A Beginner’s Guide to GAMSAT Section 2

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Prepping well for Section 2 is arguably the best and easiest way to boost your overall GAMSAT score. But there are a number of pitfalls people fall into.

Experienced writers can be overconfident and be caught out by the restrictive time limit.

Inexperienced writers can neglect this section in favour of prep for the more intimidating Section 3.

But if you want a nice score boost, I recommend you get serious about Section 2!

Essential Info

Section 2 is the “Written Communication” section for which you need to write two essays in response to two “tasks”. ACER want to see what kinds of ideas you can come up with on the fly and how well you can express them in writing.

Each task will consist of 4 “comments” or quotes (in the past it was 5) from which you can ascertain a common, general theme. Feel free to respond to one quote, 2-3 of the quotes or the whole general theme.

It isn’t necessary to give your essays titles. But it might help YOU to do so! More on this later…

Timing info

Number of essays: 2

Reading time: 5 mins

Writing time: 60 mins

Writing time per essay*: 30 mins

*You can actually spend more time writing one essay than another because you have a total of 60 minutes to write both.

Task A ( socio-cultural issues)

Writing style: argumentative, academic

Example topics:

  • Government / democracy

Task B ( personal and social issues)

Writing style: emotional response, reflective

  • Forgiveness
  • Intelligence

Official advice from ACER

Each essay will require you to “produce and develop ideas in writing” meaning they’re testing your ability to come up with ideas off the cuff and express them effectively.

ACER warns that “pre-prepared responses and responses that do not relate to the topic will receive a low score.”

It might be comforting to know that you will not be assessed on the “correctness” of your point of view. So whether you’ll be expressing right-wing, left-wing or middle-ground views, in theory it should not impact on your score.

Unlike what you may have come across in your academic journey so far, you will not be asked to respond to a specific question or be given a title. Instead, you will need to ascertain a common theme FIRST from the comments/quotes provided and respond to that.

You will be marked on the “organisation and expression” plus “thought and content” of your essays…

Thought and content ( quality of what is said)

  • “What is made of and developed from the task” (e.g. depth provided for each idea you present, shown you can understand both the explicit and implicit meaning in the quotes, backed your ideas with evidence and examples)
  • “The kinds of thoughts and feelings offered in response to the task” (e.g. considered both sides of an argument, provided original and unexpected ideas)

Organisation and expression ( the quality of the structure developed and the language used )

  • “Shape and form of the piece” (e.g. paragraphs, linking of paragraphs, logical order of ideas)
  • “Effectiveness and fluency of the language” (e.g. grammar & spelling, jargon-free and appropriate wording, varying length of sentences)

Unfortunately, that’s all the detail you can get out of ACER about how exactly they will assess you!

You will notice, though, that knowledge per se (e.g. regurgitating political/historical facts) is not credited.

How to prepare

Firstly , read around gathering ideas and build an ideas bank . Many people are a fan of the book The Meaning of Things by AC Grayling because each chapter is essentially a little essay in response to a likely Section 2 theme!

In supplement to AC Grayling’s book, read widely and make sure to consider opinions that may not align with your personal beliefs.

Seek to develop an understanding of different viewpoints and reflect on insightful or surprising ideas you come across. This is far more useful than memorising facts to regurgitate.

Free sources of Section 2 ideas include TED Talks , The Guardian: Opinion and The Conversation .

Secondly , decide on the structure you’re going to use (including if you’re going to use one at all!) and the phrases and language you’ll use as part of that structure. I provide example essay structures later in this blog post…

Thirdly , PRACTICE. You cannot get better at writing if you do not write! I recommend at least 20 practice essays , at least 16 of those timed (5-10 mins planning, 20-25 mins writing). Do not under appreciate the value of using 5-10 mins to plan your essays. This will help ensure quality over quantity.

Tips for practicing

  • Naturally you’ll want feedback on your essays but, as I mentioned earlier, ACER (who administer the test) aren’t very open about their marking criteria. However, you can get your essays marked by ACER’s official marking system if you have some spare cash. Link: https://gamsat.acer.org/prepare/preparation-materials
  • You could also form an essay exchange group with some study buddies. How does this work? You take turns setting the quotes each week using a quote generator. Every week you all write an essay in response and have your best go at marking each other’s work. I did this and it was a great help for me (plus I was able to steal some excellent ideas from other people!)
  • On my FREE GAMSAT Resources Master List page I link to free quote generators and practice essays that you may find helpful.

My approach to Task A

This is your chance to show you can generate interesting, original (i.e. unexpected) ideas and arguments on the fly. This is the step-by-step approach I used to score 67 in section 2.

1. Ascertain the theme

Read all 4 comments/quotes. Look for keywords, sentiments and topics that are in common between them, as well as contrasts and paradoxes. It may not always be obvious, but a common general theme is always in there e.g. democracy, technology.

2. Create an essay title / question to answer

Once you have determined the theme (see above), you can choose to either respond to one comment/quote, or create your own essay title or question to answer based on that theme. Pick a title or question that you could imagine two people disagreeing over.

3. Pick a side

Now you have a self-made essay question to answer, or a title to respond to, decide which side of the argument you sit on. It doesn’t matter if it genuinely aligns with your actual views. No one is going to check!

4. Brainstorm

Come up with 3-4 supporting ideas for the side you have picked PLUS supporting evidence (e.g. recent news piece, historical fact, research finding or a quote from a notable person) for the assertions you will use. You may only find time to include 2-3 main ideas, but that’s fine. Lastly, come up with at least 1 idea that supports the opposing side of the argument to show you can foresee and understand different opinions.

5. Plan around a structure

The structure I used is below. Feel free to use it or a variation of it.

Style tips:

  • Your idea bank should have breadth. But your essays should have depth!
  • Link your paragraphs together.
  • Vary the length of your sentences. Use both short and long ones.
  • Use active words instead of having a passive voice e.g. “Teachers believe that…” vs “It is thought that teachers believe…”
  • Aim for 300-500 words maximum. Depending on your handwriting, this could be the equivalent of 2-3 sides of A4 paper.
  • It’s a myth that you need to memorise quotes and regurgitate them.
  • It’s a myth that you can’t use “I”. Feel free to if it suits your writing style.
  • Aim to be clear and persuasive. Stick to clear, plain language that gets your point across. There are no bonus points for sounding pompous!

Phrases you may find handy:

  • Starting argumentative paragraphs: firstly, one reason for this, first of all, secondly, thirdly, finally, another reason is
  • Contrasting: however, in contrast, despite, nonetheless, nevertheless, yet, on the one hand, on the other hand, on the contrary, in spite of this
  • Emphasis: clearly, indeed, in fact, most importantly
  • Providing examples: moreover, similarly, furthermore, in addition, besides, also
  • Concluding: consequently, in conclusion

7. Proof-read & edit

Leave a few mins at the end of each essay to read through them. Check writing is legible, there are no missing or duplicate words and that it all generally makes sense.

My approach to Task B

Task B is your chance to show you understand emotions and can learn from and reflect on experiences. This is the step-by-step approach I used to score 67 in section 2.

1. Ascertain the theme:

Read all 4 quotes. Look for keywords, sentiments and topics that are in common between them, as well as contrasts and paradoxes. It may not always be obvious, but a common theme is always in there e.g. love, ageing

2. Create an essay title / question to answer:

Once you have determined the theme (see above), you can choose to either respond to one comment/quote, or fashion an essay title or question to answer based on that theme.

3. Think of a relevant personal experience you learnt from:

This does not have to be a genuine experience of yours. You could adopt the experience of a friend, family member or even a character of a TV show or movie!

4. What did you learn from this experience? How could this relate to society as a whole?

Include a paragraph before your conclusion explaining an implication for society.

5. Plan around a structure.

Because this a reflective, more personal essay than Task A, definitely feel free to use “I” and delve into what you have felt and learnt. Analytical, argumentative writing is not as suitable for this task.

Otherwise, similar to Task A…

7. Proof-read and edit

  • DO NOT MEMORISE TEMPLATE ESSAYS AND REGURGITATE THEM IN THE EXAM. You are setting yourself up for a bad score. ACER warn against this in their official advice! Develop the skill and confidence to respond effectively to whatever is thrown at you on test day instead.
  • Back up every point you make with evidence.
  • Consider an unexpected approach to the theme and individual quotes.
  • Aim to come across as an expert (even if you’re not!). You must write with confidence.
  • Read your practice essays out loud. This will help you spot awkward grammar and phrasing.
  • It’s fine to write as if you are talking to the examiner for both tasks e.g. part-way through the essay you could share that you’ve changed your mind! “It now occurs to me…”
  • Feel free to share how much you agree or disagree with certain comments/quotes.
  • Don’t take comments/quotes at face value. Consider intended meanings i.e. read between the lines!
  • Some people don’t recommend using a structure at all! Instead they suggest writing as if you are arguing a point in an email/text message/forum post. It’s important to find what works best for YOU and YOUR writing style.
  • Keep your writing LEGIBLE. You won’t get any marks for writing that can’t be read!
  • TheMedicBlog has produced a free essay marking guide. I didn’t use it myself but as it’s free might be worth checking out.
  • Gather a wide range of ideas e.g. via The Meaning of Things by AC Grayling and TED Talks.
  • When writing the essays, provide depth to a few ideas, rather than lots of ideas that you barely explain.
  • Decide on the essay structure you’ll use (if you’ll use one at all).
  • Practice either alone or with an essay exchange group of study buddies.
  • Mark your own or study buddies’ essays to help improve your ability to critique writing, and in turn improve your awareness to improve your own writing.
  • The only way to improve writing is… by writing! So write!!

Further reading:

  • Marking sheet to use with your own essays or study buddies .
  • Writing an introduction advice by GAMSAT English Tutor.
  • Essay writing tips by GAMSAT Edge .
  • Example essays on beauty on the Gold Standard GAMSAT forum .

Good luck!  Sign up to my mailing list  to get more tips in your email inbox.

Have some feedback on this article? Did I make an error?  Please contact me via the  contact  page or leave a comment below.

You might also be interested in my article A Beginner’s Guide to GAMSAT Section 3.

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The Ultimate Guide to GAMSAT UK Section 2

Written by: Matt Amalfitano-Stroud

Section 2 of the GAMSAT (Written Communication) is the most unique part of the test, as it’s a writing task instead of a multiple-choice test. It’s also the shortest segment – with two tasks to analyse and complete in such a short amount of time, you’re going to need to be well-prepared to succeed in this part of the exam. This guide will explain what you should expect from Section 2 and how you can ensure you’re ready for anything it throws at you; let’s get started!

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Let’s start off by looking at the basic format and requirements for Section 2 of the GAMSAT.

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Section 2 of the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is a test of written communication and interpretation . Throughout 2 tasks, you must be able to analyse a variety of quotations, determine a common theme and write a short piece to explain and justify your decision . 

How does GAMSAT Section 2 Work?

