Practicing essay-writing all day, every day, is only half the battle of Section 2 prep: You may be a competent chef, but to cook a great dish, you still need halfway decent ingredients. In the GAMSAT Section 2 Resources page, we explore where to find the ideas, opinions, anecdotes, and examples that will make your essay a thing of beauty.
Here, we will talk about the best GAMSAT Section 2 study topics to chase after, and why:
History is useful to learn about, especially in the format of:
- What have they done
- What happened as a result
- What can we learn from it
That’s because history tends to repeat itself, and historical events can be used as evidence to strengthen your essay’s argument.
Quoting history can also create the illusion that you are an individual of taste and culture, compelling the examiners to adjust their spectacles and nod in approval – as long as you don’t be a pompous dick about it (like quoting exact dates and bibliography).
When people think of philosophy, they think people dressed in robes, writing in running cursive in scrolls, yelling at one another, terrorising poor bystanders with thought experiments and even more annoying questions (especially when you never stop asking “Why?”), and other public displays of anarchy.
Whilst philosophy involves all of the above, it is also a social, everyday occurrence that is useful to every one of us.
Chances are, there’s some philosophy in you already: Your thoughts and opinions about what good and evil is, what life’s all about, how to live your life, and anything that counts as your view of the world, is philosophy.
Without philosophy, we wouldn’t know what to think, how to act, when to lose our shit, who to pretend to be friends with, and where to head in our future.
Everyone’s philosophy is different, because we have different genes, different upbringings, read different books, ran with different homies, encountered different joys and tragedies, etc. We took all of these different backgrounds and experiences, and came up with a set of rules and expectations, whereby things make sense in the world.
When we learn about philosophy, we are learning different ways of making sense of the world: It might give you a more balanced view, a more interesting outlook (e.g. writing from the non-mainstream side of a quote), and a better understanding of others; it might even change the way you live – and it will definitely give you more to write about in Section 2.
The brain weighs 2.5% of our own body (or less, for the more generously-portioned members of the population), yet enjoys up to 20% of the body’s blood supply, and runs pretty much everything up in that ivory tower HQ: Your brain is literally The One Percent of your body.
This pink squishy black box is also the least-understood organ of the body – and everyone, from neuroscientists, psychologists, New-Age luminaries, to the general public, has an opinion on how it works: How much of our brain are we using, why guys and girls think differently, how do I change people’s minds/mess with their heads for pleasure or pain, why we can’t stop thinking about pink eggplants, etc.
Psychology is significant to everyone’s lives – it seeks to explain why we can never stick to our New Year’s resolutions, why we can’t stop dating jerks, why we continue smiling even when we feel dead inside, why you shouldn’t stare lovingly into someone’s eyes (sorry ladies), why we laugh even though we know we’ll go to hell, and everything in between.
Everyone cares about it – and you should write about it. Don’t just talk out of your arse though – cite some famous research (e.g. pay attention, obey, and don’t get too excited) or recent findings.
#(You know what’s also pink and squishy? Pigs.)
Aside from obvious global phenomena like the Olympics and Eurovision, you should check out the world news for several reasons:
- If you’re easily overwhelmed by how much news there are to follow, the world news acts as a “Best of” of news: If it’s important enough for The World, it’s important enough for you.
- Pro Tip: That includes our own national news reported by other countries, in case wading through all the local/state/national news is cracking you the shits.
- Some countries have well-known political agendas (such as being big on censorship, or not so big on democracy, or have quite the beef with some other countries).
- It can be eye-opening to read about an event as national news according to the country’s state-run news corporations, then as from World News from other countries.
- This difference in perspective offers deeper understanding into a topic, as well as a more balanced and informed opinion – useful for Section 2.
- They afford an outsider’s view into our own country’s issues.
- The opinions are likely to be insightful – or failing that, interesting.
- Either way, if it’s a national or international event, it’s probably worth writing about.
- They’re not always that boring, you know.
In case you didn’t notice, new technology is shaping our lives (AKA “software is eating the world“): Twitter can spoil our spontaneous appreciation of natural disasters, you too can soon be pretty fly for a white guy, and a lot of us would rather give up The Ramble than give up our phones.
