case. Follow these tips and make sure to get a good night’s sleep before the day of the exam! Also make sure to check out our tutoring options here.

If you have any further questions about GAMSAT section 3, please leave a question below and we’ll get back to you!

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Click here for our top ten tips for Section 1 and 2

GAMSAT Tutoring

Frequently Asked Question

→What is GAMSAT?

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is an aptitude test used by medical schools in Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom to assess the aptitude and skills of students who wish to study medicine.

→What is GAMSAT Section 3?

GAMSAT Section 3 is a section of the GAMSAT exam that tests a student’s scientific knowledge and reasoning skills. It consists of 110 multiple-choice questions that cover a range of topics, including biology, chemistry, and physics.

→How many questions are on the GAMSAT Section 3

75 Questions
4 multiple choice answers for each question

→What should I do if I am struggling with GAMSAT Section 3?

If you are struggling with GAMSAT Section 3, you can seek out additional resources, such as study groups or tutors, for additional support. You can also review basic science concepts and practice with sample questions and practice exams to identify areas where you need additional practice.

→What are the 3 sections of the GAMSAT?

GAMSAT section 1 is ‘Reasoning in Humanities’.
Section 2 of the GAMSAT is known as ‘Written Communication’. You are required to write two written pieces, one from Section A and one from Section B. You are provided with five quotes and comments that are related to a common theme and you are asked to write a piece in response to one or more of them. Section 3 of the GAMSAT is the science part of the exam and is known as “Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences.”

→What is the best GAMSAT preparation material?

ACER produces the only official GAMSAT questions so these provide the most realistic and relevant questions to practice. Most students who’ve sat the GAMSAT would agree that the online Griffiths GAMSAT Review series is one of the best resources available.
If you prefer to learn from a textbook, any A-level science book will cover the topics needed.

→Why is GAMSAT Section 3 important?

GAMSAT Section 3 is important because it tests a student’s scientific knowledge and reasoning skills, which are important for success in medical school. A strong performance on this section of the exam can increase a student’s chances of being accepted into a medical school program.

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25 September 2023