Reasoning in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Reasoning in the Humanities & Social Sciences Section I: GAMSAT Graduate Medical School Admissions Test Australia, Ireland and the UK. The following details of Section I will help to understand the GAMSAT Practice Test question structure.

Reasoning in the Humanities & Social Sciences

The Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences section tests skills in the interpretation and understanding of ideas in social and cultural contexts. Different kinds of text are used as stimuli, including passages of personal, imaginative, expository, and argumentative writing.

Although most of the stimuli materials in this section are in the form of written passages, some units may present ideas and information in visual and tabular form. Materials cover a range of academic and public issues, with an emphasis on socio-cultural, personal and interpersonal topics.

Section I: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Number of questions 62
  • Reading Time 8 minutes
  • Writing Time 92 minutes
  • Total Test Time 100 minutes

If football is a game of two halves, then GAMSAT is an exam of three parts. Many candidates focus so much on the science part that they forget the other two. They either think that no specific preparation is needed for the reading and writing parts of the test, or they are unsure exactly HOW they can prepare.

Whilst it is true that your preparation for the science paper will undoubtedly take up the majority of your total preparation time for GAMSAT it would be a serious mistake to neglect the other parts and fail to maximize your overall score.

The main types of texts and materials which are used as a stimulus for questions in Section I will be considered (question styles) and then an analysis made of all the possible types of questions that could be set based on these, (question types). Strategies and tips will be given to help you deal with each question style and type.

Question styles

  • Questions in the Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences section demand varying degrees of complex verbal processing and conceptual thinking, logical and plausible reasoning, and objective and subjective thinking.
  • Questions that emphasise understanding involve the recognition of explicit and implicit meanings through close reading of words and phrases and global interpretations of text.
  • Questions that emphasise plausible reasoning involve interrelating, elaborating and extending concepts and ideas, and drawing conclusions.
  • Questions that emphasise critical thinking require candidates to make discriminations and judgments in the realm of plausible reasoning.
  • Questions in this section are in multiple choice format, with four alternative answers from which candidates choose the most appropriate.

Questions in Section I are based on 7 different types of source materials –

  •  Non fiction texts
  •  Fiction texts
  •  Poetry
  •  Proverbs / quotes
  •  Cartoons
  •  Diagrams / pictorial information
  •  Tables / charts

Whatever the source, don’t expect any of the texts to be particularly interesting, they are probably not the sort of thing you would read for fun. The important thing is not to allow yourself to be disheartened or overawed if a particular text covers an unfamiliar or difficult theme. This is part of the challenge of the test and as you will see demonstrated in this.

Of the 7 question styles listed the majority of the questions will be based on texts, either non-fiction or fiction. The other question styles usually appear 1-3 times each. Use this as a guide for the amount of time you spend practising each question style.