GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry [New 2022]

Reading time:

minutes remaining

GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry [New 2022]

GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry Tips and Strategies

The first thing to know is that you don't need to be a poetry expert to do well in GAMSAT section 1 but, like anything in life, the more practice you have, the better. You will probably have some choices and some of them will be poems you've read before so focus on understanding what the poem is trying to say.

The GAMSAT section 1 poetry portion of the GAMSAT exam tests your ability to understand and analyze poetic texts. 

GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry is a necessary evil that you need to prepare for in the verbal reasoning section of the exam. After all, poetry is all about understanding and interpreting language. By studying poetry, you can learn how to read and deconstruct complex texts, a skill that will undoubtedly come in handy when tackling GAMSAT Section 1.

And while it may seem daunting at first, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. There are online forums and websites dedicated to GAMSAT preparation, and many of these offer helpful tips and advice on studying for the exam.

In addition, there are a number of GAMSAT books and prep courses available that can provide you with the guidance you need to succeed on the test. So don't be discouraged if you're not sure where to start - there are plenty of resources out there to help you ace the GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry section.

This article will help you prepare for this section of the test by providing tips and strategies that will help you ace the GAMSAT exam. Read on to learn more!

GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry

The GAMSAT section 1 Poetry exam draws from classic literature and is designed to test your ability to analyze and evaluate text on two different levels. You'll need to understand the literal meaning of the text and understand the figurative meaning of the language to answer questions about its underlying meaning.

GAMSAT Section 1 poetry

The GAMSAT exam will also test your ability to balance reason and emotion and respond appropriately to the context of the blurb or poem that you're presented with. In addition, you'll need to understand the complexities of the human condition.

Poetic interpretation is an essential skill to succeeding on GAMSAT section 1. Although the GAMSAT section 1 Poetry question may appear difficult, it will expose you to advanced vocabulary and nuanced symbolism. Practising will help you build a broad base of knowledge and expand your ability to understand more complex poetic texts.

Reading and comprehending poetry will also improve your reading and cognitive picture-making skills, as well as your ability to create vivid imagery. In addition, being exposed to GAMSAT poetry stems will help you sharpen your ability to convey emotions through language. Practice makes perfect, so if you find you're not that great at GAMSAT Section 1 poetry then make sure you get in as much practice as you can.  

While many think that GAMSAT Section 1 is the easiest section, it can actually be one of the most challenging sections. You'll need to manage your time well and synthesis large amounts of information. You'll also need to make tough decisions about themes and ambiguous aspects of tone and imagery. Moreover, you'll need to understand the underlying themes in the texts. By reading widely, you'll develop a broad understanding of literary works, including popular culture and contemporary issues. Check out our other article on the best GAMSAT Section 1 novels and books to read!

If you don't have a background in literature, you can still do well on the GAMSAT poetry section. You'll have to invest in some textbooks and practice. But it's not impossible to get a perfect score even without studying for the poetry portion of the GAMSAT Section 1 exam.  

Before you can understand the poem as a whole, you have to start with an understanding of the individual words.

Get a good dictionary. Look up, and write down, the meanings of:

  • words you don’t know 
  • words you “sort of know” 
  • any important words, even if you do know them.

Maybe they have more than one meaning (ex. “bar”), or maybe they can function as different parts of speech (ex. “bar” can be a noun or a verb).

If the poem was written a long time ago, maybe the history of the word matters, or maybe the meaning of the word has changed over the years (“jet” did not mean an airplane in the 16th century).

An etymological dictionary like the Oxford English Dictionary can help you find out more about the history of a particular word.

Use an encyclopaedia or the Internet to look up people and places mentioned in the poem. These allusions may be a key to the poet’s attitudes and ideas. As you pay attention to the literal meanings of the words of the poem, you may see some patterns emerging.

These patterns may relate to the diction of the poem: does the poet use “street talk” or slang, formal English, foreign language phrases, or jargon?

Your goal, now that you’ve understood the literal meanings, is to try to determine the theme of the poem – the purpose the poet has in writing this poem, the idea he wants to express. In order to discover the theme, however, you need to look at the poem as a whole and the ways the different parts of the poem interact.

Title of the Poem

Start your search for the theme by looking at the title of the poem.

It was probably carefully chosen. What information does it give you? What expectations does it create? (For example, a poem called “The Garden of Love” should cause a different response from the one called “The Poison Tree.”)

