gamsat written communication

Re: GAMSAT Written Communication

Are you feeling confused about the gamsat written communication section and wondering how you should approach this seemingly random section of the test? Well, the following post is for you! This post aims to help candidates better understand what section II is assessing and how to effectively prepare for this often challenging component of the Gamsat.

Why Is Written Communication Tested In The GAMSAT?

Of course it is difficult to know exactly why section II is included in the test. After all, only ACER knows that! But it is worthwhile considering why the creators of the GAMSAT have included a section that assesses written communication, and why medical schools would want to utilise a test that tests candidates’ writing abilities.

One obvious suggestion is that communication (of the verbal, physical and written kind) is very important to being a medical student and subsequently a doctor. Although you will not write hundreds of essays during medical school, it is important to be able to write clearly and succinctly in order to be able to communicate your perspective, complete written exams (e.g. short and long answer questions) and be able to write documents in the future such as letters to patients and colleagues. If you end up going into research, it is all the more important to have strong written communication skills for the purpose of composing literature reviews and (obviously!) communicating the findings of your research to others.

Another important point is that the test is perhaps assessing your communication abilities and ability to formulate a well-reasoned yet empathetic and flexible point of view through your writing. This may seem unfair if you are a person that finds speaking and explaining your thoughts and ideas easier rather than writing them down! One way of seeing the gamsat written communication is to view it as a surrogate means of sitting down and asking you to explain your perspective on an issue, which at the same time, allows ACER to assess whether you have sufficiently developed writing skills.

How Can I Demonstrate Sophisticated GAMSAT Written Communication Skills In Section II?

There is no one answer to this question, and many ways to skin a cat (as the saying goes!). However, there are a few obvious points to bear in mind when approaching section II in order to achieve the best possible mark.

  1. Ensure that your writing is well-structured. Find a structure for your essays that works for you, and practice it until it is second nature.
  2. Ensure that your essay communicates an argument (i.e. does not sit on the fence) but also that you demonstrate an understanding of the opposing perspective/s
  3. Pay attention to grammar and spelling
  4. Rethink word choices (i.e. ‘effective’ rather than ‘good’, ‘exemplifies’ rather than ‘shows’)
  5. Consider the reader and ensure that your argument, examples etc. are clear (remember that they have a lot of essays to read!)
  6. Consider what a majority of candidates will write about in response to the quotes and whether you might be able to offer a fresher perspective on a common argument/ point of view.

Hopefully this information is helpful and assists you on being well on your way to success in section II!

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