As mentioned before, Section 2 consists of two separate tasks which each take the same format and have the same requirements. In each task, you will be given a selection of four – five quotes/statements from a variety of contexts. These quotes share a broad, common theme that links them together. Other than these quotes, you are not given any additional information to support your writing. 

Your job is to decipher this theme and explain what it is and why you believe it to be the correct answer. There’s no set word count or limit for each of the two tasks, so it will be down to you to decide how many words will be required to effectively explain your case.

You’ll have 65 minutes in total to complete this section. Five minutes of this is dedicated to reading while the rest of the time can be spent planning and writing. 

GAMSAT Section 2 Scoring

Section 2 of the GAMSAT is unique in many ways compared to the other Section 1 and Section 3 , and the marking system is no different. While the other sections can be marked automatically as they are Multiple-Choice quizzes, written pieces must be assessed by human markers in order to accurately assign a score based on the quality of your work. 

There are conflicting reports on how your answers are marked here, but your essay will be marked by 2 – 3 different markers (and potentially a computer system), who will assess your writing on two key factors:

Quality of Thinking/Discussion of Topic

How well you have been able to explain your interpretation of the common theme and your justification for this answer. 

Quality of Language Used

How well you have been able to utilise written language to present your argument, via language and structure.

Using these factors, each marker will assign your two pieces with a combined score between 0 and 100 . The scores from each marker will be reviewed and a final score will be assigned on the same scale (learn more about this in our GAMSAT Scoring Guide ). 

As with the other sections, your Section 2 result is used to calculate an overall GAMSAT Score using the equation below. 

Overall Score = (1 × Section I + 1 × Section II + 2 × Section III) ÷ 4

Below is a quick summary of the whole GAMSAT format, including Section 2:

gamsat essay words

Exams.Ninja Tip 

Note that you will not receive any marks on your work if you don’t correctly interpret the common theme among the provided quotes. The themes covered are generally very broad so it’s difficult to completely misinterpret the quotes. However, it’s still important that you take time to fully consider the correct answer before writing. 

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Section 2 questions don’t give you that much to work with, so it’s vital that you understand what you’ll be faced with and how you can use the prompts given to create a fantastic piece of writing!

We know the basic format of Section 2 now, but there’s a lot more that you need to know than just what’s on the paper. You’re going to need to learn how to interpret the quotes you’re given, plan out your writing and effectively express all of your thoughts within the limited timeframe – and you have to do all this twice!

Let’s take this one step at a time, starting with the interpretation stage:

Interpreting GAMSAT Section 2 Prompts

During the five-minute reading phase of the test, you’ll need to analyse each of the quotes you’re given in each of the tasks – that’s 10 quotes to analyse. It helps to take this stage one task at a time so as not to get confused or mix up quotes between questions. 

To start, you may find it beneficial to take a look at each quote quickly to get a sense of what you’re working with. You may pick up on some obvious themes quickly, some of which may be shared between multiple quotes . From there, you will need to take a look at each quote individually and take the time to assess what each one actually means. 

As you progress, you may find a common theme fairly quickly, at which point you’ll be looking to identify how that theme matches the remaining quotes rather than finding the theme within them. If you have any quotes that don’t seem to fit, it may help to re-evaluate your common theme or re-read the quotes to find what you’re missing . 

The themes will be fairly broad in the GAMSAT, but that doesn’t make them shallow or uncomplicated . Each quote may feature a different stance on the same theme or could be more subtle than others, which are all factors that you will need to discuss in your writing to get the highest marks.

Your interpretation doesn’t need to be perfect or one-to-one with what ACER (the GAMSAT operators) have specified. Misinterpreting elements of quotes isn’t going to cost you the question as long as you have identified the main theme correctly and provided sufficient reasoning for your views. Some elements of the task will be subjective, so just write what you believe it means .  

One important thing to note is that each task will deal with a different type of theme . Task 1 tends to deal with socio-cultural issues while Task 2 uses Personal/Social issues .  Here are some examples of what can be covered in Section 2:

GAMSAT Section 2 Common Themes

Task 1: socio-cultural issues, task 2: social/personal issues.

Our Example Question at the end of this guide offers an accurate example of what you should expect from the quotes you will be given in Section 2. 

Don’t rush to finalise your decision before you have fully analysed all of the quotes . While it’s easy to believe that you have the answer from looking at 4/5 of the quotes, you always need to ensure that everything in the task lines up with your answer . You may miss something that will change your whole perspective on the task, which could cost you all of the marks for the task. 

Planning GAMSAT Section 2 Writing

After your five minutes are up (or potentially during, depending on how fast you have interpreted the themes in each task), it will be time to start planning your writing . This isn’t going to be an identical process to other essay writing tasks you may have completed in the past for several reasons: 

Section 2 isn’t technically an essay writing task because you don’t have to write an essay . Applicants have to option to write in any format they see fit, including more creative and unconventional formats, as long as the writing reflects everything that is required for the question.  More on this in a bit!

2. Essay Length

We mentioned before that there is no set word count for these tasks. That isn’t really to benefit those who want to write long pieces but more so because you aren’t expected to write that much in this section. With the restricted time and requirement of two pieces, you’ll need to prioritise efficiency when it comes to your essay structure.

Time is the biggest restriction for this section , so it’s going to impact the planning phase just as much as the writing phase. You’ll have a digital whiteboard to use, but you shouldn’t spend more than 10 minutes finalising your plans for both tasks – and that’s only if you’re a fast typer!

So this planning phase may be more challenging or fairly simple depending on where your skills lie. However, the basic principles of essay planning still apply here – albeit in a more condensed form. 

Creating a basic structure for your work with set discussion points is essential to avoid unfocused writing and repeated statements . Efficiency will be your greatest asset, so simple but effective language should be the aim. Most test-takers will take on quotes one at a time, often finding connections between them to allow for natural flow, and this should all be determined in your plan. 

However, before that, you’ll need to decide on the form your writing will take. As mentioned before, you have an open approach to how you wish to write your work, be it conventional essays or more creative forms of writing. Some examples of less conventional writing formats include: 

You most likely have never seen an opportunity to write academic work in the form of a script or blog post before (especially in medicine), but all of these options and more are available to you should you wish to deviate from the standard essay format .  

With that being said though, most applicants still choose to write in a simple format. The GAMSAT markers aren’t awarding points based on the creativity of your work , so writing in these formats will only benefit you if you feel you can express your points more effectively and efficiently in this way. What’s important is that your work is well-written and offers valid arguments for your answer. 

Remember, you’re time is extremely limited so you shouldn’t fixate on the perfect form or structure for your work. Once you have your key points organised in a manner that makes sense, it’s time to start writing! 

How to Write for GAMSAT Section 2

Writing should take up the bulk of your time as you don’t want to rush through either of the tasks. With an effective plan in place , your priority now is to get the words down in a manner that is well-structured, makes sense and explains everything you need to cover . 

To manage your time effectively, understand that your work can be as short as it needs to be. A typical GAMSAT Section 2 essay is 400 – 500 words , but these are not set requirements. If you feel you can cover all of your points effectively in less or if you think you will need more to properly make your point, the choice is yours.  

The length is not important, but rather the following two elements of writing . These are the two factors that the markers will be assessing your work on, so ensure that your work is written with this in mind: 

This relates to the content of your writing . Essentially, the markers expect your work to clearly explain why you believe the provided quotes have a common theme between them. This is the whole point of the piece, so you need to ensure that the reader can fully understand how each quote fits the theme – at least from your perspective. 

Clear explanations will earn you points, but the highest-scoring essays will feature the following elements: 

  • A clear thesis that summarises your thoughts on the overall theme within the task.
  • Unique, thought-provoking and generally well-explored discussions of the themes and quotes at play.
  • Backing with additional evidence where appropriate (though this doesn't need to be too in-depth).
  • Displays of empathy, logic and other qualities of medical professionals.

Markers are looking for good-quality writing in GAMSAT Section 2 submissions. This doesn’t mean that they are looking for masterful uses of vocabulary and creative structure, but they do require work to be clear, concise and well-structured . Fluency in English also isn’t the primary concern in the GAMSAT, so minor mistakes will not cost you too many points as long as the intention behind the writing is still clear. 

In most cases, simpler writing will actually be favourable , as these are some of the key elements markers look out for: 

  • A logical, well planned structure that offers a clear flow from point-to-point with good connectivity.
  • Efficiency in writing, avoiding overlong and irrelevant discussion.
  • An appropriate use of language and tone when considering the topic being discussed (primarily for more creative works).
  • Generally easy to read and understand, making each point clear.

By focussing on these key areas – and ensuring you have correctly interpreted the task – you should find yourself performing well in this section. It’s the most open-ended task in the exam and that freedom can be either liberating or terrifying! However, effective preparation and practice will help you learn the best GAMSAT writing techniques that work for you. Let’s see what you can do to get yourself ready!

As with any essay task, you should aim to leave yourself time the end to review your work . You’re writing will be much shorter than you’re used to, so yo shouldn’t need more than 5 minutes to properly review both of the tasks. However, it’s still important to check that you covered everything as effectively as possible and correct any simple mistakes you may spot. 


Preparing for Section 2 can be challenging and time-consuming, but once you’ve perfected your own writing techniques, you’ll find the actual exam much less stressful! 

Throughout your time in higher-education, you’ve likely had a lot of experience with academic writing and have been able to hone in on your specific writing style. This will act as a great starting point for your GAMSAT prep, but you’re going to have to approach things a little bit differently in order to get top marks. Here are some ways to prepare yourself:

1. Write, Write, Write!

Writing is the most effective way to prepare for Section 2 of the GAMSAT – or any writing task for that matter! GAMSAT prep is convenient in some ways as you’ll only be writing short pieces under 1,000 words, meaning you can get through multiple pieces in a single study session. 

Initially, your writing doesn’t need to involve answering traditional GAMSAT questions but rather it can be about anything. In these early stages, the goal should be to perfect your writing style to match the needs of the GAMSAT . 

For many of you, this may mean you need to practice your efficiency . Good academic essays can be 4,000+ words long and cover dozens of points, but that just isn’t going to work in the GAMSAT. You need to be able to present the same quality of writing in a fraction of the space , so learn to cut out the fat while writing to prevent bloat in your work. 

2. Start Off Big & Learn To Edit

Following on from the first point, it may not be simple to edit your work while you’re writing. Therefore, you may find it easier to start off writing in your typical style and review your work afterwards to try and reduce the amount of fluff. 

As you continue this process, you may discover some bad habits that are padding out your writing or making it unnecessarily complicated to read . Once you’ve identified the issue, you can take the steps to stamp them out before the testing date so that you’re left writing highly efficient, easy-to-understand texts that will earn you top marks. 

If you’re struggling to do this yourself, perhaps give it to someone you trust , telling them that it needs to be simple and short . Chances are they’ll have some feedback on how to make it fit that description better. 

