How did I do it?
Writing is something I have always enjoyed as there are multiple answers that could be correct. In my preparation, I approached the GAMSAT from a marker’s perspective and considered what they would find enjoyable to read. I explored what I found enjoyable to read (opinion pieces with metaphors, imagery and depth) and imbued this within my own writing. Importantly, as this was a timed-exam, I made sure to ensure that my essay was structured logically, had clear reasoning and discussed an issue in-depth.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing. I believe it is important that we include our experiences into our writing as this will give us a voice that is unique from the rest. Having lived overseas for the majority of my childhood, my culturally different upbringing allowed me to write about my values and my understanding of this in relation to others.
What can you do to achieve this?
1. Have a Plan of Attack
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Before starting your essay, it is important to plan out your arguments with relation to the quotes and themes you have been presented with. Decide whether you are going to take a more argumentative expository approach (Part A) or discursive/reflective (Part B) approach.
Dot point your arguments and examples in relation to the quote presented for both essays (take 3-5 mins) before you even start writing.
2. Start Writing
This should be the easiest part after you have planned out your arguments and examples. Before you do the GAMSAT exam, make sure you practice writing 2 essays in timed conditions (1 hour max!).
The introduction should clearly outline your arguments. If you have trouble doing this, read about how to write a snazzy introduction for GAMSAT Section 2.
3. Start Early
Preparing early will help to ease your nerves and anxiety when sitting for the GAMSAT exam.
Learn how to write a GAMSAT essay here, or for a more comprehensive and step-by-step guide of how to write the introduction, body paragraphs and exemplar essays, purchase a GAMSAT essay-writing study guide here.
4. Engage with reading and watching current affairs
Compile a list of Part A and Part B topics that have come up in previous GAMSAT exams and try to think of current examples (historical/current affairs) that you could link to these topics. Consider how these examples may be used to support your arguments.
E.g. Capitol riots in the US (Jan 2021) – Is violence ever a legitimate form of protest? Who can use violence within protests? Is looting okay in times like these? What is a legitimate form of protest? What do you think of Trump’s tweet ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’?
What type of GAMSAT topics could this link to? Protests, war, change, politics, progress, democracy…
5. Create a ‘phrase-diary’
In your readings, you will come across some phrases that work particularly well as introductions or in the within the bulk of your essay. When you think it’s something you could include within your own essay, write it down to create a bank:
E.g. ‘The _____ proliferation of ______ in our society is leading us to a grim reality. We are far…’
6. Don’t do it alone
Find a friend that might be undertaking the GAMSAT journey and have them read over your essays. Give feedback to each other as to whether your arguments are clear (if you are both strong English writers) or get a tutor to get regular and consistent feedback.
If you don’t have any friends that may be doing the GAMSAT, follow those on Instagram, join Facebook groups and Pagingdr as there are many others undergoing the same journey!
What are the next steps?
1. Make a Study Plan
Consider the amount of time left until your next exam (3 months or more) and then consider what you would like to complete each week. Break down your goals (e.g. writing 2 essays in an hour confidently, completing two Section 1 papers in the time frame) and get started!
Here are some tips to get you started preparing in the right direction for the GAMSAT.
2. Write essays and get feedback
Grab a friend who is good at writing and exchange essays. Give each other constructive feedback and ensure that you are always critically appraising your writing after you completed it in timed conditions. Hire a tutor if you need someone to keep yourself accountable or want someone with more experience about what the markers are looking for.
3. Create an idea bank
As you begin to compile arguments for the topics you encounter through personal experience, podcasts and your analysis of current affairs, write them down!
Click here to buy Part A and Part B Idea Bank for a list of topics and arguments that have already been completed for you, add to them!
Last of all, good luck!!