The Ultimate Guide to GAMSAT Section 2

GAMSAT

12/1/2024

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:

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 2 structure

GAMSAT section

Number of GAMSAT questions

Section time

Time per question

Written Communication

Two essays

65 minutes

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.

What does GAMSAT Section 2 test?

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.

How should I approach preparation for GAMSAT Section 2?

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.

Free example task for GAMSAT Section 2

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.

Succeed in the GAMSAT with Medify

Applying to graduate entry medicine or dentistry can be challenging. Throughout your admissions journey, you’ll need to show dental or medical schools why you deserve your spot. At Medify, we’re committed to making this journey a little easier.

If you’re looking for preparation material to boost your GAMSAT score, our GAMSAT Online Course can help. It provides:

  • A robust Question Bank with 2,000+ original GAMSAT-style questions
  • 7 realistic and unique GAMSAT mock exams designed to simulate the real test
  • 50+ in-depth tutorials with guidance from GAMSAT experts
  • Medify’s science syllabus with key topics for biology, chemistry, and physics
Don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to GAMSAT Section 1 and GAMSAT Section 3 if you haven’t already!

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