GAMSAT Writing – How to Supercharge Your Essays

From: Matthew
Re: GAMSAT Writing

There are plenty of great posts and other sources getting around that discuss the fundamentals of GAMSAT writing for section 2. And of course, such fundamentals are important! The following post, however, is aimed at those of you who feel confident in terms of the basics (i.e. composing a thesis in response to the quotes and implementing an essay structure) but would like to know how to really give your essays some punch. (If you want a crash course in the basics though, please see one of our earlier posts such as GAMSAT Essay Tips, GAMSAT Written Communication and/ or Section II Preparation.)

GAMSAT Writing Tip #1: Rethink and rewrite your thesis before you start writing

A common ability of students who write excellent GAMSAT essays is being able to critically evaluate the utility of their thesis before they start writing their essay. This is a very useful skill in that it allows you to double check whether your thesis will allow you demonstrate a well-reasoned, sophisticated and empathetic point of view before you commit to a particular thesis and use up your time writing an essay that answers it. This ability comes naturally to some people, but if it doesn’t, try using the following questions to ‘test’ your thesis before committing to it.

  • Is my thesis too narrow or too broad in terms of allowing me to explore interesting and diverse facets of the topic, or will I end up basically saying the same thing multiple times?
  • Does my thesis allow me to explore the heart of a topic or have I painted myself into a corner in the sense that my thesis is so specific that I am looking at just the tip of the iceberg?
  • Is there a more argumentative/ punchy/ concise etc. way that I could phrase my thesis?
  • Am I even interested in what I am about to write about?
  • Do I actually agree more with the rebuttal to this thesis (if yes, flip your thesis and use your original arguments as your rebuttal!)?
  • Am I actually going to say anything even remotely interesting or insightful if I use this thesis?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then it’s time to revamp your thesis into something that will facilitate a better essay!

GAMSAT Writing Tip #2: Rethink your examples

Students often pick examples that are a little bit ‘meh’ (as the expression goes!). By this I mean that students often pick an example that illustrates what they are trying to say, but it is perhaps not the most effective/ powerful/ interesting example of the particular idea/ concept/ argument they are trying to express.

Take for example (no pun intended), the following topic sentence and example:

Human beings must take responsibility for the technology they have created in order to ensure that such technology does not negatively affect their lives. Motor vehicles are an example of where this idea is relevant; if we do not have legislation that regulates the use of cars, they will end up causing harm to humans through motor vehicle accidents.

The above example is good, but there might be multiple, perhaps more powerful example of this idea that could be listed to more convincingly prove the point. The paragraph could instead be…

Human beings must take responsibility for the technology they have created in order to ensure that such technology does not negatively affect their lives. There are multiple examples of where this argument holds true, including the responsible use of technologies that enhance our convenience to ensure that lifestyle diseases do not increase in prevalence, the regulated use of weapons such as firearms, and controlled use of man-made substances such as pharmaceuticals.

Rethinking your examples, and using more than one, can really add significant punch to your paragraphs. 

The above tips are just two ways of reinforcing your GAMSAT essays to make them more robust and sophisticated.

Stay tuned for additional tips!

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How To Pass The GAMSAT – Maximise Score In All Sections

From: Matthew
Re: How To Pass The GAMSAT

Want to learn how to pass the GAMSAT? Well… First things first: There is no one magic secret to passing the GAMSAT. The instructions are not located in a single book, nor do you need to attend a super-expensive weekend lecture course to make it through the exam. Phew. Now that we have cleared that up, let’s get on to what you can (easily and relatively inexpensively) do to help yourself perform at your best in every section of the exam.

Note that the following advice has been split up into the relevant sections of the test!

Section I: Become a comprehension guru

Practice active reading and become a master at taking the most from a text in the shortest amount of time.

Every time that you are doing a practice question (or reading anything for that matter!) consider what themes and perspectives it contains. Consider what the author’s purpose was, and how you would explain the overall meaning of the text if you needed to explain it to a friend. Even think about what questions you might expect to get in relation to a piece of text as you are reading it by considering what is challenging about the information (e.g. are there multiple characters in the narrative, or is a lot of the writer’s meaning implicit rather than explicit?).

Identify the text types that you have trouble with the practice these!

