Studying at a medical school can be tough, especially when you have to prepare for a difficult examination. If you’re a medical student, you without a doubt know that the amount of material to cover can be sometimes overwhelming, especially when you need to revise several years’ worth of knowledge. The college way of studying, which is usually cram, take the exam, and then forget, will no longer work, as your knowledge will be constantly tested as a med student. There are, however, a couple of useful tips that we want to share with you to make your revision for medical exams easier.

Develop study habits

One of the best ways to increase the efficiency of your revision is to develop study habits. There are various habits out there and it does not really matter which one you choose, as it is mostly a matter of preference. It is, however, very important that you do in fact develop such habits. One of the most common techniques is focusing your study goals. Plan ahead exactly what you will study and when you will study it. Instead of thinking “I will study today”, think “Today at 4 PM I will read 30 pages of Chapter 11”. When preparing for medical exams, there is too much information involved to be working without a plan.

One of the best ways to organize your study plan is to use a simple planner, whether a physical one or an online one. Having all of your responsibilities written down will help you picture exactly how much work you need to put into studying. It will also motivate you not to procrastinate. Remember to break down your study time into small chunks with specific tasks, as it will save you plenty of time since you won’t have to figure out what exactly to do each time you sit down to revise.

Also, make sure to take some time off every once in a while. While studying is important, you should do it regularly. If you review the material daily, you will have enough time to allow yourself a day off. Taking breaks from studying is very important, as otherwise, you are risking burnout. Your mood will drop and your studying will become less and less efficient. Include breaks in your plan and follow them closely, so that taking time off does not turn into procrastination.

Practice is the key

Written examinations are not the only thing that you will encounter on your way to becoming a doctor. The second most common type of medical exam is an OSCE, often dreaded the most by medical students. OSCEs are practical exams, during which you will proceed through various stations. Each of the stations will feature a patient, a problem for you to solve, and examiners which will grade your performance. You will have to show not only knowledge, but also skills in physical examination, communication with your patient, cooperation with your colleagues, gathering information, prescribing medication, and more.

The best way to nail an OSCE is to practice as much as possible, preferably together with your colleagues. Find yourself a group consisting of about 5 people and organize some time during the afternoon for practicing, at least once or twice every week. Ideally, you should join a couple of such groups, so that you will have the ability to work with a range of different people. Divide yourselves among roles – let on of you become the candidate, another one the patient, and the rest examiners. Practice various procedures and problems which might appear on the exam, swapping roles frequently. You should also restrict the time for solving the problem to better simulate the conditions during a real exam.

Before you begin to practice, however, you first need to know what is expected of you to practice. Find an online curriculum on the website of your university or the organization which holds the exam you are preparing for. This will allow you to grasp the scope of the competencies you should be familiar with. It is also good to ask around among students who have already passed the exam for their experience, as some of the questions often repeat every year. By doing that, you will also get a clearer picture of what the exam is going to look like.

Test your knowledge easily with QUPI

Testing yourself is one of the most efficient ways of revising the material for a medical exam. QUPI gives you access to over 10,000 medical questions, designed to mimic questions you would find at renowned medical exams around the world. With QUPI, you can easily create and customize your own quizzes out of those questions, testing yourself on the material you still need to work on.

Frequent testing will increase your confidence on the day of the exam, improve your knowledge, and familiarize you with the exam format. Ace your medical exams with QUPI and begin your Free 7 Day Trial today!

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Useful tips for medical exams," in Medicalopedia, August 28, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9206/useful-tips-for-medical-exams/].