Does the title tell you the subject of the poem (ex. “The Groundhog”)?

Does the title label the poem as a specific literary type? (ex. “Ode to 2 Melancholy”; “Sonnets at Christmas). If so, you should check what characteristics such forms have and discuss how the poet uses the “rules.”

Is the title an object or event that becomes a key symbol? (see Language and Imagery)

Tone of the Poem for GAMSAT Section 1 

Next you might consider the tone. Who is speaking? Listen to the voice? Is it a man or a woman? Someone young or old? Is any particular race, nationality, religion, etc. suggested?

Does the voice sound like the direct voice of the poet speaking to you, expressing thoughts and feelings? Is a separate character being created, someone who is not necessarily like the poet at all (a persona)?

Is the speaker addressing someone in particular? Who or what? Is the poem trying to make a point, win an argument, move someone to action? Or is it just expressing something without requiring an answer (ex. A poem about spring may just want to express joy about the end of winter, or it may attempt to seduce someone, or it may encourage someone to go plough in a field.

What is the speaker’s mood?

Is the speaker angry, sad, happy, cynical? How do you know? This is all closely related to the subject of the poem (what is the speaker talking about?) and the theme (why is the speaker talking about this? What is the speaker trying to say about this subject?).

Structure of the Poem for GAMSAT Section 1 

How is the poem organized? How is it divided up?

Are there individual stanzas or numbered sections? What does each section or stanza discuss? How are the sections or stanzas related to each other? (Poems don’t usually jump around randomly; the poet probably has some sort of organization in mind, like steps in an argument, movement in time, changes in location or viewpoint, or switches in mood.)

If there are no formal divisions, try breaking down the poem sentence by sentence, or line by line. The poet’s thinking process may not be absolutely logical, but there is probably an emotional link between ideas.

For example, you might ask a friend to pass mustard for a hotdog and suddenly be reminded of a summer romance and a special picnic. It doesn’t look rational from the outside, but it makes emotional sense.

A very controlled structure may tell you a lot about the poet’s attitude toward the subject. Is it a very formal topic?

Is the poet trying to get a grip on something chaotic? A freer poetic form is also worth examining. What is appropriate or revealing about the lack of structure?

Sound and Rhythm of the Poem for GAMSAT Section 1 

Poetry is rooted in music. You may have learned to scan poetry-to break it into accented/unaccented syllables and feet per line.

There are different types of meter, like iambic pentameter, which is a 5-beat line with alternating unaccented and accented syllables. You can use a glossary of literary terms to find a list of the major types of meter.

Not all poems, however, will have a strict meter. What is important is to listen to the rhythm and the way it affects the meaning of the poem.

Just like with music, you can tell if a poem is sad or happy if you listen carefully to the rhythm. Also, heavily stressed or repeated words give you a clue to the overall meaning of the poem.

Does the poem use "special effects" to get your attention? Some words take time to pronounce and slow the reader down (ex. "the ploughman homeward plods his weary way" echoes the slow plodding pace). Other words can hurry the reader along (ex. "run the rapids").

If you are unfamiliar with the terms alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia, you can look them up and see if they apply to your poem-but naming them is less important than experiencing their effect on the work you are examining.

Does your poem rhyme? Is there a definite rhyme scheme (pattern of rhymes)? How does this scheme affect your response to the poem? Is it humorous? Monotonous? Childish like a nursery rhyme?

Are there internal rhymes (rhymes within the lines instead of at the ends)? If you read the poem aloud, do you hear the rhymes? (They could be there without being emphasised.)

How does the use of rhyme add to the meaning? Certain poetic forms or structures are supposed to follow specific "rules" of rhyme and meter (ex. sonnets or villanelles).

If you are studying a poem of this type, ask yourself if the poet followed the rules or broke them-and why. Different parts of a poem may have different sounds; different voices may be speaking, for example.

There are lots of possibilities. No matter what, though, the sound should enforce the meaning.

Language and Image for GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry 

Every conclusion you have drawn so far has been based on the language and imagery of the poem. They have to be; that's all you have to go on.

A poem is only words, and each has been carefully chosen. You began by making sure you understood the dictionary meanings of these words (their denotative meaning).

Now you have to consider their visual and emotional effects, the symbols and figures of speech (the connotative meaning). Look for the concrete pictures, or images, the poet has drawn. Consider why these particular things have been chosen.

