GAMSAT Essay Tip: Pet Spelling Peeves to Avoid

“I gave her a love letter and she returned it back to me by correcting spelling and punctuation.”
― M.F. Moonzajer, A moment with God; Poetry

Sure, the most diligent learner among us would not really enjoy saying this. Spelling is important, even in this age of text messaging and auto corrects. Of course, GAMSAT drives home the point well: you must write the essay on paper, and the dictionary is barred from entry. Now while incorrect spellings are not directly penalised in the test, they do, ultimately, affect the write-up and create the image of a careless and less-than-diligent candidate. On the whole, not an impression you want to make as an aspiring health professional.
Out of the hundreds of essays we’ve come across, quite a few positively reeked with erroneous spellings. Some were clearly typos, while others- well, were regrettable and entirely uncalled for.

Here’s a list of the commonest mistakes we found, and the rectified versions:

Alot
No, this is not a word. It’s a lot, spelled separately.
A lot of tourists visit Rome round the year.

Irregardless
Again, this is not a word either. You mean to say regardless, meaning in spite of.
He went on with the expedition regardless of the cautionary horror stories.

Inspite of
This is spelled separately as well: In spite of.
He is surprisingly powerful in spite of being rather thin and scrawny.

Firstly
This is not how you state your first argument. Instead, you say first of all, and then secondly, and so on.
First of all, she was not present in the house when the murder occurred, and secondly, she barely knew him enough to hold a grudge.

Lose and Loose
Lose means misplace. Loose implies slack or free.
I never let my dog loose on the streets, because I am afraid I will lose him.

Its and It’s
Its refers to ‘of it’ or ‘belong to it’. It’s is a contraction of it is.
It’s amazing that the pet pup can love so much the very people that nipped its chances of preserving the canine race.

Whose and Who’s
Whose, meaning ‘of who’. Who’s is a contraction of ‘who is’.
Barry, who’s in charge of the computers, is one of the few people whose work balances perfectly with his life.

Affect and Effect
Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. The twain shall meet but never be one.
The tragedy affected him hugely. In fact, such was the effect that from then on, he rarely left his own room.

Criteria and Criterion
Criteria is the plural, while criterion is the singular.
Being well-versed in two languages is the first criterion for being a translator. Of course, there are many more criteria that you must fulfill as well.
And, of course, last but certainly not the least,

You’re and Your
Your is ‘of you’. You’re is a contraction of ‘you are’.
Your roughened hands betray that you’re a person of much physical labour.

Apart from these, we do come across many, many words in the essays which are certainly correct. But the GAMSAT essay must be written in British English, which is something you must keep in mind.

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