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Getting Over Writer’s Block

‘Writer’s Block’ is a condition whereby you just cant seem to get the words out. You sit down to brainstorm and nothing happens. You try to think but nothing comes to you. You have an essay or a letter or a story to write but no ideas seem to flow.

There are different degrees to which you can be affected by writer’s block, but the cause is always the same: Fear.

Fear of writing shit. Fear of writing improper sentences and unacceptable statements. Fear of writing anything that won’t accomplish the important task you have set before you. And the worst part is, it always seems to get more severe as the importance of the task increases.

Writer’s Block arises as a result of over-regulation of your own words. The words are there – they are trying to come out, but you are subconsciously filtering out anything that conflicts with what you think you should say. More…

Improve your Clarity of Communication

What you say is not necessarily what is heard. The idea starts in your mind, gets translated into words on the page, and is then interpreted by the reader. By the time the idea gets into the reader’s head it can be very different to what it was when it started out in your mind.

‘Clarity of communication’ refers to the apparent degree of distortion of your ideas as they are translated and communicated from one mind to another. And it is a critical part of the GAMSAT Section 2 marking scheme.

If what you write is being read in ways you did not intend, then what you have is (at best) a misunderstanding, and (at worst) an utterly confused examiner. They are looking at your writing and wondering ‘what is this person trying to say?’. In that situation it is very hard for them to give you marks for depth of thought or understanding the given quote. When your clarity of communication suffers, all your marks suffer. More…

Why To Write Shorter Sentences

According to the American Press Institute:

  • When the average sentence length of a piece is less than 8 words long, readers understand 100% of the story.

  • At 14 words, they can comprehend more than 90% of the information.

  • Move up to 43-word sentences, and comprehension drops below 10%.

Longer sentences have been shown, repeatedly, to be harder to understand.

The UK Government now prohibits sentences longer than 25 words on public civil documents.

Great advertisers, who can’t afford to be misunderstood, use the shortest sentences of all.

As a competitive GAMSAT student you can’t afford to be misunderstood either. The examiner cannot give you marks for sentences they don’t understand. It is therefore your duty to make comprehension as easy as possible for them. The easiest way to do this is to write shorter sentences.

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50 GAMSAT Essay Titles

Below are 5 sets of ‘Task A’ essay titles, and 5 sets of ‘Task B’. Task A tend to relate more towards topical issues and encouraging an argumentative style of writing. Task B, you will notice, is more likely to contain interpersonal and intrapersonal issues, and often are more easily/effectively approached from a discursive, rather than argumentative perspective.

Instruction: 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. You will not be judged on the views or attitudes you express.

Hint: Practice as you intend to perform; handwrite your answers and restrict yourself to 30 minutes per essay. Then email finished essays to feedback@gamsatsamplequestions.co.uk if you would like them corrected (type or scan them in).

 

TASK A

A.01

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The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.” – Ulysses S. Grant

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” – Jeanette Rankin

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein

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