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. AceGamsat.com also provides a great chemistry GAMSAT study guide called - The Organic Chemistry Bible
- 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 Bible from AceGamsat.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:
- AceGamsat provides a valuable text 'The Gamsat Bible', which goes through the basics of the GAMSAT exam, ways to improve vocabulary, comprehension practice, suggested texts and how to create a study routine + sample study routines - http://www.acegamsat.com.
- 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
- Des O'Neill's Gamsatprep Red series, which is considered "the best" question bak around for GAMSAT - both humanities and science. Can be complex to read though, display lacks paragraphs etc...
- Dr. Ferdinand's Gold Standard textbook and DVD's, which has a great question bank, but problematically is its American orientation (for the MCAT). Like Des O'Neill's, I wouldn't say its the best way to learn content (it really, like Des O'Neill's book cover states, is for "revision" - not for new learning coming from a non-science background. However, a considerable amount of content have been added in the 2015-2016 edition of the book discussing specific strategies in Sections 1 and 2, practice questions, and a GAMSAT maths chapter (more than 100 pages) intended to help those struggling with quick calculations in Section 3. http://www.gamsat-prep.com/GAMSAT-Textbook
- 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
This is the Gold Standard GAMSAT. We would like to make a few more points about our GAMSAT textbook.
Over the last few years, we have been doing this better and better for all students. The first point that we usually over-generalize between science and non-science background students because most students are in between. In other words, many students have a Biology background but do not remember (or have never done) Physics, or their math skills are very weak, etc. So this is what we have done so far:
- the chapter review practice questions and videos that come with the book and packages always start from the very beginning, as if the student has no background;
- Of course the Math chapters in the book start as though the student has no science background.
- The next edition of the GS book will include 4 new chapters called "Chapter Zero" for each of the 4 sciences with the intention to summarize the subject in more common language, life experience, and practice questions that show the difference between conventional exams and GAMSAT.
The point is: Since different students have widely different academic backgrounds, we have been building 1 product that can be used as a buffet, a science student can skip the simpler questions, videos or chapters to move up to GAMSAT level while a non-science student can take their time through each step.