If an owl is described, does that set up a mood, or a time of day? If a morning is called "misty", what specific effects does that have? Are certain patterns built up, clusters of words that have similar connotations? For example, descriptions of buds on trees, lambs, and children are all pointing toward a theme involving spring, youth and new birth. Symbolism is also often used in a poem.

A symbol is an event or a physical object (a thing, a person, a place) that represents something non-physical such as an idea, a value, or an emotion. For example, a ring is symbolic of unity and marriage; a budding tree in spring might symbolise life and fertility; a leafless tree in the winter could be a symbol for death.

Poets use techniques and devices like metaphors, similes, personification, symbolism and analogies to compare one thing to another, either quickly and simply ("He was a tiger") or slowly over a stanza or a whole poem (an extended metaphor like this is called a conceit). (

Which comparisons are stressed? Are they all positive? How are they connected? A description of birds flying could have any number of meanings. Are the birds fighting against the wind? Soaring over mountains? Circling a carcass? Pay close attention and pick up the clues.

What to expect for GAMSAT section 1 poetry

If you are a student taking the GAMSAT for the first time, you may be wondering what to expect on section 1 of the poetry portion of the exam. The questions in section 1 will test your ability to analyze the literary prose on two different levels: the literal meaning of the text and the figurative meaning. The figurative meaning consists of reading between the lines and interpreting the text by balancing reason and emotion.

The purpose of the poem is crucial for scoring high on the GAMSAT Section 1 poetry test. Poetic prose and poetry have different purposes, and GAMSAT students should study each one carefully in order to maximise their scores.

Great poets like Shakespeare wrote sonnets for the collective good of humanity. The great poems tackle themes and thoughts that are universal and appeal to all people. Whether you're looking for a deeper meaning in a poem, or just to enjoy reading a good poem, you'll be able to score high on GAMSAT Section 1 poetry.

While the GAMSAT section 1 poetry exam is notoriously time-pressured, most students can complete the entire test within the allotted time. However, some sections of the exam may be harder than others. It is essential to understand the questions on the GAMSAT in advance, and get enough practice in order to feel confident on the test.

By learning about how to analyse poetry as a broad brush, you'll be able to tackle Section 1 of the test with confidence.

The more you read, the more your vocabulary will grow. Moreover, reading will enrich your personal development as well. Reading philosophy is a good way to brush up on your skills as well as introduce you to different writing styles and the ways to form ideas. It is also important to practice with cartoons as they are similar to poetry.

How to prepare for GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry

If you're wondering how to prepare for GAMSAT Section 1, there are several strategies you can use to ensure you have a solid understanding of the material. GAMSAT Section 1 poetry is all about understanding and analysing poetry. To do well in this section, you will need to have a good understanding of the different elements of poetry, such as metre, rhyme, similes and metaphors.

GAMSAT Section 1 poetry

You will also need to be able to identify the theme of a poem, and to understand how the poet has used language to convey this. However, memorising large chunks of poems is not going to be helpful; rather, it is important to focus on developing your analytical skills. This means reading widely and critically, and practising annotating and analysing poems. There are numerous online resources that can help you with this, including articles, tutorials and practice questions. With some dedicated effort, you can develop the skills that you need to do well in GAMSAT Section 1

A section 1 question log is an invaluable asset. This high-tech excel spreadsheet can help you analyse questions and mark their correctness and incorrectness.

The question log also allows you to understand patterns of questions, and subsequently, score higher. For GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry, a question log can help you identify problems and make better decisions. It's a great way to improve your score and ensure you do well in the exam.

The best strategy to prepare for Section I is to read as much as possible. Reading a lot improves your reading speed, allows you to digest large texts quickly and helps you extract meaning from texts. The best time to start your Section I study is from January onwards, as this will give you adequate time to prepare for the section. You don't want to be stuck on a subject or genre and not be able to finish it.

GAMSAT Students should read poems aloud in order to appreciate the sounds. By hearing the poem, they can note the poet's use of consonance, assonance, and rhythm. Additionally, they can get a sense for how the poem feels when spoken.

Questions that you should yourselves are things like:

  • Which words do you find most striking / vivid / disturbing / moving[etc.]?
  • Which sounds in the poem are particularly memorable?
  • Which images in the poem passage are most powerful or striking?
  • Which senses does the poet particularly appeal to?
  • What are your first impressions of the speaker of the poem (if there is one)?

