We have already suggested a few books that would help you prepare for the chemistry part of Section III. We have also told you why it is important to have textbooks and use them liberally. Now, in our next episode we will tell you the importance of having a Biology guide with you for your GAMSAT preps.
There has been speculations about how important Biology is in GAMSAT. I mean GAMSAT questions are reasoning based, isn’t it? All the information is given right there, so why do we at all study biology?
First: Good question.
Second: Let’s answer this with an example. Say you’ve been asked a set of questions about the heart rate and pulse rate. All data is given right there. You need to understand and analyse the data and choose the right option. Sounds easy enough.
But you get only about 90 seconds to answer one question (110 questions in 170 minutes… you do the math!). Would you get enough time to remember what are the things you should have in mind to understand what the question actually requires? Probably not!
That is why we say, Non-science aspirants have a better chance to get an interview call since they don’t take this for granted. They study from scratch. So, a word of advice for science aspirants: Study like how non-science students would study.
Now that I have made my point clear of why we should get a Biology textbook, let’s proceed with what could be looked at from the heaps of books lying in the bookshop. Here, we are trying to help you choose the right needle from the haystack.
Biology by Campbell et al. is the book where you will get the basic knowledge. Try getting the latest edition of the book as science is always evolving. Now you know what Nobel Laureates are doing? Increasing the pages of the book of course!!
Other books that you can have a look at are Knox et al. Biology: An Australian Focus and Biological Science by Scott Freeman. The later though has too much information. If you know how to get info you need, from huge books, then pick it up, or else, let them stay at the shelf!
Till now, all we’ve talked about is general biology. The thrust topics in GAMSAT in this subject is in physiology and biochemistry. Here are some books that would help you with those specific topics.
First things first… don’t be scared seeing “physiology” in the last paragraph. Surely you will be studying all about physiology in the 4 years you spend in the medical school. But before that you will need to know a little of this topic before the med-school can put in more into your frontal lobe.
To study that “little’ of physiology, we will recommend you to get hold of the most basic and simple Schaum’s Outlines Anatomy & Physiology. It will give you a concise information with better explanations than many other books. And in our opinion this will be all that you will need for Physiology in Biology for GAMSAT.
Coming to biochemistry… There are 2 books which you can take a look at. Before I tell you the names, a word… Library. Remember the following books when you visit that.
1. Lehninger’s principles of biochemistry – BRILLIANT book (from personal experience). It’s huge, but you will know more just browsing around the book.
2. Biochemistry by Garrett & Grisham – I’ve heard it’s a fantastic book.