How to study in medical school

Rules for studying in medical school  – According to Lily 🙂

medschol studying
Accurate representation of what it feels like when you study in medical school 🙂 ❤
  1. Start early – preferably the day you start a new module.
  2. Do some studying every single day.
  3. Set realistic study goals .
  4. Weekdays (Monday to Thursday) are reserved for being a medical student.
  5. Weekends (Friday to Sunday)  are optional.
  6. Aim to use the last week of your module to do more active study (6-7 days before your test).
  7. The last 3 days before a test can usually break or make your result)

How Does Lily Study? 

My studying has two components to it;  a passive and an active component. I need to use both in order to be well prepared for assessments. The two go hand in hand. I find it most challenging to launch myself into active studying if I have not done some passive studying before hand.

Passive studying is where I am familiarizing myself with a topic. This includes:

  • Pre-reading . It may seem like  a lot of effort but it is incredibly useful !
  • Going to lectures.
  • Making my own notes from lecture slides and notes .
    • Mind Maps
    • Flashcards
    • Knowledge cards
    • Summaries

Active study is where I make a concentrated effort to remember things and understand how concepts work. This includes :

  • Memorising my notes.
  • Testing myself on those notes .
    •  I put away my notes and resources , take a blank piece of paper and write down as much as I can remember on a topic that I have studied.
  • Doing examples and past test papers
    • If I am struggling with past paper questions , I go back and learn / memorise the corresponding sections of work .
    • Past papers are basically useless if you don’t use them early and if you don’t fill your “knowledge gaps”.

My Basic Study Time Table 

05:00 – 06:00 Pre-reading. I download all my lectures for the day and read over them for 10-15 minutes each. If a particular textbook is recommended then I spend another 15 minutes reading on that chapter from the textbook.

08:00-16:00 Lectures . During lectures I start making my notes from the lecturer’s PowerPoint presentation and write down any extra information supplied by the lecturer.

18:30 -20:00    complete the notes from lectures .I also add notes from the textbook if necessary. Textbooks are a very thorny issue because some lectures LOVE to give minimalist PowerPoint presentations and refer all learning to the text books . Others are kinder and include the essential “need to know” information in the PowerPoint and thereby minimize the use of textbooks.

20:30 – 22:30 Active study of notes. Each lecture usually gets a half an hour at most. This means that on a perfect day , I can finish studying four lectures. On the days that we have more classes (until 4pm), I relegate the active studying of those lectures to the weekend or spare time I may find in the week.

There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to studying. Some modules have a much faster pace and you need to work harder to keep up . Some days you might finish at 12:00 and others at 16:00 . It’s all about planning ahead and not being surprised when your schedule deviates .

Lots of Lily Love (LOLL) ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