Posts tagged study tips

Note Taking Tips by sarahsaysmd:

In med school, taking notes is hard because there’s SO much material. I remember going through one of my lectures and wondering how the hell I was going to simplify it to something I could actually remember. I usually make what are called “study sheets” after each lecture, and this is how I do them!

  • If there’s learning objectives, follow those. Use them to guide your notes. If there’s not, then use your intuition (based on what was heavily emphasized or covered the most) to figure out where to focus your notetaking. Just make sure you’ve organized everything in your head before putting it down to paper, because notes only work if they’re clear! 
  • Use categories to break up your learning. In one lecture there’s often multiple components, so I use headings to separate the main points. That way they don’t all blur together in my head.
  • Whenever possible, make charts, diagrams, or drawings. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve remembered something on a test because I took the time to draw it out! If you’re a kinesthetic or visual learner, this is super helpful. It really simplifies the material and organizes it thoroughly. It’s much easier to study from a clear chart than a block of text.
  • When you do use text, keep it concise. Use different colors to write out key phrases and terms, and try not to write out paragraphs and paragraphs. Sometimes, it unavoidable, and you need a lot of text to understand a key concept. Short and sweet wherever possible, though, makes life easier for you! 
  • Transform, transform, transform. Always try to put things in your own words wherever you can. Manipulate the material so that it coincides with what you’ve learned. When you think about a topic from multiple perspectives, you understand it a million times better.
  • When reviewing notes, read them aloud! Sometimes, I cover up one section and say everything I can remember about it. Then I check to see if I missed anything. It’s a great way to review (might be awkward if you have roommates, but mine is used to my impromptu lectures by now!). 
Case Study.
Studying in the clerkship years is a challenging task. Study times gives way to working time; working time gives way to sleeping time. Somewhere in between we need to create time for ourselves to build our knowledge.
The transition into third year requires quick adaptation to studying on the go. Bring a pocket book or load an ebook onto your phone or tablet computer. If you have few minutes to catch your breath, take out your study material and read a little. 
The best way to maximize your learning in these circumstances is to read around the cases you see each day. Was there something you did not understand about the pathophysiology for patient A’s condition? Not sure what the management plan should be for patient B? Make a case study out of these patients and read around what you do not know or cannot remember. Not only does this help you relate your readings to an actual experiences that help solidify your knowledge, but it will help you manage that patient’s care better. It is a win-win.
Next pearl: ?…Previous pearl: Photos & Videos Prohibited…

Case Study.

Studying in the clerkship years is a challenging task. Study times gives way to working time; working time gives way to sleeping time. Somewhere in between we need to create time for ourselves to build our knowledge.

The transition into third year requires quick adaptation to studying on the go. Bring a pocket book or load an ebook onto your phone or tablet computer. If you have few minutes to catch your breath, take out your study material and read a little. 

The best way to maximize your learning in these circumstances is to read around the cases you see each day. Was there something you did not understand about the pathophysiology for patient A’s condition? Not sure what the management plan should be for patient B? Make a case study out of these patients and read around what you do not know or cannot remember. Not only does this help you relate your readings to an actual experiences that help solidify your knowledge, but it will help you manage that patient’s care better. It is a win-win.

Next pearl: ?…
Previous pearl: Photos & Videos Prohibited…

Hello! I just found out about your blog and it's amazing :P Also, I'd just like to ask if you have any tips on how to make yourself less sleepy when studying? :P hehe — Asked by woesandwy

Now that is an interesting question woesandwy. If there was a fool proof solution, you can bet your money that medical students would have been all over it years ago. Unfortunately, life is not always that easy and it hides her secrets well.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Sleep more. Obviously this is playing a role somewhere. If you are not getting enough sleep then it will affect you for the rest of the day.
  • Proper sleep hygiene. A poor sleep hygiene habit that many of us have is studying in our own bedroom or worse, on our bed. Rooms should be compartmentalized based on function if possible. The dining room is already for eating, the kitchen for cooking, why not extend that to studying? Study in a study room, and sleep in your bedroom. If you study in your bedroom, it can increase your likelihood of feeling sleepy.
  • Give yourself a break. The monotony of studying can be mentally taxing. I personally tend to study for 20 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. While it is not perfect, it does give my brain new stimuli and that can help combat sleepiness.
  • A drink of your choice. Now, we are bringing on the big guns. If you must, then you can try tea or coffee. Black tea has a little more caffeine in it so if you need a little more kick that could be a good choice. On the extreme end of the scale, something I would not recommend are energy drinks. I know people who have used them for exams and honestly, if you are so awake you cannot get a solid night of sleep, it probably was not worth it.

These are the tips I keep in mind when I am studying and hopefully they will work for you too. Good luck and take care.

Do you have tips on combatting sleepiness while studying? Leave a comment below.