In order to make the most of your study time, it is imperative that you identify which text types you find most challenging and hone in on these. Avoid spending time on opinion pieces, for example, if you find these easy, and instead go for questions on text types (poetry is hard, am I right?) that you find most difficult. Remember that you are practicing thinking skills not memorising questions, so don’t practice skills that you already have down pat.

Watch the clock

Section I requires very close attention to time management. Time management is important throughout the exam, but especially so in section I because it can be easy to get sucked into ‘solving’ a particular question or wrapping your head around a particularly confusing section of text. Become good at knowing when to persist and knowing when the clock says that you must move on.

How To Pass The GAMSAT – Section II

Know that Gamsat essays are a unique breed

Out of all of the advice that I give students for section II, I would say that arguably the most important piece of knowledge is the understanding that Gamsat essays are not quite the same as essays written in other contexts. Try viewing the essays as ‘mini-essays’ that demonstrate to the marker that you know all of the basic ingredients of an essay (introduction with a thesis, body paragraphs, rebuttal and conclusion) and can use these to form an intelligent and empathetic argument.

How To Pass The GAMSAT – Section III

Have a systematic way of studying, but remember that you are being assessed on thinking skills, not just theory

There are many different ways of approaching section III. Some students like to work through many of the different theoretical concepts assessed in section III using a very structured method such as an online training course or Gamsat preparation textbook. These are excellent ways of ensuring that your revision is methodical and thorough!

Bear in mind, however, that if you are struggling to come to grips with the ocean of knowledge that seems to be assessed in section III, the test is also examining scientific thinking skills, not just specific pieces of knowledge. It may be worth investing in a few sessions with a section III tutor (or even just a mate who has done well in section III) and gaining some insight into how others have reasoned their way through much of section III without necessarily having a complete knowledge of the underlying theory.

I hope that this post has given you some ideas on how to pass the gamsat by succeeding in each section of the test, and some objectives to keep in mind when studying.

Best of luck!

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GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 6 – Free!

From: AceGAMSAT
Re: GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 6

Fristly, if you have not attempted the previous Unit 5 then click the link below before you get started on this unit.

Here’s the link – GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 5

Evaluate and assess this discussion on the basic nature of knowledge.

GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 6

UNIT 6

Questions 1-2

Evaluate the political implications of the cartoon below

gamsat section 1 questions unit 6

1. The political tone of the cartoon is expressed through:
A Burlesque
B Contempt
C Irony
D Spite

2. The quote at the top of the cartoon assumes the statement is:
A logically valid
B arguable
C inconsistent
D circular reasoning

gamsat section 1 questions unit 4

Answers – GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 6

1 Correct Answer: C – Irony – we know that what is represented by the speaker is not really what is meant. A, B & D can be deduced to be incorrect quickly.

2 Correct Answer: A – logically valid.  While the quote is B – arguable, this is not the assumption made. C & D are distractors.

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GAMSAT Section 2 Preparation

From: AceGAMSAT
Re: GAMSAT Section 2 Preparation

So… Let’s talk about GAMSAT section 2 preparation. Firstly, Section 2 may at times seem like a slightly random component of the GAMSAT. Two essays in 30 minutes may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have not had much essay writing practice as part of your undergraduate degree. It may also seem difficult to identify what is expected of you in terms of the content, length and structure of your essays. The following post aims to give you a stepwise approach to planning and practicing your essay writing for section 2.

GAMSAT Section 2 Preparation

gamsat section 2 preparation

Step #1: Appreciate that GAMSAT essays are a unique breed of essay

GAMSAT essays are not the same as essays that you may have written in the past. While they may share a number of the same ingredients (introduction with a thesis, body paragraphs, conclusion etc.) they are not the same as essays that you may have written at school or as part of undergraduate study. This is because you are allowed only a very short amount of time to write your essays. This means that GAMSAT essays can be viewed as ‘mini essays’ or ‘tasters’ of what you would do if you had many hours to compose an essay on a particular topic.

Step #2: Find a structure that works for you

As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat. There is no one single correct way of structuring your GAMSAT essays. The two main structures that appear to be suggested in various preparation texts are a) argument, rebuttal and synthesis, and b) thesis, two to three body paragraphs supporting your thesis, a rebuttal paragraph and then conclusion. It is imperative that you understand the goals of the structure that you are using, and this means knowing how each part of your essay contributes to delivering a cohesive and persuasive argument. If a structure is not making sense to you, find an alternative one that really gels with your style of writing and thinking.

