By: Dr. Latelle Barton
A common complaint among medical students: there is not enough time to study for all classes. The most basic and efficient way to study is by using your limited time wisely. Self directed learning or active learning will help you the most. Get organized with the material, figure out what is important, and read how all the dots are connected. Reading your notes with no systematic approach will probably not help you much in medical school as in the past.
- Read ahead, if possible, to get an idea of material soon to be presented in lecture.
- Review the information covered in class every evening.
- Organize you notes in a way that it will make sense to you.
- Research lecture information if it is unclear to you. If you are still having problems consult your professor.
- Start memorizing key concepts early. Do not start memorizing concepts a few days before the exam.
- Do practice mcq’s as you go along in your course (USMLEWORLD, USMLERX, Kaplan, etc). When using commercial products like the aforementioned, practice on tutor mode and untimed. Read why the right answer was right and why all the wrong answers were wrong.
- Create a healthy balance with your study routine. Get on a regime such as, 50 minutes of study time and a 10 minute break.
- Do not sacrifice one course for another. Do not get into the habit that one course is more important to study than another course. Do not skip class to study for another course. These are all very bad habits that generally do not help students improve their grades. Students lose valuable class time hours for a course that will also give them a final exam.
- Dedicate one day out the week for you to relax and let your brain heal. Do something non-academic and fun.
- Learn efficient study skills and time management early. It will improve your grade and cause less burnout.