Gamsat Essays – Writing Great Introductions

GAMSAT Essay Introductions

Countless students have told me that they find the most difficult aspect of writing a GAMSAT essay to be “getting started”. Writing introductions for your GAMSAT essays is actually quick and easy when you have a set formula that you stick to for each and every essay you write.

If you practice writing to this formula over and over as you prepare for the exam, writing introductions will become second nature and you will never struggle with what you should write and in what order.

Let’s explore the key aspects of a great GAMSAT essay introduction…

1. Grab the reader’s attention with an impactful opening sentence.
2. Show the marker that you have correctly identified the overall theme and accurately interpreted the primary quote that you will be addressing in your essay.
3. Ensure that your thesis statement / main message is firm, succinct and clear.
4. Mention the main examples you will be later discussing in the body of your essay.
5. Write with a healthy dose of passion and conviction – if it barely sounds like YOU believe what you are writing, why should the reader?!

I teach all of my GAMSAT tutoring students a unique A, B, C formula I developed for writing Gamsat essay introductions with ease, which allows them to write brief, high impact, logically flowing introductions FAST every time they write an essay. Sticking to a set formula means that you don’t waste time procrastinating or second-guessing yourself on what to write, you can just start writing immediately. It also ensures that all essential elements of a traditional essay are always included.

Particularly when you are writing under strict time conditions as you are in the GAMSAT, I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to have a set essay structure that you stick to for the introduction and beyond, in order to achieve clarity and logical flow of argument throughout your entire essay.

Want to learn my ABC formula for writing strong, high-scoring GAMSAT essays?

Contact me about Gamsat tutoring today.

Cecilia

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GAMSAT Essay Conclusions – What must they include?

GAMSAT essays

Writing a conclusion for your GAMSAT essay should be the quickest, easiest part of the writing process as the conclusion fundamentally involves just 2 steps:

#1 Link your key examples to a reiteration/confirmation of your thesis statement (your main message).

#2 Finish with an interesting, authoritative, forward-looking comment on the topic.
During the GAMSAT, conclusions sometimes don’t get written at all due to lack of time, or they are a hastily written couple of sentences slapped onto the end of the essay just in the nick of time! Neither of these scenarios is ideal. Which is why you should dedicate some time to practice conclusion writing. If you stick to a set formula for writing conclusions and practice it a dozen or so times, writing them will become second nature to you and you will be able to churn out high impact conclusions fast!

 

Remember, the key to a great conclusion for your GAMSAT essay is linking back to the main point you made in your introduction (your thesis statement).

 

Read the two excerpts below from the introduction (1) and conclusion (2) of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  This is a great example of a conclusion beautifully wrapping back around to the key message introduced in the introduction. Restating your thesis in the conclusion of your GAMSAT essay doesn’t mean simply copying it from the introduction and changing a few words.  The conclusion should revisit your position on the topic established in the thesis statement using fresh language, and then offer up your vision in relation to going forward.

 

(1) But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition

 

(2) And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

 

Note the more positive spin in the conclusion of the speech compared to the introduction. Ideally you should try to end your GAMSAT essays on a somewhat positive note with a measure of hope for the future. Be insightful and be sure to make the last thing the marker reads as impactful as possible.

 

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GAMSAT Essays – Get Emotional in Task B

gamsat essays

When writing Task B GAMSAT essays, it is important to bring more emotional elements to your writing in 3 key ways…

1. Focus on the emotional aspects of people

Task B GAMSAT essays are focused on socio-cultural topics, which requires you to keep people and human nature at the forefront of your mind. You should practice doing this as soon as you begin the process of interpreting the presented GAMSAT quotes. Consider the emotions people experience in certain situations and circumstances, and how those emotions drive their behaviour and their interactions with others – in relationships and in society generally. Consider how the essence of the quote you choose to write on is lived out in people’s lives and the impact this has on society.

When your content is emotion-focused, your essay will have more impact.

2. Share your emotions

Sharing your emotions on paper can initially be a difficult task for students who have been conditioned to write academic essays in third person with a strong focus on evidence rather than opinion. But in order to write a powerful essay that connects with the marker, you must reflect on how particular situations or circumstances effect (or have previously effected you) emotionally and share this openly in your GAMSAT essays.

You don’t have to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets. But you do have to demonstrate your ability to assess the people and the world around you with a measure of wisdom and discernment, and personally reflect on the emotions and actions of yourself and others.

3. Target the emotions of the marker

Think about how you feel after you have watched a bland, boring movie that didn’t make you feel anything at all. The last thing you want is for the marker of your GAMSAT essay to feel absolutely nothing at the end of reading your essay. Your job is to move them emotionally! Make them laugh. Make them cry. Stir up anger in them. Arouse sympathy from them. Shock or surprise them.  Somehow move them!