Step #3: Become a thesis master

Are you confused by what is meant by the word thesis? It is nothing mystical! Your thesis is simply a concise statement of the argument that you are delivering in your essay. Practice generating a variety of thesis statements from the one set of quotes, and evaluate the types of ideas and arguments that each thesis would allow you to explore. How interesting is your thesis? How would your thesis compare to the arguments that other people sitting the test are likely to put forward? Could you simplify your thesis to make it more concise yet flexible in terms of allowing you to traverse a variety of diverse ideas? By asking yourself these questions, you can learn to evaluate possible thesis options automatically and not simply go with the first one that pops into your mind.

Step #4: Develop your own marking criteria and apply it to your practice essays

As you read about section 2 and receive feedback on your essays from your peers or from other sources such as tutors, compose a marking scheme that you can use to evaluate your practice essays. This is an excellent way of putting yourself in the mindset of those marking the GAMSAT essay and imagining what they are looking for.

Step #5: Perfect your time management

In the lead up to exam day, you want to ensure that you will be able to complete your essays within time. If you have practiced your structure, you will have an excellent idea of what you can achieve within 30 minutes for each essay. If you are having issues with time management, now is the time to take action! Are your introduction or body paragraphs too lengthy, or are your sentences generally too verbose? Be honest with yourself in terms of where you could save time, and be disciplined! 

By following the above steps, I hope that you can feel confident in approaching section 2 and using it to boost your overall GAMSAT mark!

Happy essay writing!

If you would like a free series of carefully chosen GAMSAT Essay Quotes then click below now.

FREE GAMSAT ESSAY QUESTIONS

 

GAMSAT Advice – Making GAMSAT as Stress-free as Possible!

From: AceGAMSAT
Re: GAMSAT Advice

Fact: Studying for and sitting the GAMSAT are stressful activities. At times you may feel frustrated, confused and lacking motivation, while at other moments you may experience excitement and satisfaction. All of these emotions are to be expected! The following post aims to give you GAMSAT advice and suggestions as to how to approach the exam in order to minimise stress and anxiety and maximise your performance.

GAMSAT Advice #1: Have perspective

As difficult as it can be, try and remember why you are sitting the test and what you want to gain from it. It can be tempting to become caught up in the stress of studying for the exam and feel resentment towards the entire process. Remember that while the test is a challenge, it is just a stepping stone towards getting into a career that you are passionate about.

GAMSAT Advice #2: The GAMSAT does not necessarily say anything about your ability to be a doctor

While the Gamsat assesses characteristics important to being a doctor, there are plenty of people who find the test extremely difficult but go on to have incredible careers in medicine. There are also people who breezed through the test and end up finding certain parts of being a medical student really challenging! Try to remember that the test is difficult and lots of very smart people are as stressed and confused as you are.

GAMSAT Advice #3: Set realistic study goals

A mistake that many students make is that of setting near unattainable study expectations. By all means aim high and be ambitious in terms of the effort that you expect yourself to put in! But bear in mind that more hours of study will not necessarily make for better results, especially if you end up feeling stressed or deprived of other activities that give you joy. Schedule in regular rest breaks (and rest days!) and reward yourself with something that you enjoy when you meet your study targets, no matter how small they may be.

GAMSAT Advice #4: Have a plan (and revise it!)

Following on from the point above, it is very important to have a plan that allows you to visualise your goals and identify any areas that really need attention in the lead up to exam day. This can be as simple as an A4 piece of paper with days of the week and tasks scribbled on it, or it could be a spreadsheet or app that helps you to keep track of your study targets. Find something that works for you and keep adjusting your plan to reflect your study priorities closer to the exam date.

GAMSAT Advice #5: Study with others (but don’t stress out with them)

Studying in groups is a fantastic way to learn effectively and efficiently! Use your peers whenever you can by doing practice exams together and explaining your reasoning and strategies to each other. If you can, however, avoid taking on others’ concerns. It can be easy to become stressed by what others are worrying about, but try to have confidence in your own approach and abilities!

I hope that the above advice is useful and assists you in having the smoothest Gamsat experience possible!

Happy studying!

