Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why the 'model essays' in the marketplace are too long

Most students upon reviewing the 'model essays' by a popular GAMSAT training provider react by saying that the essays seem to be too long. That is because they are. Let me explain.

When I sat GAMSAT, I wrote 3 paragraphs: an introduction, first body paragraph and a second body paragraph for my first essay, and an introduction, first body paragraph and 3/4 of a second body paragraph for my second essay. I did not finish either of my essays. At most I would have written 500 words per essay. I achieved a score of 76.

So why are the 'model essays' too long? Well my gut feeling is as follows. I'm reasonably certain that the model essays are selected from the numerous practice essays that are submitted to the provider. These essays are often written by students who do not write their essay under exam conditions. That is, they take extra time, use a computer etc, all of which enhance the length of the essay. The provider then makes the mistake of upholding their essay as an example of what students should try to achieve.

So what is the moral of the story here? There is an inherent limitation as to how much you can write in Section II. Don't get distracted by so called 'model essays'. The key is to focus on quality not quantity.

The topic of the next post will be "What type of essay should I write - discursive or argumentative?"

Best of luck with the study!

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