Monday, October 31, 2011

Prof's Study Tips For Students

Got some great study tips from one of our Paediatric professors yesterday for all those studying medicine (well you can apply them to any course really):
  • After seeing a patient or having a tutorial go home that evening and study extensively around that topic from your text book, focusing on signs you picked up. The next day, 10 min before you start your other work, go back to that patient and look for the extra signs and symptoms you read about*.
  • Use more than one text book. Different textbooks teach different sections differently so you may get great notes about pneumonia from one but better notes about gastro in another.
  • When you're struggling to study: rather than reading for study sake, read as an examiner**. That is: look through the chapter for questions an examiner might ask about that topic i.e. definitions, classifications, important things on history, clinical signs you may illicit on examination, differential diagnosis, investigations and management. Write these out as quick point-form notes*** (makes later revision much easier).
If you're studying and have any valuable tips you've picked up along the way, PLEASE SHARE!

*Principle: Revision, revision, revision and the age old study technique of "see, hear, write and DO" (in order on increasing memory reinforcement)! For something to really stick you've got to revise the topic within 24 hours, then 7 days, then again during exam revision.

**This method really helps when you're bored, lacking motivation and need to get your studies focused i.e. those times you find yourself reading this first line: "this is a common disease" over and over again!

***Other than this I never make study notes anymore, in fact I haven't made any in years! In my opinion they're just a waste of time: you're wasting valuable time making pretty notes instead of actually studying and getting the info into your head; if they're messy you'll never read them again; you've tricked yourself into thinking you've studied but actually you've just had a arts and crafts session; you may accidently write something down wrong and then spend ages revising a mistake and lastly a text book is the best study note anyway - nothing you make will look or be as good!


  1. I don't really on study notes any more either, they were just a way for me to waste some more time. When it comes to studying it's usually just me and ol' Harrison :))

    Great post!

  2. great tips, pity i didn't read this earlier - just finished my exams for the year!



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