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Table of Contents
1. About the GAMSAT Syllabus
2. The Test Structure
A. Test Format
B. Test Timing
C. Question Pattern: MCQs
2.1 Tips to Manage MCQs
3. Skills You Need
3.1 Section 1
3.2 Section 2
3.3 Section 3
4. Section 1 - Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences
4.1 Classification of vignettes
Data Interpretation
4.2 Types of Vignettes - Humanities
Non fiction
Things to Look out for in Fiction and Non-fiction Passages
Proverbs and Quotations
Things to Look out for in Quotations and Proverbs
Things to Look out for in Poetry Vignettes
Visual stimulus
Things to Look out for in Visual Stimulus in Humanities
Combined vignettes
4.3 Types of Vignettes: Data Interpretation
Textual data
Things to Look out for in Data Interpretation Vignettes
4.3 Distribution of Vignettes
4.4 Types of Questions Based on Vignette
Broad Question Type: Drama
Broad Question Type: Novels and Short Stories
Broad Question Type: Non-fiction
Broad Question Type: Picture Study
Broad Question Type: Poetry
5. Section 2 - Written Communication
5.1 The Two Tasks
Task A: Discursive/ Argumentative/ Analytical Essay
Task B: Expository/ Reflective/ Personal Essay

5.2 Essay Framework

Separate body paragraphs
5.3 Choosing a Comment(s)
5.4 Evaluation Parameters
Thought and Content
Organisation and Expression
5.5 Tips for Writing a Good GAMSAT Essay
6. Reading List for Sections 1 and 2
7. Section 3 Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences
7.1 Classification of vignettes
1. Organic Chemistry
2. Physical Chemistry


About the GAMSAT Syllabus

The GAMSAT tests your ability to analyse and interpret information and decision-making and
problem-solving skills. Apart from these soft skills, the exam also assesses your understanding
of basic scientific concepts and ability to apply the same.This syllabus structures in detail the
key concepts you need to know and the strategies you must adopt to tackle the test.
While the techniques and strategies outlined in this booklet will help you deal with specific
questions, keep in mind that there is no shortcut to learning the concepts needed. A holistic
understanding of the subjects is mandatory to deal with the extremely competitive entrance


The Test Structure


Test Format
Section 1: 75 questions
Section 2: 2 essays
Section 3: 110 questions


Test Timing
Total testing time: 5 hours 30 minutes (excluding the 1-hour lunch break)
Section 1: 100 minutes. 10 minutes reading time (not included within the 100
Section 2: 60 minutes. 5 minutes reading time (not included within the 60
Lunch break: 1 hour
Section 3: 170 minutes. 10 minutes reading time (not included within the 100


Question Pattern: MCQs

Questions come in the Multiple-Choice format, that is, you are are given 4
options and must choose only one as the correct answer. There is no negative
marking in GAMSAT, so you can guess freely.


Tips to Manage MCQs

If two options seem equally correct, think logically and improve
your odds. Refer to the vignette to find the best answer.

Be careful when you confront All of the above and None of

the above options. These options are tricky; you must weigh all the given
options carefully.
Elimination is a good method to deal with such options. If at
least two options seem correct then choose All of the above. Conversely, if
any one of the given options seems incorrect then eliminate All of the above
Be careful of negative words like Which of the following is NOT
true about respiration? Often, you will find that there is emphasis on the
negative word with the use of capitalisation.
Pay attention to the double negatives in the stem like Which of
the following is NOT false about respiration?
You can easily eliminate some alternatives on account of being
completely irrelevant and implausible.
Some options act as distracters. In this case it is important to
read the vignette carefully to identify the core concepts that the questions
Choose the best answer and eliminate those options which make
no logical sense.
Pay special attention to options in numerical problems. The
correct option should be approximately or exactly close to the number you get
after calculation.


Skills You Need


Section 1


Social sensitivity
Analytical skills
Critical thinking
Logical processing of data
Understanding premises and assumptions/cause and effect
Argumentative reasoning skills
Interpretation skills
Translating data from various formats
Problem-solving skills
Speed-reading ability
Comprehension skills

Section 2
Argumentative skills
Cohesion of thought



Communication skills
Ability to engage
Flexibility of thought
Organisation of expression
Thinking on your feet
Social awareness

Speed reading ability

Comprehension skills
Basic mathematical aptitude
Analytical skills
Interpretation skills
Logical processing of data
Reasoning ability

Section 3

Section 1 - Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences


Classification of vignettes



Non fiction
Visual stimulus

Data Interpretation

Visual Stimulus
Text-based passages

C. Science


Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry

Types of Vignettes - Humanities




Short story extracts

Novel extracts
Drama extracts
Screenplay/script extracts

Essay extracts
Extracts from newspapers/journals/periodicals
Readers responses to articles/reports
Web content
Biographies and autobiographies

Non fiction

Types of Vignettes - Science







4.2.1 Things to Look out for in Fiction and Non-fiction Passages

Dialogues: Note what the characters say, the tone
in which they speak and the subject of conversation.

Characterisations: Carefully note what the

characters seem like. Remember that the passages are random, so you
are not likely to know much about them. So, your inference must be as
clear as possible, dependant only on the meagre information that you
have at hand.
Character actions: Take note of how the
characters behave. You can glean this from their body language,
gestures, the way they speak and the words they use, and of course
from the situation in which you find them.
Stage directions: This refers exclusively to drama
extracts. Note the setting, that is, where you see the characters. This
will help you get a better picture of the events that take place.
Words/phrases used in the passage: This is an
extremely important point to note. Whether it is a fiction or a nonfiction passage, the words the author uses are extremely critical to
denote the message that s/he conveys. You have to understand the
meaning of the word/phrase with reference to the context in which the
author uses it.
Tone/perspective of the narrator/author: The
language the author uses and the style in which s/he writes reflect
his/her overall sentiment. This is especially relevant in terms of nonfiction passages. If you read the passage carefully, you will see that the
author might be detached, critical, analytical or humorous in tone.

