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Survival Guide for First-Year Medical Students – Study Strategies

You’’re finally a first-year medical student! Congratulations! Now, if you want to make it to your second year, you’’ll have to get studying.

Don’’t Cram

One of the most important things many students at accredited medical schools have found is that cramming just doesn’’t work. Cramming as an undergrad strategy might not have been so bad but, at this level, it’’s important to actually understand and retain all the concepts you’’re learning.

Study Groups

Your first few months will be integral in figuring out what strategies work best for you and some find that studying in groups is more of a distraction than an advantage. Instead of counting on others to help you stay focused, find a secluded spot that cuts out distractions.  Plug in some lyric-less tunes and hit the books. If you come upon questions that you can’’t find answers, you can always ask a classmate or professor. Take the time to try and learn it on your own before relying on the group, though.

Old Tests

A crucial study element you can utilize is copies of old tests. Getting your hands on some old tests to look over can greatly improve your understanding of the material. Concepts highlighted on past tests are more than likely going to be focused on again, especially if the test is coming from the same professor.

Learn From Your Failures

Sometimes you do worse than you expected. It happens. It’’s important to not let this discourage you. You don’’t have to be an all-star in every subject to be a great doctor. Put in the effort, work hard to understand the materials, and you will be on your way to becoming that.

And don’’t forget: amidst all the studying and hard work, give yourself a break. Relax and take a load off. Take one day a week to just unload and have a good time. While you are busy and need to put the time and effort into studying to be successful, the most successful students know how to manage their time efficiently.