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Which prep material's worth buying?


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Masn101
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Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject: Which prep material's worth buying? Reply with quote

I bought the GAMSAT practise questions and the test from the acer website but when it comes to preparation material. However, I am really confused by the vast amounts of prep courses available. Does anyone know which one is most useful and why?
Thanks!
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marionette
Rookie


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did gammy in March 2011. I used medprep for theory and Des O'Neil for questions. Found medprep great for chem and physics. I had never done phys before and struggled with chem at uni. Also found medprep great for section 2 feedback. Des' feedback on essays was generic and pretty useless I feel. I have friends who said that prepgenie was a waste of time. Others benefited from their practise questions. So I'm not sure about them. I ended up doing quite well with a score 90th percentile but my gpa is another story. Hope this helps.
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EwkDon
Rookie


Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone can say which one is the best sorry masn101.
Each has their advantage, disadvantage, and helps people.
My strategy is to sign up for all of them. Its expensive but hey, 1 year is more expensive then all of them.

I do like the examkrackers mcat questions, but it's a personal preference because i don't like reading the educational section in a chapter i just like flipping to the end where there are the problems and solutions. the examkrackers is purely all MCQ questions.

but i think the best thing to do that is better than all the courses and textbooks, and tutors out there, is to study and buddy up with someone.

This is the most powerful and proven method to pass gamsat. I also have most of the commerical materials out there too. So study with ME :D :D :D :D :D

Are you in sydney by any chance?
zz3100668@gmail_com

0458062036


:D :D :D :D :D :D
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Adorra
Regular


Joined: 25 Nov 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good information posted here, thanks!

Just starting to prep myself for GAMSAT and wondering what I should start off with?

Anyone have a list of sites, forums or groups on where to purchase prep material? I have seen people mention Prepgenie. Looking on Google I found passgamstat, gamsat-prep, gamsattestpreparation, gamsatguru. Does anyone know anything of these, if they are any good or are worth purchasing? Also wondering what sites are out there that are worth while to practice on.

Would love to hear peoples reviews or comments on any of the above.

Thanks in advance for any tips or pointers.
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elefant
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Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I donít like gamsat guru because his site is too commercial for my taste and the author has no verifiable credentials to be doing gamsat courses. Gamsat-prep (same as gold standard) is a new outfit promoted all over this forum by md-4-me and run by a Canadian doc. Itís hard to get unbiased views about this company and I believe Des Oíniell (the most established outfit) considers gamsat-prep to just be a peddler of recycled mcat materials. As for Prepgenie, there are numerous criticisms of this outfit on this website. Mates have told me that prepgenie sells access to otherwise free youtube science videos. Very suspect if you ask me.

I got an overall score of 73 (99th %ile) in 2011. My advice is to learn the assumed science knowledge in section 3 by combining the free science lectures from khan academy with medprepís homestudy course. You donít need to spend heaps of cash purchasing dvds or videos or webcasts or attending lectures to revise biol, chem and phys. Khanís lectures are great and medprepís science manuals are spot on. Once you have the science under control, then I recommend Des OíNiellís practice gamsat science questions and acerís questions to get ready for actual gamsat science questions. For sections 1 and 2, both Des OíNiell and medprep seem adequate according to posts on this forum and other forums. I liked MedPrepís personal critiques of my essays more than Des OíNiellís general remarks. But, from my experience, there is no substitute for reading a wide variety of literature, history and philosophy regularly over several months.

Enjoy Melbourne.
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NeedGammyAdvice
Rookie


Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys I'm quite new to Gamsat (sat last year but I didn't do very well).

I did no prep courses and got 61.

I find that Des O'niell's prep courses are a bit too expensive even though I haven't heard that they're that fantastic. I have a few friends who got around the same mark as me and they used Des O'niell's prep course. However they didn't really study that hard (I think).

Now I'm looking for advice for other prep materials that are actually worth trying out.

