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.
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.
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.)
- Argue both sides:
- On one hand
- On the other hand
- Take a side (usually the first side proposed, but not necessarily)
- Argue the side you chose:
- Thirdly… etc.
- Conclude your essay
- 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).