Creating a GAMSAT Essay that stands out

Volumes have been written on writing good GAMSAT essays, chapters, paragraphs and numerous articles on what criteria are used to make the GAMSAT candidate’s writing superb have already been covered by many commentators. We’re going to approach the problem of the written part of the GAMSAT a little bit differently here, we’re going to show you how to write essays that have a BANG! Essays that stand out from the norm and really stick in the marker’s minds.

The wrong way to do things

Now there is the wrong way to go about making an impact with your written work, so we’ll devote a few lines to getting that out of the way first. You certainly don’t want your essay to stand out for the wrong reasons. These reasons could include:

  • Very limited vocabulary
  • Extremely poor grammar and punctuation
  • A rambling, confused argument
  • Lack of clear layout-ie. no proper conclusion and a weak introduction.

Grab their attention

As the official GAMSAT literature says: ” to organise and express your thoughts in a logical and effective way”, is the aim of your written work. As we’ve already covered the fact that there are numerous sources covering how to write the essays we’re not going to dwell too much on the organisation and logical parts of the written work. Instead we are going to seize on one word “effective” as our means of creating an essay with impact.

Look at famous speeches throughout history, they all seem to have stand out phrases that define them, these speeches are effective.

Consider :

“I have a dream”

“One small step for man…”

“We shall fight them on the beaches…and never surrender”

See the common themes running through these? Whilst the word selection does not need to be particularly grand or verbose each of those famous statements, and we’re sure that you can find examples of many more, reach deep into the reader’s psyche and have a fantastic impact.

If you can formulate an awe inspiring introduction to your essay you’ll be halfway to being effective. Your marker’s attention will be grabbed and immediately you’ll be on a positive slope with your essay starting to stand out more than other very similar essays. Consider for example maybe even being a little bit controversial, start with a bold statement, even something along the lines of ” It is definitely the case”, or ” Many people would be foolish not to believe…”. You see with your opening statement you’re making a stand, you’re showing that you have a strong opinion and perhaps even a confirmed belief in something. You’re completely the opposite of wishy-washy and have something to say, it’s now up to you to follow up the rest of your essay with a strong and well founded argument to support your powerful opening statements.

And of course if writing is not really your ‘thing’ you can always cheat! Why try to conjure up a powerful opener when other’s have done so before you. We’re not talking about plagiarism of course, but why not remember a powerful quote from a famous statesman or historical figure to include in your opening. Quote these individuals and give them full credit for their words, whole we don’t expect you to remember dozens of fitting quotes to go with every occasion it is just a matter of a little imagination to remember a powerful quote and tailor the rest of your opening paragraph around it!

Remember your essay is one amongst many so that explosive opening paragraph can really grab the marker’s attention and set you up for some high marks. In our follow up articles we’ll look into awe inspiring conclusions and how to write an effective body for your GAMSAT essay.

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