GAMSAT Section I Practice Test 2023: Sample Question Answers. Section I Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences. The GAMSAT Sample Questions contains examples of the kind of materials and questions you can expect to find in the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT).
GAMSAT Section I Practice Test
|Test Name||GAMSAT Practice Test 2022|
|Subject||Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences|
|Question Type||Sample Question Answers|
Questions 1 – 6 This passage is taken from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species
Several writers have misapprehended or objected to the term Natural Selection. Some have even imagined that natural selection induces variability, whereas it implies only the preservation of such variations as arise and are beneficial to the being under its conditions of life. No one objects to agriculturalists speaking of the potent effects of man’s selection; and in this case the individual differences given by nature, which (5) man for some object selects, must of necessity first occur. Others have objected that the term selection implies conscious choice in the animals which become modified; and it has even been urged that, as plants have no volition, natural selection is not applicable to them! In the literal sense of the word, no doubt, natural selection is a false term; but who ever objected to chemists speaking of the elective affinities of (10) the various elements? — and yet an acid cannot strictly be said to elect the base with which it in preference combines. It has been said that I speak of natural selection as an active power or Deity; but who objects to an author speaking of the attraction of gravity as ruling the movements of the planets? Everyone knows what is meant and is implied by such metaphorical expressions; and they are almost necessary for brevity. (15)
Q1. In this passage Darwin claims that he is accused of
- A. personifying nature.
- B. denying the role of God in nature.
- C. overestimating his own importance.
- D. exaggerating the consequences of natural selection.
Q2. From line 6 onwards the author is most concerned to
- A. introduce the use of metaphor in scientific writing.
- B. explain how species influence their own evolution.
- C. defend terminology which he used in earlier writing.
- D. demonstrate that selection is applicable to all species.
Q3. In responding to the objection that ‘as plants have no volition, natural selection is not applicable to them’ (lines 8–9), Darwin begins with
- A. a denial.
- B. a concession.
- C. an extrapolation.
- D. an amendment.
Q4. The term ‘elective affinities’ (lines 9–10) is used to
- A. parallel the term ‘natural selection’.
- B. contrast with the term ‘natural selection’.
- C. expand the meaning of the term ‘natural selection’.
- D. highlight the falseness of the term ‘natural selection’.
Q5. According to Darwin ‘natural selection is a false term’ (line 9) in the sense that
- A. it does not apply to plants.
- B. conscious choice is not involved.
- C. it is confined to scientific contexts.
- D. agricultural breeding practices are directed by humans.
Q6. Darwin presents metaphor as a way of
- A. putting a general idea in specific terms.
- B. putting a specific idea in general terms.
- C. expressing a complex notion concisely.
- D. expressing the fine points of a concept precisely.
Questions 7 – 12
The diagrams below present the patterns of clan membership for two kinship groups of Pacific Islanders, the Kariera and the Tarau. The diagrams show the requirements for marriage between clans and the way the clan membership of fathers determines the clan membership of children.
In the diagrams, the broken lines (m) indicate allowed marriage relationships where any man from the clan at the origin of the arrow may marry a woman of the clan to which the arrow points. The solid lines (c) indicate allowed filiation relationships, where every child of a father from the clan at the origin of the arrow becomes a member of the clan to which the arrow points.
A man of clan X must marry a woman of clan m(X).
The children of a man of clan X will be of clan c(X).
The Kariera System (four clans: A, B, C, D)
The Tarau System (four clans: A, B, C, D)
Q7. In both systems, individuals belong to the clan of
- A. one parent.
- B. their aunts.
- C. their uncles.
- D. their siblings.
Q8. In the Tarau system, marriage
- A and the clan of children are reciprocal.
- B and the clan of children are sequential.
- C is reciprocal and the clan of children is sequential.
- D is sequential and the clan of children is reciprocal.
Q9. In both systems
- A. mothers belong to a different clan to their siblings.
- B. mothers belong to the same clan as their children.
- C. children belong to a different clan to their father.
- D. children belong to the same clan as their father.
Q10. In the Kariera system, the clan of c (A) is
- A. A
- B. B
- C. C
- D. D
Q11. In the Tarau system, sons marry women from the same clan as their
- A father.