3. Use Practice Resources

While developing your writing skills is important, remember that you also need to be able to answer the question that the test will present you with. As the testing date gets closer, you will need to begin practising with actual GAMSAT-styled tasks , which isn’t always easy to do.

GAMSAT past papers aren’t released to the public , while ACER tends to charge for the majority of its official practice materials. Therefore free options are limited. Investing in GAMSAT materials is usually a good idea, especially if you are able to access materials for all three sections as you can do with GAMSAT.Ninja (which also provides free access to certain features including practice questions).

The difficulty with GAMSAT prep is that half the challenge comes from interpreting the quotes , which means you can’t really set the practice tasks yourself without help from a trusted family member or peer. If you can do this, however, it will provide you with a very effective preparation strategy!

4. Utilise Exam Conditions

By the end of your preparation, you should be able to confidently complete two separate tasks within the 65-minute window you’ll be given in the test. It’s important to be strict with yourself while practising for an exam, so you should aim to set aside at least an hour each week to do a full Section 2 simulation, complete with realistic marking . 

As well as this, you should aim to complete at least one full mock GAMSAT before the testing date in order to see how well you’ll cope with the gauntlet of testing that’s ahead of you. It’s exhausting and pretty inconvenient to set up, but if you can do it once, you should be able to do it again for real!

There’s plenty more to learn about GAMSAT prep in our GAMSAT Preparation Tips Guide , but for now, let’s take a look at an example of a GAMSAT Section 2 task:

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GAMSAT Section 2 tasks are simultaneously very simple and very deep, so let’s take a look at an example of one and how it could be approached!  

GAMSAT Section 2 Example Task 1

1. Some believe that the government is most effective at determining how public money is spent. Others believe it is the public themselves. 2. The founding principle of modern government is to redistribute wealth. 3. When the rich support the vulnerable, everyone prospers. 4. Redistributing the wealth of the nation is a complicated process that prompts many important questions about how to do it in a fair and reasonable way.

The common theme among these quotes is  Redistributing Wealth  – how money can be given back to society by the government or by the rich and what impact it can have. 

GAMSAT Section 2 Example Task 2

1. There are three certainties in life; taxes, death and change. 2. Some say life is nothing but change. 3. It’s not about the fact that things change; it is how you deal with change that matters. 4. Wisdom is dealing with chaos in a calm manner.

The common theme among these quotes is  Change – how change is perceived and dealt with. 

That covers everything. you need to know to start your GAMSAT Section 2 preparation! It’s not an easy task to get used to but with consistent practice, you should find this to be one of the easier portions of the whole test. If you want to go back to the GAMSAT Basics, check out our Definitive GAMSAT Guide , or if you’re to begin your preparation, sign up to GAMSAT.Ninja for free now!

GAMSAT UK Scores – Your Definitive Guide To GAMSAT Scoring and Results

Gamsat preparation: how to prepare for the gamsat uk, the definitive guide to gamsat uk section 3, your ultimate guide to gamsat uk section 2, the ultimate guide to gamsat uk section 1, gamsat: the definitive gamsat starter guide for 2024.

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Training Temple-  Access GAMSAT tutorials that cover every section and every technique that will help you get a fantastic overall score.

Practice Dojo-  Utilise 1,000+ GAMSAT questions covering all three sections. Review worked solutions for each and every question to ensure you learn from each study session. 

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Gamsat Notes

Gamsat Notes

June 28, 2017, gamsat notes in essay examples , exam preperation | june 28, 2017, essay example rundown – how to write essays for the gamsat.

This post will run through how to write essays for the GAMSAT. It will detail how tackle the structure, and reduce the chances of getting writers block. Time is of the essence during the GAMSAT exam and your essays are a way to show that you can handle pressure and produce the goods.

Here are a few points to consider when writing your essays.

You will be given a list of quotes to start, and asked to produce an essay on one or many of the quotes, referencing them where necessary. It is entirely OK to use only one of the quotes, and as I have done in a number (if not all) of my essays – not actually make a direct reference to it.

The quotes may be old, new, contemporary, abstract; a mixture of all or other types, or none of those mentioned here – who knows. Don’t let this throw you off. Find a quote that you can make some connection of context with and run with it.

Essay Title

You should produce an essay title . No it is not required. Why come up with a title? It makes your life much easier when it comes to writing the actual content for your essay. If you lose your train of thought, or need to remember what you are even writing about – all you have to do is look at the title. Without coming up with a title and writing it down, you are already putting yourself in a risky situation.

Use Emotion

You are writing quickly, and in order to do so effectively; you should write from the heart. Do not mask your opinions when writing as this will effect the flow for the reader. Do not try to please everybody when writing. You write what and how you feel as you go and have no time for other peoples feelings at the time.

Structure – Most Important Point

Having a structure in your head before your enter the exam is the best way to tackle the essay section. Here is a structure to help you formulate your essays:

  • Reference the title stating your opinion on the matter (e.g. controversial, one-sided, high media presence… etc.)
  • On one hand
  • On the other hand
  • Take a side (usually the first side proposed, but not necessarily)
  • Thirdly… etc.
  • In conclusion/Ultimately/In the end, I feel…
  • I’d suggest to counter your argument slightly here again to show you are empathetic and have at least an ounce of humility
  • Then back up your favoured argument and conclude your essay

GAMSAT Notes Examples:

The following is the first essay I wrote (1 of 16 in total). See the bolded text depecting where the structuring described above has been used. The other example essays will also have the structure bolded throughout to help show where and how it is used. The title of the post will be the quote used to formulate the essay (except for this description post).

“The Best Argument Against Democracy is a Five Minute Conversation with the Average Voter”

Essay Title: Is democracy providing society with their wants and needs?

The question of whether society appreciates the role of government in providing them with their wants and needs is a controversial one.

On the one hand , government provides a wide range of benefits, such as; child benefits, government issued health cards – providing low cost/free heath care, pensions, among many more. These are clearly very beneficial for society as a whole.

On the other hand, the media will quickly have us believe that our government is a greedy, corporation like institution, where we must select the lesser of evil candidates to take office and run our country. It appears ever too often that we hear of shady government deals with large multinational corporations; costing many of the countries taxpayers, and benefiting only a select few of those closely related to the deal.

Ultimately, I believe society benefits more from our government than caveats. Firstly, our education system is highly desirable, especially when compared to that of the United States (tuition fees related). Although this is a popular topic of debate in the past number of years and should be watched closely. Secondly, society also benefits from our government being pro-disability focused. Regulations in building and construction require features such as wheelchair access as standard to ensure all able, and disable bodied people can gain access to any building. This flows generously into that of fire standards and fire safety. Our government has strict safety regulations that we almost unconsciously benefit from.

Finally, Ireland has an attractive corporate tax rate; which helps vastly in attaining corporations to set up their European headquarters (Google, Facebook, etc.); providing jobs, increasing pay standards, and overall improving the quality of life.

In conclusion, Democracy; at least in Ireland, is benefiting society as a whole in my opinion. A lot of work is needed to ensure improvements can be made in the future. Democracy does benefit society in comparison to other systems of government, but this does not mean it is the most appropriate either. Government systems evolve over time along with everything else. I believe Democracy is a step in the right direction; but we are not there yet in terms of the perfect solution (which there may not be one).

Recommended Reading for Section 1

gamsat essay words

Related Notes:

  • Essay Example: “The Liberty of the Individual Must be thus far Limited; He must not Make Himself a Nuisance to Other People”
  • Essay Example: “The Best Argument Against Democracy is a Five Minute Conversation with the Average Voter”
  • Section III Preperation
  • Section I Preperation

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The Ultimate Guide to GAMSAT Section 2

Please note that GAMSAT ‘Section II: Written Communication’ has been renamed to ‘Written Communication Section’. To ensure this article is easy to follow, we’ll refer to this section as ‘Section 2’ throughout. Read about the latest changes to the GAMSAT .

In our GAMSAT Section 2 guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect in Section 2 and how best to prepare for it. We’ll also go through a free example Section 2 task with expert guidance on how to structure this essay.

Just starting GAMSAT revision? We recommend building your GAMSAT knowledge by going through GAMSAT preparation material, such as:

  • GAMSAT FAQ – view 30+ GAMSAT questions, including which dental/medical schools require the GAMSAT
  • GAMSAT preparation tips – find out how to get the most from your revision
  • GAMSAT preparation mistakes – explore common pitfalls to avoid while preparing
  • GAMSAT timing – learn how to overcome GAMSAT time pressure

Once you’ve finished going through this article, we recommend reading the ultimate guide to GAMSAT Section 3 , to give you a comprehensive overview of the entire GAMSAT exam. If you missed the first article in this series, make sure you check out our ultimate guide to GAMSAT Section 1 too.

Table of contents

Gamsat section 2 structure, what does gamsat section 2 test, how should i approach preparation for gamsat section 2, free example task for gamsat section 2.

GAMSAT section

Number of GAMSAT questions

Section time

Time per question

Written Communication

Approximately 30 minutes

For GAMSAT 2024 testing, Section 2 will now be delivered via remote proctoring and will take place approximately two weeks before Section 1 and 3 (these sections will take place at a test centre as normal). Remote proctoring is a form of online remote test delivery which includes being supervised by a remote proctor via screen sharing and webcam monitoring. Learn more about how remote proctoring will work including top tips for ensuring it goes smoothly.

The purpose of GAMSAT Section 2 is to test your ability to effectively and logically express your thoughts. Essays marked will be judged on quality of thinking and how well you articulate this thinking through written language. In order to do this, you must identify the common theme running through the presented comments, and plan and structure your essay before you begin writing.

This section is split into two writing tasks: Task A and Task B. In each GAMSAT Section 2 task, you will read four or five comments on a common theme and must write an essay that responds to one or more of them.

  • Task A tends to focus on socio-cultural issues, such as law, religion and economic narratives. It’s best suited to an argumentative essay style. 
  • Task B tends to focus more on personal and social issues, such as emotions, feelings and the lived experience. Therefore, a creative or reflective essay could be the best option if you feel comfortable writing in this style.

For those with a pure science background, Section 2 can be the most daunting part of the GAMSAT exam. Not only this, the digital exam format means you’ll need to type out your responses (with no automatic spelling and grammar checks). If this is something you struggle with, we advise improving your typing speed and accuracy before sitting the GAMSAT.

Graphic showing someone typing on their laptop

For GAMSAT Section 2 preparation, we recommend that you break down the steps and timing for each task as follows:

  • Assess the task (2 minutes)
  • Brainstorm your response (4 minutes)
  • Outline your essay (4 minutes)
  • Write your essay (17–18 minutes)
  • Review your essay (2–3 minutes)

As you can see, you should spend just over a third of the time limit planning and reviewing your essay, and allocate the rest to writing time.