Ask why particular aspects were memorable and striking, and so on, in order to begin considering how the poet’s writing creates particular effects.

A personal response is essential. There is no right answer, and there can be different interpretations so long as there is valid evidence to support them. If possible, listen to poets reading their poems.

GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry Tips

If you're having trouble figuring out what to write in a poem, it's a good idea to recite it aloud a few times. Consider how the rhymes flow, the tone of the poem, and the theme or motivation of the author. If possible, try to find a poet's motivation and connect it to the topic of the poem. Taking time to recite the poem aloud will help you understand its theme.

One of the most effective tips for analyzing poems on the GAMSAT section is to discuss your ideas with other GAMSAT test takers. This will help you refine your interpretation skills and improve your pattern recognition skills. By discussing your ideas with others, you can also get valuable feedback from their responses. If you're able to work through the poem as a team, you'll be able to improve your scores. You may even find that the GAMSAT section 1 poetry questions are more interesting than you expected!

The Purpose of Poetry For GAMSAT Section 1

Poetry can be difficult to understand, as it often does not follow the rules of prose. Poetry is meant to evoke an emotional response, so it may be less about what the words mean and more about how they make you feel.

The use of figurative language and symbolism can be confusing, but if you know what your professor is looking for in each poem section, then you’ll have a better chance at scoring well on your exam!

Significance of Poetry for GAMSAT Section 1

Poetry is not necessarily about the literal meaning of words, but rather their significance. When you read a poem, you should be thinking of what it means to you, and this isn't necessarily dependent on having an understanding of the poet or knowing anything about their personal life. It's all about how it makes you feel and how it speaks to your own experiences.

The structure and style of a poem will also play into how it affects people who read it; there are different types of poems that evoke different emotional responses from readers. If you want to understand why people enjoy reading poetry so much, think about what kind of poem this is and whether or not it holds true for yours as well!

You also don't need to know the poet that well, just know what the poem is trying to say. You may not have heard of all of these poets before but it's still worth reading their work so you can see how they write and what they are trying to convey.

There are few things to do to prepare for GAMSAT Section 1 poetry. This includes:

  • Understand the structure and style of a poem
  • Identify the form, voice and tone in a poem you are reading.

You should also understand how the effect of the poetic device is used by the author in relation to the theme. For example, satire uses language and/or imagery to ridicule something or someone.

In this poem, William Blake satirizes those who are afraid to explore nature by describing it as "a world of death." The image of a "world" implies an entire universe; therefore, these people must be afraid even if they don't realise it yet.

Determine What kind of poem is it? (Lyrical, narrative etc.)

In a narrative poem, it may seem like there’s a clear story line or plot line. But even if there isn’t one—and many modern poems don't have one—the structure of the poem might still tell you something about what kind of person wrote it and why they wrote it that way.

What The subject or theme of the Poem ? (Love, death, war etc.)

As for subject or theme, it's important to consider what you would like your poem to be about. Poems can be about love, death, war, nature, religion and politics.

Whatever the case may be: what is the poem about? What is its purpose? What is its theme? If a theme hasn't been stated then how do you know what it is? For example if we were talking about John Donne's Annunciation which begins with "Batter my heart" then this could mean that there is an element of struggle in Donne's faith.

It may also suggest that he feels he needs to be punished for his sins or perhaps even forgiven by God himself.

The tone of this poem could be considered solemn and reflective as well as being a little bit sad as well as hopeful at times too because of course there are moments where one feels they have been blessed with grace from above yet there are also those moments where one feels lost when trying to find their way back into God's good books again which is why many people turn towards religion when seeking answers about life itself because in order for them not only do they want answers but also peace within themselves too; hence why so many people follow religions such as Judaism (because Moses led them out from Egypt), Christianity (because Jesus died on cross), Hinduism (because Krishna was reincarnated), etc.


Who is being spoken to/about? Who is speaking? 

The speaker may be a character in the poem, or it may be an imaginary character. It could also be historical figure, a god, or even you. The speaker can give clues as to who he is by using pronouns, social context and word choice.

If you are unsure about whether the speaker is addressing someone directly or not (i.e., if it's a personal poem), consider whether there are any pronouns used in it that refer to another person(s).

For example:

"As soon as I saw her face I knew she was my wife."