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GAMSAT Strategies For Success

gamsat strategies
From: AceGAMSAT

Re: GAMSAT Strategies For Success

Given that the date for the Gamsat is getting closer and closer, you may be wondering how to maximise the study time that you have left in order to produce the best exam results on the day. It is imperative that you make effective use of your preparation time to preserve your sanity AND give yourself the best chance of success in the exam! The following post is aimed at ensuring you have three simple gamsat strategies that you can readily refer back to when you are feeling lost for direction or confused as to how to best use the time you have left to prepare!

GAMSAT Strategies #1: Have your end goal in mind

Amidst studying for the exam and cramming your head full of information and practice questions, it can be easy to lose track of why you are even sitting the test in the first place. Remember that the exam is only a hurdle (if not a seemingly large one) on the road to gaining entry into medicine and ultimately pursuing a career as a doctor. If you are feeling stressed or fatigued by the process, remember that you simply need to perform as well as you can in as many areas of the test as you can, and that your overall purpose is to gain entry into an area of study that you are passionate about. Also remember that finding the Gamsat challenging does not mean that you will find medicine or working as a doctor similarly difficult.

GAMSAT Strategies #2: Know your strengths and weaknesses and use these to your advantage

Do you find that you struggle with section III yet feel confident with sections I and II? Or are you feeling out of your depth in the essay section yet confident with any kind of organic chemistry thrown your way? Each person’s mind works differently, and that is what makes us unique and talented in areas where others struggle. In terms of the Gamsat, it is highly important that you identify areas that you are still struggling with despite having invested time and study in such parts of the test. If you are confident in a particular area, in the months and weeks before the exam, it is probably a good idea to leave these aspects of the exam and turn your attention to what you find truly difficult. Additionally, be mindful of the areas that you may be able to boost your overall score (for example, you may find essay writing easy) and really use these parts of the test to your advantage.

GAMSAT Strategies #3: Time management is key

In the weeks before the test, it is time to really hone in on time management. Instead of just timing your own essays or setting an alarm on your phone, take it to the next level and have a friend or family member run a timed mock exam for you. Start the exam at roughly the same time that you would on the day of the Gamsat, and take breaks that would reflect the length of the morning break and lunch break on the day. Yes this exercise will take up pretty much a whole day, but it is invaluable to your preparation! Buy your assistance their favourite take-away for dinner and discuss with them where you ran into time management issues and how you might be able to address this.

Refer back to the above strategies and you will be well on the way to performing at your best on the day of the Gamsat!

Happy studying and good luck!

 

 

 

GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 5 – Free!

From: AceGAMSAT
Re: GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 5

Before we begin, if you haven’t attempted the previous Unit 4 then click the link below before you begin Unit 5.

Here’s the link – GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 4

Evaluate and assess this discussion on the basic nature of knowledge.

GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 5

Unit 5
Questions 1 – 5

In the natural sciences enquiry is concerned with uncovering or discovering that which exists. “Invention” is not considered to be a feature of scientific enquiry and is perhaps not compatible with the dispassionate relationship with knowledge that scientists have traditionally claimed. Design, by contrast, claims invention (and personal ownership of it) as a central principle so it is difficult at first to see where the two traditions can overlap.

A central problem of science is how to recognise and define worthwhile subjects for investigation. For one thing, we may be faced with a myriad of opportunities and no means to decide which are going to be fruitful. On the other hand, our environment may limit our ability to recognise scientific problems and possibilities, especially the ones which could lead to significant changes in our understanding.

To illustrate this second problem, philosophers have speculated on the science and culture of imaginary worlds which have fundamentally different and more restricted conditions than ours. If you and your environment consist of gases with no solid objects to reflect on, then you may not be able to conceive of geometry as we know it. If you lived in a 1 or 2-dimensional world you would have a very different set of concepts from us and, no doubt, people living in a 5-dimensional world would see us as conceptually impoverished in much the same way.

Artists also engage with these issues, often in stimulating and accessible forms. For example science fiction writers explore imaginary worlds which shape their civilizations in ways that may inform us about our own experience. Brian Aldiss described a world where each season lasted for many lifetimes, including a harsh winter which few people and institutions survived, effectively cutting people off from their history and most of the knowledge acquired during the previous summer. This fictional device provided a fresh perspective for the examination of individuals and societies confronted with difficult circumstances.