How would you guys rank these prep materials? (1 being the best, 5 being the worst): Des O'niell home-study course, Gamsat Guru course, MCAT resources, MedPrep course and ACER booklets? I heard that Gamsat Guru's course is shit. Does anyone have the Gamsat Guru prep course? If so, did you find it helpful for Section 3?

I've heard good stories about MedPrep. How good is MedPrep compared to Des O'niell?

And since there are no calculators allowed for Gamsat 2012, would it be more beneficial to use MCAT resources rather than Gamsat prep courses?
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cat2devnull
Regular


Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Adelaide

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no one course fits all, it will depend on what your strengths and weakness are and thus where you need to focus. I personally took a brute force approach and got my hands on just about everything I could. I found that they all had strengths and weaknesses so having a couple allowed me to cover all the bases. It isn't to hard to pick this stuff up second hand at a good price (assuming that you don't want essay feedback). You don't need to worry about how old it is since the exam content really doesn't change from year to year.

Please keep in mind that the following statements are just my own personal opinion and should be taken with a pinch of salt. I am currently in the IT industry (although not for much longer Very Happy) and have basic 1st year uni exposure to Phy/Chem/Math but have not done any English or Bio since year 11 at school. Below is focused on S3 since they all were much of a much ness in S1 and I did not use any for S2.

MedPrep Home Study - Good all round course book which I used as the base of my study. The practice questions seemed to be designed to help reinforce the sections and thus were not very GAMSATy, but the practice exams were spot on.

Des O'Neill - The science section was very comprehensive, fact based and light on explanations. I found it more useful when I needed more practice on a section than what MedPrep gave. I would not recommend this as the only study guide for someone unless they are very science literate to begin with. They do have lots of good practice questions that help bed down your understanding (e.g. not GAMSATy).

Guru Method - Very short course, very to the point. All the practice questions are written like they would be in the GAMSAT. This is definitely the course if you are short on time and already have a solid understanding of the material. This is about teaching you to pass the GAMSAT not broadening your knowledge.

PrepGenie practice exams - I found these quite difficult (they felt harder than the real exam). There were also other issues with the quality of their product that prevent me from recommending them.

Beyond this, I would recommend that you get the Acer GAMSAT books as they are great practice exams (although they felt easier than the real exam). Also use resources like the Khan Academy to fill in any gaps.
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NeedGammyAdvice
Rookie


Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What if I already have a good science background?

Which course do you think is the best for preparing in terms of methods on how to solve problems, timing and training on the types of questions in the Gamsat.

I already know all the concepts of organic chemistry covered in the Organic Chemistry for Dummies book.
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cat2devnull
Regular


Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Adelaide

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was the breakdown of your 61?

It might be worth hitting a few practice exams first to work out where you could improve. Start with the Acer ones and then see how you fair.

It had been a long time since I had done anything (I'm a fair bit older than most applicants) so I found MedPrep was great for knocking the dust off. Des was good for getting in depth on a given sub topic that was causing me grief and Guru was good for lots of GAMSAT practice.

So the Guru Method might be what your looking for. Fairly to the point, lots of practice questions that are true to the GAMSAT style. Full of tips, tricks and strategy for the exam.

If you get through that and want more exam practice, you could look at the MedPrep testbank.

Just my 2c, hope it helps.
PS. I am in no way affiliated with any of the above companies. But if they want to contribute to my 'keep me out of the poor house student fund... Laughing
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NeedGammyAdvice
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Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I got 60 for S1, 65 for S2 and like high 50's for S3.

With S3, I don't think it was my lack of knowledge but I just didn't know how to solve them. Also I lost my motivation at S3 and I know I did pretty shit in that section. The different graph styles and questions were quite confusing.

I have dealt a lot with organic chem, different spectroscopies, anatomy, chemistry and physics.
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elefant
Rookie


Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello NeedGammyAdvice
Even if you have a uni science background, I think the key to succeeding on section 3 is to understand scientific definitions and equations and graphs in the way gamsat examines science. I know several people who committed large amounts of scientific knowledge to memory at school and uni but did not really understand the deeper concepts and derivations and connections. They generally scored in the mid to high 50s (50th to 60th %ile) on section 3. I donít know if this might explain your score in the 50s on section 3.

