The essays you are expected to write for GAMSAT are often the most difficult part of the paper for many students. However if you understand the fine art of composing an essay this task becomes a lot easier. In this article we shall deconstruct for you the basics of an essay to help you understand how to approach it at GAMSAT.
First off, understand what an essay is. An essay is a specific kind of written answer to a specific question that communicates your perspective about the question to the reader. Essays must have three main sections:
- An introduction
- A body
- A conclusion
Let’s examine these three sections individually as the structure of these is important in GAMSAT Section II.
The introduction is usually the first ten percent of the total word count of your essay. This section sets the stage by conveying how you have understood the question and how you choose to answer it. It is essentially a thesis statement that tells your reader what claims you are going to make to justify your thesis. Remember to start with an impact, your examiner will have marked hundreds of essays already, if not more, be unique and professional with a strong introduction to ensure your work stands out.
The body of the essay must be nearly eighty percent of your argument. Here you develop your thesis and while you may start this with some basic definitions and clarifications, you are expected to build up to a more complex matrix that will help you in arriving at your answer or thesis.
The conclusion is the rest of the essay. This is often similar to the introduction because this too restates the question, reviews what you have argued for or against in the body and conveys how logical you have been in the thesis.
As an accepted saying about essay writing goes, “tell them what you are going to tell them (introduction), tell it (body) and then tell them what you just told them (conclusion)”.
You must realise that in GAMSAT you are being judged on your own ability to reason and think clearly, and not on how you can recall other people’s thoughts. Hence your essay must not be a repetition of how other people have voiced opinions or how the media has interpreted situations. You have to take a stand and defend it through logical arguments. You are expected to show some reference to other commentators but at the end it must be your own opinion that you convey in the essay.
Also remember that the GAMSAT essay is not a polemic. You are not expected to write a piece that comes across as a knee-jerk or a simple outburst of emotion. You are being judged on how logically you think and how well you are able to express the reasoning behind your thoughts. An essay that adequately captures this can be as passionate as a polemic without being too overbearing.
There simply is no substitute for clear, well thought out arguments presented in a professional manner.
Writing a good essay at GAMSAT also requires a fair bit of knowledge about the art of essay writing. This implies that your essay must show flair, insight and a logical interest in the subject. Essays must be your own signature creations rather than a putting together of essay-writing techniques. With practice you will be able to grasp this and only then will you be able to write a winning essay that helps you ace this all-important test.