At Crush It Test Prep, we’re always searching for ways to help our members make the most out of their practice sessions and study time. I came across this article from Science News for Students that lays out the “Top 10 tips to study smarter, not longer.” In it, they lay out great advice like setting up a study routine and avoiding cramming before a test.
I've done my fair share of studying. I did my undergrad degree in Biomedical Sciences, completed a Masters, and am now nearing the end of medical school. I’ve had many years of trying to optimize my study habits. Despite all this practice at studying, it seems I’ve continued a bad habit that could be stunting my progress: I reread lectures as my main method of studying.
The article’s third tip is “Don’t just reread books and notes.” Oops! It’s apparently a very common bad study habit for students. What should you do instead? The science points to quizzing yourself or getting quizzed by others in order to actively, rather than passively, study the material. I know that I have a hard time with this, because at the end of a long day when I still need to study, it’s easier to reread lecture slides than it is to problem-solve.
How am I going to completely change my studying strategy? Slowly. I’m looking into flashcards, online quizzes, and practice questions for my upcoming exam. I’ll see which one works best for me, and see if I can adhere to it. And I’m going to take it easy on myself while changing this habit. If I’m worn out, I’ll likely still reread a lecture or two rather than not studying at all. Something is always better than nothing! But for my dedicated study sessions, I’m going to incorporate more practice and less passive rereading.
For more tips, check out our blog post about How to Study Smarter. Happy studying!