These abstracted questions have their parallels in everyday life and more mundane enquiries. Michael Polanyi describes the ‘logical gap’ between existing knowledge and any significant discovery or innovation. No matter how thorough our factual knowledge of the situation that we inhabit, the pursuit of logical reasoning or iterative development of existing concepts would not, on its own, allow us to cross this gap. There must be also some kind of leap of ‘illumination’ by which the scientist imagines a new concept and proposes it as a worthwhile subject for investigation. As Polanyi says “Illumination. …is the plunge by which we gain a foothold in another shore of reality. On such plunges the scientist has to stake, bit by bit, his entire professional life.”

Polanyi was concerned with what he called the “tacit dimension” in our knowledge. In particular he wished to give proper value to the process of recognizing, and making a commitment to, ideas or hypotheses, which may result from a rich understanding and knowledge but cannot be explained by explicit reasoning, in order to carry out the enquiry that will lead to them being more widely understood and accepted.

I have used the term “accepted” rather than “proved” (itself shorthand for Karl Popper’s concept of a falsifiable hypothesis that has proved so far to be reliable) because Polanyi held that all scientific knowledge is a question of “passionate belief” rather than dispassionate proof, requiring us to take account of the methods, competence, judgment and integrity of scientists, and the knowledge and principles that we already hold, before we accept the knowledge which they offer us. This seems much more reasonable today, when more people appreciate the limitations of science, than 50 years ago when Polanyi was developing his ideas.

1 The crux of the problem, which the author specifically focuses on is:
A. Developing protocol for what scientific endeavours are advisable to pursue
B. How scientific invention is related to discovery
C. The idea that scientific knowledge is a question of passionate belief
D. The idea that scientific knowledge is a question of dispassionate proof

The relevance or significance of the passage, in relation to scientific invention and discovery, concerns:
A. Knowledge
B. 
Criteria
C. Instrumentation
D. Measurement

3 According to passage information, Polanyi makes a distinction between tacit knowledge and what can be inferred as knowledge which is:
A. Socially constructed
B. Hypothetically determined
C. Explicit Reasoning
D. Deductively Reasoned

4 According to passage information, for Polanyi, “Illumination” is:
I the key to invention and discovery in scientific endeavour
II the bridge over the logical gap of theory and application
III the connection between innovation and what is already known
A. I only
B. II only
C. II & III
D. I & III

5 The author pursues the notion of WHICH central problem that may limit our ability to recognize scientific problems and possibilities?
A. Instrumentation Designed to Measure Phenomena
B. Knowledgeable Processes Involved in Research
C. Methodologies which are employed in Measurement
D. Environment or Setting Surrounding Us

gamsat section 1 questions unit 4

Answers – GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 5

Correct Answer:  A – All answers (B) (C) & (D) are not “problems: per se, but theoretical issues – worth pursuing in their own terms, but not related to the question.  (A) can be inferred to be the “crux” of the problem, indicated by the following passage information:

A central problem of science is how to recognise and define worthwhile subjects for investigation. For one thing, we may be faced with a myriad of opportunities and no means to decide which are going to be fruitful. On the other hand, our environment may limit our ability to recognise scientific problems and possibilities, especially the ones which could lead to significant changes in our understanding.

Correct Answer:  B – (C) and (D) represent technological and/or verifiability issues in relation to theory, as such both answers can be deduced to be incorrect. (A) knowledge is too broad a subject to be warranted as the correct answer, and in line with question 16, one can infer (B) criteria – the means by which the two are assessed, to be the best choice option.

3 Correct Answer:  C – This detail-oriented question can be answered as (C) from the following passage information:

Polanyi was concerned with what he called the “tacit dimension” in our knowledge. In particular he wished to give proper value to the process of recognising, and making a commitment to, ideas or hypotheses, which may result from a rich understanding and knowledge but cannot be explained by explicit reasoning, in order to carry out the enquiry that will lead to them being more widely understood and accepted

Correct Answer:  D – Only I & III can be inferred to be correct in this detail-oriented question, these concepts are within the passage below:

These abstracted questions have their parallels in everyday life and more mundane enquiries. Michael Polanyi describes the ‘logical gap’ between existing knowledge and any significant discovery or innovation. No matter how thorough our factual knowledge of the situation that we inhabit, the pursuit of logical reasoning or iterative development of existing concepts would not, on its own, allow us to cross this gap. There must be also some kind of leap of ‘illumination’ by which the scientist imagines a new concept and proposes it as a worthwhile subject for investigation. As Polanyi says “Illumination. …is the plunge by which we gain a foothold in another shore of reality. On such plunges the scientist has to stake, bit by bit, his entire professional life.” 

