Study and exam tips

Study well and succeed in your exams

Medical school is a journey.

One day, you will look back and reminisce about the times when you were a student — it can be stressful, fun and everything in between. Study well, chill out and take breaks when needed.

In the meantime, remember that everyone has different skills and strengths — effective study looks different to everyone.

Some people prefer to study with background music, while noise may distract others. Some people like to chat with others before the exam starts to help take their mind off their anxieties, while others may find this distracting and prefer to spend the time quietly thinking before entering the exam room. Find out how you best study, and what works best for you on exam day.

Here you will find simple tips that will help all medical students study well and ensure they are functioning effectively on exam day.


Study Tips

#1 Be consistent
Allocate study sessions almost every day. Even if some days you can only fit in15 minutes at most, it is better to be consistent rather than “burning the midnight oil” and cramming just before exams.

#2 Use useful and fun apps
Handy apps include: Uptodate, Epocrates, Medscape, Daily Rounds for Doctors, MedCalc, Prognosis and Anki.

#3 Remove distractions
A good way to start is to list the things that distract you so you are aware of your weaknesses. Put your phone on silent, close your Facebook tab, put on your headphones, and study in a place that suits you and ask people not to disturb you during your study time.


Exam Tips

#1 Get adequate sleep the night before
Listen to your body. Going into the exam room with drowsy eyes and a heavy head won’t be helpful.

#2 Plan your SwotVac/study break in detail
The last few days leading up to your exams are crucial. What you read stays in your short-term memory — it may even decide which side you’ll fall into if you’re sitting around the borderline mark for passing the exam.

#3 Remain cheerful and positive on exam day
Good vibes can boost your mood on exam days, and the mood of those around you. Chuck in some elements of confidence (especially in OSCEs) and you’ll find exams more bearable.


About the author

Celine Goh is the Chair of GPSN University of Tasmania (UTAS) and a final-year medical student. She is passionate about women’s health and children’s health. She believes in finding joy in whatever she does. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, hiking and exploring nature.

(below: Celine Goh)

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