How to Study. (The Basics)

Hey Future Medical Professionals

As you probably know, studying is one of the few things you need to master to be successful in life in general and of course in school.

I will try and stay away from the nerdy stuff but as a Neuroscience major I really love this topic because studying is the art of learning and that is all about the brain.

But answering the question how to study is hard to answer for everyone since there are different types of learners but I will list several tips, techniques, and tricks that you can try to see if any work for you. I will do this over several posts but let us start with the basics that pretty much apply to Everyone.

The Basics

  1. Must have a dedicated study area.
    • Seriously this is really important your brain works somewhat like a switch taking cues from the environment on what the activity is going to be. So Studying on your bed or where you eat just isn’t going to work. Your brain already correlates those with sleeping and eating respectively.
    • I know sometimes space is limited but if you can just find a small corner in a room or go to the library or quiet café to study, you will be able to study more efficiently.
  1. Stay Organized
    • There are many ways to do this and will try and create a post later on how you can do this.
  1. You are only efficiently studying for about 30 mins so take mini breaks (5 mins)
    • Seriously studies have been done that have shown that after 30 mins the knowledge you are actually obtaining steadily declines. This can be solved by taking short 5 min breaks every 30 mins or so.
      • WARNING: Just make sure you actually go back to studying…. Don’t get stuck on facebook, candy crush, or youtube for hours. Set a timer and as soon as it rings GET BACK TO STUDYING
  1. Study in the same state of mind that you will be in while taking the exam/test in
    • Studies on State-Dependent learning have shown that it is easier to recall information if you are in the same state of mind you were in when you learned the material. So if you were studying drunk you will actually recall the information better later if you are drunk. (YEA… DON’T STUDY DRUNK OR TAKE A TEST DRUNK)
    • States of Minds to be considerate of
      • Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (prescription or otherwise)
      • Tired
      • Hungry
      • Angry
      • Sad
      • Were you chewing gum or eating a candy
      • And so on and so forth
  1. Relax
    • If you are feeling overwhelmed just take a break and calm down it really isn’t going to do you any good trying to study at this point.
  1. Take Breaks
    • This kind of goes a long with Number 3 but I want to revisit this. YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE NOT TAKING IN ANY NEW INFORMATION. JUST STOP!!! Go do something else for a while and come back later when your more refreshed and actually can start taking in new information don’t waste your time studying the stuff if you can’t recall not even one thing you just read or watched.


So did I miss anything? Let me know if you guys have any other suggestions. I will continue to post study tips and tricks so follow my blog!!!

4 thoughts on “How to Study. (The Basics)

  1. caribmd2be says:

    Great posting! One thing that I would add to this is that if you see that your study methods are not working, don’t be affraid to change them. I held on to old methods for too long and that hurt me during the first round of exams. The other thing that I am learning is that you may not study the same way for two classes. For example, gross anatomy is all about brute force memorization while medical physiology is a much more conceptually-based class (though there is a lot to memorize!) Thus, the way that one would study for a class that is heavy on memorization will be very different than the way that one studies for a class that is heavy on concepts.


    • SuperMomMD says:

      I think you are absolutely right! Thanks for adding that. I definitely study differently for a lot of my classes although some of my methods I use for all my classes. I am constantly evaluating my study methods and seeing what I could do better especially if I didn’t do as well as I had wanted on a exam.


      • caribmd2be says:

        Evaluation is KEY, particularly when you start medical school. You are going to be constantly evaluated and in turn, you should constantly evaluate yourself and your methods. As I was thinking about your post, one other thing that occurred to me is that you are going to get a TON of advice. Much of it will be great advice, a lot of it will be crap. Your task will be to filter through it and determine what works for YOU. People are also going to give you a LOT of resources. Again, a lot of it will be great while some will leave you scratching your head. Its important to decide on a few good things to use and leave the rest in your Dropbox or Google Drive folder. I have seen (and I was guilty of this in my first term) students literally spend HOURS sifting thru different resources when that time could have been better spent studying for exams and the like. Don’t waste your time that way!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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