Tips for doing well in GAMSAT Essays
As one of the three sections of the GAMSAT exam the argumentative and personal essays can make a big difference in the success or failure of your med school application. Even if you think you’re quite a good essay writer then squeezing out two quality essays in an hour is still quite an achievement. We’ve written this article to give you some tips on doing well in the essays.
Tip One: Be informed
With the argumentative essay you will be demonstrating a keen intellect and knowledge of the world. If you’ve got nothing to say and no idea about current affairs you’re not going to produce a good essay. There’s no excuse not to get to know what’s happening on the news. The Internet is filled with many news aggregators, portals for official news channels and then of course hard copy newspapers are still a great source of news.
Tip Two: Learn useful quotes and facts
When presenting your argument you can’t just write any old nonsense, you’ll be needing to back up your opinions with facts and even figures. That means that in your preparation in the weeks prior to GAMSAT you’ll not only be learning about current affairs but also looking for useful information to use in your essay.
If for example you’re writing on “How modern society lacks morals”, if you’re able to add in a real fact such as “25 percent of people are agnostics” your essay will look so much more credible. As a clincher if you’ve than remembered a quote that you’re able to bring in it really makes you look worldly,informed and professional. You of course don’t know what to expect topic wise,but it just takes a little bit of imagination to structure your opinion around these quotes Ian’s facts you’ve memorised.
Tip Three: Basic essay structure
Whether you’re a couple of years or even a decade or two out of formal schooling your essay writing skills might be rusty. Remember you’re supposed to be showing a fine mind, that means that your essay must back up your ideas in logical ways. If you’ve never been a great essay writer or are massively out of practice we suggest just keeping things simple.
A clear introduction, a body that develops your argument and works in those facts and opinions you need to include followed by a great summing up with your conclusion, should keep your thoughts nice and tidy and organised.
Now, we’ll go more into depth on how to develop your arguments further and give you advice on how best to approach essays that need a personal perspective.
The Written Communication part of GAMSAT, i.e. the GAMSAT essay section, is set up on two sets of quotations on general topics. You are expected to write two compositions on these sets of quotations. The time given is 30 minutes for each essay. It is better to think of it as two essays to be written in an hour so that you have the flexibility of time while writing.
One may argue that an hour is barely enough to write two logically coherent essays. The aspirants in the past have maintained such tight schedule, so it is possible for you to complete in an hour. All you need is a practiced hand at making the general structure of the essay stand out. Master your skill in breaking up your ideas into a smart introduction, coherent argumentative body and a strong conclusion. This will help in saving time to complete two GAMSAT essays at ease.
It is very important to read the quotes carefully
Often a set of quotes reflect two opposite principles. You must determine them before penning down. Also, the paper states you can choose to respond to one or more quotes. Get opposing principles clearly marked out, and you can pick more than one quote nicely tied together in your final structure. There should be no disjointed point crammed into a single composition in a GAMSAT essay.
Your essay can draw parallels and differences between the principles reflected from the quotes. Don’t forget to refer to the quotes in building a central cohesive argument. Use proper references while including some external quotes pertinent to your argument. Often use of objective personal experience back up your argument. You may also draw in relevant current affairs to validate your argument.
Your essay will be reviewed and evaluated in tight time. If you cannot stand out loud and clear, the finer points will get ignored.
A GAMSAT essay demands strongly woven argumentative text. If you can justify your essay with substantiated reasoning, being polemic here is acceptable. A point to remember – you won’t be judged on your views. The examiner will test your ability to articulate thoughts with substantial historical/ current evidences. Collate the above points, write a sensible piece and you’ll get a winning score!