Proverbs and Quotations

Standalone quotes by luminaries
Proverbs and adages
Quotations accompanying
Set of conflicting quotes

4.2.2 Things to Look out for in Quotations and Proverbs

Interpret in context: A proverb or a quotation
might accompany a separate image or prose/poetry passage. In such
cases, you must interpret the quotation/proverb in context. These

vignettes in fact are easier; because of the fact that you actually have a
hint of what the quotations mean.
Relate both/all vignettes: Relate both the
quote/proverb and the image/prose/poetry to see how they fit each
other. Once you understand the context, interpretation of the
statement will become much easier.
Process of elimination: A problem that you will
face with proverbs and quotations you are not familiar with, and those
that do not accompany a passage or image, is the lack of context. The
best you can do here is to eliminate the options and pick the one that
seems closest to the statement.
Read a lot: That is the only way to become
familiar not only with a variety of famous quotations, but with a variety
of ways to express a thought. A quotation, or a proverb, after all, is
only a way of expression that remains valid even when taken out of
Avoid using prior knowledge: Often, the vignette
mentions the speaker of the quotation. Even if you are familiar with the
personality, do NOT use your knowledge in the question. Any inference
on the basis of your prior knowledge is not only unnecessary in this
context, but is highly likely to be incorrect as well.

Poem extracts
Song extracts

4.2.2 Things to Look out for in Poetry Vignettes

Figures of speech: The poet uses figures of
speech to convey meanings. Familiarise yourself with the commonest
figures of speech, such as metaphor, simile, personification and so on.
Read between the lines: What the poet is trying
to say is often veiled behind the words. Read between the lines to see
what can be the possible underlying meaning.
Infer from context: If you cannot understand the
meaning of a particular line, infer the same from the entire poem as a

whole. There is certainly some way in which it fits in the entire

Search for symbols: What are the
recurring/constant motifs and symbols in the poem? These are
significant and will help you understand the poem more easily.
Tone of the poem: Determine the tone the poet
uses. It can be detached, sad or euphoric. Understanding this will help
you interpret the lines much better.
Go by the question: If interpreting something
becomes really tough, go with the option that comes closest to your
understanding. If there is none, see which one you agree with the most.


Visual stimulus

Cartoons/sketches/photographs with captions

Cartoons/sketches/photographs without captions
Cartoons/sketches with speech bubble
Cartoons/sketches without speech bubble

4.2.4 Things to Look out for in Visual Stimulus in Humanities

Be on a sharp lookout for details: Remember
that every tiny bit of detail in the cartoon is there in order to draw your
attention to something. Every object and person in a cartoon is
Every cartoon has a message to convey: It might
be a political issue, like some new policy formulated by the government
that the cartoonist is opposing. Or, it might be a social issue. The
cartoon is sure to have some conspicuous detail, a glaring clue to the
Facial features and other details: If there is an
exaggeration of the facial features of the caricature, or some detail in
the attire or expression, it is a dead giveaway of the message. It is very
likely that the cartoonist has exaggerated the detail in order to better
express the thought. It definitely has a very close connection to the

Semblance to other creatures: Often, the

caricatures of people bear a close semblance to an animal. This is a
very common trick, and the choice of the animal definitely points to
some characteristic aspect of the person depicted that the cartoonist
attempts to highlight. Sometimes, the artist uses animals behaving like
humans to bring out a certain idea.
Labels or names: Often, the cartoonist labels an
object or a person -in short, a feature- in the cartoon. The label is
important because it acts as a very big clue to the interpretation of the
cartoon. It is likely that the cartoonist chose to label that particular
component in the cartoon to make the message clearer.
Accompanying quote/passage: Often, a
quotation or a passage, or both accompany an image. In your
interpretation of the image, take into account these as well. Both
media are definitely closely connected.

Combined vignettes
A unit in the GAMSAT Humanities paper can consist of a combination of
any of the different types of vignettes. There can also be a unit that
consists of related items of the same kind, that is, a couple of poetry


Types of Vignettes: Data Interpretation


Bar graphs
Line graphs
Scatter Diagrams


Pie charts


Data tables


Textual data
Passage-based data

4.3.1 Things to Look out for in Data Interpretation Vignettes

Check for relations: Quickly note the relationship
between the variables in each table, chart, or graph. Do they have a
direct or indirect correlation? Where does the data spike or significantly
Look for closely-related points: Your first step
is very crucial. The first point provided in the question may not
necessarily initiate your solution. Try to look out for two (or more)
most closely related points in the beginning and then it will be much
easier to organise all the clues and/or conditions around them.
Link the question to the data: One common
mistake in solving DI questions is using the wrong data. Make sure you
understand what the question is asking, then stop and consider which
table, graph, chart, or paragraph provides the information you have to
interpret for the correct answer. Harder DI questions will require you to
use more than one piece of data. The questions may be multi-step, so
look closely for key phrases in the question that refer to the labels you
already studied when you first reviewed the data.
Simplify: Always try to simplify the question by
categorising data given into tables, Venn diagrams, etc.
Predict: You may be able to approximate an
answer by rounding off numbers for certain questions. Be consistent in
how you approximate, and only do so if the answer choices are far
enough apart that estimation is prudent.
Read carefully: Dont miss out on the units, the
footnotes and wherever percentages have to be distinguished from the
absolute value.
Visualise: If you make a note of the main
points in a table or diagram (like a flow of events), it will help you to
visualise the clues and/or conditions and you will be able to solve the
puzzle very quickly. However, you have to be very careful while
creating the same because a single error may lead to the whole
table/diagram being incorrect.


