10 Top Tips for GAMSAT Section 1
GAMSAT section 1 is ‘Reasoning in Humanities’. Students normally perceive section 1 to be the easiest part of the GAMSAT however practice is essential and this is a great section to pick up extra marks.
Go make a coffee and read this guide to gain top tips and achieve a high mark in GAMSAT section 1!
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the GAMSAT format and timings have changed, below is the new breakdown of the timing and disciplines:
GAMSAT Section 1
|Section||No. of Questions||Reading time||Writing time||Total test time|
|Section 1: Reasoning in Humanities||47 MCQs||6 minutes||64 minutes||70 minutes|
These timings allow you to spend approximately 1 minute 20 seconds per question.
Here are ten top tips for developing your strategy to approach section 1 of the GAMSAT:
Top 10 tips for GAMSAT Section 1
- Familiarise yourself with the different styles of section 1 questions
- Become familiar with the type of questions asked
- Time yourself
- Increase your reading speed
- Make a note of unfamiliar words
- Study literary techniques and poetic devices
- Create a question log
- Read Shakespeare
- Read the passage!
The best way to become familiar with GAMSAT section 1 is to practice the questions. This will help you to get used to the format and MCQ style of answering questions
This will also help you to identify particular question types that you are weaker at.
You can find the official ACER questions here
2. Become familiar with the different styles of GAMSAT section 1 questions
There are many different types of questions that can be asked in GAMSAT Section 1. Become familiar with each of these and prepare for them individually. Although there is overlap in the approach you need for some of them, there are more specific aspects required for certain questions such as poetry questions.
- Cartoons and illustrations
- Charts and Diagrams
- Quotes, Comments and Proverbs
3. Become familiar with the specific GAMSAT Section 1 questions asked
Within each style of question, there are specific questions that may be asked. Take some time to become familiar with these and develop an approach to answering them.
For example, here are some of the common questions asked in poetry units:
- Interpretation of the poem
- Interpretation of a specific line
- Recognition of a poetic technique
- Interpretation of the poets feelings or perspectives
- Interpretation of a subjects feelings or perspective
4. Time yourself when answering the questions
You are given 70 minutes, which includes 6 minutes of reading time, to answer 47 MCQ’s in GAMSAT Section 1. This allows you to spend approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds to complete each question. Timing yourself whilst practising questions will give you an idea of whether your answering speed is sufficient. It’s important to pace yourself, not only to ensure you answer all questions but you also want to maximise your time. Therefore you may find you have more time and in that case you should slow down and allow yourself more time to fully interpret the passages.
5. Increase your reading speed
Students generally feel their reading speed is not quick enough. It can be hard to read large passages under time pressure and increasing your time dedicated to reading can help to increase your speed. Whether it’s a magazine, newspaper or a book, these will all help. Here are some suggestions;
Scientific journals/ abstracts:
Reading these may also allow you to skim texts more and may help you to identify specific parts in which the answers are held. For example, abstracts follow a specific structure and becoming familiar with it will allow you to spend less time looking for answers within texts. The other advantage to reading more in your spare time is that it may inspire you with your writing pieces in section 2.
6. Make a note of unfamiliar words
Highlight and jot down any words you encounter whilst practising that are unfamiliar. It is worth taking the time to look them up in a dictionary and learning them to give you the ebay chance at comprehending a passage. Sometimes you might be asked to define a word and in this case, you should look into the context of which the word is used. Reading the sentence prior and after the word can help. But whilst you’re practising, use a dictionary.
7. Study literary techniques and poetic devices
You may be asked to interpret the use or effect of a specific poetic or literary device. The only way to tackle these questions is to be familiar with the specific device. Allow yourself time to become familiar with these.
Here are some examples of poetic techniques that feature in GAMSAT section 1:
- Alliteration– repetition of consonant sounds
- Anaphora – repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of each line
- Assonance – repetition of vowel sounds
- Consonance – repetition of consonant sounds at the end of words
- Enjambment – the use of run-on lines
- Onomatopoeia – a word that phonetically imitates the sound that it describes
- Personification – attribution of a personal nature or human characteristic to something non-human
- Rhyme – repetition of similar sounds in the final stressed syllables
- Rhythm – the beat or movement of a line
And here are some literary terms that you should familiarise yourself with:
- Adage – A proverb or short statement expressing a general truth
- Allegory – A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning.
- Archetype – A very typical example of a certain person or thing. E.g. mother, father, jealous lover, coward etc.
- Epiphany – A moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation.
- Hyperbole – An exaggerated statement or claim, e.g. “He’s running faster than the wind.”
- Irony – The difference between the actual result and the expected result, or a clever use of words to express something other than the literal meaning of the words.
- Metaphor – A figure of speech in which an object or idea is used symbolically to represent another in order to simplify or intensify the comparison. E.g. “Raining cats and dogs.”
- Paradox – A seemingly contradictory statement which nevertheless may be true, or a statement which seems true but is in fact contradictory.
- Personification – Attributing human characteristics to inanimate objects or animals.
- Protagonist – The leading character or participant in a real or literary event
- Satire – The use of humour to ridicule or criticise people or society.
- Simile – A kind of metaphor which explicitly states the comparison by use of words such as “like” or “as”. E.g. “As brave as a lion.”
- Symbolism – An object used to represent ideas or qualities
8. Create a question log
As mentioned, there are common questions that come up in specific styles of questions. As these frequently appear, it is a good idea to make note of the questions you find difficult. Keep a log of these and make sure to practice these.
9. Read Shakespeare
Shakespearean passages may appear in GAMSAT section 1. The language and sentence structure is very different in these texts and therefore it’s a good idea to read some Shakespearean passages beforehand.
You can find Shakespearean texts here.
10. Read the passage carefully!
No prior knowledge is required for GAMSAT Section 1 therefore all of the answers are provided within the passage or information presented! So make sure to read the passage fully and refer back to it for the answers.
If you have any further questions about GAMSAT section 1, please leave a question below and we’ll get back to you! And click here to find out more about our tutoring options.
GAMSAT Section 1 is the Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences section of the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). It is designed to test candidates’ ability to think critically and analyze information from a variety of humanities and social sciences sources.
GAMSAT Section 1 includes a variety of question types, including comprehension, interpretation, and analysis questions.
To prepare for GAMSAT Section 1, students can review basic grammar and vocabulary, read widely and critically, practice with sample questions and practice exams, and develop critical thinking and time management skills. Students can also seek out additional resources, such as study groups or tutors, for additional support.
Some effective speed reading techniques for GAMSAT Section 1 include scanning for keywords, using your peripheral vision, and minimizing subvocalization (saying words in your head). You can also practice timed reading exercises and gradually increase your reading speed.
To improve your essay writing skills for GAMSAT Section 1, you can practice writing essays on a variety of topics, paying attention to structure, clarity, and coherence. Make sure to develop a clear thesis statement and support it with evidence from the texts you read. You can also seek feedback from peers or tutors and revise your essays accordingly.
To improve your vocabulary for GAMSAT Section 1, you can read widely and make note of unfamiliar words. Look up their definitions and practice using them in context. You can also use vocabulary-building resources, such as flashcards, word lists, and online vocabulary quizzes.
To stay focused during the GAMSAT exam, you can practice mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, before the test. You can also take breaks if you feel your attention waning and avoid distractions, such as your phone or other electronic devices. Lastly, keep in mind that the exam is timed, so focus on managing your time effectively.
To approach unfamiliar topics, students can use context clues, break down complex concepts into simpler parts, and draw on their background knowledge and experience.