According to the ACER GAMSAT Information Booklet , you’ll be assessed on ‘the quality of the thinking about a topic’ and ‘the way in which ideas are integrated into a thoughtful response to the task’. This means you should concentrate more on the depth and organisation of ideas, rather than breadth. A sensible guideline to follow for a non-creative essay is an introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

To perform well in this section, it’s critical that you demonstrate that you have correctly understood the theme, thought through different angles on the issue or topic, and taken a clear stance in relation to it. This can be achieved through analysing the task and brainstorming carefully.

In GAMSAT Section 2 essays, it’s a good idea to write about a few concepts that you understand, and communicate these in a logical and coherent way, rather than to present too many ideas in an unstructured manner. Also, some students can focus too heavily on individual quotes and end up missing the overall theme, or fixate too much on the theme and neglect the variety of opinions on a topic. Success in GAMSAT Section 2 requires a careful balance between the two.

Task A example essay question

Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them.

Your writing will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme, how well you organise and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself.

Comment 1 The internet is an elite organisation. Most of the population of the world has never even made a phone call. Noam Chomsky

Comment 2 The internet is forever demanding that the real world be redefined to suit its whims. Terry Pratchett

Comment 3 The Web is a tremendous grassroots revolution. Tim Berners-Lee

Comment 4 The internet’s primary function is to allow people to hear what they want to hear.

Task A example essay guidance

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to approach this task:

Step 1: Assess the task (2 minutes)

1. First, assess the task by reading through all the comments and identifying the overarching theme. In this initial stage, your focus should be on determining which comments you can thoughtfully explore in relation to the theme. This will guide the subsequent decisions you make when planning and writing your essay. As we know that Task A will generally be on a socio-cultural theme, this can help with the first step of identifying the theme in the task. 

Step 2: Brainstorm your response (4 minutes)

2. After identifying the core theme and comments you wish to use, you should think about some pros and cons, as well as your own opinion. In this brainstorming phase, you should reflect on both sides of the topic and note down a few succinct examples for each side. Try to pursue ideas that you find interesting or exciting, as this sense of authenticity can develop your ideas and improve your writing. 

You can use any method to capture your thoughts in response to the task, such as a spider diagram or a table with arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ the statement. By the end of this step, you should have comprehensive notes on many relevant ideas and examples, ready for organising.

Step 3: Outline your essay (4 minutes)

3. Now it’s time to decide how you would like to present all of this thinking to the reader. You should carefully select ideas that will strengthen your essay, and disregard anything that doesn’t contribute to the overall argument. Make sure you decide on your conclusion before organising your chosen ideas into a logical and coherent structure as follows:

  • Introduction: Identify the theme and define the key concepts (use relevant brainstorming notes).
  • Two body paragraphs: Explore one side of the issue in the first paragraph and explore the other side of the issue in the second paragraph. Provide examples in both paragraphs and arrange all your notes on comments, pros and cons, and examples.
  • Conclusion: This is where you should state your own opinion. A strong conclusion accounts for everything that has gone before it (both pros and cons), and makes a logical deduction from that.

Step 4: Write your essay (17–18 minutes)

4. After assessing and planning your essay, it’s time to start writing! 

  • Introduction: The purpose of the introductory paragraph is to provide a clear indication of what’s to come. Identify the core theme, briefly define any key concepts within this theme, and then finish by indicating the other side of the theme.
  • First body paragraph: Present the first side of the argument as clearly and convincingly as you can, and include one or two points with supporting examples which connect to one of the comments.
  • Second body paragraph: Present the other side of the argument as clearly and convincingly as you can, and include one or two points with supporting examples which connect to one of the comments. The key difference between this and the first body paragraph is that you’ll need to show an awareness of the previous paragraph, such as through terminology like ‘however’. 
  • Conclusion: In the final paragraph, you should assert your own opinion – this means you need to pick a side. You could start by directly stating your opinion, and then give reasons as to why you come down on that side. Alternatively, you could briefly summarise both sides, then move swiftly to your opinion. Whatever approach you take, try to end on a strong note to show that you’re in control of the logic presented in the essay.

Note that you can easily adapt this structure to write an essay with a different number of paragraphs. For example, if you want to write one paragraph for all three comments in a task, you would simply plan for three body paragraphs instead of two.

Step 5: Review your essay (2–3 minutes)

5. If you’ve successfully carried out the first four steps, then this step shouldn’t take too long. You can use this time to proofread your essay, which includes checking the grammar, spelling and punctuation. If you have time, you could even add a sentence or two throughout to strengthen the essay if needed. However, by this point, your essay should be close to perfect. This time would be best spent reviewing your work rather than making any major changes.

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Past GAMSAT Essay Topics

Past GAMSAT Essay Topics

Here is a list of some past Gamsat essay topics which have come up before in the test.

These previous Gamsat essay topics have been reported by actual candidates after past sittings of the test over several years so we know they are accurate.

If you'd like to download these as a PDF just click here > Gamsat Essay Topics

Past GAMSAT Essay Topics

After the general previous Gamsat topics below I've also included some Gamsat style quotes you can use to practice writing your own essays. These are also included in the PDF above.

If you'd like to get a full length Section 3 Practice Test with worked answers and which also contains two more essay prompts for Section 2 then fill in the form to the left on this blog or click the link below.


Past GAMSAT Essay Topics Task A

Equality/whether everyone has equal opportunities

Respect towards people of power/discipline/questioning people in power

Trust and respect in society

Over population

Taxation/welfare systems

Tolerance and prejudice

Affirmative action

Intelligence vs. knowledge

Relationship of past, present, future

Nature vs. nurture


Benefits of technology

Climate change

Past GAMSAT Essay Topics Task B

Whether the rich/poor are happier

Marriage and the idealism around it

Recreation and rest/we used to not have enough, now too much

How our habits define who we are

Celebrity and influence

Happiness/what defines a good life

Respect for age vs. pursuit of youth

Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Does pain make you appreciate joy?

Do looks matter?

Past GAMSAT Essay Topics

Now you've read the list of some past Gamsat essay topics let me say something about them.

I've published them here to satisfy student demand, everyone asks about them. Maybe you arrived here yourself as a result of an internet search for this topic.

But they really won't help you that much...

At most these examples will give you some psychological comfort when you see that most of them aren't that difficult. They're the sort of typical bland, boring essay subjects that you would guess would come up if someone asked you to take a guess and make a list.

There's nothing surprising or mysterious here.

Now maybe you are one of those people who thinks that if you practice writing essays on a LOT of different prior topics, then maybe one of those same themes will come up in your actual test and so it will be that much easier for you.

But that is a fallacious idea.

First of all even if ACER does re-use topics (it has never been confirmed) the chances of one of them coming up in your particular sitting is miniscule. Add to that the fact that in recent years we are seeing that not everyone gets the same topics or sets of quotes for section 2 anyway. So even if they did happen to re-use a set of themes the chances of you getting them are even smaller.

It will be a much better use of your time to practice an ESSAY WRITING SYSTEM which can cope with turning ANY set of quotes into a high scoring essay.

That way you won't have to rely on luck or be at the mercy of any particular topic. A good essay writing method should enable you to deal with any subject or theme that the Gamsat throws at you.

The essay writing system inside the Gamsat Review Home Study Course for example is designed to do exactly that.

Tips To Improve Your GAMSAT Essays

1. Argue for both sides of an issue rather than just giving an opinion piece from one point of view. This will demonstrate thought and consideration and help you pick up the marks for quality of thinking.

2. Learn a variety of stock phrases for openers, closers, introducing your arguments and your conclusions. This will help you avoid repetition and also help give your essay structure.

3. Try to express ideas and reasoning rather than reproducing large chunks of memorized facts. The examiners want to assess your intellectual reasoning, not read a history book or a technical manual.

4. Develop your knowledge of history, philosophy, psychology and political thought. There is no short cut to this but you can get a head start by reading works designed to give a quick introduction to the main concepts and ideas. I recommend the book 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know by Ben Dupré which is an easy to read and quick guide to the main concepts of Western thought covering philosophy, religion, politics, economics, the arts and the sciences.

5. Practice writing your Gamsat essays under exam conditions. Sticking to the 30 minute time limit will focus your mind and develop the speed necessary for the real thing. It will also help develop your handwriting skills. Don't underestimate the difficulty of maintaining nice legible writing for the examiner to read after writing as quickly as possible for an hour straight. Especially if like most people you usually work on a computer.

6. Get your essays looked at by a qualified person after you've written them and ask for feedback. A qualified person probably isn't another Gamsat candidate in the same position as you that you met on a student forum or in a Gamsat Facebook group. Try and get one of your teachers or university lecturers to take a look or someone who has done Gamsat before and scored highly in section 2. Or, even better, you could get them marked by a professional Gamsat Essay Marking service.

7. Finally practice, practice, practice. Essay writing is a skill which must be developed. To help you, below are two essay tasks very similar to what you will find in the real test. Find a quiet place for 30 minutes and try and write two essays putting into practice all the advice given above.

Example Gamsat Essay Topics

Writing Task A

Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them. Your writing will be judged on the quality of what you have to say in response to the theme, how well you organize and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself. You will not be judged on your views or attitudes.

The belief that all genuine education comes about through experience does not mean that all experiences are genuinely or equally educative.

                                                                                                               John Dewey

A human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated.

                                                                                                               Horace Mann

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

                                                                                                               Oscar Wilde He who opens a school door, closes a prison.                                                                                   Victor Hugo

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.

                                                                                                        Robert Green Ingersoll

Writing Task B

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

                                                                                                                        Mark Twain

Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire.

                                                                                                                        William Penn

Expensive clothes are a waste of money.

                                                                              Meryl Streep

I don’t design clothes; I design dreams.

                                                                             Ralph Lauren

It is interesting to question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.

                                                                                                      Henry David Thoreau

Further Resources

For more help with GAMSAT check out Griffiths Gamsat Review Home Study System which takes you step by step through all three sections with advanced strategies for each.

Griffiths GAMSAT Review Home Study System

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How to ACE GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Interpretation – Task A


GAMSAT Section 2 quotes

December 20, 2020 in  Free Chapters

How to ACE GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Interpretation

GAMSAT Section 2 writing is not normal essay writing. I’ve said this before, I’ll no doubt say it again. The origin of a 90+ Section 2 response is what is made from the task, or in other words how you approach quote interpretation. It’s very hard to write a poor response with quality, sophisticated ideas; and very hard to write a good response to simple, pedestrian, or reductive ideas.

I like to think of quote interpretation as the ceiling value of your writing. It sets the upper limit of what you can achieve. How you then deliver the thoughts you’ve had is the degree to which you capitalise on the potential you have created through your quote interpretation. In my experience, 95% of students turn that ceiling into a glass ceiling, and shoot themselves in the foot before they begin by approaching perhaps the most crucial element of the task in the most rushed, and pedestrian manner. This does not bode well for a high scoring response.

