What’s going on guys! Today I’m gonna teach you some pre-med study
strategies, things that I learned about in medical school that I wish I knew back as
a pre-med. It would have made my life a lot easier, it
would have made my studying a lot more efficient and anyways, I’m going to share with you guys
those secrets. So the first thing I want to talk about is
active versus passive learning and I’m sure a lot of you have already heard about this. A lot of us tend to do passive learning but
you want to do active learning, it’s a lot more effective. The first thing is to identify what’s important
– when you’re reading a text book or listening to lecture, actively try to figure out what
is important and emphasize that information in your notes. Number two, organize the information. Organize it in a way that you understand,
that makes sense to you. Again, this is going to be an active process
– it is going to be difficult. It not going to be as easy as just passively
reading, but you will reap the rewards and the benefits when it come to test time. For example, one thing that I did, I would
create charts. So, even though the textbook or the professor
did not necessarily create a chart. Let’s say I was comparing two different things,
I would have a chart, which was an active process to create the chart, find the information
and compare the two. And in doing so, just like creating the chart,
I already understood the information that much better and I also had a tool to review
at a later date to really emphasize it. Number three; memorize it in an active way
– I’ll get to how to do that later. And four, apply the information. This can be done in a variety of ways. So, for your Pre-med classes, they often give
you practice questions either in the textbook, or with some online service. You can also do quizzes. Sometimes the professor will release last
year’s quizzes or tests. Those are very useful as well. Now, the first to apply to obtaining the information
and these two are going to apply to reviewing the information. Next, let’s talk about the learning environment. This section is very dependent on the individual
so figure out what’s best for you. First is the Location. Some people like coffee shops or libraries
– I preferred my own place. I had my dual-screen set-up, a comfortable
chair, it was always quiet, but figure out what out what works best for you – some
people tend to get distracted at home. Also, are you studying by yourself or are
you studying with other people? I would generally split it 50-50, I found
out it’s what worked best for me. While I was studying with other people, I
wasn’t as quick as going through the information but it helped really key in difficult concepts
and keep you motivated, keep you sane. So, if you do do this, keep the group small. With you included, there’s only gonna be two
or three people. So, have one or two friends join you but keep
it – don’t get any more than that because when you do, you’ll lose the benefits of that
group studying and you guys will start to get distracted, talking, having fun, so keep
those groups small. This brings in the next point about having
a routine versus having novel stimuli. So, novel stimuli have been shown to improve
recall and retention at later dates but I find there’s a trade-off between having novel
stimuli and maintaining discipline. So, if you have a routine, a regular routine
where you wake up same time, go to the same place, study at the same time, it’s a lot
easier to maintain that routine and not procrastinate whereas if you have a novel stimuli, just
studying at a new place every day or you’re working with different people, it’s harder
to get in the groove and to maintain that long-term, at least for me. But again, figure out what works best for
you. Number three; obtaining the information. Generally, this is gonna be done in two ways
as a pre-made, the first is lecture and the second is textbooks. And when it comes to lecture, I did what most
of us do, go to lecture, pressures of standing in the front and they read off the PowerPoint
and then we’re sitting in the lecture hall, we have our laptops out, we have the PowerPoint
open and same slide and we’re just taking notes in the comment section. I do not think this was a very effective way
to learn. A few things to consider, first, should you
be writing or should you be typing? Figure out what works best for you. Typing is faster, which sounds great initially
but if you type faster, you can copy verbatim what the professor is saying which is a very
passive process. By writing, you generally write slower, you
have to emphasize the important information and organize it. And there have actually been studies showing
that writing – writing out notes results in improved recall. Second; are you going to the lecture hall
or are you listening to the podcast? A lot of classes now offer podcast and for
me, this works best. By going to the lecture hall, there are distinct
advantages though; you have a set routine and you’re surrounded by other people trying
to learn the information. You can ask questions but on the other hand,
a podcast gives you the flexibility to watch whenever you want to, just to make sure you’re
well-rested, you’re not sleepy. You can also wash it at increased speed, so
