The GAMSAT exam consists of three sections: Section 1 on the Humanities; Section 2 on written essays; and Section 3 on the Sciences. This course will take you step-by-step through the essay section of the exam (Section 2). However, it is important to take a strategic view of the overall exam so that you can understand exactly where to place your energies when you are in the process of practising and revising.
The breakdown for the marking of the exam is based on the Science section being worth double the marks of the other two sections. The breakdown is as follows:
Section 1: Humanities – 25%
Section 2: Essays – 25%
Section 3: Sciences – 50%
So, does this mean that most of your energy should go towards Section 3 of the exam? Well, not necessarily – let me explain.
The overwhelming majority of GAMSAT candidates come from the sciences having studied these disciplines in the university setting. What this means is that most of your competitors do poorly in Section 1 of the exam because most have never had the experience of deconstructing poetry and prose. But … this is not as bad as it sounds, because MOST people do poorly on this section. The opposite can be said for Section 3 in which most of your competitors do very well because they actually have a background in the sciences. Effectively, in 75% of the exam, it is awfully difficult to gain an advantage (or to lose an advantage) over your competitors. What this means is that the remaining 25% of the exam – the essays – is where you can either pick up or lose most of your advantage.
Most people go into the exam without a plan for writing the essays. They simply attempt to repeat what they learnt at university or high school about essay writing. The problem here is that the GAMSAT essays are completely different to those that you have written in your university studies. In fact, those people who attempt to write the GAMSAT essays in the same way as their university essays (thesis-antithesis-synthesis structure), generally get low scores in the essay section of the exam. In effect, you need to ‘unlearn’ everything you know about essay writing in order to succeed in the GAMSAT essays. How do you do this? Well, the best way to maximize your results is to follow the instructions in this course.