At the extreme end of the spectrum, truly disruptive technology can reshape entire economies: Molecular sensors like the SCiO may soon tell you things like what your mole is up to, whether your drink is spiked, if it’s worth your health to get that cheaper brand, and what’s really in sweet and sour pork. This is going to shake up entire industries whose business model is based on you not finding out what’s in their products.
3D printing’s another biggie: In medicine, surgeons are already using print-outs to practice highly intricate procedures and replace bony structures. Crossed with stem cell research, future patients may get organs made on-demand, with perfect immune-compatibility, rather than die waiting for the right donor to die.
Meanwhile, with more and more applications for 3D printing, there might come a time when downloading a car stops being a laughing matter, and becomes an ethical matter. Especially since they’ve printed one already.
Familiarise yourself with technological developments and trends – especially ones with applications soon, or extensive philosophical issues, and you’ll have a whole extra domain to tie your essays to.
Enjoyed the read AND learnt something useful? There’s more where that came from – check out other pages, and the FastGAMSAT official study guide!
Re: GAMSAT Essay Topics
GAMSAT essay topics are usually abstractions taking the form of a famous quote, controversial statement or witty idea. As you most likely know:
Task A of the GAMSAT essay topics is most likely contentious, argumentative and critical which asks you to write for or against the proposition.
Task B of the GAMSAT essay topics is most likely more abstract, reflective, expressive, even poetic in its proposed contemplation and response. Since Task A is most likely political, it is best to be well-read in current global events. Since Task B is most likely reflective it is best to be well-read in aesthetics and literature.
Since you are given a number of quotations for either task, one can respond either directly to one quote, to the general implied idea behind the quotes, or use the quote as a theme to respond to. In a Task A marking, the highest standards are most likely evidence and support to back up claims made in the essay. In Task B markings, the highest standards usually revolve around an experiential evaluation based in style. This dichotomy is somewhat arbitrary when both standards work in conjunction for both essays.
Before we cover common examples of GAMSAT essay topics you can click below to download your Free GAMSAT Essay Questions for Section 2.
FREE GAMSAT ESSAY QUESTIONS
Examples of GAMSAT essay topics could be almost anything; so a wonderful source for practice and study is a book of quotations or a list of quotes found online. In addition, higher-grade periodicals, such as The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, et. al. can help immensely! These periodicals cover current events well, have a strong op-ed section, as well as showcase artistic pursuits.
Of course, the best practice in preparing for the GAMSAT essay topics is to actually write. Choose some common universal themes (Friendship, Love, Suffering, etc.) in a book of quotations and respond in writing. Read up on current controversial topics (politics, social injustices, etc.) and formulate a response. Share these with friends for feedback or post on your favourite online forums to generate responses.
You can also submit your essay to our Essay Marking Service to receive a sample grade and detailed feedback from our essay marking specialists!
Click the ‘Essay Marking Service’ link below to submit your essay for marking.
Essay Marking Service
We will now quickly overview a range of common GAMSAT essay topics.
Common Topics GAMSAT Task A
Task B of the GAMSAT is targeted to be the reflective essay. The quotes that students receive usually have a personal theme to allow students to relate the themes with their own experiences in life.
Common Topics GAMSAT Task B
Quick Tips For Writing Your GAMSAT Essay
1. It is highly recommended that students write about these GAMSAT Essay Topics. Students should find quotes that relate to these themes and write as many essays as possible about these. Then when students are in the actual exam they will already have so many examples in mind for each theme to back up their essays – This will greatly improve your timing in the essay!
2. Students should write practice essays for each of these themes and have them looked at by a professional or a friend who has went exceptionally well in the GAMSAT
3. When practicing essay writing students should work under timed conditions and try to simulate the actual exam environment as much as possible. Find a quote place and sit down at a desk. Students need to actually write the essays out on lined paper – just like they will need to do in the actual GAMSAT exam. This is also beneficial as it will train the writing muscles to copy with 1 hour of continuous writing in section 2.
Also, a great book that covers many GAMSAT essay topics is called ‘The Meaning Of Things’ by AC Grayling.
Finally, a word of advice, think of your writings not as practice, but as rehearsal. By rehearsing each day, you will develop the optimism in your responses to Ace the GAMSAT!
For GAMSAT Tips click here: GAMSAT Tips
To get a Full-Length GAMSAT Practice Test click here: GAMSAT Practice Test
To get our GAMSAT Study Package click here: GAMSAT Preparation Material