Saturday, February 26, 2011

4 Tips for Improving Study Skills in Medical School

As the Medical Mnemonics blog demonstrates, making studying and learning easier is possible if you find specific tactics and shortcuts that will make you study smarter so you don't have to study harder. That is to say, putting in the hours of necessary time to absorb all the information you need to know for various tests is certainly required. But you want to above all strive for efficiency in order to maximize your time hitting the books and pouring over notes. Aside from mnemonics, here are some study tips that will enhance your efficiency so you don't have to stay up all night (too often)

1. Know your learning style.
Of course, everyone has specific learning methods that are helpful for them and not for others. While the number of study methods is infinite, learning styles usually fall into one of three categories aural, visual, and kinetic. Most people will respond to a mix of these learning styles, but they will be stronger with one. Read about ways to implement different learning styles and figure out which one suits you best.

2. Take effective notes in class that translates material into a language you can understand but doesn't oversimplify the material.
Effective note taking is perhaps one of the most important study skills any medical student must learn in order to be successful. When you are attending a lecture, be sure to whittle down the information the lecturer presents into precise notes that capture all the main points without leaving out details that might be important to know on tests. Above all, remember that a conceptual understanding of the material is more important than memorizing specific details. Of course, you'll need both concepts and details, but without conceptual understanding, you won't be able to connect all the dots and actually apply your learning later, whether it's on a test, in the lab, or in a clinical setting.

3. Review every day several days before a test.
One of the worst habits that many graduate or medical students retain from their undergraduate days is "pulling an all-nighter" or studying the night before the test. While it's more possible to do this successfully in college, in medical school it's a huge gamble. Make time to review material right after each lecture, and do so again later in the evening. Start with an hour or so, and as the test approaches, increase your review time accordingly.

4. If there is anything you don't understand after a lecture, address it with your professor immediately.
The best thing about reviewing your notes right after a lecture is that you'll be able to figure out what you don't understand immediately. This way, you can ask the lecturer or professor soon after so that you won't amass all this information that you are clueless about, leaving you stumped when it comes time to prepare for an exam. Clarifying concepts that you are confused about in a timely manner will help you enormously in making your study time more efficient. Studying for a test means going over and memorizing material you've already learned. If you are learning while you are studying, you will be wasting tons of time.

These are just a few ways to improve your study skills and methods in medical school. Above all, remember that it isn't the "most intelligent" students who do well. It's those who have carefully refined their study methods. Good luck!

This guest contribution was submitted by Jamie Davis, who specializes in writing about masters degree. Questions and comments can be sent to:


hyperhidrosis said...

There is a nice 4 Tips for Improving Study Skills in Medical School. In medical it is important to improve study skills. So many students are intelligent. But they do not do study in a proper way. I think these tips useful for them.

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