The Way to Change Study Habits (Orientation Week)

MAJOR EDIT to my previous post. Today in our academic discussion portion of orientation we were instructed to forget any old study strategies as they are deemed ineffective for medical school. Re-reading and constantly reviewing notes may help you understand a concept but it will do nothing to actually teach you the information in a way you can apply it to situations. Instead, we were given seven steps:

  1. Plan

  2. Prepare

  3. Participate

  4. Process

  5. Practice

  6. Perform

  7. Pause

The most important step that was emphasized was to PARTICIPATE. Become part of the material as you are learning it for the first time. Stop the professor, ask them questions as the material is being taught so that you do not learn the information incorrectly and therefore have to then correct yourself which takes twice the amount of time. Relate what you are being taught in that moment to something else, create analogies for yourself so that you can be reminded of the concept and topic in more ways than one. This also deepens your understanding and makes it more likely for you to understand the concept in a foreign context.

Additionally, previous students as well as advisers have stressed that students should rewrite the lectures provided in their own words to conjugate the information in a way you personally understand better. Not only that, but condense the information so that you can review it quickly by the time the exam comes. If you feel the need to write down every last detail because you cannot remember it otherwise, you’re doing it wrong.