ACER’s words

Let’s begin first with ACER’s own words from the GAMSAT information booklet so we can be sure that I’m not pontificating about something I just made up. The underlining is my own, the rest is a direct quote.

“Written Communication is assessed on two criteria: the quality of the thinking about a topic and the control of language demonstrated in its development. Assessment focuses on the way in which ideas are integrated into a thoughtful response to the task. Control of language (grammatical structure and expression) is an integral component of a good piece of writing. However, it is only assessed insofar as it contributes to the overall effectiveness of the response to the task and not in isolation. “

There is an emphasis here on quality of thinking, and integration of ideas thoughtfully. That is, in part, to place the prompts in their broader cultural, psycho-social, politico-economic, or philosophical contexts; but also linearly and deliberately developing an argument or position (see my post The Ontology of Structure – Logic for more on this). Structure, language, and other things that traditionally are thought of as the foundations of a good essay are almost explicitly said here not to be assessed in isolation, and that they contribute only insofar as they contribute to the aforementioned criteria (quality of thinking). This is why traditional methods of approaching writing are only sufficient to get you to a 75. There seems to be a huge paucity of information and discussion about how to improve your quality of thinking, or how to telegraph an improved quality of thinking in a GAMSAT section 2 context.

ACER also explicitly says in their information book

“pre-prepared responses and responses that do not relate to the topic will receive a low score.”

Which, if this is what is being assessed, begs two questions..

1. How can I improve the quality of my thinking about the prompts 2. How can I be sure to be relevant to the topic

I come bearing gifts.

How not to approach quote interpretation

Let me first deal with what not to do. Almost everybody I come across conflates the prompts into a one word “theme.” They tell me, “oh the theme is conformity” (or “punishment”, or “government”, or “death”, or “space”, or “boredom” etc). This leads to simple and low level thinking responses which lack direct relevance; and therefore often score poorly. Here’s two reasons why.

It’s reductive

In the first instance you have reduced five incredibly complex, nuanced, sophisticated world views – which have arisen in many cases from 60+ years of expert experience and study, and if not, still from within a valid ontology and set of human experiences, thoughts, and ideas – into a simple world. You have reduced what could have a book, or hundreds of books in many cases, written about it to a word. It’s like thinking that the words “harry potter” is the same thing as everything that happens in those seven books (is it seven, idk?), plus the movies, plus the childhood experiences reading and interacting with those materials, plus the popular culture around it etc. There is a whole world behind it which is not conveyed in proper depth by its placeholder title.

And then, you’ve grabbed four other equally complex and nuanced and sophisticated world views, and conflated them – suggesting that they all more or less say the same thing when, in truth, this word does not adequately describe even one of the prompts, let alone all of them. And this is done simply based on the criteria that this word happened to have cropped up a number of times in the prompts. This is already to have made ten odd errors. Because it is to say that 1 is the same as 2, 3, 4, 5; and 2 is the same as 3, 4, 5 and so on.

Perhaps you’re thinking “no that’s not me,” and that you’re being really sophisticated because you contrast the ‘positive’ side of the theme, with the ‘negative’ side – which is still to have reduced a quote to one word: either ‘positive’ or ‘negative.’ Many of you will then flatly say that one of the prompts is false, or even relate to that view in a belittling manner suggesting it “is completely wrong” or “a ridiculous misinterpretation of the democratic foundations of modern life” (very fancy), and think you’re doing the right thing by arguing forcefully in an argumentative essay. I don’t blame or judge you, I’ve done the same thing. But what you’re really saying to the marker when you do that is that you, in a psychometric test on an unprepared topic, in thirty minutes, know better than someone who has dedicated their whole life to having that viewpoint. A major misstep.

Lastly you are then forced to generate a whole essay from a single word; rather than to focus highly nuanced and sophisticated ideas into a powerful single point (contention). It’s hard to write a bad essay from sophisticated ideas. And very hard to make a good essay from reductive or pedestrian ideas.

The reductive approach

single word theme < essay

A high scoring approach

Five highly complex ideas > focused in the introduction to a sharpened point (contention) > thrust forward and upward into the armor in Body Paragraph 1 > twisted in Body Paragraph 2 > graceful psychometric validation of the other sides and the contexts in which those truths arrive as you stand over the defeated opponent

It also lacks relevance

A reductive approach to quote interpretation often leads to writing that fails to “directly respond to one or more of the prompts” which is one of the only things ACER tell you explicitly that you are supposed to be doing.

This final error occurs not in the quote interpretation, but in the very next moment after it. Let us suppose you have thought to yourself “the theme is conformity.” You then think “hmm, what do I have to say about conformity.” You then come up with some idea and go off and write about it. Your writing will then be in the domain of conformity, but this will often lack relevance to conformity to begin with (as you’re under time pressure and writing whatever comes out); and furthermore, as we have established, ‘conformity’ wasn’t, in many cases, directly relevant to the prompts to begin with.

Ok, so what is the best way to approach quote interpretation?

What you make from the task, which essentially is what is being examined, arises from how you confront the ideas in front of you and situate them in their broader contexts.

I always recommend to re-write the five quotes in your own words. This takes some time, and needs to be practice, it’s also mentally draining. But the rest of the essay stems from this moment. In time you will be able to spot quotes that you think won’t lead to good outcomes, or may include traps you want to avoid, so you can save time by only re-writing/interpreting the quotes you eventually want to involve in your response. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in your head, it’s too hard to remember the other ones by the time you finish. But almost always when you see the five interpreted versions you can see links that weren’t evident before. I physically write 1 to 5 under every set of prompts. Towards the back end of my preparation I found time saving approaches, but to begin with it’s a good exercise.

Also, by “write them in your own words” I don’t mean repeat the exact thing the prompt says in different words. I mean to interpret what they are saying. Imagine a teacher said the prompt to one of your friends and then your friend turned to you after and said “that made no sense, what do they mean” and then you responded to explain it to your friend so they understood. That interpretation is what you need to be writing down. When you receive the real implications of what the quote is inviting you to consider, you will relate to the prompts very differently, and answer in a more embellished and insightful way. I will have a case study later in the chapter, so hold that thought for just a moment. First:

Do I respond to the one or all of the quotes; or do I interpret a theme and respond to that?

We’ve already discussed that reducing it to one word is not the thing to do. You are welcome to respond to complex, deeply, highly considered and thoughtfully interpreted theme if you think you are up to it. When I started I would interpret each quote, and then think to myself “if these five ideas were in a news article, what would the heading of that article be?” .. and it would often be something like “the relevance, function, and limitations of punishment in contemporary Western societies” or something to that effect. Now this was (is) high order thinking, however, it comes with some challenges.

This approach does lead to sophisticated responses, however the marker 9 times out of 10 won’t follow what you’re saying or the implied connection to the theme very easily. Because you are responding to something that took a great deal of thought, the marker can be left wondering which prompt you’re responding to. They won’t have engaged with it in the level of detail you have (or have interpreted the quotes in quite the same way), so it can lose points for relevance (even though it’s highly relevant). This circles back to earlier times when I’ve mentioned that it is crucial to be both generous to the marker, and aware of how you position yourself in their eyes (which I discussed in further detail here ).

So, I personally don’t recommend writing to a whole theme (either one word, or correctly interpreted) because it can fail to translate in a very generous, direct, and clear way. Or if you do write to the correctly interpreted theme, be prepared to be VERY explicit about what you’re saying, why you’re saying it, and how it relates to the theme (and how the theme you have interpreted relates to the prompts, and which one).

Regarding responding to all of the quotes. I’d encourage you guys to think of the five prompts as being facets of the same diamond. There is something that coheres them. Reality and truth is not absolute. All perspectives happen to tend toward, or converge from many directions on, an approximation of the truth. Knowing this is essential. The prompts are deliberately chosen for this reason. They look at issue from many directions. Early in my preparation, addressing each of these perspectives was essentially the essay written for me. I just made each point a paragraph (or lumped a couple together in one; and the others in another) etc. Again, fine, although I frustratingly had markers ask me “which prompt was this in response to?” which eventually annoyed me enough that I came to the final iteration of my prompt-addressing strategy.

I pick one prompt (or two if they happen to exist within the same ontological or epistemological frameworks) and I address it/them directly , and clearly . I don’t use the quotes from the prompts in my writing directly (you should have plenty of other examples and evidence to bring up such that you wouldn’t want to waste space on one from the prompts – when others zig; you zag!), but I do use key words or partial phrases from the prompt in my essay, especially in the introduction to make it clear what I am talking about. This greatly helped the concision and clarity of my writing.

A final note: it is essential to display a comprehension and respect for the complexity of the theme and how other, diverging, viewpoints contribute to it equally and validly (even if you disagree with them). You need to show that you have situated the prompts in their broader psycho-social or politico economic or philosophic contexts to show an appreciation for these contexts.

A case study

I’ve included below a case study of an analysis I did of a response to a set of Task A prompts. In this particular case the essay had written above it “against capitalism.”

The prompts were:

1. “Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution. ” – Ben Shapiro 2. “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” – Alexis de Tocqueville 3. “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill 4. “Democracy is indispensable to socialism.” – Vladimir Lenin 5. “We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we;re going to fight it with socialism.” – Fred Hampton

You’ve left here “against capitalism.”

This suggests to me that there’s work to be done on how you confront the prompts before you begin writing. Most people look for the common word in these quotes (in this case socialism, or capitalism) and they say “ah, the theme is capitalism” and then they pick a side and off they go. The problem is that you will then only be writing in the domain of the prompts not in specific response to the prompts. You will lose marks for relevance and precision. The theme is not capitalism here.

The first quote says “capitalism is pragmatic, and more moral than socialism.” The second “democracy (an adjunct of capitalism) and socialism share only a desire for equality, but differ in approach.”

Note: we see already a link to first quote, a mini theme is developing here which is ‘the similarities between socialism and capitalist democracies in their attempt to provide equality or equitability.’ If you wrote an essay contrasting democracy and socialism in how they achieve equality, and to what extent they are successful/moral in this you would be not only scoring far more highly for relevance, but also for “what was made from the task.” Furthermore, this frames your essay to be of much higher sophistication and quality. If you have made a reductive or simple interpretation of the quotes you are forced to expand and write an essay from a small point. This can feel wavering, or unfocussed, or repetitive, and will always be elementary. If you, on the other hand, spend some time really looking at what each quote is saying (I re-write each quote in my own words and then examine them… i stopped doing this toward the end to save time, but the discipline of doing so for my first 30 essays was invaluable) you will have a complex and nuanced understanding of what is being said and the issue at large. The essay, then, becomes not an expansion from a small point (along with inevitable psychometric faults), but a narrowing and focus of a very large and complex issue (necessarily winning psychometrics points for you) into themes and components of that issue that you wish to discuss and give a focussed opinion on.

