How to Write a Winning GAMSAT Essay

Tips for doing well in GAMSAT Essays

As one of the three sections of the GAMSAT exam the argumentative and personal essays can make a big difference in the success or failure of your med school application. Even if you think you’re quite a good essay writer then squeezing out two quality essays in an hour is still quite an achievement. We’ve written this article to give you some tips on doing well in the essays.

Tip One: Be informed

With the argumentative essay you will be demonstrating a keen intellect and knowledge of the world. If you’ve got nothing to say and no idea about current affairs you’re not going to produce a good essay. There’s no excuse not to get to know what’s happening on the news. The Internet is filled with many news aggregators, portals for official news channels and then of course hard copy newspapers are still a great source of news.

Tip Two: Learn useful quotes and facts

When presenting your argument you can’t just write any old nonsense, you’ll be needing to back up your opinions with facts and even figures. That means that in your preparation in the weeks prior to GAMSAT you’ll not only be learning about current affairs but also looking for useful information to use in your essay.

If for example you’re writing on “How modern society lacks morals”, if you’re able to add in a real fact such as “25 percent of people are agnostics” your essay will look so much more credible. As a clincher if you’ve than remembered a quote that you’re able to bring in it really makes you look worldly,informed and professional. You of course don’t know what to expect topic wise,but it just takes a little bit of imagination to structure your opinion around these quotes Ian’s facts you’ve memorised.

Tip Three: Basic essay structure

Whether you’re a couple of years or even a decade or two out of formal schooling your essay writing skills might be rusty. Remember you’re supposed to be showing a fine mind, that means that your essay must back up your ideas in logical ways. If you’ve never been a great essay writer or are massively out of practice we suggest just keeping things simple.

A clear introduction, a body that develops your argument and works in those facts and opinions you need to include followed by a great summing up with your conclusion, should keep your thoughts nice and tidy and organised.

Now, we’ll go more into depth on how to develop your arguments further and give you advice on how best to approach essays that need a personal perspective.

The Written Communication part of GAMSAT, i.e. the GAMSAT essay section, is set up on two sets of quotations on general topics.  You are expected to write two compositions on these sets of quotations. The time given is 30 minutes for each essay.   It is better to think of it as two essays to be written in an hour so that you have the flexibility of time while writing.

One may argue that an hour is barely enough to write two logically coherent essays. The aspirants in the past have maintained such tight schedule, so it is possible for you to complete in an hour. All you need is a practiced hand at making the general structure of the essay stand out. Master your skill in breaking up your ideas into a smart introduction, coherent argumentative body and a strong conclusion. This will help in saving time to complete two GAMSAT essays at ease.

It is very important to read the quotes carefully

Often a set of quotes reflect two opposite principles.  You must determine them before penning down. Also, the paper states you can choose to respond to one or more quotes. Get opposing principles clearly marked out, and you can pick more than one quote nicely tied together in your final structure.  There should be no disjointed point crammed into a single composition in a GAMSAT essay.

Your essay can draw parallels and differences between the principles reflected from the quotes. Don’t forget to refer to the quotes in building a central cohesive argument. Use proper references while including some external quotes pertinent to your argument.  Often use of objective personal experience back up your argument. You may also draw in relevant current affairs to validate your argument.

Your essay will be reviewed and evaluated in tight time. If you cannot stand out loud and clear, the finer points will get ignored.

A GAMSAT essay demands strongly woven argumentative text. If you can justify your essay with substantiated reasoning, being polemic here is acceptable. A point to remember – you won’t be judged on your views. The examiner will test your ability to articulate thoughts with substantial historical/ current evidences.  Collate the above points, write a sensible piece and you’ll get a winning score!

Score high in Section 2

with GAMSAT Mini Essay Series

Section 2 of the GAMSAT test evaluates your written communication. Based on two sets of quotations on general topics; you are expected to write two compositions on these sets of quotations. The time given is 30 minutes per essay but it is better to think of it as two essays to be written in an hour so that if one runs over the supposed allotted time of the half hour you can make up the time on the other.

One may argue that an hour is barely enough to write two logically coherent essays. But the truth is, if aspirants in the past have written them in such a tight time, so can you. What you need is a practiced hand at making the general structure of the essay stand out. This means that you must have the practice of breaking your ideas up into the  structure of an introduction, body and conclusion  so that you know while writing what goes where and don’t have to waste time on planning the structure.

Read the quotes carefully

It is also very important to read the quotes carefully. You will often notice that there are two opposing principles in the quotes. One might argue for the death penalty, for example, whilst the other might be opposed to it. Understanding the principles and using the quotes as stimulus for your own opinions is a great starting point. Also, while the paper says that you can choose to respond to one or more quotes, if you have the opposing principles clearly marked out, you can pick more than one quote that will hang together nicely in the final structure of your essay.

Your essay can draw parallels and differences between the principles that you deduce from the quotes. Build your argument around these and refer to the quote or quotes when you do so. You can also include external quotes that are properly referenced or even use objective personal experience to back up your argument. You may also draw in current affairs, if they are relevant to the basic idea, or the concept given in the quotes in general and apply to the quote or quotes you have chosen.

Things to remember

Another thing to remember while writing your GAMSAT essay is that a delicately written essay with a great deal of softly made arguments that may or may not make a strong point is not going to work in your favour. Your essay will be reviewed and evaluated by an examiner who has already had many of these texts to mark. Make it stand out as  the finer points will be ignored if you cannot make it stand out loud and clear. This is not an academic essay where being argumentative is discouraged. If you can justify your essay with substantiated reasoning, being polemic here is acceptable.

Before you begin to write your essays it is a good idea to plan out your argument so that your essay comes across as a well thought-out, coherent piece of writing. The ideas presented in your essay must be either extensions or counter-arguments of one another that hang together logically and not be isolated or disjointed points crammed into a single composition.

Above all else, remember that you are not going to be judged on your opinions or views. The examiner simply wants to test how articulate you are and whether you are able to express your opinion precisely with well-substantiated references. So long as you write a sensible piece that is in keeping with your education, you will get credited for your essay.

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