In February 2020, I quit a quarter of a million dollar a year job in insurance sales to return to school and refocus my life away from one that revolved around me, and toward one focused only on contributing to others. I had achieved what I always thought success was supposed to look like and realised it was empty. I began to ask myself what I could really be great at, and after a year of reflection decided I could be an exceptional teacher of young children, or a brilliant doctor. I chose medicine. My first task: the GAMSAT. I threw myself into study like nothing before – often studying 14-18 hours a day for nearly 6 months, resulting in scoring 82 overall and 91 in Section 2 – and ultimately being admitted to a Doctor of Medicine at Unimelb. I found early in my preparation that all S2 resources and tutoring were oriented around getting students to 75, and resources on scoring between 75 and 90+ didn’t exist. Combined with a lack of truly high-quality example essays online I was left to figure out much of it myself.
Along the way I realised that S2 isn’t a test of your writing – it’s much deeper than that. It’s a test of you and how you understand and integrate broader narratives and themes in the world around you and situate yourself within them in ways that are sensitive, humane, empathetic while displaying objectivity and maturity. To learn what I know about section 2 took purchasing every section 2 resource available (thousands of dollars), working with and burning through 7 tutors (thousands more), reading 300-400 of the best responses I could find and analysing them for common threads; and unfortunately, a great deal of guesswork, intuition, and selectively ignoring tutors who insisted they knew better and that I wouldn’t be successful if I didn’t listen.
Having now approximated what an ideal Section 2 response requires (for both Task A and Task B – in individual styles), it feels fundamentally unfair to me that others should have to repeat that process, and grope through the mystery and duress of discovering what I found. I’d rather you have time to spend with your family and friends, or additional time to study for S1 and S3. So, I decided to leave behind what I learned, so others can follow in my footsteps.
My products and teachings are designed to clearly articulate what separates a 75 from a 90+ Section 2 response. There are many resources out there that are designed to teach the basics of writing and structure. I encourage you to use them. I now mentor those students who require access to the information, knowledge and expertise that I gained during my preparation, to lift their scores from great to elite, and enjoy the relaxation of achieving a GAMSAT mark that enables them to fulfil on their dream to become a medical professional.