1.5 two times speed. That benefits you in two ways, one; the lecture
is no longer 60 minutes, now it’s only 30 to 45 minutes and also it can help you focus. For me at least, the lecturer could speak
too slow sometimes and this would result in my mind wandering, so by increasing the speed,
I was forced to pay attention. But again, figure out what works best for
you. The podcast really requires a lot of discipline
to stay up to speed; otherwise you will fall behind if you start procrastinating, in that
case, stick with the lecture hall. I’ve seen a lot of people rewash the lectures
or they’ll record with like a recording device and the lecture and then listen to that later. This is a complete waste of time, do not do
it! You can better use your time reviewing the
information, organizing it, doing active learning or going to office hours and asking questions. Do not re-watch the lectures, do not re-listen,
that’s not a good use at your time. When it comes to textbooks, what I did is
just highlight the textbook. I don’t think that’s the best way to do it. Instead, I think try to make it as active
as you can. So, I would you know, highlight the textbook
and then come back and just read my highlights before the test. Instead, get your computer out and get a notepad
and summarize in your own words. By doing this, you’re identifying the important
information and organizing it in a way that you understand and you’ll recall that information
much better come test time. All right, now you’re ready to review the
information. What I did and what I do not recommend you
do is I’d open up my computer, have my PowerPoint and I’d review the notes that I wrote in the
notes section. And I just do the slide after slide and do
this several times to learn the information. This was not a good use of time and there
are much better ways to do this. Some people will do the same thing with a
word document, they’ll have you know, several pages, full you know, full of notes and they’ll
just review every single page. Don’t do this either. To memorize, one of the best ways to do this
is summarize the information. So take these three pages or take your PowerPoint
notes and condense them. So, let’s say you have three pages, make it
into one page. Don’t just decrease the font size, don’t change
the margins, actually read through it and identify just the important information and
organize it in a way that you understand. By doing so, just this process alone will
reinforce that material and now you also have a condensed study resource to review at a
later date. Some people also recommend you make an even
shorter summary sheet after that. I generally just did one iteration but you
can do two or three, what works best for you. The other thing is space repetition. This is the most effective way to memorize
information. The concept is that if you have, let’s say
you learned the information on day zero and these are all the days after. You only revise on day zero, you re-viewed
on day one and each time you review it, there’s an increasing interval. What this does is it allows you to retain
that information in a very efficient manner. Instead of reviewing it every day, you only
need to review it right when you’re about to forget. So, do this on your own, requires a lot of
scheduling and is very difficult and what I recommend is a program called Anki. It’s a free software for your Mac PC. I think they might even have for Linux and
it will also sync with your smart phone. Make your own flashcards using this app and
review them daily. By making your own, you’re again taking advantage
of the active learning process, if you review someone else’s it becomes – you’re still doing
some of the active recall but you’re losing out on a lot of the benefit of making your
own flashcards. Also doing this daily is key because if you
fall behind, you’re not really taking advantage of a space repetition and it defeats the purpose. So what I would do to get these done daily
and let’s say it’s you know, the week before the exam and things are ramping up, I would
get my smartphone out when I was waiting in line at a restaurant or getting groceries
waiting in line or waiting for a friend and just do a few flashcards then because even
those 5-10 minutes allow you to do several flashcards which adds up throughout the day. To review a whole lecture it’ll take you know
20-30 minutes but I do a few flashcards, you just need a few minutes and you will still
reap all the benefits. Lastly, on test day make sure you are well
rested. Everyone says this but I cannot emphasize
this enough. Many people including myself have made the
mistake of pulling an all-nighter and not being well rested thinking that cramming the
information is more important. That will actually give you a lower test score
than if you are well-rested, you have you know adequate sleep, you eat a good breakfast
and you’re ready to go. Because if your mind is able to critically
think, that will benefit you more than trying to cram that information when you’re tired
you know, you’re not gonna be able to retain it anyways. So those are the strategies that I learned
from med school, I hope you find them useful. Leave your comments or questions down below
and I’ll see you in the next video.