In this case, I think of the ontology of Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao Zedong – who’s behaviour was illustrative of a utilitarian calculus wherein violence was justified in the name of achieving a socialist utopia. Suffering, the transgression of individual liberty, famine, even mass murder were all justified within the grand narrative of the promise of communist utopias in China, the Society Union, and Cambodia. Mao killed more than 5 times as many people than did Hitler. Humans were reduced to a number, or a flesh bag of chemicals and a physiological set of reactions as the body struggled to fight against emaciation due to poverty in gulags in the soviet union – each person’s unique individuality reduced to a cascading, brutal homogeneity. Where is the morality in this? Is this why Ben Shapiro (quote 1) says capitalism is more moral?

The third quote: a critique of socialism, so we have further re-enforcement for our suspected theme. These people do not think socialism is the most moral way of achieving equality, no matter its intentions.
The fourth: tbh I don’t get this. next. (although Lenin was a Bolshevik and was responsible for the Russian revolution and establishment of socialism in Russia pre-soviet union, so perhaps you could simply use that for support of the similarities between the two political ideologies) The fifth: I would skip this entirely. I doubt ACER would give you this prompt. It requires context, and it’s just a weird prompt. Using this would be a red herring in my view.

So, in short, if you dont correctly interpret the quote, and situate it in its broader historical, sociological, psychological, politico-economics contexts, you will struggle to make something profound of the task, and lose points on relevance. Everything that follows is necessarily going to flow from that initial reduction. Your essay is necessarily limited and framed by what you made (or failed to make) of the quotes. Most people go : 5 quotes > one word theme
you want to go
5 quotes < essay. Like the quotes are the thinnest part and you make them expansive by developing on them in insightful ways, rather than reducing them to one word and picking a side.

An 80+ essay requires partially agreeing or disagreeing with the obvious interpretation of the comments, rather than flatly. Qualify its limits or contexts in which it arises. Situate the comment in their wider cultural contexts . Body paragraphs are a logical analysis of these ideas. Don’t let this make you fence sit, though. Choose your viewpoint clearly and argue strongly for it, but try situating it off centre of one of the implications of the quotes.

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The best approach to GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Interpretation

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My name's Michael, I achieved 91 in Section II, and 82 overall, in the September '20 sitting. I'm here to show you how I did it. Let's get to work :)

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GAMSAT essay tips

How to Write a Creative Essay for GAMSAT Section 2

by Elliot Dolan-Evans , 12 September, 2023 Read 1578 times

It will soon be particularly busy for students hoping to get into medical school in order to prepare for the GAMSAT . But don’t worry - we are here to help! 

Now is the perfect time to begin writing GAMSAT® essays in preparation for what lies ahead. I am strongly encouraging my humanities classes to aim to submit multiple essays from this week right up until the September GAMSAT® Exam.

GAMSAT® Course Reopening

The second essay of the GAMSAT® Exam, often referred to as the “reflective” essay, truly should be thought of as the creative essay; hence the quotation marks. Where the initial argumentative essay task should be quite structured and deliberate, the creative essay is much broader in the type of writing permissible. Although this freedom may strike fear into many scientifically-wired students, I want to emphasise that this is a wonderful opportunity to express your creativity in your own way. Many students believe that the “reflective” essay in the GAMSAT® Exam is restricted to a personal reflective account; the great news is that this is not the case.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood. - Tom Robbins

Childhood is not from birth to a certain age, and at a certain age the child is grown and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents. - Sherman Alexie

Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six. - John W. Gardner

Similar to the argumentative writing task, you still need to address your creative writing to a theme. For the above quotes, the overall theme is ‘childhood’, then there are multiple sub-themes such as ‘growth’, ‘happiness’, ‘family’, and ‘trauma’ (that I have identified). 

When you craft your creative response, you should be writing within these themes; however, please do not feel you need to repeat any of the stimuli quotes. You do not need to be restricted by these quotes; these are best used as inspiration and to give direction by identifying a theme. 

So, what to write? Here are some bullet point ideas from the provided quotes above: 

Stolen childhood - growing up too early 

How our parents impact who we grow up to be 

Choosing to relive “childhood” as an adult 

A childhood trauma that shapes a secret part of an individual 

Designing a submission that will captivate the reader is very important, and this may be achieved by ensuring your piece is well-written, relatable or even controversial. Crafting a piece of writing with a strong focus on the characters’ emotions is my best advice for this essay, as I feel the GAMSAT® Exam writing task is almost to test your empathy for medical school . An excellent way to do this is through describing the emotions of a character(s) in intricate detail. Below is an excerpt of an example based on the quotes above, for you to ponder:

My father worked in manual labour at the main mining site which resided a couple of kilometres from the beach. My three older brothers were all asked to work at a similar age before me, so I was not surprised to receive the 'call-to-arms'. Upon his request, I smiled and assured him I would walk with him and my brothers every second day to the site, but on the inside, I was filled with rage. Why couldn't he just work as the adult? Why did he have to extinguish our time as kids so early just to make a couple of extra dollars? The frustration, sadness and anger formed a lump in my stomach that made me want to scream at the top of my lungs, but my respect for what had to be done maintained this rage within a fortified cage in my psyche.

And so my days as a boy rolled away like the current on the shore, and I went to work on the mine. Every day as I fell onto the descending pits that we scrapped from, I became more determined to find a way out of this hole. My gangly arms burned as I beat rock with metal, and the beads of sweat mixed into the minerals that covered my face as I pushed through the pain and exhaustion. Although I wished I could be back at the beach, around all my brothers and sisters, I knew I needed to be there for the family. Over time though, the days in the mine became the fire that drove me to find a better life for myself, and without knowing, my own family. Every day I was not at the mine, I went to school and studied my heart out. My worn hands grasping pen and paper, writing formulas or essays, gave me a sense of hope and fulfillment, that I may do more one day for myself.

For more tips on how to prepare for and ace GAMSAT® Section 2, check out our comprehensive guide:  GAMSAT Section 2 Essays: How to Prepare .

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Diving Deep into ‘Trifles’: a Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols

This essay about Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” explores the intricate themes of gender oppression, societal norms, and justice. Set in a rural farmhouse, the play sheds light on the silent struggles of women, symbolized by Mrs. Wright’s plight. Through meticulous analysis of symbols like the kitchen and the dead canary, the essay unveils the profound layers of meaning within the narrative. It highlights the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence in understanding human experiences, challenging readers to reevaluate their perspectives on gender and power dynamics. Ultimately, “Trifles” serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative potential of compassion in the pursuit of truth and justice.

How it works

Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” serves as a captivating canvas, painting a vivid portrait of gender dynamics, societal norms, and the often-overlooked nuances of human interaction. Within the rustic confines of a rural farmhouse, the play unfurls a tapestry of relationships and tensions, inviting readers to peer beyond the surface and into the hidden recesses of human experience. Through a meticulous examination of its themes and symbols, “Trifles” beckons us to embark on a journey of discovery, plumbing the depths of its narrative for profound insights.

At its core, “Trifles” grapples with the theme of gender oppression and the subjugation of women’s voices. Through the character of Mrs. Wright, Glaspell illuminates the suffocating weight of patriarchal expectations, relegating women to the margins of society. Mrs. Wright’s silent anguish becomes a poignant reminder of the countless women whose voices have been silenced and whose struggles have been erased by the dominant forces of patriarchy.

The stage itself becomes a battleground of symbolism, with each prop and setting choice imbued with layers of meaning. The juxtaposition of the living room and the kitchen serves as a visual metaphor for the divide between the public and private spheres, highlighting the societal expectations placed upon women to confine themselves to domestic duties. As the men scour the living room for tangible evidence, the women gravitate towards the kitchen, where they uncover the subtle clues and overlooked details that hold the key to understanding Mrs. Wright’s plight.

Central to the narrative is the motif of “trifles,” symbolizing the dismissive attitude towards women’s concerns and the tendency to overlook the significance of seemingly insignificant details. While the men scoff at the women’s preoccupation with domestic matters, they fail to recognize the deeper truths hidden within these seemingly trivial observations. Through the women’s keen insights and intuitive understanding, Glaspell challenges the notion that truth can be gleaned solely through rational inquiry, emphasizing the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence in uncovering the complexities of human experience.

Beyond its exploration of gender dynamics, “Trifles” delves into the nature of justice and the limitations of the legal system. While the men approach the investigation with a rigid adherence to logic and evidence, the women navigate the murky waters of emotion and intuition, piecing together the fragmented puzzle of Mrs. Wright’s life. In doing so, they call into question the efficacy of a justice system that fails to acknowledge the emotional realities of human existence, advocating instead for a more holistic approach rooted in empathy and understanding.

The dead canary emerges as a haunting symbol of Mrs. Wright’s stifled aspirations and the violence of her oppression. Once a source of joy and companionship, the canary’s lifeless form serves as a stark reminder of the toll that patriarchal dominance exacts upon women’s lives. While the men view the canary’s death as mere evidence, the women recognize its symbolic significance, serving as a catalyst for solidarity and empathy in the face of injustice.

In conclusion, “Trifles” stands as a testament to the power of storytelling to illuminate the hidden corners of human experience. Through its exploration of gender, power, and justice, the play invites readers to confront their own assumptions and biases, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities of the human condition. In a world fraught with division and discord, “Trifles” offers a ray of hope, reminding us of the transformative potential of empathy and compassion in the pursuit of truth and justice.


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Diving Deep into 'Trifles': A Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols. (2024, Apr 07). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/diving-deep-into-trifles-a-critical-analysis-of-themes-and-symbols/

"Diving Deep into 'Trifles': A Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols." PapersOwl.com , 7 Apr 2024, https://papersowl.com/examples/diving-deep-into-trifles-a-critical-analysis-of-themes-and-symbols/

PapersOwl.com. (2024). Diving Deep into 'Trifles': A Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols . [Online]. Available at: https://papersowl.com/examples/diving-deep-into-trifles-a-critical-analysis-of-themes-and-symbols/ [Accessed: 16 Apr. 2024]

"Diving Deep into 'Trifles': A Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols." PapersOwl.com, Apr 07, 2024. Accessed April 16, 2024. https://papersowl.com/examples/diving-deep-into-trifles-a-critical-analysis-of-themes-and-symbols/

"Diving Deep into 'Trifles': A Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols," PapersOwl.com , 07-Apr-2024. [Online]. Available: https://papersowl.com/examples/diving-deep-into-trifles-a-critical-analysis-of-themes-and-symbols/. [Accessed: 16-Apr-2024]

PapersOwl.com. (2024). Diving Deep into 'Trifles': A Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols . [Online]. Available at: https://papersowl.com/examples/diving-deep-into-trifles-a-critical-analysis-of-themes-and-symbols/ [Accessed: 16-Apr-2024]

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ChatGPT essay cheats are a menace to us all

Students who outsource their thinking to ai tools pose a risk to future employers and more.

gamsat essay words

The number of students using AI tools like ChatGPT to write papers was a bigger problem than the public was being told. Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Pilita Clark's face

The other day I met a British academic who said something about artificial intelligence that made my jaw drop.