Distribution of Vignettes
A percentage distribution* of the GAMSAT Section 1 questions will be as
Fiction: 13%
Non-fiction: 53%
Poetry: 20%
Picture study: 4%
Data Interpretation: 10%
*Note that the distributions given here are indicative of average ACER


Types of Questions Based on Vignette


Broad Question Type: Drama

Questions based on dialogues
Questions based on character actions
Questions based on stage setting

Based on the abovementioned broad question types, what are the questions
you can expect?
What does character B mean when s/he says a
particular word or line?
What does A mean about B by saying "XYZ"?
What does the dramatic excerpt suggest about the
mindset of the characters?
What does the excerpt suggest of the relationship
between characters A and B?
What impression of the surrounding is generated
from the given details?
What impression of the character C comes through
in the dramatic excerpt?

Broad Question Type: Novels and Short Stories

Questions based on the usage of words/phrases in
the passage

Questions based on the characterisation in the

Questions based on the structure of the passage
Questions based on perspective/tone of
Questions based on the theme/idea of the passage
Questions based on the setting of the passage
Based on the abovementioned broad question types, what are the questions
you can expect?
What does the opening line of the passage
What does the reaction of character A to a
particular situation suggest?
How can the tone of the passage be best
How can the relationship between character A and
character B be best described?
What does the author most nearly mean by the
word ABC?
What can be gleaned of the character B from the
What is most likely to be the point of discussion in
the passage immediately following/preceding the given
How can the attitude of character A be best
What can be inferred of the narrators
characteristics from the piece?
What is the format that the author follows in
structuring the piece?
How is paragraph 1 related to paragraph 4?
What would be the most suitable title to the given

Broad Question Type: Non-fiction

Questions based on certain words/phrases in the
Questions based on the theme/idea of the passage
Questions based on the structure of the passage
Questions based on the tone/point of view of the

Based on the abovementioned broad question types, what are the questions
you can expect?
What is the basic idea that the passage is based
What is the message that the author is trying to
convey in the given passage?
How can the structure of the passage be best
What is the relationship between paragraph 1 and
paragraph 2?
What is the principal concern of the author in the
What is most likely to be the topic of discussion in
the passage immediately following the given one?
What is certainly NOT the concern of the author in
the passage?
What does the author mean by the word ABC?
What does the word ABC most nearly mean, as
used in the passage?
What does the author try to convey by using the
phrase XYZ?
What is certainly not implied by the phrase XYZ
used in the passage?
Which of the following arguments is the author
most likely to disagree with?
How can the tone of the author be best described
in the passage?
How can the point of view of the author be best
described as in the passage?
What would be the most appropriate title for the

Broad Question Type: Picture Study

Questions based on the message conveyed by the
Questions based on facial features/expressions
Questions based on labels or names
Questions based on the event depicted in the

Questions based on the dialogue given in the

speech bubble
Questions based on the caption
Based on the abovementioned broad question types, what are the questions
you can expect?
What message is given out by the cartoon/image?
What is the centre of humour in the cartoon?
What is the proverb that goes best with the
What is the speaker most likely to mean by the
What would be the likeliest caption of the
How can the tone of the cartoon be best
How can the setting of the cartoon/image be best

Broad Question Type: Poetry

Questions asked on the idea / Theme of the poem
Questions based on the narrator/ his point of
view/ his relation to other characters in the poem
Questions asked on setting/ atmosphere of the
Questions asked on the tone of the poet
Questions based on particular lines of a poem
Questions asked on symbolism and imagery

Based on the abovementioned broad question types, what are the questions
you can expect?
What does the opening line/closing line of the
poem suggest?
What is the atmosphere in the poem like?
What does the phrase/word ABC / XYZ in line 4
What is the verb/adjective used in line 8 referring
What does line 5 imply?
Whom is the speaker addressing?

What can definitely be inferred of the speaker

from the poem?
Which word does the poet use in order to
emphasise a certain point in the poem?
Which of the following words do not express a
certain idea in the poem?
Which of the following expresses the idea of the
poem most appropriately?
How can the setting of the poem be best
How can the tone of the poem be best described?
What comparison has been used by the poet in
order to refer to a certain idea?
The speakers state is reinforced by which of the
following images?
What is the central topic/subject dealt with in the
What would be the perfect / nearest synonym for
the word ABC?
What is the relationship between the sections of
the passage?


Section 2 - Written Communication


The Two Tasks


Task A: Discursive/ Argumentative/ Analytical Essay

State your stance- for, against, neutral
Validate your stance with arguments and examples


Task B: Expository/ Reflective/ Personal Essay

Use a personal style
Explore your experiences
State your thoughts and illustrate with
Evaluate the experiences with logical


Essay Framework




Tone/slant setting
Glimpse into the topic

Begin with hook sentence

Thesis statement
Avoid stating your stance outright


Separate body paragraphs

One paragraph for each argument



No repetitions
No overlapping
Sequencing of ideas
Smooth transition from one paragraph to the next

Clear stance
Reinforcement of stance
Create opening for further thought
No new argument presented
Not a summary of the essay


Choosing a Comment(s)

Which topic do you have most to say about?
Do you agree or disagree? Or, are you neutral?
Check if you have enough support for the stance
you wish to take.
Disagreeing might give you more arguments that
Incorporate multiple quotes if you cannot choose.


