GAMSAT Reddit - How to Use Reddit for GAMSAT Preparation
12 December, 2021
Many of us, myself included, have a habit of turning to social media during our downtime, or when we fall into the temptation of procrastination. The good news is that going on social media is not a complete time waster, as there are ways to harness the power of social media to aid your learning. Of course, social media is never going to be a substitute for actual GAMSAT study, but if used correctly it can be a useful supplement. In the case of the GAMSAT, social media can be helpful for finding a community of like-minded people who can offer support and advice and can also be helpful in gaining inspiration for Section 2 essays.
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In today’s article we will be talking about Reddit specifically, but many of the points covered are broadly applicable to other forms of social media. I assume that many of you reading this article will have some familiarity with Reddit, but if not, here is a quick explanation. Reddit contains a series of chat forums (known as “subreddits”) in which users can discuss various related topics. There is a subreddit for virtually everything on Reddit, from electric outlets in weird places (r/purplecoco) to gaming (r/gaming) to GAMSAT (r/GAMSAT). Of course, some of these subreddits are more relevant to this article than others!
Finding a community
The first and perhaps most obvious benefit of using social media is the ability to find a community of like-minded individuals. The most relevant subreddit for most of you will be r/GAMSAT, as this subreddit is specifically for people sitting the GAMSAT (Australia, UK, Ireland); most users of this subreddit are Australian. The r/GAMSAT subreddit is a good place to get advice and support from other people who are also sitting the GAMSAT, which should be helpful in finding study groups and obtaining resources from students who no longer need them.
Unfortunately, virtually every other medicine-related subreddit is centred around the US. This does not mean that these subreddits are not useful! Subreddits such as r/premed may be good for getting support (as well as a collection of memes about the application process, which may also aid in morale and motivation). Just be aware that a lot of the information may not necessarily apply to you. For example, many medical schools in the US look at extracurricular activities, whereas this is not the case for most Australian medical schools (except for the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wollongong. You can learn more about the admission requirements of different universities across Australia here). Another notable difference is that many US medical schools encourage applicants to spend some period of time shadowing doctors (i.e. following around doctors to gain an idea of what the profession is like), but this is not a requirement in Australia and may even be perceived as unethical.
Finding essay inspiration
There are many subreddits in which news articles are regularly shared for discussion. As GAMSAT Section 2 topics tend to lend themselves well to discussing current events, taking a flick through some of these subreddits may help to give you an overview of what the typical issues are. Reading through the discussion may also give you an idea of the public sentiment, or some other points to think about. It's also a good way to practice breaking down GAMSAT essay stimuli. But be careful: virtually all subreddits tend to be biased one way or another, and so you need to consider this when reading through the popular responses.
For Australian news, the most obvious subreddit would be r/australia. The capital city subreddits (r/perth, r/sydney, etc.) also occasionally share city-specific news. For world news, there is the r/news subreddit (though this tends to be heavily US-centric) and, believe it or not, r/anime_titties. (The story behind that subreddit is that r/worldpolitics wasn’t moderated very well, leading to people posting NSFW content on the r/worldpolitics subreddit, and a subgroup of users splitting off to form the r/anime_titties subreddit where they could actually discuss world politics. What a time to be alive…)
If you’re bold, you could try getting into the discussion yourself. This could be a good opportunity to practice forming a coherent argument, finding the evidence to back it up, and responding to counter-arguments. Who knows, you might even win awards from your fellow Reddit users!
While Reddit is not exactly the most conventional study method for the GAMSAT, it can be a good source of community support as well as inspiration for Section 2. Obviously, Reddit will only ever be a supplement to solid study methods such as doing practice questions, but hopefully you have found it rather comforting to know that this popular way to spend your downtime is not without its advantages!
For more information about preparing for the GAMSAT, please have a look through the rest of this blog, or feel free to contact us at GradReady. GradReady offers comprehensive and personalised GAMSAT courses. Join 8000+ GradReady Students with an average improvement of 20+ Percentile Points, 8 years in a row!