10 Tips for GAMSAT Section 1 Questions: Cartoons

Cartoons in GAMSAT Section 1 questions can often pose as some of the toughest. They come in the following formats: cartoons/sketches/photographs with captions, cartoons/sketches/photographs without captions, cartoons/sketches with speech bubble and cartoons/sketches without speech bubble.

Here are some tips to deal with GAMSAT Section 1 cartoon questions:

1.    Be on a sharp lookout for details

Remember that every tiny bit of detail in the cartoon is there in order to draw your attention to something. Every object and person in a cartoon is significant.

2.    Every cartoon has a message to convey

It might be a political issue, like some new policy formulated by the government that the cartoonist is opposing. Or, it might be a social issue. The cartoon is sure to have some conspicuous detail, a glaring clue to the message.

3.    Note the characters

Are the characters humans, animals or inanimate objects? Are they performing unusual roles? All these help in analyzing the underlying meaning.

4.    Facial features and other details

If there is an exaggeration of the facial features of the caricature, or some detail in the attire or expression, it is a dead giveaway of the message. It is very likely that the cartoonist has exaggerated the detail in order to better express the thought. It definitely has a very close connection to the story.

5.    Semblance to other creatures

Often, the caricatures of people bear a close semblance to an animal. This is a very common trick, and the choice of the animal definitely points to some characteristic aspect of the person depicted that the cartoonist attempts to highlight. Sometimes, the artist uses animals behaving like humans to bring out a certain idea.

6.    Labels or names

Often, the cartoonist labels an object or a person -in short, a feature- in the cartoon. The label is important because it acts as a very big clue to the interpretation of the cartoon. It is likely that the cartoonist chose to label that particular component in the cartoon to make the message clearer.

7.    Accompanying quote/passage

Often, a quotation or a passage, or both accompany an image. In your interpretation of the image, take into account these as well. Both media are definitely closely connected.

8.    Look out for symbols

The cartoonist might use symbols to bring out the message. For instance, the flag of a country might represent freedom. Look out for such symbols.

9.    Relate

Cartoons usually have a message to convey. Look at the cartoon and try to relate it to an event which made a significant impact on a national/global scale.

10.   Stay updated

Of course, this is highly essential. Make sure you are aware of what is going on around you to be able to recognise the issue in the cartoon.

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