Quotes might reflect opposing principles.
Understand what the quotes mean before
Interpretation can be radical, or very safe; it
doesnt matter.




Evaluation Parameters

Jot down points during reading time.

Pen only most relevant points.
Sequence your thoughts in order of importance.
Avoid unnecessary ramblings.
No ambiguity is permitted.
Choose arguments you can validate and illustrate.
Dont deviate from the topic.


Thought and Content

1. Unity of subject: Adhere to the quote(s) you
choose. Diverting from the topic is not acceptable.
2. Diversity of discussion: Flexibility of thought is
essential, so try to explore the topic from various perspectives.
3. Attention to detail: Dont assume the reader
knows everything. Make sure your illustrations and arguments are
clearly explained.
4. Factual accuracy: If you are putting in facts,
make sure they are correct. Get proper names right; and avoid dates
and names if you are unsure.
5. Separate but relevant ideas in each paragraph:
Each paragraph is dedicated to a separate but relevant argument, idea
or opinion.
6. Usage and incorporation of illustrations:
Illustrations are a must. Ideally, there should be one relevant example
supporting each argument.
7. Adequate elaboration of ideas/cohesiveness:
Keep the essay tightly wound together. Elaborate your arguments, but
no more than is necessary.
8. Self-contradiction/Taking a stance: Your stance
may be neutral, but dont contradict yourself by refuting your own
statements. Present all sides of the issue if necessary, but stick to your
own stance.
9. Originality of thought: Avoid making an entire
essay out of a well-known tale, and dont use the quote/quotes you
choose verbatim to embellish the essay.


Organisation and Expression

1. Essay structure: Stick to the title-introductionbody paragraph-conclusion framework. Each is equally important.

2. Adherence to word limit: A too-long essay might

become tedious to read, and you might lose track of thought and run
out of time. Stay within the 300-500 word limit.
3. Sequencing of ideas throughout the essay: Keep
a check that the flow of ideas in the writing is logical in terms of
thought as well as fluid in terms of expression.
4. Style and readability: Easy reading is the key. Be
consistent with the styles that you choose for a particular essay. Use
short sentences.
5. Grammatical correctness: Grammar and
sentence construction must be correct. Try to use transitional
words/phrases. Subject-verb agreement is essential.
6. Punctuation: Apostrophe, quotation marks,
commas, question marks, periods should be used correctly.
7. Accuracy of spelling: There should not be too
many errors in the spellings. Use British spellings.
8. Sentence length and structure: Short sentences
are always better and easier to read than the lengthy ones. Active voice
sentences are more desirable than passive voice. Sentences should be
well-constructed and organised and excessively long and complex
sentences are to be avoided.
9. Usage of acronym: Do not use acronyms. They
vary from place to place, and using the full form is always safe.
10. Handwriting: Neat and legible copies make a
good impression. Lower legibility might also lead to the reader
misconstruing your thoughts.

Tips for Writing a Good GAMSAT Essay

Cogent arguments: There must be cogent arguments to support
the opinions you present in an essay. Without these arguments, your opinions
are open to interpretation, and this gives the impression that you do not have
anything to say in favour of your ideas.

Give good examples: Put in illustrations to support your

arguments. Examples always back up your arguments. You can take them from
anywhere, including historical events, current affairs, stories and personal
Add a personal touch: In a reflective essay, a personal touch is
always welcome. Of course, this is not mandatory, but a personal anecdote or a
narrative in the first person is a good way to go.
Queens language: Always write the GAMSAT essay in British
Give a title: Do not omit to give a good title to the essay. Try to
keep it crisp and catchy. The title should give a hint to the reader of what is
about to come without saying too much.
Stick to the structure: Structure your essay properly. There
should be a clear introduction, a body structure divided into several
paragraphs, and a conclusion. Keep the separate arguments in distinct
Choose the topic wisely: Choose a topic you have ample to say
about. Unless you have at least three to four arguments lined up, the essay will
merely become repetitive. Avoid repetition at all costs.
Avoid ambiguity: Do not be ambiguous anywhere. The examiner
should be in no doubt as to what your opinions are. An argumentative essay
often requires you to weigh the pros and cons in the debate; in such a
situation, make sure that you validate each and every point, both in for and
against the topic.
Dont leave unsupported hypothesis: Whatever hypotheses you
present, make sure you back it up with arguments and examples. Without
these, your stance claim remains unfounded.
Dont be repetitive: Dont repeat your arguments to lengthen
your essay. This applies to vocabulary and examples as well.


Reading List for Sections 1 and 2


Section 3 Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences


Classification of vignettes

1. NewtonS first Law, Newtons
Second Law and Newtons Third Law.
2. Vectors: vector addition , vector
subtraction, vector components, vector trigonometry.
3. Resolving forces into perpendicular
4. Normal Forces, Friction, Static and
Kinetic Forces.
5. Calculating forces on an inclined
6. Laws of Universal Gravitation: mass
and weight.
7. Calculating gravitational force
between two masses.

Linear Motion
1. Distance, Time, Speed,
Displacement, Velocity, Acceleration, Acceleration due to
gravity (g), Friction and Air resistance.
2. Graphical representation of linear
motion, including displacement-time and velocity-time graphs.
3. Kinematic relationship between
displacement, time, velocity and acceleration assuming constant
4. Analysis of graphs: calculating area
under the curve.
5. Separating motion into horizontal
and vertical components.
6. Understanding vertical motion.

