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May 29, 2024, 09:07:08 am

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« on: March 11, 2020, 04:11:26 am »
Hi all, what material to use for preparing for GAT ?


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Re: material
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2020, 07:44:57 am »
You don't need to study for the GAT. However, if you want to have a look at some past exams so that you know what to expect, you can find them here.
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Re: material
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 07:16:51 pm »
Hi averageroger, I just wanted to share my thoughts on preparation for the GAT. As the author of the Checkpoints guide for the GAT (https://www.cambridge.edu.au/education/titles/Cambridge-Checkpoints-VCE-GAT-2020/#.Xnm9VIgzY2w) and having achieved perfect scores on each of the three sections of the GAT, I feel well placed to offer advice regarding this exam.

While it is true that the GAT is largely a test of aptitude, I disagree that it is not possible to be well prepared for the exam. I think the GAT will be especially important in 2020 given the unfortunate and turbulent circumstances of this year, so I would advise you to look through and attempt past papers when you have time (perhaps during the Term 1 break). As I am sure you are aware, the GAT tests three categories of skills: mathematics and science reasoning, arts and humanities reasoning (both in the form of multiple-choice questions), and writing. For the maths and science questions, the key to success is effective problem solving, in that you will need to often read through complex graphs, tables and other forms of quantitative information to reason through a problem. While the skills you have gained at school will be useful, the GAT is often more like other standardised tests (like the UCAT or the GAMSAT) than the VCE, in that the questions are often creative applications of relatively basic ideas.

For the reading comprehension questions, be sure to read the texts thoroughly (before looking at the questions), and try to gain a holistic understanding of the material. You will need to ascertain the meaning of vocabulary in context, as well as understand narrative, persuasive and rhetorical devices used by the author. The genres of texts that are covered in the exam are very diverse, so the skills you need are once again far more generic than specific. To prepare for this section, try to read widely (both fiction and non-fiction) and informally analyse passages from your texts closely, thinking about what messages the author is conveying and how he or she achieves this. These general skills will be invaluable in any humanities subject (e.g. English, Literature, History, etc...).

The two essay tasks test quite different skills: the first requires you to summarise a large amount of material on a given topic, while the second is a point-of-view essay task. I think what is quite enjoyable about these tasks is the flexibility to write in virtually any style, something that gives you a lot of creative licence to put forth your ideas. For the first task, the key is to find common threads that link the stimulus material. For example, in one of the years, the material was based on the general theme of 'music', and you could have potentially synthesised the material into the themes of cultural, social and economic impact. In the second task, the focus is much more on presenting a well-reasoned opinion, and the key here is to write engagingly and use creative examples to substantiate your viewpoints.

Finally, in terms of preparation resources, I would recommend using the Checkpoints guide that I wrote, in which I provide much more detailed advice on all aspects of the GAT, as well as detailed solutions and sample essays for all past GAT papers. Try out the past papers and compare your answers and solution strategies with those that I have provided. You will certainly start to see patterns in the question types and be more confident going into the actual exam. While the strategies that I have shared will by no means be a perfect fit for all students, I hope they are useful in guiding you with your preparation for the exam.

Best of luck for the GAT and the rest of your VCE this year, and feel free to ask me anything if there is any advice that you might need. 

2014: Mathematical Methods [46]
2015: Specialist Mathematics [48], UMEP Extension Mathematics [5.0]
2016: French [50 + Premier's Award], Biology [50]
2017: English [50 + Premier's Award], Physics [48]
ATAR: 99.95
Author: Cambridge Checkpoints VCE French and Cambridge Checkpoints VCE GAT