How do you do this? Choose content for your essay that is emotionally impactful and choose language that is emotionally impactful. Tell a moving story. Share your emotions. Write with passion!

If you don’t have someone marking your practice GAMSAT essays to help you improve (which you definitely should), at the very least have a friend or family member read your practice Task B GAMSAT essays and ask them if they felt anything while they were reading it. Their response will give you some indication of whether you need to somewhat or significantly improve in this area.

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GAMSAT Quotes Interpretation – Wisdom

gamsat quotes

99% of the time interpreting GAMSAT quotes require you to pick a side and argue passionately for or against the essence of the quote…

Occasionally however, a quote is presented that has equally strong evidence on either side and fence-sitting may be a excellent option. An example of such a quote is: “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

Under the theme of wisdom, this quote begs for automatic agreement. Your initial thought process is likely to be something along these lines… of course we have to get back up the 8th time and keep trying in order to eventually achieve success. This the essence of scientific research – conduct an experiment that fails, eliminate that as a possibility, then try another experiment until you pinpoint the answer you are searching for. If Dr Ian Frazer hadn’t got up the 8th time, we wouldn’t have the HPV vaccination. Thomas Edison tried more than 10,000 times to invent the light bulb. When asked about his failures, Edison stated that he knew “definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work.”

Likewise, many entrepreneurs have an array of failed business attempts behind them before cracking through to success. Henry Ford founded two automotive companies that failed before he was gained success with the Ford Motor Company. Having launched more than 100 companies, not all of Sir Richard Branson’s businesses were a raging success either. It took Sir James Dyson 15 years to develop a bagless vacuum prototype that worked – he developed 5,126 prototypes that failed first. Before launching The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington had a lot of trouble getting people to read her work – her book was rejected by 36 publishers.

There are plenty of examples you could use as evidence to support this quote.

But…

This is one of those diamond GAMSAT quotes where there is much evidence to support the flip side of it as well…

Let’s reverse the wisdom of this quote and apply it to various situations in life where getting up and going back in for the 8th time is NOT the wisest choice. If you are at a casino gambling and you have lost 7 bets in a row, it’s probably better to walk away. If you are bidding against another determined party on a house at auction and they have significantly outbid you 7 times driving the price up ridiculously high, it’s probably better to walk away. If you are in a relationship and you have been let down by your partner cheating on you 7 times, it’s probably wiser  not to forgive them for an 8th time, rather just walk away.

As you can see, there are plenty of examples you could use as evidence to dispute this quote.

Rather than urging you to pick as side and argue passionately for it, for this particular GAMSAT quote I would recommend a thesis statement along the lines of…

“In life, wisdom involves deciding when when getting up and going back in for the 8th time is the wisest choice, and when it is definitely not.”

Good luck with your interpretation of GAMSAT quotes. 🙂

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GAMSAT Essay Quotes Interpretation – Happiness

GAMSAT Essay Quotes

Interpretation of GAMSAT Essay Quotes isn’t always as straightforward as it seems…

Take for example the pictured quote above from Stephen Covey that says: “Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice.”

Pause for a moment and consider whether you generally agree with this quote?

Almost every motivational speaker and book peddler in the world preaches this message. But is it true?

I have noticed that GAMSAT students have a tendency to automatically agree with the GAMSAT essay quotes they encounter, and this quote in particular is where I see that often. Therefore, I have chosen to use this quote to demonstrate the importance of picking GAMSAT essay quotes apart piece by piece and not automatically agreeing with them.

Dissecting GAMSAT Essay Quotes

Firstly, if we eliminate the words “like unhappiness” from this quote, we are left with: “Happiness is a proactive choice”. Do you agree with that? Most people do as we have been conditioned by motivational gurus to accept this as being true. Personally, I disagree. Here’s why: If, for example, you consider someone experiencing deep sadness due to the death of a loved one, the natural emotions they are feeling are far more powerful and overwhelming than any desire they have to “choose to be happy”.

Secondly, if we eliminate the beginning words “Happiness, like”  from this quote, we are left with: “Unhappiness is a proactive choice”. Do you agree with that? Most people don’t agree that any of us (aside from those with mental health issues) ever proactively choose to be unhappy.

I hope that dissection of this particular quote has shown you how important it is to consider each distinct part of the GAMSAT essay quotes you encounter, as doing so can lead to an entirely different interpretation and can turn your stance from agreeing with the quote to challenging it. What this ultimately means is that you will be performing a detailed, accurate interpretation of the quote, and instead of presenting the marker with an essay based on a shallow interpretation that automatically agrees with the quote as the majority of other test-takers will, you will be presenting them with a deeper and refreshingly unique interpretation of the quote. And hopefully that will score you extra points!

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