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Unless you have some completely irrational hate of poetry, there will be some kind of poetry that appeals to you. Not all poetry appeals to everyone. However in the universe of GAMSAT Poetry, there are definitely some things that should appeal to your taste and desires.

Reading poetry will give you assess to a form of language and expression that is transferable. Something that you might want to be able to steal from, mimic, copy and translate into your Section 2 work. Poetry has an amazing sense of terms of phrase, and the ability to point to something out of nothing. This is effectively what you need to do in GAMAST Section 2. So read some Poetry, try and find some Poetry that appeals to you.

Poetry Set of Lists:

GAMSAT poetry

We encourage you to look at this list, particularly the devices such as alliteration, enjambment, onomatopoeia, metaphor, allusion, connotation. All these terms you’ll be able to find two or three lines of definitions in the materials that Fraser’s GAMSAT provide, and these would help your reading comprehension. You generally, almost certainly won’t be asked any question relating to technical devices in any of the stem questions that GAMSAT Poetry will throw out. However, for your ability to read these materials, for you to understand them, so having some awareness of some of these technical devices is surely going to help you.

Next on the list are architectural stuff, like a stanza (paragraphing of poem), meter (the syllabus that forms the lines). Prose poetry is something that is not in a rhyming form. We have a particular types of rhyming schemes like rhyme couplet every second line. Again, these technical things are not going to be tested. However, once you start seeing these patterns, you, therefore, would be able to read through these poetry types of questions a lot easier.

The last on the list we have are forms. We have epic poetry, free verse, and elegy (which is a kind of lament). Again, knowing these forms of poems like an elegy, for instance, would mean that you will know that the mood is sombre. Therefore, you will immediately be looking in the questions for this particular tonality. So you will have a clue before you even reach the question, by knowing the form of the poem, what to be looking for when you engage with the questions.

Types of Questions in GAMSAT Poetry

So there are two types of poetry-related questions in Section 1. There is what we call the poetry straight up and the comparative poetry. The comparative poetry questions may include things like song lyrics as well as a variety of different forms of the poem. The question types are going to be: “Poem 1 is more ‘x’ than Poem 3”. You know secondarily, “In relation to Poem 2, Poem three should be seen as” whatever you want. These are the types of questions. It’s always about mood; it’s about tone, it’s about the authorial voice, that each of the poems have and trying to contrast them. Is one more ecstatic? Is one more sombre?

In a straight up poem questions, they are going to be more exact types of questions. For example:

  • “On line 3, ‘why don’t you love me anymore?’ is (and you’ll have the question types)
  • “The poem as a whole would best be described as……?” 
  • “A representation of a motherly act occurs on line _________” 

You are looking for exact literal reference to lots of these questions and you’re also going to look at global-type questions (poem as a whole). You’ll need to be looking for tone suggestions, moods suggestions and again going back to that discussion about understanding the form of the poem, whether it’s a love ballad or an elegy, you will know immediately that the question is going to be related to love or sorrow.

The GAMSAT Poetry questions are not going to be about history, or your ability to critique. It’s about straight reading the question. You won’t be asked to make an interpretative leap.

There would be a basis in the question and the answer will always assure that there is some relation to the prompt that does not require some novel writing of history regarding the particular poem in question. So again, suspend one’s dislike, suspend one’s fears relative to not knowing more about the poetry space. It’s quite simple. All the same, all reading technics are appropriate.


ps. For more GAMSAT tips for Section 1 and 2, sign up to more Free GAMSAT tutorials here.