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Australian Link Directory  - Article Details

Time Management in GAMSAT Section II

Date Added: February 09, 2010 05:24:06 AM
Author: CousinAVI
Category: Education: Distance learning
If you are in the process of preparing for GAMSAT 2010, you must already be aware that Section Two of the test requires you to write two essays. This section of the GAMSAT is designed to assess how well you can organise your ideas in written form to successfully communicate your position on a given theme or topic. In other words, you need to be able to compose a well-organised, sustained and logical response – a response that moves coherently from point to point. The difficulty, however, for most students is how to complete writing these two essays in the allotted time of one hour. On paper, this is easily divisible as one essay per thirty minutes. However, in reality, your writing time is less than this. By the time you read through each set of five quotations, decide on a position and sketch out a rough plan, you’re down to approximately fifty minutes for section II; or twenty-five minutes per individual essay. So, how do you manage this limited amount of time successfully? Firstly, you need to use your five minutes of planning time per essay effectively. This means reading over the set of five quotations carefully to grasp the theme. Then pick two quotations that express a similar sentiment. It is enough to refer to two quotations. The most successful GAMSAT essays are the ones that limit the number of points being made and stay on just those points. Essays which attempt to cover too much ground end up disorganized and vague. Once you have grasped the theme and the quotations you want to use to express a perspective on that theme, quickly write down three points that relate to the theme. These three points are your way of breaking down the theme into specific parts that become the three paragraph body of the essay. For example, if the theme is ‘poverty’, you could break it down into: economic implications, social implications and cultural implications. Now you are ready to begin writing. You have twenty-five minutes to dish out the essay. You need an introduction, body and conclusion to make it a complete essay. In the introduction, state your position in relation to the theme and work in the two quotations. Write these quotations out in full (exactly as they appear on the paper) along with the full name of the person who said it. Your introduction should not exceed five sentences. You have three points to cover in the body of the essay. This means three concise paragraphs. Introduce each point using a numerical structure to begin each paragraph – ‘Firstly’, ‘Secondly’ and ‘Finally’. This will make starting your paragraphs quick and easy. Keep each paragraph confined to the one point, which you should introduce clearly in a topic sentence (the opening sentence of the paragraph). For example, “Firstly, poverty has numerous economic implications for developing nations.” Always remember, one idea, one paragraph. Your paragraphs should not exceed eight sentences. Finally, you need to end your GAMSAT essay with a concluding paragraph. In this paragraph, you need to sum up what you have said in the essay. The quickest way to do this is to go back to your introduction and rewrite it as a conclusion. Begin the conclusion with adverbs like ‘evidently’ or ‘clearly’. This will get you writing a lot faster. Your conclusion needs to be between four and five sentences long. Above all, build your time management skills by practicing GAMSAT sample test papers. Give yourself thirty minutes to plan and write an essay and stop yourself at the thirty minute mark and assess how much you were able to write. Practicing the five paragraph essay is a great way of getting yourself into the habit of being logical and concise in your writing.
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