Being a med school student is quite exhausting as you have to face lots of challenges. From the classes you take to the critically important USMLE Step 1 exam, med school is going to be a roller coaster ride.
USMLE Step 1 is one of the toughest exams that med school students have to go through, but the right strategies will surely help you stand out.
What did we have to serve you today?
Before we start with anything, let’s find out what is within us? It’s a simple trick you will have to ask yourself the following question so, by end of this blog, you will be able to figure out the answers to each of the questions.
So, Is your study schedule productive? Do you achieve your daily study goals?
Are you a procrastinator? Do you struggle to concentrate while studying?
If the answer to the above questions is yes, then be ready to get them answered on each of them.
Today, I will be sharing with you the study strategy that helped me succeed in the USMLE Step 1 exam with a higher score.
Let’s quickly take a glance at what we will be discussing further.
I will be sharing with you some helpful elementary tips. And an efficient MBBS study plan that will turn the table for your uninteresting and less productive schedule.
To begin with:
- Play fair with credits/points
- Prepare notes instantly
- Be partial with work and play
- Play fair with credits/points
It is quite an underrated fact.
Most of us neglect the part of our syllabus having a lower percentage or fewer credits.
‘STOP THIS PRACTISE NOW,’ you might have received the tip to concentrate on what’s important, but it isn’t a healthy practice.
Be very fair when you are studying may it hold 15% or 50% of your credits.
Here, treating equally means concentrating and being dedicated equally.
This will give rise to a dedicative character in your personality.
Having this, you will be able to involve effectively and efficiently in all your tasks.
Prepare notes instantly
I consider it the most crucial part of my study strategy.
Prepare notes on the same day or instantly.
It helps me with my collection of study material in advance.
So, at exam time, I don’t have to struggle in preparing notes, as I already have them.
Read it once after writing this will help you retain the information for a longer time.
By the time you read them, it is going to be your 3rd cycle of riding them. Might be thinking how?
– The first time when you studied it in class and took some raw notes out of there.
– The second time when you prepared detailed & organized notes (the same day).
– The third time is when you reread it.
So now you can keep it aside and focus on a new day with new knowledge without panicking about the stacked work.
Be partial with work and play
It is my most loved strategy. Most of us avoid segregating our work and play life (or me time).
Be completely present wherever you are.
Never think of work when you take a break.
Similarly, avoid thinking about after-study activities while you are studying.
We call it staying mentally present or absent.
This habit will help you stay productive, personally and professionally.
These are a few elementary tips that help me in staying focused and productive with my study schedule. Now the study strategy that helped me stand out in the USMLE exam.
The 8-hour study plan
Yes, an eight-hour study plan. These are the recurring, eight hours of my med school life’s each day and every day.
You might be wondering what eight-hour plan is it. So here is the WHAT, WHY and HOW, of my 8 hours’ plan.
What is the eight-hour plan?
An eight-hour study plan isn’t a mystery or some philosophical theory.
It is a study plan that involves two 4 hour blocks. So 4+4(hour) =8 hours.
These two, 4-hour blocks for me runs from 8 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm. Each block is free from breaks and full of rewards and productivity.
Student studying for one of the toughest exams like USMLE is expected to study at least 8 hours for their exams preparation.
Why an eight-hour plan?
I started with a four-hour plan in my first year, and by the end of the year, it turned into a 6-hour plan.
Finally, now it’s an eight-hour plan, which is one of the most productive strategies I have ever encountered.
These two blocks with a lunch break bridging them help me stay fresh and complete maximum work every day. It has also enhanced my concentration power and duration.
Note – It is an exceptional strategy for students preparing for USMLE, which is indeed an eight-hour-long exam. This practice of concentrating, staying active mentally, physically, and motivated is the key for USMLE Step 1.
How to execute this eight-hour plan?
The question isn’t about how to execute but how to stay active for those eight hours.
There are a few rules that one should follow. These will help you stay active for more than eight hours and be more productive.
Prior planning for the day
Make sure each element of the schedule, is planned a day before.
I personally do that every night before bedtime.
Preplan what topics you will be studying.
Keep your study material and other stuff ready the night before.
Break free blocks
Yes, I guess it is the toughest, part of the plan especially if you are not used to long sittings.
Each block is of four hours, so avoid getting out of the seat unless there is any unavoidable situation.
Be readily seated with all your stuff, snacks, coffee, and everything you might need.
Reason – The more breaks you take more you, will have to hit your brain to concentrate. Taking frequent breaks results in more procrastination.
So limit your movements and get out of the seat only when very necessary.
Staying away from distractions and noisy environment is a common practice that we all strive to practice.
But here the distraction we are discussing is ‘the cellphone.’
Do whatever is possible to hide your phone or keep it out of your reach.
Having a mobile near you will surely force you to take a frequent glance.
So better you keep it in a different corner, another room, or hide it under the bed.
It will not stop you from avoiding it for eight hours but prevent those frequent distracting glances.
Rewards don’t have to be elite presents.
You can reward yourself by permitting yourself for hanging out with friends or a dinner out on completing a task.
There are no rules on rewards you can set, for yourself, but only on achieving a daily goal or weekly goals.
Stay consistent with standards
Once you start practicing a productive habit, do not stop practicing.
Be very consistent, no matter how hard it is to push yourself.
Remember the 70/30 rule. You have to give your 100% no matter if you could achieve only 70% of it.
Because there is real life outside and within these 8-hours which, will affect your productivity. Don’t get discouraged things to happen, just give your 100% and you will never regret it.
Today, I have tried to pen down one of the best strategies I encountered in my student life, which turned out to be the game-changer.
This eight-hour study plan isn’t a rigid strategy which, is scientifically proven, but the real-life experience of many.
Don’t get demotivated or frightened with the duration.
You can start steadily with a 4, or 6-hour plan and dividing them into two blocks.
The most important part here is the follow the rules and the action of execution. It will help you in being more productive and focused.