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thisisstupid11

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    How do you become top of your class? Study advice is appreciated. I try to focus on one exam at a time but I keep going down a rabbit hole with the amount of work and feeling like everyone is going to do better than me. I definitely put in the hours but I want any tips on how to be a better student. TIA!
     

    Weirdy

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      like everyone is going to do better than me.
      You'll feel like that your whole life. You feel more of it during first 2 years of school.

      Pay attention to kids who are doing academically well. What are they doing that you're not?

      More hours?
      More focused studying with no distractions?
      More reps through lectures?
      More organized notes?
      More office hours?

      Figure out what they're doing. Stick to it and try it. If it works, you'll see your grades improve.
       
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      DexterMorganSK

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        How do you become top of your class? Study advice is appreciated. I try to focus on one exam at a time but I keep going down a rabbit hole with the amount of work and feeling like everyone is going to do better than me. I definitely put in the hours but I want any tips on how to be a better student. TIA!

        It sounds like you may have a hard time managing your time. I would recommend visiting your program's learning/counseling center and asking for help related to studying efficiently. During my first two years, I got help from my classmates and also the seniors. Having a study guide from the year before can help know what to focus more on, Vs. cramming it all before an exam.

        In addition to what Weirdy said above, repetition is key. Use Anki or Quizlet for classes like Micro or pharm and test yourself every day to retain all the info. And if these methods do not work for you, don't worry, try to change it a little and try again. It can take some time before you will find your own method.

        We have had several of these 'study tips' threads in the past, so do a search and read from other users about their technique.
         
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        OblivionGD

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          Actually, on the subject. I have a question.

          I understand class rank is important for clerkship applications initially. But when it comes to the interviewing process/match process, do GPA's also give you a big help too or is it based mainly off of your month at the program and visitation/outreach to their residents?
           
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          heybrother

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            All things are possible. Unnecessary cutoffs at junk programs. Strong programs that only have strong clerks and good students apply. Programs just looking for a good fit and a hard working clerk etc. All you can do is build the best "you" to put forward. A lower GPA may close certain doors but it doesn't mean it will close your future.
             
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            DexterMorganSK

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              Actually, on the subject. I have a question.

              I understand class rank is important for clerkship applications initially. But when it comes to the interviewing process/match process, do GPA's also give you a big help too or is it based mainly off of your month at the program and visitation/outreach to their residents?

              Adding to the above, the high GPAs will get you in the door but to match you or not comes down to your personality and your time during the externship month. In other words, yes, the GPAs help you a bit to get into the programs during the 4th-year, but your match rate is not dependent solely on them.

              Your work ethic and personality outweigh the GPAs and anything else for that matter.
               
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              Apr 27, 2020
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                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).
                 
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                NobodyDPM

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                  Academic performance is a skill that needs to be honed like nay other. No one can really tell you how to study, because that method might not work for you. At this point in your academic career, if you still struggle with this, get a professional to help you. Ask your school administration of they can offer some resources for you to investigate.

                  Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Academically or otherwise. Do the best you can for you. The rest will fall into place. If all you do is chase others, you'll never be the best you. You're only trying to emulate them. And that's a losing proposition.
                   

                  NobodyDPM

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                    Throw crazy parties every night for three years so all your classmates are hungover during lectures and exams but don't go to the parties yourself. Foolproof.

                    There were hella smart people in my class that could outshine me on any written test. Even when out right drunk or high. Not kidding. And I was upper tier in my class, too.
                     

                    air bud

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                      All my friends that were top of class are killing it as pods. It is a combination of work ethic, mindset and natural ability. And yes I can think of the top 10 in my class. All good to great training and all killing it. Combination of private, ortho and MSG.
                       
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                      Feli

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                        I think a big part of it is studying solo and staying focused for max efficiency. You will find that is a good way to stay caught up, and it's a common habit among nearly all high ranked students.

                        It is a quality as much as quantity thing with studying. Some people try to study at home, at the coffee shop, restaurant, bar, library group study room/floor, etc to be social or meet dates or get stuff done... and also study at the same time. It usually doesn't work as well if you multi-task like that.

                        It's fine to get together to quiz with friends or have buddy at the next table to occasionally talk about the material with, but they best students almost invariably do most of their study alone with distractions eliminated. Phone off, laptop internet off, earplugs depending on the library, etc. I usually wore earplugs even when I didn't really need them so that people from campus who knew me walked by me in the library and might want to BS awhile would realize I was into my book or powerpoint review (they usually "oh nevermind" when you take out your earplug to see what they want 🤓 ). The focus tools end up getting probably 45+mins of real study and reading done per hour while the other "studying" does much lower efficiency level with distractions for social media, web browse, email, social conversation, etc.

                        I think my pod school went something like solo study most nights on library quiet floor (maybe break 60min for gym and dinner then back to library), fire questions around for a few hours in small group a couple days before the exam to quiz and find our weak spots, study solo more on the days leading up to the test to work on weak spots, and maybe pull all-nighter for some exams and go through OTQs with a couple buddies (accountability helps to keep you going ... and we'd all look out for one another to make sure everyone who went home for a couple hours of sleep was up and on their way to school an hour before the exam). I did some restaurant, group room, etc study (esp for pt1 boards), but probably 80% or more was solo on quiet floor of the library.
                         
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                        NobodyDPM

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                          All my friends that were top of class are killing it as pods. It is a combination of work ethic, mindset and natural ability. And yes I can think of the top 10 in my class. All good to great training and all killing it. Combination of private, ortho and MSG.

                          Interesting. I have the opposite experience. Some of the top of the class dropped out to go to DO school. Others went to jail for drug abuse. Others got great programs, but couldn't talk themselves out of a paper bag, clinically. Or couldn't fix a hammertoe to save their lives.
                           
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