Top Tips & Suggestions For Exam Preparation In Medical School

January 4, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Exams, particularly med school exams, can be exceptionally grueling and can leave you stressed and exhausted. But, with a clear plan and study schedule in place everything can fall into place and suddenly seem more manageable. Here are a few useful tips and suggestions to help you stay on top of your revision schedule as exam day approaches:

Planning & Time Management

– Plan to start revising long before the date your exams are scheduled to start. Leaving your revisions for last minute can be a huge mistake. Most students find that regular revisions done throughout the semester can be a huge help in the long run.

– Create a study timetable that includes specific study times for each subject. The best way to get started is to make a blueprint that includes all the topics you will need to cover and the time frame within which you need to cover it. Then schedule them in accordingly allocating appropriate time frames for covering each topic.

A student assisting her mentor with taking a patients blood pressure– Make sure you schedule leisure and social activities into the timetable. Continuous study without any break can be counterproductive. Try to create a doable timetable that you are more likely to stick with for a longer time.

– When you have a task to be done or a project to be completed, do it as soon as possible. Do not procrastinate. If you let incomplete assignments pile up, your workload will eventually become unmanageable and you will find yourself unnecessarily stressed.   

Study Strategies

– Find a place that is conducive to studying and where you can retreat to every day to study for at least a while. Some students do better studying alone in the library whereas others prefer group study. Figure out what works for you and then work to make it happen. 

– Create mind-maps using lots of brightly colored pens in different colors. As the exam day draws nearer, you will find it easier to scan your notes the day before the exams.

– Using graphs and illustrations has also been proven help boost retention of information. 

– When studying, it is better to spend time practicing the same type of exam that you will be taking. If the exam focuses on multiple choice, study your subject matter from that perspective. Likewise for orals, written and long case exams.

– Test yourself regularly on what you’ve finished revising.

– If you find the topic too large, boring or overwhelming, break it up into smaller sized blocks that you find more manageable.

A Gap Medics student learning about Opthalmology– If you feel like you’ve had enough for the day, take a break. Go for a walk. Listen to some music. Spend a few minutes catching up with your friends. The change of scenery will do you good. It will leave you feeling refreshed, reenergized and ready to tackle some more.

Don’t ignore your health

This is one aspect that most medical students completely ignore in their quest to complete their coursework and revision. Unfortunately it won’t do you much good if you fall ill during your exams. To avoid such a situation, make sure you take good care of your health. Eat healthy meals regularly. Get enough sleep and find time to exercise for at least 15 – 20 minutes a day.