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Importance of Graphs and Data Tables in GAMSAT Biology Questions
http://www.uaseducation.com/articles/905/1/Importance-of-Graphs-and-Data-Tables-in-GAMSAT-Biology-Questions/Page1.html
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 19, 2010
 
One of the most frequent questions that comes to our mind after going through a couple of GAMSAT practice booklets by ACER, is why the Biology questions in Section III contain graphs and data tables so frequently. Many GAMSAT candidates often get confused or scared at this approach as they find it difficult to collate the data given in graphs and tables with the subsequent multiple choice questions (MCQs).

Importance of Graphs and Data Tables in GAMSAT Biology Questions

One of the most frequent questions that comes to our mind after going through a couple of GAMSAT practice booklets by ACER, is why the Biology questions in Section III contain graphs and data tables so frequently. Many GAMSAT candidates often get confused or scared at this approach as they find it difficult to collate the data given in graphs and tables with the subsequent multiple choice questions (MCQs). But ACER has intentionally made this approach due to some important reasons. Let us try to look inside their line of thinking.

Suppose you are suffering from high fever with abdominal cramps, a common health disorder experienced by all of us. The first and foremost thing that you do is consult a local physician about your illness. Most likely, the doctor will advise you to go for some pathological tests like blood test and stool or urine test. The report that you receive from the pathologist is not in plain texts but in tabular format. The doctor must understand this format clearly, to understand your physiological condition and diagnose the patient, i.e. you, properly. Therefore, it is well understood that to become a doctor you need to have the ability and practice of drawing conclusion from data tables.

Similarly, when a patient is suffering from cardiac disorders, i.e. heart diseases, he is advised by the cardiologist to undergo an ECG or electrocardiogram test. ECG records the cardiac cycle of the patient in a graphical form over a paper. The doctor has to understand the heart-condition of the patient from the ECG report itself, i.e. the graphical representation of the electrocardiogram. If he fails to do that, then diagnosis of the patient will become almost impossible for him. ACER, therefore, wants to check the reasoning ability of GAMSAT candidates, i.e. would-be doctors, in all possible ways. Candidates showing confidence in understanding graphical representations will have a definite edge over others.

Both graphical representations and data tables may look a bit confusing for many GAMSAT aspirants, as they have to collate data of all sorts and find out various relations among them, which is not the case for plain text passages. But, to be honest, it’s not that difficult at all. The key is in collating the data for which you need a strong logical reasoning sense. A simple way to start is by trying to understand various pathological and graphical test reports of your family members. Remember, practice makes you perfect.

By now, you have understood why ACER has designed GAMSAT Section III questions containing graphs and data tables. It is highly essential for would-be health consultants to understand the different formats of clinical reporting. Otherwise, they might face real big problems in future when they will work as professionals.