7. Concepts and application of air

8. Calculating projectile motion.
Non-linear Motion
1. Concepts of angular displacement,
velocity and acceleration.
2. Relationship between angular
displacement, velocity and acceleration.
3. Graphing rotational motion:
calculation of radians and degrees.

Energy and Work

Concepts of work, power, kinetic and potential energy.
Concepts and application of concepts Law of
Conservation of Energy and Law of Conservation of Momentum.
Concepts of elastic and non-elastic collision.
Concepts of Elasticity and Hookes Law.
Calculation of elastic force and potential.
Concepts of Density, Pressure, Hydrostatic Pressure,
Atmospheric pressure, and Buoyancy.
Concepts of Archimedes Principle.
Concepts of surface tension.
Understanding the difference between cohesive and
adhesive forces.
Patterns of liquid flow (streamline, laminar flow and
turbulent flow).
Calculation of total hydrostatic pressure at depth.
Understanding effect of ice melting on water level.
Equation of continuity of liquid flow.
Understanding liquid flow through varying diameters.
10. Concepts of Bernoullis equation.
11. Application of Bernoullis equation.

Concepts of system, heat, temperature, specific heat
capacity, conduction and thermal conductivity, convection and
First Law of Thermodynamics, and Second Law of
Calculating of specific heat capacity and thermal
Understanding the relationship between pressure, volume
and work.
Understanding work done by a system or work done on a
system ...of varying volume and constant pressure.

1. Concepts of Coulomb's Law, electric
field and electric potential.
2. Calculating the magnitude of forces
between two point charges.
3. Calculating the electric field
strength around a point charge.
4. Calculating the electric potential of
a charge in an electric field.
Current electricity and Circuits

1. Concepts of Ohms Law: relationship between current,

voltage and resistance.
2. Understanding series and parallel circuits.
3. Concepts of electric power and energy.
4. Understanding the concepts of Kirchoffs Law.


1. Concepts of magnets: permanent, induced and

2. Concepts of magnetism, magnetic force, magnetic field,
magnetic induction and electromagnetism.
3. Understanding polarity of magnets and magnetic fields
around a bar magnet.
4. Calculating the magnitude of force on a moving charge in
an external magnetic field.
5. Understanding the mechanism of induction.
6. Calculating the direction and magnitude of force on a
current carrying wire in an external magnetic field.
7. Calculating the magnetic field created by current
carrying wires.

Concepts of Transverse waves: Peaks and Troughs,
Longitudinal waves: Compression and Rarefactions, frequency,
wavelength, period, amplitude, wave velocity, and node.
Concepts of superposition of waves: constructive and
destructive interference.
Concepts of standing waves.
Concepts of sound intensity, timbre, beats, and Doppler
Concepts of reflection, refraction, and Snells Law.
Concepts of simple harmonic motion, spring oscillator and
Concepts of relative sound intensity scale.
Understanding reflection and refraction of waves: Snells
Calculation of the time period and frequency of simple
Harmonic Motion.
10. Understanding the mechanics of simple pendulum.
11. Understanding the Doppler effect and calculating the
apparent frequency detected when the source is in relative motion.

Nuclear Physics

1. Concepts of atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons, atomic

number, mass number, isotopes, and Law of conservation of

2. Concepts of radiation: alpha particle, beta particle and

gamma radiation, half life, nuclear fission, fission chain reaction
and nuclear fusion.
3. Understanding the forces within an atom and their effect
on nuclear stability
4. Understanding the process of different types of
radioactive decay. Understanding the constituents, charge and
penetrance of different types of radiation.
5. Understanding the rate of radioactive decay is dependent
upon half-life.
6. Understanding nuclear fission and its role in generating
nuclear power.
7. Understanding the process of nuclear fusion.

Basic Math
1. Concepts of basic exponentials and
basic logarithms.
2. Understanding of linear graphs,
exponential and inverse graphs
3. Understanding the concepts of
interpolation and extrapolation in graphs.


Organic Chemistry
IUPAC nomenclature
Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes
Steric hinderance and Pi bond.
Understanding that cycloalkanes
forms bonds at angles that minimise the energy state of the
Conformations of cyclohexane (boat
and chair conformations).
Conformations of alkenes and
alkynes: understanding that steric hindrance results in cis
isomers being less stable than trans isomer.
Alcohols, Ethers, Aldehyde and Ketones

1. Hydrophilic, Lipophilic and Resonance.

2. Understanding the role of pi electrons in
resonance and the rules of resonance.
3. Understanding the role of H bonding in
determining the boiling point of alcohol
4. Understanding the change in physical
properties of alcohols as they get larger (e.g., solubility
in certain media, boiling point etc.)
5. Understanding the chemical properties of
alcohols (as Bronsted acids and bases, and as
6. Understanding the acidity of aldehyde due
to resonance.
Carboxylic acid, Esters, Amines
1. Understanding the acidity of carboxylic
Benzene compounds
Reaction mechanism:addition, substitution, elimination,
redox, rearrangement
1. Structural isomer, conformational isomer:
Newman projections
2. Isomers undergo inter-convertibility,
understanding that enantiomers have identical physical
property but different chemical reactivity.
1. Chirality, Enantiomer, Fischer projection,
Diastereomer, optical activity, Racemic compound and
meso compounds.
2. Representing compounds containing chiral carbon
with Fischer projections.
3. Understanding enantiomers polarise light towards
different directions (D or L).
4. Understanding that meso compounds are not
optically active.

