Customer Stories

Scaling success for aspiring medical students with a custom exam simulator

Explore how Fraser’s GAMSAT prepared students with questions banks, formal mock exams, and courses.


About Fraser’s GAMSAT

Fraser’s GAMSAT is an Australian medical tutoring organisation that provides aspiring medical school applicants with exam preparation. The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is a standardised test designed to assess the capacity to undertake high-level intellectual studies in the medical and health professional programs.

We heard from Fergal, a key member of the Data & Automations team at Fraser’s, shedding light on Fraser's expansion goals and providing insight into the pivotal role Synap played in achieving them since 2020.

The challenge: Seeking a platform that supported a growing business

Fraser’s faced a critical hurdle in their quest for growth and expansion - having delivered face-to-face and online courses through the Thinkific Learning Management System (LMS), they were constrained by the limitations of their existing platform. The inability to seamlessly scale their operations and conduct live examinations became increasingly evident as their business grew.

Moreover, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic added urgency to the situation. The sudden restrictions necessitated a swift transition to online examinations, putting Fraser's in a position where they needed a reliable solution to ensure uninterrupted learning experiences for their students.

The solution: A unified and scalable platform, founded by doctors

Recognising the need for a robust and scalable platform, Fraser's turned to Synap. Synap, known for its comprehensive assessment and learning solutions, presented an opportunity for Fraser's to not only move their exams online but also consolidate their courses onto a unified platform.

Furthermore, Synap's unique value proposition is enriched by the extensive expertise of its founders, both of whom are qualified doctors. James, serving as the CEO, and Omair, the CTO, established Synap during their time in medical school.

Their firsthand experience with the challenges encountered by medical students inspired the inception of Synap, to improve the learning and exam experience and make it more engaging and impactful. The founders' deep understanding of the intricacies of medical education positions Synap as a specialised and trusted ally for Fraser's in their quest for educational excellence.

Quick onboarding: Streamlining the migration for a swift launch

Transitioning from one system to another can often seem challenging and time-consuming. Nevertheless, Fraser’s were impressed by the Synap’s team to offer advice and support with this migration process.

Using the CSV question importer, Fraser’s efficiently uploaded 2,000 questions from Thinkific to Synap, bypassing the need for extensive manual work. This streamlined approach not only saved considerable time but also empowered Fraser's to swiftly onboard onto Synap. As a result, they were able to seamlessly launch their exams for students, ensuring a smooth transition without any disruptions.

Tailored learning: Empowering students to create personalised quizzes from question banks

Fraser’s maximises Synap's robust features to deliver comprehensive question banks, live mock exams, and courses to their students.

With the question banks presented in Synap’s Collections, students harness Synap's dynamic filtering system to craft personalized quizzes tailored to their specific needs. This user-friendly approach enables learners to select specific question tags, such as subject, topic, sub-topic, difficulty, and skill, allowing them to curate targeted quizzes aligned precisely with their learning needs.

This customised approach not only enhances learning efficiency but also establishes a personalised pathway for continual improvement. It grants students the autonomy to create quizzes according to their preferences and frequency, whilst reducing the workload for tutors by eliminating the need to personalise quizzes for each student.

This feature empowers students to take charge of their learning journey while ensuring a more efficient and personalised educational experience.

Elevating question practice: Synap's intelligent Spaced Learning algorithms

To enhance the learning experience for Fraser’s students, they harnessed the power of Synap’s sophisticated Spaced Learning algorithms for question practice.

This cutting-edge algorithm actively monitors each question attempted by learners, leveraging Spaced Repetition principles to craft a customised daily quiz that addresses individual strengths and weaknesses, which in turn, boosts long-term knowledge retention of complex medical information.

This tailored learning approach empowers users to focus on questions aligned with their current learning stage, eliminating the uncertainty and time inefficiencies associated with deciding what to prioritise.

Creating realistic exam experiences: A custom-built simulator for formal mock exams

Driven by the goal of closely mirroring the real-life exam conditions of the medical University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) exam, Fraser’s sought to enhance their mock exams.

In collaboration with Frasers, we embarked on a collaborative journey, culminating in the development of a bespoke UCAT exam simulation tool by Synap. This meticulously crafted tool serves as a pixel-perfect recreation of the actual exam, providing students with an authentic testing environment.