Correct Answer:  D – This is one of the main ideas (the second problem) of paragraph 2, and illustrated and expanded upon in Paragraphs 3 & 4.

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GAMSAT Section 2 – Thesis Brainstorming

From: AceGAMSAT
Re: GAMSAT Section 2 – Thesis Brainstorming

Do you struggle with generating a thesis from the stimulus material in the GAMSAT section 2 section? Never fear! The ultimate thesis guide is here! The following gives you a step-by-step approach to developing a thesis and identifying ideas that may be explored via that thesis and examples that can be used to demonstrate those ideas!

Step #1: Read all of the quotes and identify the major theme

Read all of the quotes and try to identify what the major theme is. You can do this by explaining the meaning of the quotes back to yourself. The theme may be democracy, environmental protection, technology or the legal system for a type A set of quotes, or trust, relationships, identity or optimism for a type B set of quotes. Once you have done this, pat yourself on the back! You are most of the way there! Identify a single word that captures the main theme.

NB: If you are totally confused by a particular quote, simply ignore it! The theme will be present in the other quotes that you can understand.

Step #2: Identify minor theme/s

This is something that many students overlook! Most people will identify an overarching idea, but fail to pick out smaller yet important sub-themes that the quotes are hinting at. For example, while the overall theme might be environmental protection, a key sub-theme might be social complacency in regards to environmental protection. Or if the theme is relationships for a type B essay, an important sub-theme implied by the quotes might be the importance/ necessity of relationships to human beings. Take the time to identify possible angles that ACER may have wanted students to consider.

Step #3: Take a step back

The next thing that you could do is to pick one of the quotes and compose a thesis in response to it. Nothing wrong with this option at all. If you like this approach, go for it!  If, however, you are finding this difficult or discovering that your essays seem to repeat the same ideas rather than covering various different aspects of a topic, you may find it helpful to give the following process a go…

 gamsat section 2

Step #4: Tweak your thesis (or your arguments and examples!) if needed

If you find that your thesis does not fit with what you would like to discuss, or your examples do not fit with your thesis, keep brainstorming until they match up in a way that will allow you to compose a well-reasoned and sophisticated essay. 

Hopefully the above guide has given you some direction on how to get from the quotes to a thesis. When you attempt GAMSAT Section 2, try to keep all these steps in mind!

Happy writing!

___

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GAMSAT English – Fundamentals of SI and SII

gamsat english
From: AceGAMSAT
Re: GAMSAT English

So… What do you need to know about GAMSAT English?

Sections I and II of the GAMSAT contrast strongly with section III (which can appear to lend itself to a far neater and methodological approach!). The objective of sections I and II can seem quite ambiguous, and as a candidate, it may seem confusing as to how to even approach these aspects of the test. The following post aims to give some suggestions as to what the purpose of sections I and II might be, and how individuals struggling with these aspects of the exam may be able to feel more comfortable and confident.

Why are sections I and II even included in the GAMSAT?

This question cannot be answered for sure, but it is possible to put ourselves in the minds of those at ACER and imagine why they have included these components. Communication skills are (somewhat obviously) very important to being a doctor, and this includes strong comprehension and writing skills. Section I appears to also test candidates’ vocabularies (as many questions rely on students understanding the meaning of a particular word) and their ability to make inferences and deductions from textual information. Section I also seems to focus on students’ ability to perceive shades of grey (e.g. many questions ask for ‘the best’ answer out of a variety of technically correct options), and require the ability to contrast various points of view and pieces of evidence. Section II may be seen as testing candidates’ overall ability to formulate an argument in a logical and empathetic way. Considering why these components of the test have been included can help you in approaching and succeeding in these sections.

Ok great. But how can I improve my GAMSAT English abilities over a fairly short amount of time?

As a tutor for sections I and II, many students often ask me how they can improve their English skills in the lead up to the exam. They often express frustration at the fact that some of their peers find sections I and II far easier than they do, and seem to have ‘innate’ abilities (such as comprehension and writing skills). It should be acknowledged that language skills do form gradually over a long period of time, and individuals who have been speaking and writing in English all of their lives are at an advantage compared to those who may, for example, speak English as their second language. It is not realistic to expect to reform all of your English abilities over a few months, but by honing in on a number of aspects, you can drastically improve how you perform in the exam.

