Archive for November, 2011
Preparation for the GAMSAT should be done systematically. This is because the review is very long and extensive. While reviewing, the student should use the GAMSAT practice tests to measure progress. This is very important since the time allotted is limited. In case the skill and knowledge level of the student would not suffice, the necessary adjustments and improvements can be done. This would help the student prepare effectively for the exam.
GAMSAT practice tests with varying degrees of difficulty can be used to accurately monitor the rate of improvement. Sets of practice exams have been prepared by different review centers and institutions. Practice Exams intended to help the students before, during and after the review are available. The degree of difficulty would increase as the student progresses. This should be used as a means to measure the capability of the students. There are different stages of learning involved with the sciences. The first stage of learning would involve familiarization with terms and facts. The students should know the meaning of the terms being discussed. Once this has been accomplished, the student would have to know the process and relationships connecting the facts. This is necessary to help the students understand the relevance of the item, organism, theory and principle being discussed. All the topics are connected since Science is a systematized body of knowledge. The student should know how one variable would fit in the equation. The learning process can be made easier if the students use the GAMSAT practice test with varying degrees of difficulty.
The GAMSAT practice test is available in different levels. The practice test for beginners is given to show the students how the GAMSAT is presented and structured. Although the questions are very easy, it would help students modify their study and review methods to be more effective for the GAMSAT. The actual format that would be encountered in the exam would be shown. This would include analysis, reasoning and critical thinking type questions. Only the easiest and simplest lessons are included. The basic questions are given before and after the initial review to give the students an idea on how the exam would appear.
The intermediate GAMSAT practice test would be useful in assessing the comprehension and understanding of the student. The questions included would be more difficult since the knowledge, skill and performance of the student would already be measured. The questions would now feature extensive concepts that involve principles and theories behind the facts being discussed. Questions involving anatomy would now require students to identify the function, range of motion and origin of the muscles. This type of questions is commonly encountered during the actual GAMSAT. It would apply to most topics in biology, chemistry and physics. This practice test should be given during the review. The test would allow the student to have a deeper and more detailed perspective on the lessons being discussed.
The advance GAMSAT practice test is intended to test the mastery of the student in the subject areas as a whole. In fact, the advance test is considered to be more extensive and hard compared to the actual examination. This is necessary in order to train the student to use the knowledge attained efficiently. The questions would usually involve multiple subject areas. Students are trained not to be confused even though a lot of variables are involved.
The practice test for GAMSAT with varying degrees of difficulty is very important in preparing the students systematically. This should be used prior and during the review to help the student progress properly. The different practice tests would allow the student to develop the skills and knowledge needed.
Computation for GAMSAT questions involves the ITR or Item response theory. Students should take note of this before taking the examination. Since the exam is standardized, the usual way of scoring is not utilized. The scores are concluded based on the mathematical relationship between the ability of the students to answer and the degree of difficulty. This is necessary to compute the scores fairly. This is different to the methods used to score the usual examinations found in Universities and Schools. This has been implemented to establish balance and fairness considering students comes from different educational institutions. Students should use the ITR to their advantage. This is very important in order to have a very high score in the GAMSAT examination.
The item response theory involves qualitative assessment of each question. This means the degree of difficulty would be considered based on the student’s response. The percentage of correct and incorrect answers in each question would be used as basis in ranking students. If the question is too hard, meaning more than 70% of the examiners have got it wrong, the question would be reviewed to determine if it is not appropriate for the undergraduate level. Some questions which is above the skill level and knowledge of the students are placed to serve as a buffer but is not really counted in the overall score. Once all the questions have been reviewed, the total number of points would be adjusted. The raw score attained by the student would be graded based on a scale. Every year, the scale would change depending on the response of the students. A bell curve is used to evaluate the raw scores. The highest score would be considered as 99%. If majority of the students would attain a low score, the passing grade would be lowered.
Students can take advantage of the ITR or item response theory in different ways. The principle of the ITR is to provide a fair playing field among students coming from different universities and academic institutions.
The item response theory used in GAMSAT encourages students to learn all the basic and fundamental ideas, facts and principles necessary in medical school. Instead of studying in depth every topic included, the student should know a little bit of everything. This is very important considering the questions are reviewed based on the degree of difficulty. If the student encounters a question that is way above the skill and knowledge level expected from a undergraduate student, he should move on to other easier questions to conserve time and effort. The student can go back later to answer the hard questions once all the easy items have been finished. This would increase the chances of getting a high ranking considering all the easy questions are counted while the hard questions may be included.
In case students run out of time, all the GAMSAT questions should be answered. This would be very helpful since the wrong answers would not be deducted from the total score. But guessing is not recommended. Instead of randomly picking an answer, the student should check which letter has the most answers. The letter with the least answer should be used repeatedly until all the answers have been filled. The student has a 25% chance of getting the right answer. This is better instead of leaving the item blank.
The ITR or item response theory used for checking the GAMSAT questions is a very critical factor which should not be ignored. The rules established through ITR should be used by the students to their advantage. This would help the students formulate an effective strategy that would help them attain favorable results.