The custom simulation tool plays a pivotal role in enhancing students' confidence for the formal exam, offering a true-to-life experience that closely replicates what they will encounter on the actual exam day. This innovative solution ensures that students are well-prepared and familiar with the exam conditions, ultimately contributing to a more effective and comprehensive exam preparation process.

Streamlined exam marking: Utilising the intuitive marking dashboard

With Fraser’s formal mock exams, these tests consist of a diverse range of question types, including multiple-choice (MCQs), extended-matching questions (EMQs), and written responses.

For MCQs and EMQs, Synap's automated marking functionality proves instrumental, alleviating tutors from the time-consuming task of manual marking.

Meanwhile, the written responses find their evaluation home in Synap's built-in marking dashboard. This comprehensive tool empowers tutors to effortlessly view the associated mark scheme, facilitating a guided grading process. Using rubric marking, tutors can accurately allocate marks and, if necessary, provide personalised feedback to the candidates.

This integrated solution ensures a unified and efficient approach to exam marking within a singular platform, optimising time and enhancing the overall assessment experience for both tutors and students.

Elevating course delivery: Greater structure for enhanced learning

A main factor for Fraser’s drive to switch from Thinkific to Synap was the rigidity of their previous LMS for delivering courses. Their platform felt cluttered, so they wanted a more intuitive solution that would facilitate a cleaner and more structured arrangement of their teaching modules.

Enter Synap's Collection folders – a game-changer for Fraser’s. This feature enables them to systematically group theory items, including videos, documents, quizzes, and more, into a cohesive Collection for students to engage with. The added functionality of organising these Collections into folders has granted Fraser’s the flexibility to structure their content efficiently.

This capability has empowered Fraser’s to provide pre- and post-workshop materials seamlessly, in a decluttered landscape, which enhances the overall student learning experience, as Fergal highlights:

“The platform structure (Library items placed into Collections) make multiple course variations very easy - saving significant amounts of time.”


Reporting excellence: Synchronising Synap’s data with custom reporting tools via APIs

In addition to the variety of in-platform analytics tools available to tutors and students, Fraser’s has taken a step further by incorporating their own custom reporting tool external to Synap, which combines Synap data with data from other resources.

Fraser’s harnessed the power of Synap’s APIs to facilitate this automatic transmission of data to their custom reporting tool. This integration ensures the constant updating of student performance data, providing tutors with real-time insights to deliver timely support.

By embracing this API-driven approach, Fraser’s not only enriches their reporting capabilities but also ensures a dynamic and synchronised flow of reporting data.


Optimising operational workflows: Harnessing the power of integrations

Fraser’s has strategically employed a range of Synap’s integrations to automate tasks to enhance efficiency, as well as to offer seamless communication across their educational ecosystem.

Firstly, to optimise their operational workflows, they have used Zapier to automate a variety of tasks. This includes automating essay marking, sending custom emails to tutors when new scores are available, as well as emailing students with weekly performance updates, offering valuable insights into their progress.

In a commitment to data synchronisation across various internal tools, Fraser’s has also used Segment, a tool under the Twilio umbrella. This integration ensures seamless connectivity of Synap data with numerous internal tools. The ease of connection, with no coding needed, positions Segment as an ideal solution, facilitating a harmonised flow of data across their entire toolkit. Reflecting on this strategic integration, Fergal underscores its impact, stating:

Synap’s Pros: “Extensive Integrations with Zapier and Segment. This streamlines administrative approach (e.g. automated enrolment) and gives us incredibly in-depth insights into platform usage.”

To enhance communication and support mechanisms, Fraser’s integrates Intercom into their Synap platform. This integration allows them to promptly address student queries, providing real-time support and outreach. This personalised interaction fosters an environment of timely assistance, contributing to an enriched user experience.

Forward momentum: Four years of growth

Since 2020, Fraser’s has embarked on a remarkable journey of continual expansion with Synap, extending their question banks, simulated mock exams, and courses to aspiring medical students.

As we venture into the future, Fraser’s and Synap are poised for a collaborative exploration into the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The aim is to leverage the power of AI in automating the essay question marking process, a strategic initiative designed to substantially alleviate the workload for tutors.

Reflecting on the journey thus far, the sentiment echoed by Fraser’s team using Synap resounds with positivity, as Fergal shares his thoughts:

“Easily the best Learning Platform I have worked with or interacted with."

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