New Medical Student? 5 Golden Tips To Excel In Class

Congratulations! Nailing the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) and gaining acceptance in your prospective medical school is a huge feat. Celebrate this accomplishment with your loved ones and pat yourself on the back as not all aspirants get to have this life-changing opportunity.

Tips To Ace Your Medical Class

Now that you’ve ticked off UCAT from your to-do list, it’s time to start setting your medical school expectations and gear up for the real deal. The transition from being a pre-med to an official medical student may be quite overwhelming. However, pondering and creating a plan ahead can help you successfully get through the challenges and ace the program.

If you’re a new medical student, below are five golden tips to help you excel in class.

1. Get Into A Study Routine

Medical courses can be a lot tougher compared to your undergraduate pre-med classes. While you may have previously encountered sets of academic difficulties, you shouldn’t be overconfident to the extent that you’d skimp out on studying. Instead, it’s best to be prepared and create a study routine.

As lifelong learners, aspirant doctors must develop diligent study habits, whether or not there’s an upcoming quiz. Revising your academic materials frequently can help you retain the volume of information in class. This can help you strengthen your memorisation skills and become familiar with certain concepts that’ll also be tackled in other subjects. 

You aren’t compelled to study for long periods of time. Instead, block off minutes of your free time each day to accomplish your tasks. During this scheduled study time, make sure that each session has a realistic goal.

For instance, aim to memorise 15 new terms in microbiology or practice solving this newly introduced formula in class. This tip will help you avoid spreading yourself thin in medical school. This can also help you keep up with your routine, making it easy to form this into a habit.

Also, getting into a study routine helps take off the pressure and fear every time you step into class. Preparing ahead can certainly help you ace your exams and actively participate in class.

2. Find A Mentor

Another tip to impress your professors and excel in your classes is to work with a mentor. Sign up for formal mentorship programs in your school. Get along with senior medical students. Volunteer on the weekends and work closely with a healthcare expert in your community. Working in a clinical centre outside of school can help you apply the abstract concepts and lessons you’ve collected in class.

Finding someone who can give you career advice and check in with your progress can help you stay accountable. Your mentor can teach you study techniques, gain an in-depth understanding of certain medical theories, look for better academic materials, and learn practical tips on how to survive medical school.

Moreover, spending time with your mentor can help you stay inspired in your pursuit of becoming a doctor. They can even provide you with professional advice if you’re currently pondering on the type of specialised program to focus on.

After you graduate from medical school, these professional relationships may help you connect and look for career prospects to add to your resume. They might even recommend you for vacant residency opportunities.

3. Create A Study Group

Medical school can be quite stressful. While it can be easy to compete with your classmates, it would be practical to study and work together. Also, revising a subject material with a group may help you retain facts and lessons more efficiently compared to studying alone.

Study groups also come in handy when you need to exchange ideas with your classmates and discuss clinical situations as a group. If there are difficult theories, you can assign a particular classmate to revise one of these and share their thoughts with the group. Collaborating and factoring in each other’s ideas can help you form a better understanding of these concepts. You can even quiz each other at the end of your study session.

To successfully form your study group, make sure to collaborate with people who have similar goals. You can all help each other accomplish your personal objectives, encourage one another during challenging times, and pass your subjects altogether. Surrounding yourself with like-minded students can definitely help you stay motivated in class. 

4. Test Yourself Regularly

Whether you’re currently having online or physical classes, there’s a number of ways to approach self-testing. You can look for online tests, practice answering textbook quizzes at the end of each chapter, use flashcards, and even create questions for yourself after you’re done revising your notes. You can also try to predict exam questions and write them down. Work through these problems during your spare time.

Testing yourself frequently is important as this can help you be prepared for surprise exams. This can also decrease the time needed to relearn abstract ideas during examination week. This will give you confidence that you can knock off your challenging subjects with ease because you’ve already mastered them ahead.

Furthermore, self-testing can help you actively engage during class discussions as you can easily pull information out from your memory. Your professors will certainly take notice of your efforts to keep up with the difficult topics.

5. Make Time For Self-Care

While it can be tempting to overwork yourself, it’s essential to enjoy your academic journey and carve out personal time to decompress, recharge, and have fun. Don’t be guilty if you plan on taking breaks. Make sure to prioritise your mental health and practice self-care.

Set a schedule each week to plan a fun activity that you’ll look forward to. Taking time off to bond with your family, pursue creative hobbies, catch up with your friends, and pamper yourself can help you prevent burnout. A great work-life balance will also help you fuel your passion for learning and stay inspired to excel in class.

Final Thoughts

Studying medicine comes with a new set of expectations and adjustments. All these may seem daunting, but with diligence and perseverance, you can push through the challenges and become successful in your dream of becoming a physician. Moreover, by following the tips above, you can have an idea of how to navigate your way to excel in class.


November 2, 2021

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