- B mother.
- C grandfather.
- D grandmother.
Q12. In the Kariera system, an individual belongs to the clan of their
- A. paternal grandmother.
- B. paternal grandfather.
- C. uncle.
- D. aunt.
Questions 13 – 21
The will of the people practically means the will of the most numerous or the most active part of the people; the majority, or those who succeed in making themselves accepted as the majority; the people, consequently, may desire to oppress a part of their number; and precautions are as much needed against this as against any other abuse of power. The limitation, therefore, of the power of government over individuals loses (5) none of its importance when the holders of power are regularly accountable to the community, that is, to the strongest party therein. This view of things, recommending itself equally to the intelligence of thinkers and to the inclination of those important classes in European society to whose real or supposed interests democracy is adverse, has had no difficulty in establishing itself; and in political speculations ‘the tyranny of (10) the majority’ is now generally included among the evils against which society requires to be on its guard.
Like other tyrannies, the tyranny of the majority was at first, and is still vulgarly, held in dread, chiefly as operating through the acts of the public authorities. But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant — society collectively, over (15) the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannising are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually (20) upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of (25) conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon a model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism. (30)
John Stuart Mill, 1859.
Q.13 The passage as a whole suggests that Mill wants to draw his contemporaries’ attention to the
- A. dangers of limiting the political power of the majority.
- B. importance of defining the limits of society’s power over the individual.
- C. need to enact legislation safeguarding society’s authority over the individual.
- D. need to liberate the legal system from the interests of the traditional ruling class.
Q14. In the first paragraph Mill argues that the election of government by the majority is
- A. no guarantee against tyranny.
- B. the best safeguard against tyranny.
- C. the only means of combating the interests of the aristocracy.
- D. accepted as the best political arrangement by all intelligent thinkers.
Q15. ‘The limitation … of the power of government over individuals loses none of its importance when the holders of power are regularly accountable to the community.’ (lines 5–7)
Which one of the following would best illustrate this assertion?
- A. a dictator’s seizure and maintenance of power as a result of civil war
- B. evidence of widespread corruption amongst government officials in a democratic state
- C. persecution of a minority group under a government repeatedly elected by democratic process
- D. the difficulty of mounting free and fair elections in a state which has recently thrown off dictatorship
Q16. In using the word ‘inclination’ in line 8, Mill imputes to the ‘important classes in European society’ a degree of
- A. altruism.
- B. stupidity.
- C. intelligence.
- D. self-interest.
Q17. At which one of the following is Mill’s attack directed in the second paragraph?
- A. the rule of law
- B. government by the majority
- C. the imposition of social conformity
- D. extreme penalties for minor offences
Q18. According to Mill, social tyranny may be more onerous than political oppression because it
- A. more pervasively imposes its strictures upon the individual.
- B. is unconstrained by the authority of any governing body.
- C. deflects democracy from its aim of serving the people.
- D. is exercised by the majority upon the individual.
Q19. In lines 18–19 (‘if it issues … not to meddle’) Mill implies that society should
- A. not interfere in some areas of life.
- B. never interfere with an individual’s liberty.
- C. be prepared to intervene when right is clearly on its side.
- D. guide and influence behaviour, rather than issue mandates.
Q20. Which one of the following phenomena would Mill be likely to find objectionable?
- A. legislation to prevent the persecution of minority groups by the majority
- B. the movement to privatise instrumentalities and utilities formerly owned by the state
- C. legislation to ensure that members of the judiciary are drawn from diverse sections of society
- D. the establishment of equal opportunity boards to monitor the opinions expressed by tertiary academics
Q21. This passage appears to be a prelude to a discussion of
- A. the history of democracy.
- B. the nature of political tyranny.
- C. limits that might be placed on the exercise of the collective will.
- D. the influence of exceptional individuals in forming collective opinion.
Questions 22 – 30
The following passage is the opening of a novel by Patrick White
BUT old Mrs Goodman did die at last.
