I hope you enjoyed the last lesson of “getting better at studying” and that it was helpful for you. The previous lesson was a little be more on the spiritual side, but it is a significant step to the process; acceptation doesn’t happen overnight, and if you need a little reminder, you can always go back to the lesson 1.
Time is precious
The next step you in order of getting better at studying is to value your time and to make the most of it when it’s time to hit the books so you can have some free time to enjoy the things you love outside of school. So to do that, you need to learn about the system you are in and find out what works for you.
If you are studying in the United States or Canada, the first thing you have to know is; that your curriculum whatever form it has, is based on the same core. The differences lie in the approach your university decided to build their program. Some schools use a problem-based learning format while others still give separate lectures on different subjects. But no matter what, the core remains the same. Anatomy will always be anatomy no matter how you approach it.
Why is it like that? Universities all get their accreditation from the same committee. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) oversees and accredits medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree. By judging the compliance of medical education programs with nationally accepted standards of educational quality, the LCME serves the interests of the general public and the medical students enrolled in those programs. Without this accreditation, an institution cannot deliver M.D. diplomas. This means that every faculty of medicine needs to respond to specific criteria and that includes the number of hours per week their students have to be physically on campus. That’s the reason why some of your classes are mandatory while others are not. If you are interested, you can learn more about the medical school accreditation by following this link.
What you can do
So go ahead and figure out how your university works but also what works for you. Which classes you can skip, which ones you have to be there no matter what. Figure out if there, are ways to work around the rules.
If you attend lectures that are not mandatory and by the end of the first half hour you end up browsing your Facebook feed, or you’re are online shopping (been guilty of both!), I am sorry, but you are losing your time. It would be better for you to be doing something you enjoy or be somewhere else where you can study better. By sitting there, you are doing neither of those things. If the same situation happens, but it’s a mandatory lecture, get yourself earphones, sit in the back and use that time to do something productive.
Personally, lectures don’t work for me. My attention span is way too short to sit there for 2 hours and listen with a degree of focus that would be beneficial. So I don’t attend them. I am not saying you should do the same thing, what I am saying it’s that you should try what works for you and the way to do that is by trying.
Pay attention to your habits, are you focused when you are sitting in class. Do you really study when you go to a cafe? If you study with friends, do you spend more time talking about your weekend plans than studying? Try new things also. Go to class if you usually don’t go. Don’t go to lectures if you always attend them. The goal here is to pay attention to the moments you “think” you are studying/learning, but you are basically spending your time doing something else without really noticing.
In the next lesson of “getting better at studying”
I will discuss how to narrow down the best type of material you should use and how to choose your resources.