Some of the GAMSAT Section 1 questions deal with proverbs and quotations. These are the types of vignettes you are likely to encounter in the exam: standalone quotes by luminaries, proverbs and adages, quotations accompanying cartoons/poems/passages or a set of conflicting quotes.
Apparently easy, they might not be so in practice. So, here are a few tips to help you deal with such questions in the test.
1. Interpret in context
A proverb or a quotation might accompany a separate image or prose/poetry passage. In such cases, you must interpret the quotation/proverb in context. These vignettes in fact are easier; because of the fact that you actually have a hint of what the quotations mean.
2. Relate both/all vignettes
Relate both the quote/proverb and the image/prose/poetry to see how they fit each other. Once you understand the context, interpretation of the statement will become much easier.
3. Process of elimination
A problem that you will face with proverbs and quotations you are not familiar with, and those that do not accompany a passage or image, is the lack of context. The best you can do here is to eliminate the options and pick the one that seems closest to the statement.
4. Read a lot
That is the only way to become familiar not only with a variety of famous quotations, but with a variety of ways to express a thought. A quotation, or a proverb, after all, is only a way of expression that remains valid even when taken out of context.
5. Read the question carefully
This is essential. Check whether the question requires you to look for the opposite of the given proverb, or for something similar. The question might as you what the proverb is not, or is.
6. They might come as options
Yes, this is a possibility you must look out for. The question might pertain to a prose passage, poetry or a cartoon, but the options might come as proverbs or quotations. Relate the given proverbs to the situation to see which suits best, or doesn’t, depending on the question.
7. Avoid using prior knowledge
Often, the vignette mentions the speaker of the quotation. Even if you are familiar with the personality, do NOT use your knowledge in the question. Any inference on the basis of your prior knowledge is not only unnecessary in this context, but is highly likely to be incorrect as well.
8. Use the background, if any
Sometimes the quote might be accompanied by a background. The author might be mentioned, along with some details of his/her life. Keep in mind that it has been given for a reason, and you must relate the information with the quote to analyse correctly.
9. Guess smart
If the quote doesn’t ring a bell at all, look at it objectively. What are the images that come to you by way of interpretation? Check if any fits any of the given options.
10. Read closely
Much like a poem, a quotation might be convoluted, hiding complex meanings behind the simplest words. So look at it carefully. Look at the words used, and see if any stand out by way of appropriateness or the lack thereof.
Image source: worldofproverbs.com