Theodora went into the room where the coffin lay. She moved one hairbrush three inches to the left, and smoothed the antimacassar on the little Empire prie-dieu that her mother had brought from Europe. She did all this with some surprise, as if divorced from her own hands, as if they were related to the objects beneath them only in the way ( 5 ) that two flies, blowing and blundering in space, are related to a china and mahogany world. It was all very surprising, the accomplished as opposed to the contemplated fact. It had altered the silence of the house. It had altered the room. This was no longer the bedroom of her mother. It was a waiting room, which housed the shiny box that contained a waxwork. ( 10 )
Theodora had told them to close the box before the arrival of Fanny and Frank, who were not expected till the afternoon. So the box was closed, even at the expense of what Fanny would say. She would talk about Last Glimpses, and cry. She had not lived with Mrs Goodman in her latter years. From her own house she wrote and spoke of Dear Mother, making her an idea, just as people will talk of Democracy or Religion, ( 15 ) at a moral distance. But Theodora was the spinster. She had lived with her mother, and helped her into her clothes. She came when the voice called.
At moments she still heard this in the relinquished room. Her own name split stiff and hollow out of the dusty horn of an old phonograph, into the breathless house. So that her mouth trembled, and her hand, rigid as protesting wood, on the coffin’s yellow lid. ( 20 )
From the church across the bay a sound of bells groped through a coppery afternoon, snoozed in the smooth leaves of the Moreton Bay fig, and touched the cheek. The blood began again to flow. I am free now, said Theodora Goodman. She had said this many times since the moment she had suspected her mother’s silence and realised that old Mrs (25) Goodman had died in her sleep. If she left the prospect of freedom unexplored, it was less from a sense of remorse than from not knowing what to do. It was a state she had never learned to enjoy. Anything more concrete she would have wrapped in paper and laid in a drawer, knowing at the back of her mind it was hers, it was there, something to possess for life. But now freedom, the antithesis of stuff or glass, possessed Theodora (30)Goodman to the detriment of grief. She could not mourn like Fanny, who would cry for the dead until she had appeased the world and exhausted what she understood to be sorrow. Fanny understood most things. The emotions were either black or white. For Theodora, who was less certain, the white of love was sometimes smudged by hate. So she could not mourn. Her feelings were knotted tight. (35)
Q22. The opening line of the novel suggests that
- A. Mrs Goodman’s death came as a surprise.
- B. Mrs Goodman’s death was not unexpected.
- C. death seemed a constant threat to Mrs Goodman.
- D. it seemed as though Mrs Goodman would never die.
Q23. Theodora’s reactions when she entered the room where the coffin lay (paragraph two) seem
- A. calm and collected.
- B. shocked and bereft.
- C. anxious and perturbed.
- D. detached and disoriented.
Q24. In the second paragraph Theodora sees her hands (line 5) as
- A. tentative and uncertain.
- B. strangely clumsy and alien.
- C. insistently irritating and intrusive.
- D. anxious and potentially hysterical.
Q25. Theodora is surprised after her mother’s death because
- A. she had not prepared herself for such a situation.
- B. she did not want to believe it had happened.
- C. everything seemed to have changed.
- D. nothing seemed to have changed.
Q26. We are given the impression in the passage that Fanny’s talk about ‘Last Glimpses’ (line 13) is
- A. superficial and sentimental.
- B. proper and respectful.
- C. tender and emotional.
- D. delicate and refined.
Q27. Fanny’s response to her mother seems
- A. warm and grateful.
- B. blundering but genuine.
- C. hypocritically dismissive.
- D. distant and conventional.
Q28. In contrast with Fanny, Theodora’s feelings seem
- A. a hysterically suppressed reaction to what has happened.
- B. a genuine response to the experience she has had.
- C. compassionate and sympathetic.
- D. insincere and superficial.
Q29. Theodora’s response to ‘the prospect of freedom’ (line 26) is
- A. submerged and deferred.
- B. confused and ambiguous.
- C. passionate and elated.
- D. frank and direct.
Q30. The attitude of the writer to Theodora is
- A. shifting and ambivalent.
- B. critical and judgmental.
- C. unsympathetic and detached.
- D. sympathetic and understanding.
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