10 Top Tips for GAMSAT Section 2
Section 2 of the GAMSAT is known as ‘Written Communication’. You are required to write two written pieces, one from Section A and one from Section B. You are provided with five quotes and comments that are related to a common theme and you are asked to write a piece in response to one or more of them.
Read this guide to improve your essay writing and achieve a great mark for GAMSAT section 2!
GAMSAT Section 2
|Section||No. of Questions||Reading time||Writing time||Total test time|
|Section 2: Written Communication||2||5 minutes||60 minutes||65 minutes|
10 top tips for GAMSAT Section 2
- Develop a strategy
- Create an ideas bank
- Mind map
- Read more in your spare time
- Get feedback
- Familiarise yourself with politics, philosophy and psychology
- Work on spelling and grammar
- Time yourself
1. Practice for GAMSAT Section 2!
Practice writing as many essays as you can and try to write on a variety of different topics. You will probably come across topics that you find easier to write about but challenge yourself and make sure to practice topics that you are less comfortable with.
Also use this time to see whether you are able to use more than one comment. You can write a response to one or more of the comments so this is the perfect time to see whether you can handle developing more than one comment. I wouldn’t recommend trying to use more than three as this will most likely disrupt the flow.
When you begin practising, do not feel as though you need to stick to a time limit, it is a good idea to just let yourself keep writing and developing your ideas.
Aim for approximately 500 words per piece. You may find that you do not have enough time for this but don’t worry, it’s the quality of the essay that is the most important aspect.
2. Develop a strategy for GAMSAT Section 2
Become familiar with the general layout of a GAMSAT section 2 essay, it normally consists of an introduction, 2 or 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Plan how you are going to tackle section 2;
- Read the comments and decide on the common theme
- Select your comments then brainstorm your ideas
- Plan the structure and layout of your paragraphs
- Then start writing!
Also plan how you are going to ensure you produce a good essay;
- Keep your body paragraphs balanced and a similar length, this will allow you to develop each idea equally.
- Write concisely and try to keep every sentence relevant.
- Use rhetorical questions, these will keep the reader engaged.
- Use analogies and metaphors; real world examples and personal reflections can help to explain your ideas and opinions.
3. Create an ideas bank
Although the themes that come up in GAMSAT section 2 are completely random and it is unlikely a topic you have practiced will come up, it’s a good idea to create an ideas bank. Examples or opinions that you develop in your practice essays may be applicable to other themes. For example you may develop ideas and opinions on the importance of friendships and these may be relevant if asked to write about familial relationships.
Creating an ideas bank will also increase your creativity and may help to make your essay more unique. Don’t be afraid to reflect on your own personal experiences.
Here are some sample topics for an essay idea bank:
4. Mind map
You are presented with 5 comments in each part of section 2 and it can be hard to identify the best comment(s) for you to use.
Whilst practising, it is a good idea to mind map for each comment to determine which you will be able to write the most on. You won’t have time to do this during the exam but practising this will allow you to identify the most suitable comment in less time.
Students can fall into the trap of picking a comment which may not be best suited to their ideas and opinions so practising this will help to avoid it on the day of the exam.
5. Read more in your spare time
Whether it’s a magazine, a newspaper or a novel, reading will help to improve your creativity and will give you ideas for your essays, add these to your section 2 ideas bank!
Reading will also help you to improve your grammar and spelling for the GAMSAT.
You can also incorporate quotes into your writing so highlight any that you feel may be useful in your essays.
6. Get feedback
It’s important to get feedback on your writing in order to improve and develop your essay writing. This will allow you to see whether you have developed your ideas in a way that can be understood by others.
Getting another opinion can also allow you to come up with more ideas, ask anybody that is willing to read your writing!
Feedback is also very important for grammar and spelling as you may not be able to see your own mistakes.
Feel free to ask your tutor to correct your GAMSAT section 2 essays. Click here for more information about our tutoring options.
7. Familiarise yourself with politics, philosophy and psychology
When expressing an opinion, it is a good idea to use real world examples to back up your opinion.
The news and documentaries may provide you with current political or philosophical events that may be relevant to your essay, this will allow you to create a powerful argument and will also show the examiner that you are self-aware and conscious of world issues and events.
8. Work on spelling and grammar for GAMSAT section 2
Whilst writing practice essays, be aware of autocorrect if you are using a digital device. It can be all too easy to get used to relying on these devices to perfect your writing so make sure to turn this feature off.
On the flipside, practising on a digital device such as your laptop can be beneficial as it will point out spelling and grammar mistakes and provide you with a correct option. Just make sure these are highlighted and not automatically corrected.
Make note of any continuous spelling or grammar mistakes.
9. Time yourself
As you get closer to the GAMSAT, begin timing yourself as this will allow you to see how quick you can plan and will also show you realistically how many words you will be able to produce within the time frame.
It is recommended that you roughly divide your 30 minutes for each GAMSAT section 2 essay into: 5 minutes of planning, 20 minutes of writing and spend the last 5 minutes proof-reading.
If unusual topics or themes turn up in GAMSAT section 2, don’t panic! There is a common misconception that these essays are a test of your knowledge of current world affairs but don’t worry if you don’t have concrete examples of events. The main purpose of these essays is to test your ability to express your ideas.
Sample essay themes:
- Genetic modification
- Modern art
- Natural disasters
In conclusion, practising section 2 essays is of great importance and getting feedback is even more important! Don’t be afraid to include personal reflections and get creative with your ideas and opinions. And on the day of the exam, do not panic if unfamiliar themes are included in GAMSAT section 2. Make sure to check out our GAMSAT tutoring options, follow this link .
Feel free to leave any comments or questions below
Frequently Asked Question
→What is GAMSAT Section 2?
GAMSAT Section 2 is the Written Communication section of the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). It is designed to assess the writing skills of applicants to medical school, and consists of two tasks: a personal essay and a reflective essay.
→How do I improve my GAMSAT Section 2?
10 top tips for GAMSAT Section 2:
Develop a strategy
Create an ideas bank
Read more in your spare time
Familiarise yourself with politics, philosophy and psychology
Work on spelling and grammar
→What is a good score for GAMSAT Section 2?
The average score for section 2 is slightly higher then section 1. Aim for a score above 63 where the average score is between 59-65.
→How do you write a GAMSAT Section 2 essay?
Keep your body paragraphs balanced and a similar length, this will allow you to develop each idea equally.
Write concisely and try to keep every sentence relevant.
Use rhetorical questions, these will keep the reader engaged.
Use analogies and metaphors; real world examples and personal reflections can help to explain your ideas and opinions.
→How can I avoid going off on tangents in GAMSAT Section 2?
To avoid going off on tangents in GAMSAT Section 2, it is important to plan your essay before you start writing, and to stay focused on the topic throughout your essay. You should also use clear, concise language and avoid including unnecessary information.
→How can I use examples effectively in GAMSAT Section 2?
To use examples effectively in GAMSAT Section 2, you should choose relevant and specific examples that illustrate your points. You should also explain how the examples relate to the topic, and use them to support your arguments and conclusions.
→Why is GAMSAT Section 2 important?
GAMSAT Section 2 is an important part of the GAMSAT because it allows admissions committees to assess applicants’ writing skills and their ability to communicate effectively. Good communication skills are essential for success in medical school and in the medical profession.