December 30, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Attending every class is a given. There’s no question about it. But that in itself is not enough. Apart from just attending class, it is equally important to read your textbooks before you even attend the lecture. When you do this, during the lecture, you will be in the advantageous position of synthesising the information instead of simply receiving it like the rest of the class. This will help you stay one step ahead of your class. The additional benefit is you will remember the information better because you will have a more thorough understanding.
It is important to train yourself to be a little curious with learning and ask questions. Just learning is not enough, asking “why” is also important. Quantitative learning does not hold as much weight as qualitative learning does. Learn things in advance and be one step ahead. Also keep your questions ready and always make it a point to go and seek answers to tricky questions from your professors outside of class hours.
It is important to understand that you will not always know all the answers. The one way to learn from your mistakes is to agree that you have actually made them, be willing to unlearn a few things, learn some others and be willing to make changes as well. Pride will not get you anywhere when it comes to learning. When you do not know something, admit it and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Studying for entrance to medical school is vastly different from high school studying. Poring over your books the night before an exam is not going to help you in any way. Repetition is of utmost importance and unless you are a true genius, there is no other way to go about it. Allocate some time every single day for studies and stick to that schedule judiciously. When you look at the same information repeatedly, it stays in your head better. It is also important to understand what study pattern works best for you and create a schedule accordingly. That is the one way of ensuring success in your GPA.
Everyone likes to feel rewarded for a job well done and it is no different here. Positive reinforcement is often motivation enough to strive to do better. Without any motivation, there are higher chances that you will eventually lose interest. The best way is to develop an effective system via which you reward yourself once you have completed the work that you have allocated to yourself. For instance, once you finish studying for a given number of hours at a stretch, relax, watch TV or spend some time with friends. It is important that you add a certain amount of a “play” quotient to your life even as you work hard.