1. Study, Sleep, Repeat.
Sleep is almost as important as study time. It’s during this downtime that the brain strengthens new memories which means that there is a good chance we’ll remember whatever we review right before we sleep. Don’t bring your books to bed though, as this encourages bad study habits and subconsciously takes your bed from a sleeping haven to a study den. We have all attempted an all-nighter before but these have been linked to impaired cognitive performance and greater sensitivity to stress. So tuck in and get yourself some slumber time.
2. Space it out.
“Cramming” is often the weapon of choice and is actually a very effective way of passing exams. However much of what is learnt is forgotten in an equally short period of time. “Spaced repetition,” first described in the 1880s by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus is a far more effective way of retaining those golden nuggets of information. So instead of spending a week or two, dosed up on your energy supplement of choice, rather spend an hour a day going over smaller chunks of information and review them consistently over a longer period of time.
3. Be creative.
A lot of medical learning is didactic and the easiest way to remember those long lists of complications, signs etc, is to create your own memorable mnemonics. Passmed have added a few here and there to spark your imagination, however your own are often the best.
4. Change it around.
Change topics, location, or even the music you listen to whilst studying as this forces the brain to make new and stringer associations.
5. Test yourself
Testing yourself is one of the best ways to assess how prepared you really are. This is why Passmed has an exam mode which recreated time test like conditions.