Re: GAMSAT Essay Themes
So, you are completing practice essays and perfecting your structure. You might also be (understandably!) wondering how you are meant to deal with the vast number of themes that might arise in section II, and considering how you should approach type A and B quotes (is there even difference, you ask?). If you are at this stage, then this is the guide for you!
Firstly, the difference between ‘type A’ and ‘type B’ sets of quotes…
Note here that I have referred to type A and B ‘sets of quotes’ rather than ‘essays.’ This was intentional! Sometimes there is the perception that there is a certain ‘type’ of essay that must be written in response to either type A or B quotes, but the reality is that you could craft an effective response for either styles of quotes using a variety of essay styles, including a persuasive essay style or reflective/ creative essay style. The most important thing is to find a style and structure that you understand and can utilise effectively.
Ok, back to the different between type A and B quotes! Type A tends to focus on an issue that is perhaps more ‘objective’ (in that is can be observed playing out in society) and is often a more political issue (think democracy, the environment, terrorism, the legal system etc.), whereas type B quotes usually refer to something that is more subjective (in that many people will have different, individual views on the matter that they have developed over their lives) (think trust, love, relationships, childhood, optimism etc.)
Ok great. Are there any ways of predicting what the theme will be?
The short answer is no! Unfortunately there is no way of predicting what kinds of themes will be included in section II in a given year. It would appear, however, that often at least one of the themes relates to something that is quite topical. This does not necessarily mean that the topic has been apparent in the media in the last week or month or even year. It might be something that has been going around for a while, and the assessors feel as though it would raise interesting ideas for candidates to consider. Currently, for example, you might consider democracy and its utility (in the wake of the US election), gender equality (pretty much always quite topical), or themes surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation (an area which is currently receiving a lot of attention, especially in the field of research).
So, what are some examples of type A and B themes?
Note that the following lists are by no means exhaustive! They are simply suggestions in order to get your brain pumping and for you to build on!
Sample Type A GAMSAT Essay Themes:
- The scientific endeavor
- Human rights
- Conflict/ warfare
- Space exploration
- Stem cell research
- The media and/or social media
Sample Type B GAMSAT Essay Themes:
- Optimism/ attitude
Hopefully this post has left you feeling better prepared to deal with any theme thrown your way!
Happy essay writing!
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