Re: GAMSAT Section 2 Tips
One of the most challenging aspects of section 2 is not knowing what the theme (or themes!) of the quotes will be. It can seem overwhelming to think about the vast subject matter that the examiners may draw upon. The following aims to help you feel slightly better prepared in terms of the topics that may be presented to you in section 2, and to feel more confident in tackling the theme no matter what it is on the day.
Learn to see any theme from a variety of perspectives
The first point of this point is that you should attempt to develop your ability to consider any topic from a variety of perspectives. I often challenge students that I tutor in section 2 to imagine that the theme is a cube. Once a cube is visualized, I ask students to practice trying to rotate the cube in their head, allowing them to view the theme from a variety of perspectives. This is an excellent mental exercise to try, and can be used alongside other brainstorming strategies such as mind-mapping. For example, the theme might be imagination, and you might rotate your cube to come up with various angles on this theme including (but not limited to!):
- What is the role of imagination (in the lives of individuals/ in society as a whole)?
- What are the benefits of being able to utilise imagination?
- What are the possible risks/ negative aspects of having imaginative faculties?
- Does imagination allow for escapism, and is this escapism ‘true escapism’ or a false sense of having overcome the limitations of our physical lives?
- Does imagination have a role in human development (e.g. in childhood)?
- Does imagination operate in fields which are traditionally perceived as ‘scientific’ (e.g. creativity in engineering)?
Write what you know
Almost everyone has heard the saying ‘write what you know’, and if you haven’t, it is a great one to become acquainted with! It simply refers to the fact that many people often write much better (i.e. more clearly and persuasively), when they write about something that they are familiar with. For example, if I was writing an essay about being able to overcome adversity, I would probably do a much better job crafting an argument using the example of Frieda Kahlo, whom I know a little bit about, than using the example of Martin Luther King (whom I know relatively little about!). You can often use the same example in a variety of contexts, and this is a great skill to practice in the lead up to the exam.
Hopefully, these two strategies will assist you in dealing with the unpredictability of section II!
Keep practicing and best of luck on exam day!
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