What I do, in the broadest sense, is help students to express themselves more clearly and precisely.
I believe that everybody has something interesting to say. Everybody has their own opinions, ideas and experiences filed away in their mind. My job is to help you unleash them in a way that nets you more exam points.
My job is not to put ideas in your head and tell you what to say, but to give you the tools to express the ideas that are already there in ways that will be easily understood by an examiner.
While tutoring GAMSAT students I get to meet many very talented and highly determined people. My favourite part of interacting with these students is the moment when they start to get the hang of writing. I love teaching written communication because so often enabling someone to communicate more confidently is like handing them a magic wand. Once they realise what they’ve got I can stand back and watch as they blow my mind!
You’ve probably noticed how it’s not always the loudest, most talkative or most confident people who have the best ideas. So it’s awesome when a person, who would otherwise be shy, worried that they have nothing of value to say, suddenly starts expressing themselves.
People that seemed dumb before, or perhaps thought themselves to be, can become the most intelligent and insightful person in the room by simply allowing themselves to talk and write.
GAMSAT Section 2 is not a place for a quiet, restricted mind to carefully tick boxes and say what it is supposed to. This exam is an opportunity to express yourself in whatever capacity you are most effective. For some this is writing hard-hitting argumentative essays, for others this means constructing an emotionally provocative short story.
Below is what I believe to be an excellent example of the latter, written by a student who just a short while ago was struggling to string their ideas together in a cohesive way.
Quote: From the deepest desires often comes the deadliest hate.
There’s a thin line between love and hate
Erica and I were childhood friends, she was the sister I never had. Golden flowing locks, and cheekbones as high as Mount Everest. Beautifully stunning was an understatement. Her admirers were ever coming, like buses that arrive every ten minutes. She was blaze about them all. Until her prince, John, arrived. Attractive, intelligent, well-off; he had it all. They were like the Ken and Barbie of our town.
Two years later they tied the knot. An elegant ceremony. The happiest day of their life, as far as I could see. Yet it was a week on and I had yet to hear from Erica. This was out of the ordinary. We were like Thelma and Louise, inseparable, we always kept in touch on a daily basis. I brushed it off as them just absorbed in their love struck oasis, too devoted to pick up her phone. Finally she emerged. I could no longer see the sparkle in her eyes, or hear the chuckle carried in her notes of laughter. Something was different. She began to unravel stories of Johns behaviour since the wedding day. As if he had changed at a click of a switch.
John had always been protective over Erica. Intimidating those who would wolf whistle after her. I brushed this off as a sign of love and affection. But he began to control what she wore, nothing provocative, and monitor her whereabouts with a built in GPS in her phone. She felt like a dog on a leash, suffocating. I discovered he despised her meeting me, she would use a secret phone to arrange rende vous.
His actions became more and more sinister, at times she would disappear for weeks without contact. Until she turned up slumped on my front door, embellished with bruises and a fat lip. Screeching from her heart for a helping hand. Restrictions where put in place, she was allocated a safe house and the procedure for divorcement began. However she still remained on edge. Fearful for her life. A year later she began to rebuild her life. Finally I began to see the sparkle in her eyes reignite. Things were improving.
Until I heard the sirens of a police car pull up outside my house. My heart dropped, like a boulder falling into the sea. She was dead. Found in a alleyway, stabbed multiple times. They had found the suspect, it was John. His desires towards Erica where so strong, so deep, he could no longer stand anyone else having her. Thus his only situation was to take her life. There’s a thin line between love and hate, and John’s once love for Erica became a turmoil of hatred and greed.