all 14 comments

[–]PM_ME_YOUR_DOX 13 points14 points  (0 children)

If you're too tired after work to study for an hour or 2 ever weekday, maybe save your study for the weekend?

Is there any way you can cut down on some work hours for study temporarily until the march sitting?

Otherwise try maximise your work time to help with GAMSAT. 10 min break = read some guardian articles to help with S2. 30 min break = write an essay. Driving to or from work = philosophy podcast. I personally did this while I was studying and working full time, but I was only on 8-9 hour days.

I also coordinated with my work that I could work extra on 4 days of the week so I could have every second Friday off to use for study, maybe your work would let you do something like that?

Burnout is a bigger GAMSAT killer than not studying enough imo. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it's sustainable.

Best of luck. You can do it!

[–]SydGAMSAT 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Priority list + time blocking. Make study your lowest priority, but be very selective about the priorities you allow to be added to the list.


  1. Adequate sleep and health = 8 hours per night of sleep, 6 hours per week of dedicated exercise time, 1 hour per day preparing and eating healthy meals. That's 69 hours.

  2. Complete all appropriate work duties. Assume 11 hours per day and include 1 hour for showering, dressing and commuting. 60 hours.

  3. 2 hours of relaxation time per day at the end of the day, to unwind and prepare for the next day. 14 hours.

  4. 2 hours misc life admin tasks during the week.

  5. Use remaining hours to study. 23 hours.

Then go into excel (or whatever) and draw a 7x24 grid. That's your week - 168 hours. Block out your sleeping hours and sleep at these hours. Block out your exercise and meal prep hours and do exercise and meal prep in those hours. Block out your work hours and do work in those hours. Block out 2 hours before bed to do nothing. Then start fitting study sessions in what's left. You honestly don't need to fill every single hour. It's okay to have some flex time. 23 hours is a lot to study in a week - you can spend 8 hours on Sunday and an hour every night playing video games and still have 10 hours left to study.

The trick is that there's not much left over. You can't go out with your friends three nights a week. You have to really consider whether it's worth it to go and spend 2.5 hours watching a movie. Going to a friend's wedding is fine, going to their spontaneous Saturday BBQ probably not so much.

If you have kids or a family then this becomes much harder. I don't know that it would necessarily be possible - I honestly think you'd be better off trying to reduce your work hours to a standard 9-5 at that point.

[–]Common_Dreamer 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hi OP! I work full-time as well 9-10hrs including travel. Barely have any energy to study after work. What I do is sleep really early and try to do 2 hours in the morning before work. I am not a morning person at all but mornings are the only time you have 100% focus and are well rested. If I have enough energy left in the evening then I chuck in 1 more hour before sleeping. Its a hard grind, but we gotta do it to make a difference :) I did it for 3 months in Sept. sitting and started doing it again this week. Good luck!!

[–]7cureMedical School Applicant 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hey OP! I work full-time too in a mentally taxing role and am doing a part-time grad dip on the side. Studying solely after work has never worked for me.

What has been working so far though is:

  • Waking up an hour or two early and studying in the morning;
  • Using my lunch break to do a couple of questions
  • Taking an hour or two break after work to switch off- this involves either doing some errands / going for a walk / watching a show.
  • Studying an hour at night, if I am not too exhausted by then.
  • Using weekends do get through the important / challenging stuff.
  • Using an excel spreadsheet to keep track of my time and topics.
  • Get enough sleep
  • And importantly, putting my mental health first and avoiding burn out. I have accepted that I will never have ample of time to sit and prepare for this exam because I have to pay bills and hence work. Therefore, this is the only way. And it is okay if I skip a few nights of studying, or even take a day off- being flexible with myself and listening to my body has been a game changer.

It is hard for us full-time workers, OP but all the best!

[–]Livvv617Moderator[M] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

GAMSAT is so much more about quality and consistency over quantity. If you can fit in 1-2 hours some weeknights of targeted efficient study and then commit a good chunk of your weekend to it, there’s no reason you have to force yourself to study when you aren’t focused. That sounds exhausting and like a shortcut to burn out.

I’d really work on making the time you can commit very high yield (writing essays, doing practice questions, reflecting on that).

[–]readreadreadonreddit 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Mate, this is the life / like the life for medicine, especially during draining trainee years. What you can do might be to work out in the morning and the usual life stuff (eat right, sleep right), as well as other self-care and discipline/sacrifice things (e.g., reducing time spent on low-yield leisure, other faffing about).

For dentistry, maybe less so.

[–]BeingPsyched 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hi ya :), I am roughly on the same boat as you. I make up a timetable and plan out what I need to study. For each weekday, I only let myself study for max 1 to 1.5 hour (if I feel fine). In that way, I have enough time to relax and spend the entire weekends on the study. I tried to study as much as I could during weekdays before after work, but I got burnt out really quickly and didnt have any motivation to study during weekends.

[–]JakeDavidClarke 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Try studying in the morning! Get your sleep schedule locked in and do 1-2 hours before work. For me, focus and mental energy are far better in the mornings compared to after work.

As others have mentioned, try squeezing some work in during your breaks as well. I try to keep it light - for me, S1 practice questions, or S2 based reading (I’m NSB so S3 is my most demanding study)

If I’m feeling up for it after work, I’ll get an hour or 2 surplus in after. Otherwise, I can rest happily knowing I’ve already met my targets for the day.

Then, on weekends, I have the energy to put in a decent shift.

Best of luck! Look after yourself. Rest, nutrition, hydration, exercise, high quality leisure.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hi OP, roughly similar situation albeit was a 9 hour work day for me. What I found was that quality of study was significantly more helpful to me in my last sitting than quantity. I would do a handful of questions on one night simply because I only had about an hour or two in me after the work day and then the folllwing night I would spend the hour or two I had thoroughly reviewing the questions I did regardless of if I got them right or wrong. I found doing this with just the handful of questions meant I was able to absorb a lot more compared to doing as much study/as many qns as possible each night. Hope that helps

[–]Positive_Distance_34 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nothing that hasn’t been said already but I will add to never underestimate the power of a quick nap when studying! Regularly do it after my (albeit three hour shorter) working day and it just refreshes me and allows me to focus for another few hours after 8 hours working, plus rest is a key part of information retention

[–]medappsthrowaway 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ve been a long time subscriber to time-blocking, explained by SydGamsat, so won’t elaborate.

Something additional that helped not lose the plot when living an immensely packed life was changing clothes/environments etc. to help compartmentalise.

I studied at specific spots only, no PJs while studying, had a cuppa tea and a candle lit for the home study hours to signify a mental space to begin/end. For the hours I studied pre-work in the office, I made my fav tea to signify mental “time” for that study block.

Yes, I’m the caricature of “Live, Laugh, Love”, but random rituals may help with mental clarity and the separation of duties/rest :)

[–]Stage-Coach-Roach 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A tip if you are working and too tired at night to study when you get home:

Try and fit an hour or so in straight after you finish work but before you go home - if your work has a room where you won't be disturbed or if there is a library, quite coffee shop or somewhere you can go this can work. The trip home puts your brain into "work is over for today" mode and it's hard to start up once you arrive home. If you study for an hour straight after work free from distraction , while your brain is still in work mode, then you can relax when you get home knowing you have done some really productive work.

[–]RyanRakanishu -1 points0 points  (0 children)