‘If I had to cut a tree in six hours, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe’, said Abraham Lincoln, which precisely reflects the importance of smart work in achieving success in a limited time. MBBS offers just five and a half years for nineteen subjects. Smart work is key to a successful career in medicine. Here are a few tips to plan your academics to accomplish your learning milestones and ace exams.
1. Study Every Day: It can be as little as half an hour but make sure to stay in touch with the topics covered in class. Or else, in the end, you will be unable to connect to topics, and gradually lose interest in studying, end up with huge portions to learn and retain before the exams.
2. Use Audio–Visual Aids: Use all your senses to completely learn and understand the topic. This makes sure that you can quickly grasp a concept and recall it effectively, without much effort. A single, well-labelled diagram can reveal more information than a two-page long answer in words in a quick to understand and easy to remember fashion.
3. Make Your Own Notes: It is not possible to read the entire book, before the day of the exam. While learning you can either underline the important points in the textbook itself or make your notes, for high yield topics to revise a day before exams. You can also prepare sample answers for frequently asked short notes with illustrations, that will make your life easier in the exam.
4. Take the Text out of the Book: Sounds weird, right?! But that’s the best way to study. During MBBS, you will get very little time, to sit at a table, and learn in an organised way. So, learn everywhere you go. Carry notes with facts or figures in it; click photos of slides or make your notes on your phone, and you can scroll through them when you get some time when you have nothing to do, yet can’t study (believe you will have a lot of such time in your day, especially in the first year). So, instead of investing that time elsewhere, you can utilise that time to study and revise.
5. Group Study: Peer to peer interaction and learning has a long-lasting impact on your memory and understanding. In MBBS, often difficult to learn everything by yourself. Make sure you find a study group, if possible. (Don’t be stressed even if you don’t find any! It’s not mandatory, and many do it alone and do great too).
6. Invest in Supplementary Learning Aids: Considering the paucity of time, it is recommended to invest in a learning resource that supplements your classroom lectures. Videos, quick notes, interactive content on a digital platform like your phone/laptop helps you learn well and revise effectively before exams which ensures you are not bored but engaged.
7. Revise, Revise, and Revise: Make sure you revise your notes, practise MCQs and sample questions ample number of times. The facts are vast, and you are expected to replicate them in the exam paper. MCQ solving is an important part of the revision and preparation because it identifies the gaps in your understanding and gives you a wholesome picture of the concept that you have studied.
8. Schedule Time for Yourself: ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.’ This old proverb remains true in MBBS too. MBBS felicitates you with an increasingly hectic schedule, as you clear every step. Learning to cope is important. Make sure that you take some time for your hobbies, maintain a healthy social life, and take a break whenever needed. Because YOU and your mental health are important.
In case you are wondering how to get started with a smart study plan, Manipal MedAce provides everything an MBBS student in the first and second year, needs. All the video modules are competency tagged, as per CBME (Competency-Based Medical Curriculum), and cover all the concepts precisely, with an exam orientation. A clinically oriented MCQ bank ensures that the student gets early clinical exposure and sets the tone for vertical and horizontal integration, keeping NEXT in mind.
MedAce also has a subjective Q bank, specially designed for the professional exams, with handpicked questions from the previous year’s papers of the most famous medical colleges in India. The unique and most alluring feature of MedAce is the interactive module. With this, the student actively engages with the learning material, to solve a question, or a clinical case, and interacts virtually to get a real-time feel of the exams.
In short, MedAce is an all-in-one platform that guides and supports a medical student through the most crucial part of the MBBS journey and makes sure that the student gets to learn medicine smartly and engagingly.