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Figures of Speech in Section 1 Passages

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Figures of Speech in Section 1 Passages

Postby jeanne_gsgamsat » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:03 pm

Watch out for the tone of Section 1 passages: some of them seem light and funny but the humor subtly belies accepted concepts and ideas.

1. Wordplay. Funny GAMSAT Section 1 reasoning passages often use double entendre (double meanings). For this, you need to be sensitive to the cultural contexts hinted at in the passage.

2. Sarcasm. Passages may contain cutting remarks. They are often strongly worded and they are supposed to mean the exact opposite of what they seem to be saying. The objective of the sharp words is to mock, make fun of, insult and deride.

3. Irony. The passages contain presentations of incongruity about the human existence. When a passage sometimes tells a story, watch out if the passage presents you with an unexpected twist or event. The unexpected twist of event then will overturn the message in the entire opening section of the passage. This is like a curve ball.

4. Hyperbole. Beware of passages that use superlatives to extol or deprecate a person, event or thing. When descriptions are exaggerated, you can expect that the questions will ask you to pinpoint the truth amid all the exaggeration or else indicate the exaggerations and why they are exaggerations.

5. Metaphors. Passages often paint mental pictures using words that compare one thing with another totally unrelated thing. Remember Shakespeare’s ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ What has a person got to do with a day in the summer? Nothing at all except in Shakespeare’s mind. Thinking of the beloved in that sonnet makes Shakespeare feel like summer has arrived. Passages often create conceptual relationships between two distinct and unrelated objects, historical events or people.

These are figures of speech which passage authors use. The more facility you have at detecting these figures of speech, the easier it will be for you to detect meaning.
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Re: Figures of Speech in Section 1 Passages

Postby Trilobite » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:34 am

When faced with the long passages in Section 1 do people read it all first or take Question 1 and read, Question 2 and read and so on? I did that and managed to finish right on time but only scored 60% - not a great mark. What are your strategies?
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Re: Figures of Speech in Section 1 Passages

Postby goldstanda3269 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:26 am

Both and more!

Students have aced GAMSAT using many different strategies which means that there is no 'one size fits all'. You are doing the right thing by experimenting. Try the passage first then going through the questions. Try questions first (just glance at the answer choices) then dive into the passage with the aim of only seeing it once. Check your timing, comfort and score at the end to help you determine which will be your technique from that point forward.

A key point: Before you read a long passage, just spend 3 seconds setting up an imagery. For example, imagine that you have a younger brother/sister/cousin/friend and the moment you finish the passage, you must summarize what it was about. Don't focus on details, just the big idea, the theme. You'll be able to read faster and extract more meaning (a more stressful but also good imagery would be that you have to present the topic in class after a first read!).
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Re: Figures of Speech in Section 1 Passages

Postby Trilobite » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:23 pm

Yes this sounds like a good strategy- forming the main idea while I read. I did find that in some passages I was getting bogged down trying to understand detail that wasn't relevant to any of the questions, which is why I changed my strategy to read first question - read answer and so on. That way my mind was searching only for the relevant information.

What kind of percentage mark (around, as I know this depends on the particular cohort of people on the day) would you need to get a 64 in the test?

Thanx Trilobite
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