5. Determining chiral configuration (determining R or

S nomenclature).
1. Determining the chirality (D or L) of
2. Concepts of Glycosidic linkage.
3. Understanding polysaccharides.
1. Concepts of Triglycerides.
2. Understanding saturated fatty acid vs unsaturated
fatty acid.
3. Concepts of saponification.
4. Understanding the effect of double bonds on
melting point and the typical phase of saturated and
non-saturated fatty acids at room temperature.
1. Concepts of amino acids, peptide bonds, Nterminal and C-terminal residue.
2. Concepts of zwitterion and isoelectric point, and
physical property of amino acids.
3. Understanding that the side chains determine the
chemical property of amino acids.
4. Understanding peptide bonds and their role in
protein formations.
5. Concepts of Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and
Quaternary structure of protein.
6. Understanding that secondary structure can be
either alpha helix or beta sheet.

Other lab techniques and structure determining methods

for organic compounds
1. Chromatography, Titration,
2. Basic understanding of IR-UV-visible spectroscopy
3. Basic understanding of NMR spectroscopy

4. Basic understanding of Mass spectroscopy


Physical Chemistry
Moles and Avogadros number, Stoichiometry
Bohr atom: speed of light, Plancks constant
Atomic Structure
1. Concepts of wave
mechanical atom, Principal quantum number, Angular
momentum quantum number, Magnetic quantum number
and Magnetic moment of the electron.
2. Understanding Bohr
atom with respect to the hydrogen atom: concepts of the
discrete atomic spectra of the hydrogen atom.
3. Understanding the
wave-mechanical model, orbital shapes, rules of electron
4. Understanding the
relationship between wavelength and frequency of
electromagnetic radiation, and calculating the energy of
a photon of a known frequency or wavelength.
Periodic Table
1. Understanding the structure of the periodic table
with regards to electron configuration.
2. Understanding periodic trends with regards to
atomic radius, ionic radius, ionisation energy and
3. Understanding the process of ionisation and the
direction with ionisation with regards to position on the
periodic table
4. Understanding the effect of periodic trends on the
strength of hydrogen halide acids
Chemical Bonding
1. Ionic bond, covalent bond (polar covalent bond),
metallic bonding
2. Intramolecular bonding: Hydrogen bonding,
permanent dipole-dipole attractions, temporary dipoledipole attractions

3. Concepts on electrical conductivity in metals

a. Understanding the geometrical arrangements of molecules.
Concepts of relative strengths of different types of intermolecular forces.
Chemical Kinetics and Chemical Equilibrium
1. Collision theory, Transition state theory, factors affecting
the reaction rate
2. Understanding the factors that affect the rate of the
reaction (i.e., orientation of the molecules and activation
3. Understanding that reaction rate is equivalent
quantitatively to the change in concentration of reactants and
4. Rate Laws: Forward and Backward Reaction
5. Understanding the factors that affect the reaction rate
(eg. concentration, surface area of the reactants, temperature
of the reaction)
6. Chemical Equilibrium, Reaction quotient, equilibrium
7. Determining the reaction quotient and calculating the
constant of equilibrium
8. Le Chateliers Principle
9. Applying Le Chateliers principle to determine the
direction of a reaction when a change occurs at equilibrium:
change in temperature at equilibrium, change in pressure at
equilibrium, change in volume at equilibrium, and change in
concentration at equilibrium.
10. Catalyst
Concepts that catalysts decrease the time taken to reach
equilibrium but does not change the equilibrium constant itself
1. Standard state, Enthalpy : Endothermic reaction,
exothermic reaction, entropy, Free energy: Gibbs Helmholtz
2. Understanding that enthalpy change determines the heat
of the reaction
3. Understanding factors that influence entropy and entropy
of reaction
4. Calculating free energy and determining the spontaneity
of a reaction.
1. Ideal Gas, Boyles Law, Charless Law, Gay-Lusacs Law,
Avogadros Law

2. Grahams Law of Effusion, Daltons Law of Partial

Pressures, Ideal Gas Law,
3. Universal Gas Constant, Real Gases
4. Understanding the differences between ideal gas and real
5. Understanding the impact of intermolecular forces and
molecular size on the pressure and volume of real gases
6. Understanding the relationship between pressure,
volume, temperature and quantity of gases
7. Understanding the relationship between temperature,
kinetic energy and average speed
8. Understanding the factors that affect rate of effusion.
1. Solid, liquid and Gases, Melting/ freezing point,
Evaporation and Condensation, Melting and Boiling Point,
Sublimination, Specific heat capacity, Triple point and Critical
2. Factors that influence the phase of substances
(temperature, pressure, and strength of intermolecular forces).
3. Understanding the phases and changes of phases at a
molecular level.
4. Enthalpy and entropy changes associated with phase
5. Calculating the energy requirements associated with
temperature changes of substances with defined specific heat
6. Understanding the temperature vs pressure diagrams in
the context of phases
7. Understanding why evaporation occurs temperature is
below boiling point

Solutions and Solubility

1. Solute, Solvent, Solubility
2. Molarity, Normality and Molality, Mole fraction
3. Solubility product, Common ion effect
4. Understanding that the polarity of the solvents
determines the type of solute that dissolves
5. Understanding that the process of dissolving can be either
an endothermic or exothermic process
6. Understanding the effect of temperature and pressure on
the solubility of solids and gases
7. Calculating ionic concentrations of a solute with a
defined solubility product

