How to study effectively
- Set yourself achievable goals.
Never try to fool yourself into thinking you will read 10 chapters every day, run at least 5 miles, clean the whole house and manage 1 huge assignment in 1 hour.
This won’t work, you know that and you’re just fooling yourself.
Be realistic. Read 1 chapter, but actually read it, not highlight every word there. Read it again, make a summary of it, close the book, explain the material to somebody else or just write it down in bullet points. Do a 20 minute work out. Clean your table. Write 500 words of that 2k essay (or write 100 words, or 50, hovewer much you can actually write)\
- Take breaks frequently, but not longer than 20 minutes.
I am a big fan of pomodoro technique when studying because it gives me a sense of a timeline that doesn’t allow to check on my phone, on my email- anything. Once you decide to ‘i’ll rest for a bit’ that bit turns out to be 5 hours on tumblr and bam - you’re not sleeping at night because your deadline is due.
Set a timer for yourself. 25 minutes of reading, 5 minutes break. After 3 cicles make a big 15 minutes break. After another 3 cicles take half an hour. Set yourself the exact amount of time you will work, and the exact amount of time you will rest.
- Turn off your Tumblr/Twitter/Youtube.
No explanation necessary
- Understand what you’re reading.
I can’t stress enough about this one, because in my 4 years of studying in med school i realized just how many people try to memorize exactly what is written instead of understanding the concept.
Listen, your memory will fail you. You’re not a perfect database that can reach for any data file that you need any time. People forget things, this is how our brains operate.
Logic will never fail you. This is so important to understand to all of you in medicine, that if you understand the basic you can always draw conclusions from that.
For example, it is no problem for me to answer the question like ‘Clinical manifestation of pneumonia’ because i understand the pathogenesis, and just draw logical conclusion. This is what clinical thinking is based upon, basically
- Don’t do things just because everybody do them.
Make notes for yourself, not for a pretty tumblr post. I used to spend a lot of time and money on those but they were less effective than messier quicker not very photo ready notes that i made, but those were actually more helpful.
Notes are here to help you, not to make an appearance of studying.
A lot of my classmates spend hours taking notes but once they come to class it’s like they just mechanically copied the textbook without actually realizing what they wrote. Which is why my point of understanding what you study is important in note taking, notes are just a quick summary you can go back to, some details you might have troubles remembering, they are helping you revise not read from when you are asked a question.