5 Poor Study Habits Every Medical Student Should Avoid and How to Fix Them

Every student has different study habits. For some students, two to four hours of studying are sufficient to secure impressive grades, while for many students eight hours in the day are not enough to revise their lectures or prepare for the class quiz. The key to becoming a successful medical student is to study smarter – not harder.

Staying on top of your studies, especially when you are studying in a top Caribbean medical school is no easy feat. Students are jam-packed with a lot of assignments, quiz preparation, board exams, clinical rotations, and extracurricular activities.

5 Poor Study Habits Every Medical Student Should Avoid and How to Fix Them

In order to study effectively, you should read, learn, memorize and test yourself from time to time. Keep in mind; your studying habits can help you stay on the right academic track. If you think you put your maximum efforts to study but still can’t be able to improve your academic performance, don’t give up. You need to make sure you are avoiding poor studying habits, and you will see a significant improvement in your grades, your knowledge increase and your ability to learn and memorize complex information improve.

Let’s delve into the details.

1. Not Creating a Study Plan

Creating a study plan that outlines what you are going to achieve in this session is the key to success. Students who study without scheduling and planning usually underperform compared to those who set a study schedule and stick to it.

When you set aside dedicated hours a day to review your courses, revise your lectures and complete your assignments, it will improve your chances of getting good marks. So, find your best time and plan to study. Trust me, when you create a study schedule and stick to it, you can make the most of your study time.

2. Taking Linear Notes

Stop taking linear notes as it will not help you absorb the information. Some students try to write every word a professor says in sequence as they can’t be able to figure out what is important to write. You can determine the important points of a lecture by becoming a good listener. Note only those points that your professor writes on the board or the points he repeats or says with more emphasis. Your lecturer will give you many cues; careful listening will help you become an efficient note-taker.

Since there is no magic formula for taking lecture notes. It can be a bit trickier to find the most effective way to take lecture notes. Find a style that suits you best. Thankfully, there are some note-taking apps such as Evernote available that you can download to take and organize your lecture notes.

3. Cramming the Night Before the Test Day

According to a recent study, students who didn’t take adequate sleep were more likely to get a low GPA. To prepare for a test or complete an assignment, it is highly advised to study for an extra hour or two several days before the deadline instead of cramming as much as you can the night before the deadline and expend more energy.

Cramming a lot of information into one or two sessions can simply cause confusion. The key to learning, memorizing and retaining information for long is planning ahead. Set clear goals you want to achieve with each study session. It is a great strategy to learn more in less time and with minimal effort.

4. Not Using Memorization’s Techniques to Learn Medical Terminologies

In medical school, students are required to learn a sheer amount of information, medical terms, important facts and complex concepts in a less amount of time. Learning medical language is an important part of medicine. For many students, it is one of the hardest aspects of medical education. Following some effective memorization techniques can help students learn medical terms and retain the information for long.

There are many apps such as Learn Medical Terminology, Medical Terms EN, Medical Terminology Flashcards, MCAT Flashcards, Psych Terms, Med Term Scramble and more that students can download to make medical learning language easier.

5. Use Social Media Networking Sites During Studying

There is no arguing the fact that social media is playing an indispensable role in improving students’ lives. It is great learning, communication and collaboration tool that medical students can use to complete their assignments, prepare for USMLE Step 1 and 2 and choosing the right career opportunity.  If used right, social medical can help you improve your academic performance.

But it can serve as the biggest distraction and lower your productivity level while studying. Switching to social media sites during studying makes it difficult to concentrate on the topic you are trying to understand. It provides a way to procrastinate the workload.

Assignments will take longer than necessary because of concentration loss. Learning and retaining information will get harder due to time spent online and distract students from their school work. Students work hard to get their assignments done. So, stop using social media sites while working on homework and studying.

To Sum, All Things Up

Scoring good grades in medical school while managing all your other extracurricular activities is a daunting undertaking for many students. By following the above-mentioned study tips and avoiding bad study habits will help you study effectively and successfully pass

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