The number of students using AI tools like ChatGPT to write their papers was a much bigger problem than the public was being told, this person said.

AI cheating at their institution was now so rife that large numbers of students had been expelled for academic misconduct — to the point that some courses had lost most of a year’s intake. “I’ve heard similar figures from a few universities,” the academic told me.

Spotting suspicious essays could be easy, because when students were asked why they had included certain terms or data sources not mentioned on the course, they were baffled. “They have clearly never even heard of some of the terms that turn up in their essays.”

Could the robots take over your favourite TV programme?

Could the robots take over your favourite TV programme?

Making sure my family benefits equally when I die

Making sure my family benefits equally when I die

VHI lets 11% of customers loose to check out market rivals

VHI lets 11% of customers loose to check out market rivals

Eir says sorry … again

Eir says sorry … again

But detection is only half the battle. Getting administrators to address the problem can be fraught, especially when the cheaters are international students who pay higher fees than locals. Because universities rely heavily on those fees, some administrators take a dim view of efforts to expose the problem. Or as this person put it, “whistleblowing is career-threatening”.

There is more at stake here than the injustice of cheats getting an advantage over honest students. Consider the prospect of allegedly expert graduates heading out into the world and being recruited into organisations, be it a health service or a military, where they are put into positions for which they are underqualified.

So how widespread is the cheating problem?

Panic about ChatGPT transforming educational landscapes took off as soon as the tool was launched in November 2022 and since then, the technology has only advanced. As I type these words, colleagues at the Financial Times have reported that OpenAI, which created ChatGPT, and Meta are set to release souped-up AI models capable of reasoning and planning.

But AI’s exact impact on classrooms is unclear.

In the US, Stanford University researchers said last year that cheating rates did not appear to have been affected by AI. Up to 70 per cent of high school students have long confessed to some form of cheating and nearly a year after ChatGPT’s arrival that proportion had not changed.

gamsat essay words

The auto-enrolment pension scheme seems good on paper, but how will it actually work?

At universities, research shows half of students are regular generative AI users — not necessarily to cheat — but only about 12 per cent use it daily.

When it comes to the number of student essays written with the help of AI, rates appear relatively steady says Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software group that has a tool for checking generative AI use.

It says students have submitted more than 22 million papers in the past 12 months that show signs of AI help, which was 11 per cent of the total it reviewed. More than six million papers, or 3 per cent of the total, contained at least 80 per cent of AI writing.

That is a lot of papers. But the percentage of AI writing is virtually the same as what Turnitin found last year when it conducted a similar assessment.

“AI usage rates have been stable,” says Turnitin chief executive Chris Caren. And as he told me last week, just because you are using ChatGPT does not necessarily mean you are cheating.

“Some teachers and faculty allow some level of AI assistance in writing an essay, but they also want that properly cited,” he says. “AI can be incredibly useful for doing research and brainstorming ideas.”

I’m sure this is correct. It is also true that university faculty are increasingly using AI to help write lesson plans and I know of some who have tested it to mark essays — unsuccessfully.

But I still find it worrying to think a sizeable number of students are using tools like ChatGPT in a way that is potentially risky for employers and wider society.

Some universities are already increasing face-to-face assessments to detect and discourage AI cheating. I am sure that will continue, but it would also be useful if academics were encouraged to expose the problem and not deterred from trying to fix it. As the scholar I spoke to put it, the purpose of going to university is to learn how to learn. These institutions are supposed to teach you to think for yourself and evaluate evidence, not just recite facts and figures.

Anyone who outsources their thinking to a machine is ultimately going to hurt themselves the most. — Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024

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Gamsat section 2 quote generator.

gamsat essay words


Welcome to our comprehensive and user-friendly GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator. This tool is designed to help you practice and perfect your essay writing skills in preparation for the GAMSAT Section 2 .

Learn How to Create an Essay from a Quote

To help you get the most out of our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator, we've created a video tutorial that shows you how to create an essay from a quote. This video will guide you through the process of understanding the quote, brainstorming ideas, creating an essay outline, and writing the essay.

GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator

How to make the most out of gamsat section 2 quote generator.

Start by selecting the task you want to work on with our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator. You can choose Task A, Task B, or both. This flexibility allows you to focus on the areas you feel need the most practice. Remember, GAMSAT Section 2 requires you to break down themed quotes into smaller chunks of plausible explanations, delivering a high-quality essay that showcases your vocabulary and communication skills. Learn more about GAMSAT Section 2 .

Choose Your Task

Start by selecting the task you want to work on with our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator. You can choose Task A, Task B, or both. This flexibility allows you to focus on the areas you feel need the most practice.

1. Random Section 2 Quotes ‍

If you prefer a spontaneous approach, the random method will generate a quote for you to work on without any specific theme. This is a great way to challenge your adaptability and creativity with our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator. Read how to Study for Section 2

2. Theme based Section 2 Quotes

If you want to focus on a specific topic, you can choose from over 100 themes with our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator. This method allows you to delve deep into a particular subject, honing your knowledge and writing skills in that area. Remember, writing for Section 2 requires an extensive knowledge base across many subjects. It's recommended to start broad in your approach, research around the subject, and perfect your writing style. Find out how to study for Section 2.

3. Past GAMSAT Section 2 Quotes

Want to know what to expect in the actual exam? Choose this method to practice with quotes from past GAMSAT exams with our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator. This will give you a feel for the kind of quotes you might encounter on the test day. Reviewing previous GAMSAT essay topics and understanding the main marking criteria can help improve your essay writing skills. Check out these GAMSAT Section 2 essay examples .

Use the Timer with Our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator

Our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator also includes a timer feature. This allows you to simulate the exam scenario and practice writing your essays within a set time limit. It's a great way to improve your time management skills and ensure you can express your thoughts clearly and concisely under exam conditions. Remember, overcoming writer’s block is a common issue faced by many students preparing for GAMSAT Section 2. To overcome writer’s block, it's recommended to be active in your writing style, find your personal touch, and practice writing in your free time. Read more on how to beat writer's block in Section 2 GAMSAT.

Overcoming writer’s block is a common issue faced by many students preparing for GAMSAT Section 2. To overcome writer’s block, it's recommended to be active in your writing style, find your personal touch, and practice writing in your free time. Read more on how to beat writer's block in Section 2 GAMSAT.

Start practicing today with our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator and take a step closer to acing your GAMSAT exam!

What Should You Do Next?

Now that you are practicing your GAMSAT essay writing, make sure that you have read our complete guide to  Section 2 . If you are still unsure how you should be focusing your efforts when writing your GAMSAT Section 2 essay responses, visit our  GAMSAT Section 2 Syllabus Guide . Our comprehensive and completely Free GAMSAT Quote generator t o practice for Section 2. Use this tool to practice GAMSAT Essays and apply the appropriate writing techniques. 

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Avoid these 10 most common ChatGPT words

ChatGPT is a helpful bot for writing your essays or articles, but it has a huge problem: it doesn’t write like humans, and it repeats itself.

Most common ChatGPTwords [medium]

There are many reasons why ChatGPT doesn't imitate everyday speech. One is, they used complicated essays from the New York Times and the New Yorker for its database.

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Although these are popular phrases in British colonies, whenever you use them, it sends a clear message that you’ve used ChatGPT.

10 most common ChatGPT words

A research team scanned 1000 Chat GPT articles; here is what they discovered as the most popular Chat GPT words.

1. Individuals

Instead of saying people or persons, ChatGPT will rather refer to people as individuals, which is weird because humans rarely refer to themselves as that.

Many programmers who have analysed the most common words used by ChatGPT have all said that delve is a popular phrase, especially when it wants to segue into a topic, so avoid it.

If you ask ChatGPT to write a catchy copy for you, it will most certainly use unleash. This is true, even though many Africans use this phrase normally.

If you ask it to write a technical essay, the bot will use 'explore' or 'exploring' so many times. It’s just proof that it has scanned many essays. Always try to replace explore with other words.

ChatGPT is always asking you to embrace one thing or another. You can barely have a ChatGPT-written paragraph or heading without an embrace.

6. Resonate

Research found that resonate appears frequently in ChatGPT's long-form responses, which are around 500 words long. It is used for adding depth to the writing and increasing the word count.

The word 'dynamic' is a popular choice in ChatGPT, as it remains a staple in everyday vernacular, and it’s usually “in the dynamic world of...”

8. Testament

When ChatGPT wants to sound formal, it will use testament, as in “a testament to." It helps you sound high-sounding and lyrical, but really, only a few people say this.

10. Elevate

The term 'Elevate' is so common that it appears frequently in ChatGPT responses and sometimes multiple times within the same response.

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Guest Essay

Some Words Feel Truer in Spanish

The Spanish word “maleta,” written in bright yellow script, looping in and out of the word “suitcase” in block print, against a sky blue background.

By Natalia Sylvester

Ms. Sylvester is the author of the forthcoming children’s book “A Maleta Full of Treasures” (“La Maleta de Tesoros”).

My earliest relationship with language was defined by rules. As an immigrant who came to this country from Peru at age 4, I spent half of my days in kindergarten occupied with learning the rules of the English language. There was the tricky inconsistency of pronunciation to navigate and, once I learned to speak it, the challenge of translating what I’d learned into reading skills.

At home, my mom would often create games to help my sister and me preserve our Spanish and improve our grammar. Driving around our neighborhood in Miami, she’d point at a traffic light, hold up four fingers and say, “Se-ma-fo-ro — on which syllable do you put the accent?”

Each language had its defined space: English in school, Spanish at home. But as my parents became more fluent (and my sister and I more dominant) in English, the boundaries became blurred. Being bilingual empowered us to break barriers beyond the rules and definitions attached to words. Some things were simply untranslatable, because they spoke to this new space we were living in — within, between and around language. We were making a new home here, same as so many immigrants who end up shaping language as much as it shapes us.

It became evident as the phrase “Cómo se dice?” or “How do you say?” became a constant in my home. Sometimes, it’d be my parents who asked, “How do you say” followed by a word like “sobremesa” or “ganas.” It seemed simple enough in theory, but proved nearly impossible for us to translate without elaborating using full sentences or phrases. After all, to have a word to describe a long conversation that keeps you at the table and extends a meal, you’d have to value the concept enough to name it. Some ideas are so embedded in Latin American and Spanish cultures that they exist implicitly. Of course “ganas” can be something you feel but also give, and be at once more tame yet more powerful than “desire.” (If you know, you know.)

Other times, it’d be my sister and I who were curious about a word’s Spanish counterpart. Was there really no differentiating in Spanish between the fingers (dedos) on our hands, and those on our feet we call toes? When we wanted to say we were excited about something, the word “emocionada” seemed to fall short of capturing our specific, well, emotion. Sometimes we would blank on a word. But sometimes, we would find that the perfect word isn’t necessarily in the language we’re speaking.