This appears to be talking about something that happened at some point in time but with no indication of when this happened or if it still happens today (in other words—it doesn't seem like this person is currently married).

If they were addressing their current spouse then we would expect some sort of "I love you"s at the end of each line instead of just describing how beautiful she looks!

Identify imagery and poetic devices and their meaning.

Poetry is a literary genre in which words are used to evoke feeling and ideas. In poetry, the author often uses figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, to create an image in the reader's mind that helps them understand the meaning of the poem.

Metaphors compare two things using "like" or "as" ("My life is like an empty shell"). Similes compare two things using "like" or "as" ("My life is like an empty shell; it's like walking through mud.")

In poetry, imagery is a word picture that appeals to your senses (sight, touch/feeling, taste/smell) and/or your imagination. An example would be:

  • The moonlight glowed on my face as I sat outside watching fireworks explode at midnight on New Year’s Eve."

The author creates imagery by describing what he sees—the moonlight glowing on his face—and how it makes him feel—he enjoys watching fireworks at midnight on New Year's Eve!

There are many different types of poetry and you will have some chances in your GAMSAT. You will be asked to interpret poetry, write poetry, compare poetry and explain poetry. You can also write about any other topic or poem that you like. The questions will always be based on the poem or topic that is given to you.

GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry Tips

Go on and produce a carefully annotated copy of each poem. Try to summarise the content of each stanza (or stage) of the poem. this serves as a reminder of the structure and overview of the poem.

Key words, phrases, sounds and rhymes can be highlighted in the body of the poem, with brief comments on their effect.

Make sure to look out for any:

  • imagery
  • sound devices
  • rhetorical devices

This Leads To A Detailed Exploration Of The Precise Effects Created By Particular Words And Sounds, And A Consideration Of The Way The Poem Is Structured: How It Begins, Develops And Ends.

It Should Be Stressed That Listing Poetic Terms Is Not At All The Same As Analysis. More Creditworthy Is The Sustained And Detailed Exploration Of The Ways In Which Poets Achieve Their Effects.

The GAMSAT student who writes that ‘Marvell’s use of “time’s winged chariot” is personification’ has barely begun to explore the poet’s language. It conveys nothing of the way Marvell captures the sense of time passing with incredible speed.

Prepare Your GAMSAT Section 1 Poetry Revision for Questions

Preparing for GAMSAT poetry exam questions questions often use words such as the following, designed to elicit personal responses to the poetic writing:

  • memorable 
  • vivid
  • moving
  • dramatic
  • tense
  • striking
  • amusing
  • ironic 


We hope that you’ll be able to apply these guidelines to your preparation for GAMSAT Section 1. Poetry represents a great opportunity for you to display your skill in analysing human experience, which is what Section 1 rewards you for doing. At the end of the day, there are no shortcuts to understanding poetry—you just have to be willing to read it and engage with it like anyone else would!

When it comes to GAMSAT Section 1, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the questions on poetry. First, make sure you are familiar with the different types of poems. Second, identify key literary devices and how they are used in poetry. Finally, brush up on your knowledge of literary history and specific poets. By doing these things, you will be better prepared to answer any questions that come up on the GAMSAT.

One important thing to remember when it comes to GAMSAT Section 1 poetry is that the questions will often be based on specific poems. This means that you need to be familiar with as many poems as possible. A good way to do this is to read a variety of poems from different poets. This will give you a better understanding of the different styles and techniques that are used in poetry.

When it comes to literary devices, there are a few that are particularly important in poetry. These include things like metaphors, similes, and symbolism. Make sure you understand how these devices are used in poetry and why they are effective. This will help you to answer questions about specific poems on the GAMSAT.

Finally, make sure you brush up on your knowledge of literary history. This includes knowing about specific periods in literature and the major authors who wrote during those times.

This knowledge will be helpful when it comes to answering GAMSAT Section 1 questions about poetry. By familiarising yourself with the tips above, you will be better prepared to tackle the GAMSAT Section 1.

If this wasn't enough, check out our top 10 tips for GAMSAT Section 1 poetry.

We also have articles that provide in depth guidance on GAMSAT Section 2 and GAMSAT Section 3.

About the author 


90% of your GAMSAT problems can be solved by CrackGAMSAT. Solving the other 10% just requires good procrastination skills and a huge amount of coffee :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}