My rank was in the top 20% of the class but it was hard work. Let me tell you, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. I saw many around me naturally smarter than I was but I was willing to outwork them all. Generally, I'd put in roughly 15-18hrs a day studying everyday. Sunday was my break day where i only studied about 7hrs (not counting lunch breaks, etc). Normal day, I'd wake up at 5am, start studying by 6 at my desk, stop at 9:30 or 10pm. I dont pull all nighters since I already put in so many hours. Its a grind. I had numerous breakdowns and burnouts. I missed a lot of family functions. Holidays, I went back home to study and only met with family only to eat and hang out afterwards but i was up at 5am to start all over again the next day. I grinded through it all because my goal is to attend a certain residency and that was the way to ensure I got my foot in the door. I matched with all the externships that I wanted (1st round) except one.
My advice is create a schedule and stick with it. Be very generous on how much studying you do. Ask the upper class on how they studied for their exams. Theyre a great resource. If they give any advice, try it. If it works for you, keep doing that. If not, abandon it quick. The first half of first year is study technique modification to see what works and doesnt. For myself, it was the rule of 3. I had to make sure I read every page/slide 3 times prior to the test. Quiz yourself to see where your knowledge gaps are (or ask a friend to do it). Reread that section. This process is tedious and time consuming but I got my A's.
Last advice, always catch up/dont get behind TOO much. Inevitably, even with my crazy hours, I got behind. It's like death and taxes. You will get behind. Get a calendar or schedule book and write down what you need to do to catch up on the holidays or off weeks where you dont have exams. If you have free time, an hour here, 30mins there. Use that time to catch up. After exams, my brain is usually fried. Use that time in the afternoon to do tedious stuff like making sure the notes are prepped for the next exam or watch videos/lecture to write down notes for yourself to comprehend later (you're not actively thinking anyways). If you feel like your concentration is slipping, do anything to stray from them books. I usually slapped myself if i felt like I was slipping. No joke. Newspaper rubber band on the wrist helps too but it made me look like a cutter so I stopped that. Also, when i would burn out and crash (usually occurred for about 2 days a month), just veg out. Watch tv, movies, dont touch any book material. Ride it out. Start it up when you feel like you're ready to do it again.
If you have vacation, use 1 of those months to shadow a podiatrist. Watch and learn. It helps tie the didactics to the clinic application of what you see. The rest of the vacation, be a sloth. Dont do anything. Rest, hang out with family, give yourself a mental break. You'll need it when you start this whole process up again.
I hope this helps. But I know this is an insane schedule. A lot of people saw my schedule, tried it for a week, and gave up. You have to really want this or be insane. But it pays off. G'luck man.
TLDR; study like Tom Brady studies football (basically live it).