• Study Groups

Study Groups, The Key to Success or a Social Distraction?

Study groups are essential for medical school and premed success, yet this is only true if you pick the right people to study with. Try to study with people who are getting good grades, who are organized, who have a study strategy you wish to emulate, and who won’t be a distraction. It’s better to study alone than to waste time "hanging out" with people over some text books. If you want to go have fun, then go do something fun with your friends!

Studying with other students who are doing poorly will rarely help you. It may seem obvious, but finding someone who is excelling effortlessly and copying their behavior is the easiest way to improve your study habits. If you're doing well and want to spend some time helping out other students, then go for it. Teaching information to others is one of the best ways to see just how well you know the information yourself. If you're doing well it is likely that other study groups will frequently ask you to stop by.

The most important factor to consider is if studying with friends is going to be more distracting than motivating. Even the most efficient study teams you can anticipate an element of socialization. This is not a bad thing. Often, hours of studying can get tedious, and having friends to pass the night with can help with your endurance. Short breaks for conversation can be helpful to recharge and ultimately keep you awake and attentive.

The point of a study group is for everyone to benefit from a group effort. Each person should have a role! For example, you  could have each person type up different chapter summery, or have different people make [...]

By |May 7th, 2013|Study Tips|0 Comments

Study Tips: Make It Interesting!

As I'm sure you've realized by now, some things are easier to study than others. Have you ever met someone who is able to name the winning team for the 1987 World Series, but can hardly remember the last five presidents of the United States for their history test? The human mind has an interesting mechanism for prioritizing the things we remember. Unfortunately, as an undergraduate student you are often forced to memorize and regurgitate information that may not be of any importance to your current life or future goals. Even in medical school, once you've decided upon becoming an OB/GYN, the subtle nuances of cardiothoracic surgery become tedious. When faced with these situations:

1) Stress is a double edged sword. Though at times it can be crippling and make your life seem awful, there are circumstances where it is useful. If you already received mediocre score on a previous exam, then stress can be a powerful tool to encourage you to put in the time required to do well on the next. When you're frantically studying to avoid a perceived negative consequence (such as getting a B, or having to re-take a course during spring break) this can be quite useful.

2) Be creative and see if you can find some relevance to what you are studying and your own life. One study tip I like to use is to pretend that I have to teach this information to a friend or family member. Perhaps something will develop about the subject matter that you are studying, and by knowing all of the tiny details you can talk intelligently about the issue and maybe impress people. For example I have always had a very difficult time memorizing [...]

By |April 18th, 2013|Study Tips|0 Comments