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How to Optimise Reading Time during GAMSAT
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Shantanu Sikdar
With over 8 years of experience in teaching and training, I have done extensive work in designing assessment tests and creating test content for a great variety of competitive exams. I am helping GAMSAT, UKCAT, Subject GRE, LNAT aspirants to succeed in their respective exams. 
By Shantanu Sikdar
Published on January 12, 2010
 
In GAMSAT you get some significant amount of reading time before each section begins. For Sections I and II you are given 10 minutes and for Section III you are given 5 minutes reading time. You need to optimise this reading time to cover as much as possible of the paper, pick out the questions you are going to answer, and have a basic understanding of the paper.

How to Optimise Reading Time during GAMSAT

In GAMSAT you get some significant amount of reading time before each section begins. For Sections I and II you are given 10 minutes and for Section III you are given 5 minutes reading time. You need to optimise this reading time to cover as much as possible of the paper, pick out the questions you are going to answer, and have a basic understanding of the paper. A good reading speed is 250-300 words per minute but this may vary depending upon the reading material itself and your previous experience of reading. So how do make the most of your reading time in GAMSAT? 

The first thing to do in the reading time is check if the GAMSAT booklet you have received has all the pages in sequence and that all writing and diagrams are printed legibly. While you do so, make a quick overview of the sections and check if there are portions that you are not familiar with. This may include marking out areas that you are very strong in or which contain long-winding and complicated passages. A basic overview of these will help you decide if you want to waste time on these questions at the very outset of the test or come back to them later when you are done with the parts you can answer with relative confidence.  


During the reading time in the GAMSAT test, you cannot make any notes and record answers. Any attempt to do so might result in your answer sheet being taken away or a much greater penalty. You are advised not to make even the tiniest of indents in the book while marking out the right answers. Since you are not allowed to do any of these, you will find a lot of time in your hand to actually read the question paper and pick out your first choice of answers. It is easy to remember these answers later and they help save time for the more difficult parts of the paper. You will find that some portions of the paper require more than one reading for correct comprehension. A basic skimming of these portions during the allotted reading time will give you better chances of understanding and answering when you read these again later during the test.  


Another way to optimally use your reading time for the GAMSAT is to take in several words in a sentence together rather than focusing on individual words. This may not help you to properly understand what you are reading at first but at least you will have an idea of what you are about to contend with during the writing time. You may practice this well before the GAMSAT by speed reading at home or using the internet to find tips and techniques to improve reading speed. It is also useful to focus on the key words of the text and ignore conjunctions, prepositions, articles and the like.  


In GAMSAT Section II or the Written Communication section, look over the quotation sets given and then let your natural instincts take over. Most often you will find a supportive argument or even an unfavourable response to the quotations and be able to deduce this within the reading time itself. You may even be able to structure your essay mentally so that you are able to write continuously without losing your flow in the 25 minutes allotted to you.