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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

I started medical school about a year and a half ago and my studying technique has changed a lot since then. I am someone who has to review something multiple times before the exam, and the rigor of medical school makes it hard to look at material as much before then. So, I had to figure out ways to make material stick the first couple times I saw it.

My first bit of advice would be to use your time wisely and prioritize. I know being in college is really hard and  you are always being pulled in many directions, so it makes it hard to have focused studying time. Therefore, it is important to use the time that you designate for studying wisely. 

First, I start by going through and understanding the lecture to the best of my ability . There is a lot of memorizing involved in medical school, but I always find it hard to memorize before I understand the material. This also makes it easier to memorize because as you go through the lecture slides and build comprehension,  you can make little ways to remember the material. 

Afterward, I then create  and practice my Anki for the material that I have learned. I always find that it is easiest to retain  the material when studyingright after you learned it. Another technique that I use to help with my studying is drawing things out. People often say that writing your notes out helps, but I find that drawing out any of the concepts helps me remember it really well. I have memorized a lot of anatomy by drawing the concepts and structures  and I find that it stays in my head for a long time. This technique works especially well for me because I am a visual learner. I also type out plenty ofmy notes, and I try to do this without looking at the slides. Brain dumping like this can be done by typing out material or even explaining  it out loud to yourself. 

Another big technique that helps me is popcorning a couple days before the exam. If you have a friend who is also studying for the same exam, you can popcorn all of the information on the slides with them without looking at the information. This technique not only helps you remember the slides because you are saying them out loud, but it also helps with recall because as your partner is saying their part out loud, you can check for their accuracy. 

Finally, I always do some sort of practice questions before the exam. Some teachers have told me that rehearsing practice questions while you are learning the material helps  with understanding. I usually only do this when I know  there are a lot of practice questions for me to do. It helps me more to leave the practice questions for the day before the exam because I can use them to test if my knowledge for the exam is enough. Along with this technique, on the last day, I read over all the powerpoints. I usually call this deep reading because as I read, I make connections and understand the material and examples on the slides really well. 

One final tip, as you are going through your final reviews, take pictures of any slides that you either think are important or recalled wrong. You can look through all these pictures in the 10 minutes before the exam because these will stick in your head the most. 

I hope these tips help you succeed in your classes. They can be used in any type of classes, not just medical ones. Remember to take breaks as you are studying to avoid burnout . Happy studying!

Hi! My name is Shreevarsha and I am currently a third year in the 6 year B.A./M.D. program at UMKC! My hobbies include doing art and reading!