Law and medicine are two of the most academically demanding careers that a student can choose. They both require high attention to detail and long hours of studying as you go through your education. In order to practice either of these careers, you will also have to get high scores in different standardized exams, including the MCAT, LSAT, and board exams for each career.
Over the course of your career, you will have to learn how to study effectively and be able to memorize many detailed topics that will be part of your everyday job. Follow these simple tips to study details effectively in both medicine and law.
Use different techniques to study the same topic
Everyone learns differently. Some people prefer to read books many times, while others like to write down their own notes and include key details. You may like to listen to lectures and recordings, watch educational videos, or even create your own flashcards.
It can be very useful to revise the same topics using a combination of different studying techniques. So if you’ve already read your notes on a topic, you could try creating a mind map, coming up with your own mnemonic devices, or watching videos about the same subject to enhance your knowledge. Try mixing different studying techniques and find which ones work best for you to ensure that you learn every detail.
Learn by teaching and take practice tests
Once you have gone over the same topic a few times, a great way to solidify your knowledge is to try to teach it to other people. Learning-by-teaching can help retain concepts better because your long-term memory is enhanced each time you retrieve the knowledge that you have already learned — a concept known as the “testing effect”.
You can try forming a study group and take turns explaining different topics to everyone else. You can even pretend to teach a topic, even if you’re simply standing in front of a mirror. You can also write down notes from memory and try to remember as many details as possible from the topics you’re studying, and then compare them to your studying materials to check which concepts you missed.
Practice tests are also an easy way to utilize the testing effect to your advantage. Taking these tests will also force you to retrieve the concepts you have already studied while allowing you to determine which topics you may need to focus on the next time you are studying. Practice tests and question banks are also a useful resource while preparing for standardized tests since they can help you become familiar with the type of questions that you will encounter during exam day.
Follow a schedule that allows you to study regularly
It can be tempting to skip your daily studying sessions, especially when the amount of content that you need to review feels overwhelming. But once you fall behind on your studying, it can be very difficult to catch up. This can lead to cramming, which is one of the most ineffective methods you can use to study. When you cram, you will be less likely to be able to remember details and you will probably forget a large portion of the content you studied right after leaving the exam.
Instead, create a schedule that allows you to devote some time to studying each day. Even an hour or two of daily studying can be very effective, as long as you make sure you’re studying consistently. Which leads us to…
Avoid distractions and multitasking while studying
Even the best laid-out studying schedule will fail if you allow yourself to become distracted. We all know how easy it is to procrastinate and give in to distractions, but this will only make you waste time and prevent you from learning effectively.
Instead, put the phone away and pick a spot that allows you to fully concentrate on your studying. Make sure you keep your workspace clean, silence any alarms or notifications, and devote your full attention to the topic at hand — some people also find that putting on headphones and playing soft music can improve their concentration.
Of course, there are many more tips that can come in handy while studying. Every student is different, learns differently, and will require different techniques to ensure good performance. If you are in medical school and want to discover effective and innovative techniques to achieve great scores, visit us at https://www.medlearnity.com/ to find out more about our elite tutoring and consulting services and how they can help you achieve your academic goals.
About the Author
Akshay Goel, MD is a body trained radiologist and an expert in medical education and imaging informatics. He completed his Radiology Residency at the Columbia University Medical Center and his fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Goel is also the lead educator at Medlearnity and is committed to working with medical students and physician trainees at all levels to excel on their MCAT, USMLE, COMLEX, Shelf/NBME, and Residency Board Exams. He has guided several doctors into successful careers over the past eight years.
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