GAMSAT Guide/Recommended Books
Below are recommendations from various candidates. Remember that your own educational background is crucial to your revision tactics so this is just what worked for them, not an official list...
Here are the main books I used to revise the GAMSAT with - my background was Psychology so my knowledge of most of these areas was quite sketchy at best so I was pretty much starting from scratch on the science front.
- A self-teaching guide Chemistry (Houk and Post) - poor on quite a few parts but a good basic text to establish the base
- Chemistry in Context (Hill and Holman) - fills in the spaces left by the previous book.
- A self-teaching guide Physics (Kuhn) - similar to first book but seemed to cover all the physics I needed. Maybe a little too much of a spoon fed approach so if your physics are above minimal, you may want to opt for a more rapidly progressing text book.
I am a journalism graduate with an A Level In biology, so was starting from scratch with Chem and Physics. I passed Gamsat science using these books:
- Chemistry: For basic GCSE refresher and a bit more, I started with Barron's Review Course Series 'Let's Review: Chemistry The Physical Setting. It's an American book aimed at 16-18 year olds and really easy to grasp.
Then I moved to Ramsden's A Level Chemistry book but found it to be insufferably dry and too full of facts and not enough explanation of concepts behind the facts, so I switched to Chemistry: The Central Science, by Brown, LeMay and Bursten - another US book aimed at 1st year college students - excellent explanation of concepts - particularly in thermochemistry, kinetics, equilibria, acids and bases, which are all key. I also used Ramsden's Calculations for A Level Chemistry, but not a lot.
Because there is so much organic chemistry, I bought (I kid you not) Organic Chemistry for Dummies and it is brilliant! Does exactly what it says on the tin. AcerGamsat.com also provides a great chemistry GAMSAT study guide called - The Holy Grail Organic Chemistry Book
- Biology: I covered all the animal biology from Biology 2nd Edition by Mike Boyle and Kathryn Senior from the Collins Advanced Science Series. Nice and easy book to understand tho it may not quite be detailed enough for some of the more complex questions at Gamsat.
I also purchased The Biology holy grail book from https://acergamsat.com, which provided all the content needed for GAMSAT biology.
- Physics: I didn't overdo it, since it is only 20% of the science section. So I used Barron's Review Course Series Let's Review: Physics. Again, an American book but really gets to grips with forces, vectors and basic electricity and light geometrics that you'll be asked about.
Hi there folks, coming from a non-science background. I can see non-classic GAMSAT texts listed above. The ones I went with are only branded for the GAMSAT:
- Mr Shum's Classroom (e.g. http://mrshum.com/pre-med/organic-chemistry/hydrocarbons/), which was great for succinct and easy-to-understand definitions, particularly if you haven't got a background in science (like me). Downside was that it lacked a question bank, and didn't cover the verbal section
- Fraser's GAMSAT has probably the best content available for GAMSAT, with lots of free resources across all three sections. Their courses are excellent, however are a big investment of both time and money, taking over 3 months in most cases.
- Gold Standard GAMSAT has a great question bank, both from their books and through online subscriptions. A considerable amount of content has been added since their first edition in 2010 as a single hardcover book then and its current edition of at least 4 GAMSAT books discussing specific strategies in Sections 1 and 2 with chapter review questions. One significant improvement in their new edition is that the books include 4 new chapters called "Chapter Zero" for each of the 4 sciences with the intention to summarise the subject in more common language, life experience, and practice questions that show the difference between conventional exams and GAMSAT. Probably the most helpful when it comes to GAMSAT-level practice out there is their Heaps Book with 10 full-length mock exams: GAMSAT Practice Tests
- ExamKrackers, which like Mr. Shum's Classroom, has nice illustrations. I used this alongside Mr Shum's quite a bit. A great combo. Can't stress how good these are!
- There are also a few others around like Medired and Guru Method, but perhaps someone else can elaborate on these, who has a better background
- Preparation Materials:- GAMSAT materials or books are available to take your GAMSAT preparation to the next level. Note that some students use MCAT material to prepare for the GAMSAT such as Khan Academy or similar content.
I am also from a non science background (English Literature) and in addition to books I also used quite a few free online resources which came recommended on various Gamsat forums. I passed Gamsat on my second attempt and the main books I started with are:
- Chemistry - Calculations in AS / A Level Chemistry by Jim Clark. I found this particularly helpful as it is mainly calculation type questions of the type which come up in Gamsat rather than memorized information.
- Physics - Practice in Physics 4th Edition by George Bennet, Chris Millar and Tim Akrill. Again this a very problem solving and calculation oriented book so ideal for Gamsat.
- Biology - Higher Biology: Second Edition by Clare Marsh, James Simms and Caroline Stevenson. This book adequately covers all the necessary material. I didn't find it lacking in anything.
- I also used several online books and resources. The Gamsat Blog has one of the best listings of free materials collated from over the web for all three sections I found. I also used the free Section 3 Practice Test by the same company.
Finally make sure you also get all the official practice question books from ACER.