What I’m describing, of course, has its own word: code switching. The act of shifting from one language or dialect to another, particularly based on social context, is often framed as something that so-called minorities do to fit into more mainstream spaces. It’s true that code switching can be a form of assimilation, a way of shielding ourselves from the prejudices rooted in racism, classism and xenophobia that can arise when we freely express our culture and language in spaces not designed to embrace them. But what I seldom see discussed is how code switching isn’t solely a reactionary response to feeling unwelcome. Within our own communities, it can signal comfort and belonging.

Take the Spanish word “maleta,” or “suitcase” in English. This year, I was at a writing conference and met up with two Mexican American authors, one of whom brought her suitcase to the venue because she had already checked out of the hotel. We walked the halls and offered to help with her maleta, making several jokes and references to it, but never once using the word “suitcase,” despite speaking mainly in English.

This was an entirely natural and unspoken decision. There are some words that simply feel truer in Spanish than they do in English. I call these home words and heart words because I associate them with the place I most grew up using them: at home, among family. Though the words might share a literal definition with their translation, one version carries emotional depth that enriches its meaning. To code switch this way among friends implies we share not only a language, but an intimate understanding of where we come from.

A suitcase is for clothes and possessions when someone travels, but to me, a maleta meant family had arrived from Peru, carrying flavors, textures and memories of my birthplace. Language is rooted in context, which is another way of saying that language is driven by memory. In this way, what we do or don’t choose to translate is another way of telling stories about our past.

Last year, a study on the specific way that Miamians use direct Spanish translations to form English phrases called the practice an emerging dialect. It’s a form of borrowing between languages that results in what is known as calques. For decades, expressions like “get down from the car” and “super hungry,” which are translated from Spanish, have made their way into regional speech, even in the case of non-Spanish speakers.

When I shared the article on social media, my DMs were flooded by friends and family — not only in Miami but also in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and in Southern California — who joked that they’ve been using these phrases since they were children, and their parents had, too. The novelty was not in their usage but in their validation (whether or not we sought that validation). My friends and I grew up being told to speak a certain way and respect the rules of both languages. We, in turn, didn’t so much break the rules as we simply played with them, swirling bits of English and Spanish together until it resembled something new yet familiar, our fingerprints proudly planted in its mess.

This is one of my greatest joys as a writer. I love language not only for all it can do but also for all it can’t and all the space it leaves in the gaps for creation. It is empowering that something as supposedly fixed as the meaning of a word or phrase is actually alive and evolving. It means we don’t have to lose parts of ourselves to assimilation; we can expand language to include the full breadth of our experiences.

Words are just sounds and letters until we collectively give them meaning through story. When we use language to connect, it’s one of the most beautiful things that make us human.

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the forthcoming children’s book “A Maleta Full of Treasures” (“La Maleta de Tesoros”).

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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  1. Free GAMSAT Section 2 Example Essays

    Writing GAMSAT ® practice essays is the most important aspect of preparing for Section 2 of the GAMSAT ® Exam. Regularly writing essays allows you to develop and practise your essay writing skills and is something you should aim to start from early on. It's important to get into a routine: Whether you aim to type an essay once a week or ...

  2. GAMSAT Section 2 Essay Examples

    You can use the pertinent principles in this guide to create a stringent GAMSAT essay plan to maximise your performance in Section 2. Inside the Section 2 Sample Essay Guide. Sample Essays spanning scores from the low 50s to 80+. Highlighted flaws in each essay to aid in self-assessment. In-depth analysis and feedback from top tutors.

  3. GAMSAT Essay Examples

    GAMSAT Essay Examples. Below we have reproduced one of our GAMSAT essay examples sent to us by a student for marking complete with the markers detailed comments. 100 marked essay examples like this are included in the Griffiths GAMSAT Review Home Study Course together with our complete blueprint to writing high scoring Gamsat essays. We include ...

  4. GAMSAT Section 2 Essay Style Guide

    Download this free Essay Style Guide to compare different writing style to find your own. In this article, we embark on a journey through a spectrum of GAMSAT Section 2 essays, ranging scores from the low 50s to the mid 80s. Accompanying these essays are insightful comments and feedback, meticulously highlighting both their strengths and areas ...

  5. A Beginner's Guide to GAMSAT Section 2

    1. Ascertain the theme. Read all 4 comments/quotes. Look for keywords, sentiments and topics that are in common between them, as well as contrasts and paradoxes. It may not always be obvious, but a common general theme is always in there e.g. democracy, technology. 2. Create an essay title / question to answer.

  6. Your Ultimate Guide to GAMSAT UK Section 2

    To manage your time effectively, understand that your work can be as short as it needs to be. A typical GAMSAT Section 2 essay is 400 - 500 words, but these are not set requirements. If you feel you can cover all of your points effectively in less or if you think you will need more to properly make your point, the choice is yours. ...

  7. GAMSAT Section 2: Written Communication

    Balancing Quotes and Themes. Many GAMSAT candidates tunnel-vision on the individual quotes, neglecting the overarching theme, or vice versa. Striking a balance between these two aspects is crucial, as GAMSAT Section 2 marking rewards essays that describe the complexity expressed by the individual quotes, within the context of the overall theme.

  8. Essay Example Rundown

    GAMSAT Notes Examples: The following is the first essay I wrote (1 of 16 in total). See the bolded text depecting where the structuring described above has been used. The other example essays will also have the structure bolded throughout to help show where and how it is used. The title of the post will be the quote used to formulate the essay ...

  9. Clear and EFFECTIVE Section II writing (the five C's)

    Some of the best GAMSAT essays, or at least Task B essays, don't arrive at a position that is labelled as the truth, or correct. But simply explore the issue, arriving at a conclusion that is logically valid, and perhaps even strong, but never stating that it is the final word, and attempting throughout to ask questions that indicate not ...

  10. The Ultimate Guide to GAMSAT Section 2

    In GAMSAT Section 2 essays, it's a good idea to write about a few concepts that you understand, and communicate these in a logical and coherent way, rather than to present too many ideas in an unstructured manner. Also, some students can focus too heavily on individual quotes and end up missing the overall theme, or fixate too much on the ...

  11. gamsat section 2: task A

    The first 15% of your essay is thus rendered as useful as urinating into your own mouth. Time is critical in the GAMSAT. You must make your words impactful. Every sentence needs to serve a purpose. Furthermore, if you wish to expand your vocabulary you must understand correct usage. Myriad is never to be followed by the word 'of'.

  12. Past GAMSAT Essay Topics

    1. Argue for both sides of an issue rather than just giving an opinion piece from one point of view. This will demonstrate thought and consideration and help you pick up the marks for quality of thinking. 2. Learn a variety of stock phrases for openers, closers, introducing your arguments and your conclusions.

  13. Interpretation of GAMSAT Section 2 Quotes

    GAMSAT Section 2 writing is not normal essay writing. I've said this before, I'll no doubt say it again. The origin of a 90+ Section 2 response is what is made from the task, or in other words how you approach quote interpretation. It's very hard to write a poor response with quality, sophisticated ideas; and very hard to write a good ...

  14. How to Write a Creative Essay for GAMSAT Section 2

    Crafting a piece of writing with a strong focus on the characters' emotions is my best advice for this essay, as I feel the GAMSAT® Exam writing task is almost to test your empathy for medical school. An excellent way to do this is through describing the emotions of a character (s) in intricate detail. Below is an excerpt of an example based ...

  15. GAMSAT for English as a Second Language (ESL) Students

    Essays in GAMSAT are normally around 500-600 words, but this isn't something you should worry about at this stage. The key thing is to understand some basic principles about writing an essay for the GAMSAT exam and then use those principles to write your own essay. I do not believe in memorised essay templates as this only sets you up for ...

  16. Sample Marked GAMSAT Essays on the Environment

    There is balance in this essay: an objective and an almost scientific approach coupled with a sense of urgency and an impassioned plea for action. The essay tackles the subject in a more complex way. Well done. There are phrases which, because they are well-turned, pack a punch: 1. "We stand to peril our own survival." (Very succinct)

  17. Section 2 GAMSAT Essays: Frequently Asked Questions

    More than 5000 students across the nation sit the GAMSAT. All of these students are given the same instructions, the same Section 2 quotes and the same fixed time limit to write two GAMSAT essays. Thus, it is extremely likely that there will be a degree of overlapping ideas and essay content, regardless of depth or how abstract your thoughts are.


    As the March 2024 GAMSAT testing period has come around, here is the thread to discuss the GAMSAT, whether that be how you found it, your experience on the day, and anything else you'd like. Please do not post or ask for specifics on exam questions (including s2 themes, or examples, specific topics or quotes from any section)- doing so will ...

  19. Essay Length- 360 words!?? : r/GAMSAT

    Writing two essays back to back is very hard, and you also need time to plan the essay. People say "around 500 words" as a benchmark, but I've written very short essays (maybe even 300 words) and scored well in section two. I've sat a few times and the shorter, more creative pieces have scored way better than the safer (to my mind - but ...

  20. Properly Write Your Degree

    The correct way to communicate your degree to employers and others is by using the following formats: Degree - This is the academic degree you are receiving. Your major is in addition to the degree; it can be added to the phrase or written separately. Include the full name of your degree, major (s), minor (s), emphases, and certificates on your ...

  21. Diving Deep into 'Trifles': a Critical Analysis of Themes and Symbols

    This essay about Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" explores the intricate themes of gender oppression, societal norms, and justice. Set in a rural farmhouse, the play sheds light on the silent struggles of women, symbolized by Mrs. Wright's plight. Through meticulous analysis of symbols like the kitchen and the dead canary, the essay unveils ...

  22. ChatGPT essay cheats are a menace to us all

    In the US, Stanford University researchers said last year that cheating rates did not appear to have been affected by AI. Up to 70 per cent of high school students have long confessed to some form ...

  23. GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator

    Reviewing previous GAMSAT essay topics and understanding the main marking criteria can help improve your essay writing skills. Check out these GAMSAT Section 2 essay examples. ‍ Use the Timer with Our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator ‍ Our GAMSAT Section 2 Quote Generator also includes a timer feature. This allows you to simulate the exam ...

  24. Opinion

    A Few Words About Nests. April 15, 2024, 5:04 a.m. ET. Margaret Renkl. Share full article. By Margaret Renkl. Ms. Renkl is a contributing Opinion writer who covers flora, fauna, politics and ...

  25. Most common ChatGPT words

    2. Delve. Many programmers who have analysed the most common words used by ChatGPT have all said that delve is a popular phrase, especially when it wants to segue into a topic, so avoid it. 3 ...

  26. Opinion

    Some Words Feel Truer in Spanish. April 13, 2024. Shiva Nallaperumal. Share full article. By Natalia Sylvester. Ms. Sylvester is the author of the forthcoming children's book "A Maleta Full of ...