I recommend medprep homestudy for re-orienting your science knowledge in the way gamsat wants you to know it. The relationships between phys and chem equations/formulas and graphs are explained succinctly and well which helped me to orient my thinking for gamsat. I would not recommend Des OíNiellís pre-gamsat science revision materials because these are mostly dense collections of facts without revealing logical and conceptual relationships in an obvious way. Understanding these relationships, I think, is essential. However, I would recommend Des OíNiellís trial gamsat questions (you can purchase these separately or second-hand). Also, I would recommend medprepís three or four trial exams that come with their homestudy materials but I think that Des OíNiellís questions are better as far as org chem is concerned. I have heard nothing good about gamsatguru but have not used his material myself. ACERís practice questions/tests are very useful once you have the science under control. I also think you might consider supplementing organic chem for dummies with a more substantial text book for the harder synthetic reactions. I have commented on free sources of good science lectures previously on this thread.
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Adorra
Regular


Joined: 25 Nov 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:49 am    Post subject: i al Reply with quote

Thanks for the information elefant.

Going through the khan academy site it appears it has lots of information that would be very helpful. Are there particular topics I should focus on?I also see they have practices on there as well, are they worth going through?

Medprep - I like the fact that they are focused on Gamstat, explain what it is and how to help you succeed with the exam. They also have 4 options does it matter which one to take? Some offer more topics than others and it will be different pricing but wondering is it worth while to study from the bigger package or take the smaller and combine with other methods of studying?

I too prefer more critique and will take that into consideration as well. I will look into doing the practice q's once I get some the studying under my belt. Again thank you for pointing out which sites are benefical to practice on Smile
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NeedGammyAdvice
Rookie


Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice guys.

elefant, by "Des OíNiellís trial gamsat questions", do you mean the red book (Practising Science MCQs Home Study Course) or the purple book (MCQ's & Exam Attendance course)? What's the difference between the two?

Also is the MedPrep Basic package (the one without online lectures) any good? Does MedPrep only sell 2 or 3 exam papers? Because it says on their site that it will give you 3 exam papers for the Deluxe and Classic packages and 2 exam papers for the Basic and Economy packages. Or is there a way to just purchase exam papers from their site or is that only possible if I purchase them second hand?

Also I haven't really heard good news about Gamsat Guru either at one site (although it was from 2009). However some people say it's to the point so I'm confused right now.

So I'm basically deciding between purchasing Des O'Niell's practice questions, a MedPrep package or Gamsat Guru. Any more input is very much appreciated. Thanks!
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marionette
Rookie


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in answer to Adora

I did the medprep classic package and then upgraded to the deluxe pack because I wanted access to both internet lectures and textbooks to study from. I prepared from overseas so didnít have the option of attending lectures in person but I donít think I was disadvantaged. On the science front, I benefited most from the physics and chem lectures, took notes and combined these with the medprep textbook info to make sense of things. I was very happy with medprep overall but it was not perfect. I preferred Des O'Niel trial gammy practise questions to medPrepís but learned a lot from both sets of gammy questions in different ways. Different gammy prep courses have different strengths but prep courses are not a panacea. I put in heaps of work to get through medprepís materials and had frustrating and sometimes dark days. It was worth it in the end. Because I performed poorly in chem at uni and didnít do physics in school, I felt that I needed Medprepís deluxe package for maximum coverage. But I think less intensive packages could work for those with better science degrees than me. Some people donít need any tutoring or prep courses whatsoever I have heard (I envy them!!!).

My feeling is that since you are new to Oz, you should learn more about gammy and graduate entry medicine, assess your current level of preparation and your areas of weakness, and only then consider purchasing one course or another.
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redmonkey
Regular


Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 21
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: i al Reply with quote

Adorra wrote:

Going through the khan academy site it appears it has lots of information that would be very helpful. Are there particular topics I should focus on?I also see they have practices on there as well, are they worth going through?


I would do all the orgchem topics and possibly all the chems.
I prefer freelance-teacher.com over khan however.
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