The process of preparing for a nearing exam makes your brain adapt to taking new information in a limited time. This period improves your learning ability and shows how dynamic, intelligent, and resilient you are. Unfortunately, most students dread the exam period since it can be taxing, stressful and overwhelming, especially for those who haven’t been proactive in their learning.
The good news is you can make all the difference if you actively prepare for your exams. While preparing for your test, remind yourself what you have done in the past to avoid having bizarre feelings such as anxiety. Below are essential tips to help you prepare for your Lecturio USMLE step 1 course and score highly.
1. Create a study schedule
Formulating a study routine helps you stay organized as you go through the many topics from your first year in medical school. You are bound to leave out important information if you randomly study without a plan. A study schedule helps you understand what topic to review and on which particular day.
Besides ensuring you cover all content, a timetable makes you more aware of the time left to prepare for the exam. For this reason, you have lower chances of slacking in your preparations. When structuring your study schedule, ensure to include days off to give yourself a mental break. The average study period for the examination ranges from 4-6 weeks. However, you may require more or less time depending on your learning ability.
2. Find a study partner
Having someone to study with makes you motivated and helps you have a better learning experience. A study partner may supplement the existing information you may have. You can set the discussion to occur during certain times of the week when availability is not a problem.
Besides being a fun study approach, it is an effective way to keep each other on toes. This is also the time to change your usual study venues; For instance, you can have your sessions at the serene park with minimal to no distractions. Change of environment is enough motivation to open your brain to receive new information.
3. Study the challenging topics first
The perfect time to tackle those challenging topics is when you are most alert, motivated, and productive at the beginning of your study period. Although this may make you feel unprepared and more anxious, keep in mind that you have purposed to achieve and begin with your weaker areas.
For example, plan to read more on cardiology if it is one of the topics you struggle with and finish with your strongholds, such as neurology. However, it is customary to urge you to go through the information you are familiar with as it gives you confidence and psyche. Remember that starting with those areas you are not good at gives you more time to learn, revisit, and review throughout your remaining study period.
4. Do as many practice questions as possible
Using practice questions has to be one of the best study methods rather than reading a book like a novel. This approach sets you up for a high score and percentile performance in your USMLE.
Be sure to tackle practice questions from your first two years of medical school. While answering the questions, note down the challenging ones and actively review the solutions to each question you got right. This will help you cover multiple topics in a short period.
5. Minimize distractions
Distractions can be in the form of your chatty friends, smartphone, computer, and social media use. Leave your phone in a different room when studying and only use it when need be. Without discipline, you may fall short of accomplishing your study goals. However, you may keep your phone with you if you have any emergent reason.
Avoid spending long hours talking to your friends as it eats up your study time. You can politely inform them that you will be unavailable for a certain period. Although they seem like minor problems, they can make you less productive in the long run.
Putting the above guidelines into practice may help you have a seamless experience preparing for your examination. Proper planning gives you confidence as the exam period approaches.