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!