Medical School Loans And The GAMSAT
Are you worried with the fact that your child has opted for medical education which is quite a high-ticket option and you won’t be able to support it? Think no more when medical school loans are around to help your offspring execute his or her dream to become a medical professional.
Medical student loan consolidation is quite an easy option for you. You can make best use of medical student loans rendered by both state sponsored organizations and private lenders.
Many people are of the opinion that availing a medical student loan means to be in debt for years. Such burden on the shoulders of the young students may affect their studies. But this is not so. Today repayment of medical loans is quite flexible and easy. Medical school student loans are furnished by federal sponsored programs like National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program. This NHSC is a very good plan for medical students who want financial aid to conclude their studies and meet all medical education expenses.
NHSC loan program is financed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service.
Such national student loans for medical school programs are based on ‘support for service’ plan. Repayment of national financial aid is very casual. Any student who obtains such loan has to commit to serve government run health organizations or similar health care units for a few years. This way the loan amount disbursed to a student gets deducted and you become free from debt too. National loan programs also offer medical residency loans to students who want to pursue higher education and do specialization.
The amount of medical student loan sanctioned varies from lender to lender. Most of them cover full expenses of medical studies including tuition fee, books expenses and person’s monthly stipends. The interest rates on financial aid for medical students also differ from lender to lender. Usually medical school private loan has higher rate of interest than a state or federal sponsored loan. Besides the NHSC loans and other state sponsored loans you can take Stafford medical loans. There are two types of graduate Stafford student medical loans. One is subsidized Stafford Loan which is awarded based on the financial need of the student where interest is not charged till you start your repayment. And the other one is unsubsidized Stafford Loan. This is available for all students without financial need and the interest begins from the time the loan is disbursed.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) too offers different types of loans to medical students. When private medical loans charge too high interest rates, such loans from state sponsored organizations serve as a better option. You must take care of repayment of medical student loans as well. Make a proper plan and opt for those loans which offer you a flexible and affordable repayment plan. Various medical schools have facilitated counseling on medical school loans for parents and guardians to help them get easy loans without any difficulty. They guide them on rules and regulations regarding the repayment too. You would want to be sure you take up enough practice exams before doing the actual exams so that you don’t have to pay to repeat the entire course once again. Many students these days take up GAMSAT practice tests in order to avoid failing and re-borrowing again to redo the entire course.
What Is GAMSAT
GAMSAT is an abbreviation of Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test.
Like its name infers, GAMSAT is a prequalification test which is required for admission into Australian medical schools. Australian med schools use GAMSAT scores to partly gauge a prospective student’s qualification for their Graduate Entry Programmes. These include courses such medicine, physiotherapy, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry among many other medical courses. In regards to medical studies in Australia, there are a number of universities which offer graduate level medicine and medicine related courses. All of these have GAMSAT as a prerequisite for admission. Examples of notable Australian universities offering medicine and related programmes include:
�The University of Melbourne
�The University of Queensland
�The University of Sidney
�The University of Notre Dame
�The University of Wollongong
�Others (there are a total of 11 Australian universities using the GAMSAT med school admission basis).
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GAMSAT for British and Irish Medical Schools
It’s important to understand that it’s not only Australian grad schools which use GAMSAT to admit medical students, British and Irish universities use it too. It is in fact safe to assume that all British and Irish universities use GAMSAT scores to admit students into their Graduate medical programmes. For entry into medical programmes in institutions such as Cardiff and Exeter, a student must have sat and passed a GAMSAT exam.
British and Irish universities adopted GAMSAT in 1999, they apparently went for it upon seeing its efficacy as a student selection tool in Australia.
GAMSAT was first introduced by Australia in 1995. It was originally only used by 4 institutions until later on when the number increased to 11.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that GAMSAT is a reasoning based test and not a knowledge based test. Western universities generally tend to place more focus on a student’s ability to think on and analyse situations. They encourage their students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. This may be a contrast to cases where institutions only focus on imparting knowledge on their students.
Now on to the format of GAMSAT, the test comprises of three parts. These are:
1. Biology and Chemistry: – This is tested at the level of Australia first year university.
2. Physics – is tested at the 12th grade Australian level.
3. English – HSC standard level
GAMSAT seeks to assess students’ reasoning through essay as well as general styled questions. A GAMSAT exam paper is also divided into three parts. This is as follows:
Section I: This is a humanities and social sciences section. It comprises of 75 questions over 100 minutes.
Section II: This is the essay section. You will be required to write 2 essays in 1 hour. This part assesses your written communication as well as analytical abilities.
Section III: The last section is dedicated to science. Here, you answer 110 questions on physical science. You will have 170 minutes to do this.
GAMSAT exams are conducted in a day. Students arrive at the examination center at 8am and may not leave until as late at 4pm.
GAMSAT exams begin with Section I and II tests in the morning hours. Students are then given a 1 hour lunch break after which they come back for the last section. GAMSAT is run by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research). Students’ scores are based on their performance on all the three sections. Percentile ranks may be given and in some cases double weighting of Section III.
Preparing for a GAMSAT exam
In order to be eligible to sit a GAMSAT exam, you first of all need to have an undergraduate degree. In case you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you need to be at least in your last year of university by the time you’re sitting the exam. Additionally, you’re also required to be a bona fide applicant of the course you’re seeking admission in.
To prepare for a GAMSAT exam, you’ll need to read well in advance and ready yourself for questions. Depending on your situation, you can choose to prepare for the test independently or seek assistance from tutors. There are a number of licensed aptitude test tutors in major cities across the world. These tutors offer coaching in various tests including GAMSAT. The advantage of enrolling at a tutoring center is that you’ll get assistance with most of the details including GAMSAT preparation, exam enrolment and so on.
Furthermore, you can also prepare for GAMSAT using library and internet resources. Just make sure you’re adequately prepared before the exam finally comes by.
Benefits of taking GAMSAT
GAMSAT helps you gain admission into prestigious medical schools in Australia and also the UK. Medical schools in this countries use your GAMSAT scores to determine your eligibility. Once you pass their minimum GAMSAT score threshold, you’re likely to be invited for a further interview and if successful secure a place with them. It’s important to know however that your admission isn’t solely dependent on passing GAMSAT. The medical colleges also assess students using other basis such as GPA scores, personality, extracurricular involvements etcetera.
All in all, GAMSAT offers you a chance to build your knowledge and to have a whole new experience.