8. Concepts of the relationship between molality of a

solution on the boiling and freezing points
Acids and Bases
1. Acid and Conjugate base, Base and conjugate acid
2. Dissociation constant of acid, base and water
3. Definition of pH: concepts of acidity and basicity
4. Strong and weak acid, Strong and weak base
5. Acid dissociation constant (Ka), pKa, Base dissociation
constant Kb (pKb)
6. Buffer and Titration Curve
7. Understanding the dissociation of water and how it
affects hydrogen and hydroxide ion concentrations
8. Calculate pH from the hydrogen ion concentration
9. Concepts of periodic trends on the strength of acids and
10. Understanding factors that determine the strength of
11. Understanding that metal hydroxides are strong bases
while nitrogen bases are weak bases
12. Calculating the concentration of hydrogen ions (or pH) of
weak acids with defined pKa
13. Relationship between base constant and acid constant
14. Calculating the pH of weak bases


1. Understanding of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and
Nucleic acids.
2. Understanding the difference in structure and function
between carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.
3. Understanding the role of biomolecule in cell biology.

Catalyst, Activation Energy, rate of reaction.

Lock-and-key model, Induced-fit model, Transition state.
Michaelis-Menten Equation, Lineweaver-Burk Equation.
Concepts of enzymes as biological catalyst and protein.

5. Concepts of enzymes increase the rate of chemical

reaction by lowering the activation energy.
6. Understanding the induced-fit model used to explain the
function of an enzyme.
7. Understanding how enzymes stabilize the transition state
of reactants.
8. Understanding the Michaelis-Menten equation as a
mathematical model for enzyme kinetics.
9. Concepts of Lineweaver-Burk equation as an alternate
way to represent Michaelis-Menten equation and enzyme

1. Concepts of phospholipid membrane, nucleus,
mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, golgi
apparatus, cytoskeleton, intracellular signalling, and
2. Understanding the structure and function of cell
components: organelles and membranes.
3. Understanding how cell communicates with each other
via receptors, hormones and neurotransmitters.
4. Understanding cellular communication involves a cascade
intracellularly via receptors.
5. Understanding homeostatsis at both cellular and systemic

1. Concepts of ATP, glucose, glycolysis, Kerbs cycle,
anerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration.
2. Understanding the role of ATP as an energy molecule.
3. Understanding how the transfer of electrons allow for the
transfer of energy and bonding.
4. Understanding how glycolysis produces energy for a cell.
5. Understanding how the Krebs cycle generates energy for
a cell.
6. Understanding the differences between aerobic and
anaerobic respiration.

Cell Nucleus

1. Concepts of DNA, mRNA, tRNA, genes, introns, exons,

promoters, methylation, and histone acetylation.
2. Understanding how a gene is transcripted into mRNA.
3. Understanding how the cell nucleus controls protein
4. Understanding how mRNA is translated at ribosomes and
used to synthesise proteins.
5. Understanding the mechanism of gene regulation to
control a cell.
1. Understanding of G1 phase, S phase, G2 phase,
chromosomes, and mitosis: interphase, prophase, metaphase,
anaphase, and telophase.
2. Understanding the stages of a cell cycle and the stages of
1. Concepts of traits, alleles, genotype, phenotype,
Mendelian inheritance, Homozygous, Heterozygous, Dominant
genes, recessive genes, and Co-dominance.
2. Understanding the concept of Mendelian inheritance,
difference between genotype and phenotype, difference
between homozygous and heterozygous.
3. Concepts of dominant and recessive genes and their
pattern of inheritance.
4. Concepts of co-dominance of genes (eg. the ABO blood
group system).

1. Concepts of haploid, diploid, gametes, fertilization,
meiosis, and homologous chromosomal pairs.
2. Understand the gametes as formed through meiosis.
3. Concepts of chromosomal inheritance as related to
4. Understanding ploidy in gamete production.

Nervous System

1. Understanding neurons, axons, dendrites, myelin sheaths,

synapse, and action potential.
2. Understanding the structure and function of a neuron.
3. Understanding how action potentials are propagated
through a nerve.
4. Understanding the difference and importance of
myelinated versus unmyelinated nerve fibres.
5. Understanding that the nervous system can be divided
anatomically into the central and peripheral nervous systems.
6. Understanding that the nervous system can be divided
functionally into sensory and motor nervous system.
7. Understanding that the motor nervous system can be
divided into voluntary and involuntary subsystems.
8. Understanding that the involuntary motor nervous system
can be divided into the sympathetic nervous system and the
parasympathetic nervous system.

Gastrointestinal System

1. Mouth, Oesophagus, Stomach, Duodenum, Liver, Bile

duct, Pancreas, Small intestine, Large intestine, rectum,
digestion, Absorption, Villi, Microvilli, Hepatic Portal Vein,
Appetite, Vitamins and Minerals.
2. Understanding the role and function of each part of the
digestive system.
3. Understanding the importance of surface area for
4. Understanding that the hepatic portal vein carries
absorbed nutrients from the intestinal system to the liver.
5. Understanding that fatty acids are absorbed via different
6. Understanding how apetite is an interaction between the
brain and digestive system, facilitated by nerves and hormones.
7. Understanding the role of vitamins and minerals in body

Musculoskeletal System

1. Axial skeleton, Haversian system, PTH, Calcitonin,

Smooth Muscle, SkeletaL system, Antagonistic muscles,
myofibrils, sarcomere, actin, myosin, troponin, length-tension
relationship, Preload, Afterload, Isometric contractions, Isotonic
2. Concepts of the major bones of the body.
3. Understanding how bones are regulated by both PTH and
4. Identifying the major muscles of the body.
5. Understanding how muscles are grouped functionally.
6. Understanding the histological organisation of skeletal
7. Understanding that the sarcomere is smallest functional
contractile unit.
8. Understanding how actin, myosin and troponin interact
cyclically during sarcomere contraction.
9. Understanding the control of sarcomere contraction by
nerves and calcium ions.
10. Understanding the role of preload and afterload on
muscle contraction.
11. Distinguish between isometric and isotonic contractions.

