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

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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 Essay Questions – Practice Essay Questions

gamsat essay questions

Looking for some GAMSAT essay questions to practice writing essays for section 2?

Most of the GAMSAT study resources published contain a limited amount of quotes to use when writing practice GAMSAT essays. So where can you find more?

The best place to find plenty of additional GAMSAT essay questions is the Random Quote Generator available at:

http://www.ellipsoid.org/gmi/random-quote-generator

The Random Quote Generator includes over 5000 quotes from the GoodReads database and creates random sets of 5 quotes based around a common theme… everything from politics to revenge. It covers a broad range of topics that the GAMSAT is likely to test you on for both Task A and Task B, but certainly not all. The “pets” theme for the Task B essay in the March 2016 exam was quite a curve ball!

Some of the quotes included in the sets are a bit unconventional, so overlook those ones and just keep refreshing the page until you land on a set of GAMSAT essay quotes that are useful to you. Choose the quote you want to write your essay on and be sure to address that particular quote in the context of the theme. Elegantly mention one of the other given quotes in your essay if you can for extra points.

TIP: As you are browsing the quotes in the set of five, don’t automatically select the short quotes. Sometimes the longer quotes have more “meat on the bone” for you to write a brilliant GAMSAT essay.

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GAMSAT Prep Advice for Section 2 – What is Your Stance?

GAMSAT prep

GAMSAT Prep Advice

Another piece of valuable GAMSAT prep advice I can give you for Section 2 is to establish your views on the various themes in advance. At the point of perusing the quote set during the exam is not the time to be weighing up whether you think money, politics, religion or media is the root of all good or evil.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you are rock-solid in your stance on certain topic as many GAMSAT quotes can challenge your thinking. For example, right now you may consider yourself to be a person that wholeheartedly supports freedom of speech. Then you encounter the following quote:

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” – Noam Chomsky

The first step in interpreting this quote is to consider who “we” (as a society) despise. Terrorists? Paedophiles? So, in the context of this quote, if we 100% support freedom of speech, that means we support the right of terrorists to publicly preach hate and murder, and we support the right of paedophiles to publicly vocalise the intimacies of their desires toward young children.  Are you happy for this to occur? Do you really support freedom of expression for the people we despise – especially when you consider what the consequences of such freedom of expression is likely to be?

It’s easy to jump on the ‘war is bad’ bandwagon, but take the time to consider an alternative view… why war might be absolutely necessary.

Is wisdom more powerful than knowledge?

Should people tell the truth ALL the time?

Barely anything is either black or white – there is usually shades of grey in between and it is important that you don’t ignore these shades of grey in your GAMSAT essays if you hope to score well.

Also, do you tend to view things through a particular lens? Your faith? Your culture? Feminist? Your socio-economic status? If so, be aware of this and use it as a springboard for comparison in your GAMSAT essays where appropriate.

If you make evaluating and firming up your worldview and stance on a broad range of topics part of your GAMSAT prep, you will be better placed to write stronger GAMSAT essays without wasting time contemplating your opinions or position during the actual exam.

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