The following lists things that everyone can focus on in relation to sections I and II and make the experience of studying for the test less overwhelming. 

For section I…
  • Practice active reading (take as much as you can from the text the first time you read it by making use of flow charts, underlining, reading to yourself in an interesting voice etc.)
  • Ask yourself what is wrong with each answer rather than selecting the correct answer, and ask which answer is most strongly supported by evidence in the text
  • Keep a list of text types that you find challenging and spend more time doing practice questions on these
  • Go over your answers with a friend and explain out loud why you picked/ crossed off various answer options
  • Learn to leave a question that is confusing you and move on to a new one
  • Develop a list of language techniques (metaphor, simile, repetition, onomatopoeia etc.) as simply knowing what these terms mean can make answering certain questions much easier!
For section II…
  • Remember that there are a lot of marks for good structure and logical argument, even if your grammar is not perfect or you feel that your vocabulary could be more advanced
  • Find words that you enjoy using in your essays that are persuasive and examples of a developed vocabulary (you don’t need a huge list, but you can become practiced in using selected, excellent words)
  • Remember that your ideas don’t need to be complex to be powerful (sometimes a more straightforward thesis is more effective!)
  • Use your own perspective to your advantage (if you have a unique background – as we all do! – use this to add individuality to your essays, especially for type b section II essays)

Hopefully, these suggestions help you to improve your approach to developing your English skills for the Gamsat!

Happy studying!

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GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 4 – Free!

From: Matthew
Re: GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 4

Before we begin, if you haven’t attempted the previous Unit 3 then click the link below before you begin Unit 4.

Here’s the link – GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 3

We will now continue with the questions for the next Unit.

GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 4


Unit 4
Questions 1-5

Carefully read and assess Keats’ classic poem – Ode on a Grecian Urn

 

1                     Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,             

       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape

       Of deities or mortals, or of both,

               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

10                     What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,

       Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave

       Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;

               Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,

Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;

       She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

20                          For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!     

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

         Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;

And, happy melodist, unwearied,

         For ever piping songs for ever new;

More happy love! more happy, happy love!

         For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,

               For ever panting, and for ever young;

All breathing human passion far above,

         That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,

      30                              A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

         To what green altar, O mysterious priest,

Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

         And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?

What little town by river or sea shore,

         Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

               Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?

And, little town, thy streets for evermore

         Will silent be; and not a soul to tell

40                              Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

         Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!

         When old age shall this generation waste,

               Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,

         “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all

50                      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

 

1. In Keats’ poem the reader is presented images:
A. which represent the Victorian era
B. which are inconsistent and contradictory
C. frozen and outside of time
D. sculptured with dynamism

2. An oxymoron is a juxtaposition of dissimilar words, which of the following phrases from the poem BEST represents an oxymoron?
A. peaceful citadel
B. slow time
C. wild ecstasy
D. parching tongue

3. A paradox is a literal contradiction. Which of the following statements from the poem is NOT a paradox? Which is the EXCEPTION?
A. unravish’d bride
B. heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard sweeter
C. maidens overwrought
D. ditties of no tone

4. The last two lines are in quotes. We never can actually know who is speaking the quote. This represents:
A. High Satire
B. Permanent Ambiguity
C. Narrative Irony
D. Romantic Uncertainty

5. In line 41, one can infer that the term “brede” can be defined as:
A. brought up
B. tribe or breed
C. embroidery
D. ornate sculpture

gamsat section 1 questions unit 4

Answers – GAMSAT Section 1 Questions Unit 4

1. Correct Answer: C – the images on the urn are frozen within the sculpture and outside of time. A can be ruled out quickly. B can easily be deduced to be incorrect, and D is vague.

 2 Correct Answer: A – peaceful citadel. Citadels are created for war. B, C & D can be deduced to be incorrect rather easily.

 3 Correct Answer: C – maidens overwrought. All A, B, & C are paradoxes if read closely – literal contradictions.

 4 Correct Answer: B – Permanent Ambiguity – we will never know who is speaking. A & C can be ruled out quite quickly, while D sounds good, it does not capture the essence of B.

 5 Correct Answer: C – embroidery. A knowledge of Greek and Latin roots would help in answering this question. A, B & C are distractors. Also the passage is indicative of this embroidery:

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

                 Of marble men and maidens overwrought

___

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