Cardiovascular System

1. Atria, Ventricles, Valves, pulmonary Circulation, Systemic

Circulation, Arterioles, Capillaries, Venules, Veins,
Cardiomyocytes, cardiac cycle, SA node, AV node, Purkinje
fibres, Starling equation, Frank-Starling mechanism, Stroke
volume, Blood pressure.
2. Understanding the functional anatomy of the heart.
3. Distinguish anatomically and functionally veins from
4. Understanding the importance of pulmonary circulation,
and systemic circulation.
5. Understanding the intrinsic contractility of
6. Understanding how the heart rate is controlled and
7. Understanding how the hearts electrical signal is

8. Understanding the net flow of fluid across the capillary

wall is governed by the Starling equation.
9. Understanding how changes in stroke volume can be
accomplished by alterations in the venous return according to
the Frank-Starling mechanism.
10. Understanding how blood pressure is regulated via
baroreceptors neurally and hormones (ADH and RAAS).

Respiratory System

1. Trachea, Bronchi, Lungs, Bronchioles, Alveoli, Negative

Pressure, and Pulmonary Circulation.
2. Concepts of lung volumes: tidal volume, functional
residual capacity, inspiratory capacity, inspiratory reserve
volume, expiratory reserve volume, residual volume, vital
capacity, and total lung capacity.
3. Elastance, Surfactant, Dead Space, Alveolar Gas
Equation, ventilation, perfusion, RBC, and Haemoglobin.
4. Concepts of haemoglobin-oxygen dissociation curve.
5. Understanding breathing mechanics and the way lungs
work as negative pressure systems.
6. Understanding how lungs are designed for gas exchange.
7. Understanding how compliance and elastance of lung
tissue affects ventilation.
8. Understanding the role of surfactant in the alveoli and its
significance in respiratory distress syndrome.
9. Understanding the significance of the alveolar gas
equation in terms of all the factors that affect alveolar pO2.
10. Understanding how the anatomy and the vertical position
of the lung can affect both ventilation and perfusion.
11. Understanding the importance of RBCs in oxygen
transport and the properties of haemoglobin in both low and high
oxygen environments.
12. Understanding that lungs are the primary means of
getting rid of carbon dioxide from cellular metabolism.
13. Understanding the integration of neural, chemical and
sensory information in the control of respiration.
Renal System
1. Ureters, Medullary pyramids, Renal artery and Renal vein,
Nephron, Interstitial fluid and Extracellular fluid, Glomerular
filtration, Counter-current system.

2. Understanding the functional structure of a kidney:

cortex, calyx, renal pelvis, ureters, medullary pyramids, renal
artery and renal vein.
3. Understanding the function of nephron: the smallest
functional renal unit.
4. Understanding the role of lymphatics in draining
interstitial fluids.
5. Understanding the role of the kidneys in regulating the
amount of fluid in the body.
6. Understanding that fluid accumulation in the body signals
poor renal function, cardiac function and fluid balance.
7. Understanding the role of kidneys as an excretory system
for waste products.
8. Understanding that glomerular filtration is the first step
in the formation of urine and the role of Starlings force.
9. Understand how the counter-current system of the
nephron allows for regulation of urine concentration and volume.

1. Understanding the lymphatic, immune and endocrine
systems of animals
2. Understanding mechanisms governing behaviour in
3. Understanding the requirements for plant growth
4. Understanding photosynthesis
5. Recognising plant responses to environmental stimuli
6. Understanding viral replication mechanism
7. Understanding variation in gene pool
8. Understanding Lamarckian and Darwinian theories of
9. Understanding the mechanism of selection
10. Understanding the factors governing population size and
recognising patterns of growth
11. Understanding different form of community interaction
(competition, symbiosis, parasitism, mutualism, mimicry,
12. Understanding the components of an ecosystem-trophic
levels, energy pyramids, food webs, nutrient cycling.
13. Understanding the factors that influence the environment
and biosphere, including climatic factors and pollution.

Tips to Deal with Visual Stimulus Vignettes

1. Tests your ability to visualise, analyse and mould your
thought process in a time-effective way to arrive at the right
2. Apart from having sound prior knowledge, smart reading
of data provided in the vignette is required
3. Data Interpretation comprises of flowcharts, schematic
diagrams of metabolic pathways, circuit diagrams, graphs with
two or more variables, experimental data with certain values
and relevant units, organic reaction mechanisms, electronic
transitions etc.
4. Collate information from the vignette mentally and then
read the questions to see which parameter or variable is dealt
5. Graphical presentation of data is the most commonly
seen vignette in GAMSAT Section 3.
6. Graphs test your ability to relate variables and their
dependency on one another. Be careful to differentiate between
positive (direct proportionality) and negative slopes (inverse
7. In case of reaction mechanisms, carefully observe the
mechanistic arrows (reversible, irreversible, inhibition,
stimulation, attack by reactive species etc).
8. In case of graphs portraying motion or any other concept
in Physics, observe the magnitude (in case of scalar quantities)
and both magnitude and direction (in case of vector quantities).
9. Think of all the probable ways in which you can relate
the variables in the graph and then read the question to judge
the most apt way to solve it.
10. A three-step process to approach Data Interpretation
questions in GAMSAT is