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GAMSAT Section 1 Resources

GAMSAT Section 1 is an exam which tests your critical reasoning skills as well as your ability to draw conclusions on a variety of texts such as creative fiction, poetry, cartoons, non-fiction and literature. From 2022 onwards, there are 62 MCQs with 92 mins writing time and 8 minutes reading time. This means that you should take around 1.5 minutes each Question.

Critical reasoning skills and speed reading is important so I have compiled a list of resources that you can use to expand the breadth of texts you are exposed to. Some of these may be difficult so take your time in breaking down the main idea of each paragraph. Hopefully, with enough practice you will be able to build up your vocabulary, as well as speed and accuracy in comprehension.

I’ll continue to update this list as I come across more texts. I want this to be a useful resource for all of you! 🙂

Click here to read about GAMSAT Section 1 strategies

GAMSAT S1 Readings

GAMSAT Cartoon Analysis

Whilst analysing these cartoons, read this study guide (in progress) consider:

  1. What is the tone/attitude of the speaker? Who is speaking?
  2. What is the irony? Why is this cartoon humorous?
  3. What is the main idea? What is the main message being conveyed?

Read my blog on how to analyse any GAMSAT cartoon in 3 simple steps


1. Youtube video by Bob Mankoff – Anatomy of a New York cartoon

2. New Yorker Cartoons – analyse at least 1 cartoon everyday and work through the study guide here. Create a ‘cartoon bank’ where you work through the techniques and idea conveyed and talk this through with a friend.

3. New Yorker Cartoon lounge – discussion of latest cartoons and the ideas that went behind creating them.

GAMSAT Poetry Analysis

It is important to take a structured approach to analysing poems.

  1. Who is speaking? Is it the poet or the character?
  2. What is the tone or atmosphere of the poem?
  3. What is the main idea?


1. Sparknotes to explore the commentary/ideas, symbols and motifs of poems such as :

2. How to analyse GAMSAT Section 1 poems– written by me

3. Owlcation – type in a poem you’d like to analyse in the search bar and it will explain the meaning behind each stanza and verse, e.g. click below for Bright Star by John Keats –

Contact me here if you would like a more detailed analysis of each.

GAMSAT Non-Fiction Texts

Some of these texts are difficult and long – 2,3,4 only advisable for the more advanced readers or those that want a challenge. I sometimes read these for fun! Try to break each paragraph down to the main premise (e.g. freedom is paradoxical) and paraphrase these in your own words.

1. Khan Academy CARS (Critical analysis and reasoning skills practice questions) (FREE MCQs) –

2. Khan Academy SAT (FREE Worked examples) –

Both videos above are tutorials for literature, history and social science passages that are in-depth. They talk through how to analyse and break down a passage to get to the correct answer.

3. Sociology – Giddens, Bordieu, Arendt

4. Anthropology – Claude Lévi-Strauss

5. Politics – Slavoj Zizek ‘Liberalism and its discontents’ & John-Stuart Mill ‘On liberty’

6. Difficult Non-Fiction Texts Studied at a Year 12 level – Summarise each paragraph, add new words to your vocabulary list and then search up analysis. There are essays written by final-year high school students on these texts!

GAMSAT Fiction Texts

1. J.D. Salinger – A perfect Day for Bananafish –

2. Ray Bradbury – There Will Come Soft Rains –

3. Raymond Carver – What we Talk about When we Talk about Love –

4. Ernest Hemingway – Hills like White Elephants (my favourite story!) –

5. Ernest Hemingway – A Clean Well-Lighted Place (another favourite!) –

Still looking out for more here! Contact me if you have additions to make to this list!

GAMSAT S1 Vocabulary List 

To improve your vocabulary in S1, pick out words from the passages you read and write the definition of them in a book. Revise this just before you go to sleep or aim to include 1 or 2 new words when writing your essay! 

Here are links for some vocabulary lists: 


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