5 Tips to Help You Ace Your Medical School Classes
Check out these tips from second-year AUC student Luis Suarez to see how he tackled his medical sciences coursework.
1. Form study groups.
Meeting up with classmates to go over course material can help you stay motivated and accountable. Plus, teaching others is a proven method to enhance your own understanding of a concept.
During his time in medical sciences, Luis formed a study group with three other students who met up weekly for five semesters. “We taught and helped each other; in turn, it helped us to understand and remember things well,” Luis said. “It was a fun group, and we enjoyed our group study schedules. It changed our mindset from ‘I have to study’ to ‘I want to study.’”
2. Read before class.
Pre-reading lecture material before class can help you better grasp the organization of the lecture and focus on the most important concepts. In addition, you’ll be prepared to ask questions and participate in a way that demonstrates interest and mastery of the material.
“When I attend classes and listen to the lectures, it becomes very easy to connect the concepts,” he said. “I would get a good overview of the entire lecture.”
3. Meet with professors post-exam.
Along with meeting your professor leading up to your next big exam, it’s also valuable to take advantage of after-exam office hours. You’ll get to know your professor better, gain a deeper understanding of the class material and learn from any mistakes you made.
“It made a huge difference to know where I could improve,” said Luis. “After an exam, I would meet with the professors to see where I went wrong and get clarification on concepts.”
4. Manage your time.
Although it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all of your study goals, taking it day by day and establishing a routine will help secure your success. By prioritizing your tasks, planning ahead and taking breaks, you will be more confident and more effective as a student.
Luis established a weekday schedule to keep himself on track. “I woke up at 7 am, attended all classes till 11:30, and took an hour break for lunch,” he said. “I studied that day’s material from 12:30 till 5 pm and then set aside an hour for dinner. Then, I studied again from 6 to 9 or 10 pm.”
5. Get quality sleep.
Pulling an all-nighter to study at the last minute is only going to hurt you in the long run. Your brain needs sleep to retain all the information you’re reviewing. Getting enough sleep each night and keeping a fairly regular schedule is vital to feeling and performing your best.
“I slept for at least nine hours every day, from 10 pm to 7 am,” Luis said. “I didn’t compromise on my sleep habits so that the following day I was fresh and well-rested, be it for a class or test.”
If you need more strategies to work smarter and maximize your productivity, be sure to take advantage of university resources as well. AUC’s Medical Education Department provides individual study strategy consultations, and students can make an individual appointment by emailing [email protected]ucmed.edu.