Step 1 – Understanding the GAMSAT Theme
You will be given with a list of quotes to start with (4-5) and asked to produce an essay on one of these quotes. These quotes may be sociocultural or personal in nature. The first step is to identify the theme that is present across the quotes and then think of an argument or personal experience related to the theme. There is no limit on how many quotes you can use but I would advise that you stick to one that you connect with and generate ideas regarding this. Other quotes can be used as idea generators.
E.g. Globalisation – what are the advantages and disadvantages? Does it benefit all or only a few? Has it come at the expense of people?
Step 2 – Brainstorm Ideas
Use ALL the quotes to brainstorm ideas, but pick 1-2 that really resonates with you and use that as a platform to write three arguments. Think about:
- What is being said? Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
- Why is it being said?
- What does the quote reveal about the role of (theme) within society?
Hang on to the quote you’ve chosen as you can reference it throughout your essay!
How to brainstorm ideas and write a GAMSAT essay on politics: https://gamsatenglishtutor.com/2021/09/25/gamsat-theme-talk-politics/
Step 3 – Plan your Essay Structure
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
You need to do all the hard work before you even start writing a GAMSAT essay. This means that you need to plan out 3 arguments in logical fashion. There are two structures you can use for planning your essay:
STRUCTURE 1: advantage, disadvantage, advantage
STRUCTURE 2: defining the problem, issues with the problem, solutions for the problem
Click here to buy a step-by-step study guide to mastering GAMSAT essay writing
Step 4 – Write in exam conditions
The first time you write an essay, do it in as much time as you need. Develop a clear strategy to analyse quotes, brainstorm ideas and plan out essay structures.
Learn to write with a great essay structure before applying realistic time pressure.
I would suggest 2 months out from the GAMSAT, you should begin writing with 5 minutes planning time and 60 minutes writing time. Make sure you type your practice essays with the new digital format of the GAMSAT exam!
Step 5 – Get Essay Feedback
ACER GAMSAT specifies that ‘your writing will be judged on the quality of what you have to say in response to the theme’. This means that your essay will be marked based on:
- Thought and content – the quality of what is said
- Decide if the ideas you have developed are well-thought out, if they address an issue or discuss real-world issues. If not, you might want to discuss this with a friend or a tutor!
- Organisation and Expression – quality of structure developed and language used
- Look for opportunities to improve your paper, considering whether you could add an example in some areas or rewrite an awkward sentence.
It is important to get someone to proofread your essay for 1) and 2) and to be inviting of critique. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can distract and divert the marker from your argument, but the content and the way you structure your paragraphs is more importance!
You can do it. Good luck! 🙂