With the ongoing restrictions and changes to our everyday life caused by COVID-19, studying has never been as difficult, especially for medical students who have lost easy access to their colleagues and professors. If you're feeling like you're lacking the motivation to study and are starting to lag behind, these useful learning ricks will help you keep ahead of your busy schedule.
- Find your best learning technique
If you have been spending hours upon hours on revising and it just doesn't seem to stick, you need to change the way you learn. Instead of letting the pandemic take away from your studies, make the best of the situation, and utilize the opportunities online learning gives you. By being able to make your own schedule, you can optimize the way you learn to spend less time reading through your notes. What's more, you will also have better knowledge retention, giving you ready access to all the information you need during an exam.
At first, try to change small things about your daily schedule. If you find that you are more energetic in the morning, try to make studying one of the first things you do when you wake up. On the other hand, if you are a night owl and work better when it's late, put aside some time for studying every day before bed. If you feel more focused while listening to relaxing music, do so. If you can't seem to eliminate all of the distractions that bother you at home, take your laptop to your favorite coffee shop and study there.
- Utilize learning applications
One of the best ways to make the most out of your studying time is to use some outside help. Instead of going through the books and getting lost in all of your notes all the time, try to put aside some time for trying out learning apps. Using a mobile application for learning can be a great addition to your studying routine, giving you the portability of being able to take all of your studying material with you everywhere. By making use of digital software instead of physical learning help, you can also save some trees from being cut by limiting your paper usage.
When preparing for a difficult exam, what you really need is a Medical Question Bank – an application that allows you to easily prepare your own personalized quizzes. QUPI gives you on-demand access to over 10,000 user-generated practice questions, categorized into respective topics. You can easily choose the subjects that you are revising for and create the perfect practice quiz. On QUPI, you will find some of the most common questions found at the USMLE, the MRCP exam, and many other major medical exams around the world.
- Actively participate in your online classes
During your online classes, don't be shy to answer your teacher's questions and discuss with your classmates. If your online learning platform features group forums, make it a habit to contribute and ask questions. With the limited ability to meet with your colleagues and study together, online forums and chat rooms are great for keeping in touch, but also improve your studying efficiency. They also allow you to communicate with your classmates whenever you want, outside of university hours. Make sure to check the discussion forum as often as possible – you can easily manage a quick response from your phone wherever you are!
If you find yourself behind on something, always remember to ask your teacher or your classmates to help you. When you find yourself unsure about a certain topic or assignment, don't wait until the last day before your deadline to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask your professor about any additional details.
- Organize your space
To optimize your studying, make sure to create a dedicated learning space and keep it organized. This will allow you to establish a studying routine, making it much easier in the long run. If you're studying at home, clean your desk and keep tidy surroundings – it will make you feel much better. Online classes give you the opportunity of having every material at hand, both books and software. Also, make sure you have steady access to an internet connection from your workspace and headphones at the ready.
- Establish a schedule
At the beginning of the semester, make sure to create a list of all the major assignments that you know of. You can write them down on a calendar to help you remember all of the dates. Create a weekly schedule for yourself, in which you designate time every day for studying and working on your assignments. Remember to factor in watching online lectures, reading source materials, and participating in online discussions.
Don't treat the online part of your course differently than you would a traditional one. Try to discipline yourself to sit down every day and focus. Even though you can be more flexible with your schedule, in the end, you still have to finish all of your assignments on time. Try to get the most value out of your classes and turn off any programs and browser tabs that may distract you during your classes.