Five study habits that will prepare you for medical school

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Medical school will be one of the most challenging periods of your life, especially when it comes to academics. To truly prepare yourself for the avalanche of books, notes and lectures in your future, here are just five studying tips for upcoming med students.

1. Space out your studying

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Cramming might prepare you for tomorrow's test, but it's a pretty ineffective way of retaining information in the long term. This can be disastrous when you're in med school because every new lesson references the one before it.

A better strategy is to use a "spaced repetition" technique where you study for smaller amounts over longer periods of time. Not only will it improve your recall with constant practice, but one study even proved that this kind of distributed learning results in better skill acquisition among surgical residents.

2. Use Bloom's Taxonomy

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In 1956, an educational psychologist by the name of Benjamin Bloom created a six-tier pyramid devoted to classifications of learning. The bottom rungs were things like rote memorisation while the top levels showed things like critical analysis and evaluation. You can use "Bloom's taxonomy" as a guidepost to measure your own study habits, especially when it comes to concepts and procedures that you'll need to know as a physician.

For example, instead of asking yourself if you can recite all of the side-effects of a certain medication, see if you can explain to an imaginary patient why those side effects occur in the first place.

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