How to Optimise Reading Time during GAMSAT

Finding the Hidden Time in GAMSAT Essays

Five minutes is not a lot of time is it? During your exam you’ll either be approaching Section 2, the essay questions, with dread or glee- depending upon where you think your skills lie, but the 5 minutes that the examiners have given you for reading time shouldn’t be laughed off. Those 300 precious seconds have a lot of hidden value if used wisely.You won’t need to be warned off by us as the examiners will make you fully aware that you can’t put pen to paper in that reading time. So how would you best use it?

Famous novelist Scott Berkun says,”The greatness of an idea is irrelevant if you don’t put in the hours needed to see it to fruition.

“Let’s apply that idea to GAMSAT: Faced with the quotes and the personal/social theme of the first and second essays respectively, quite simply if you have no idea what to write you’ll be in great difficulty. The reading time is not that important, it’s the planning that you do in those five minutes that is.

The quotes aren’t even important

You’re going to have to produce a valid response to the quotes and personal ideas that the essays will ask you to come up with. There is no hard and fast rule about how much of a direct link there needs to be to the exam’s stimulus. You should treat any quote or personal response as a springboard for your creativity. The trick is that you could quite easily waste up to ten minutes of writing time waiting for inspiration to strike. Or you could simply choose one or two quotes right away in that valuable reading time,allowing you to launch straight into planning or writing as soon as you’re allowed.

In fact if you’re able to keep the ideas in your head long enough, the five minutes could even constitute the bulk of your planning time, if you can plan just in your head-remember spider diagram, rough notes or anything else that you plan on paper is not going to be marked by the examiner. So if those five minutes are just being spent reading the quotes and stimulus over and over again, perhaps your time should be spent more wisely.

There isn’t really any hidden time, but used properly the reading time is worth a lot more than a mere five minutes work. Continue reading…

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