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how many hours per week did you study your 1st semester?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Igor4sugry, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Igor4sugry

    Igor4sugry Junior Member
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    Now that this semester is over and I look back, I am wondering how other people have handled the work load?

    For example, I studied:
    [1] 6 hr/week knight
    [2] 10 hr/weekend day
    did not go out on Fridays

    Total Study time = 6x5 + 10x2 = 50hr/wk

    How much did you study per week?
     
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  3. URHere

    Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    I may be more of the exception than the rule, but I absolutely do not study on non-test weeknights, I study maybe 4-5 hours over the weekend, and during the last few days before the exam I pick up the pace to study between 4-10 hours/day (the number increases as it gets closer to the test).

    So, I would say between 4-20 hours per week. So far, it has worked well and I have plenty of time to spend on other jobs and hobbies - sometimes I also use the extra time to pick up additional clinic hours.
     
  4. WellWornLad

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    Damn, that's a lot of studying.

    In a non-exam week I might study for 3 hours a couple of evenings. Exam weeks, maybe 3-4 hours for four nights, 6 hours per day on the weekend. So, about 20 hours a week outside of class on the upper end.

    I go to all lectures, however.
     
  5. TOMFighter

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    haha.

    These guys are full of it.
     
  6. TOMFighter

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    That's about what I did.
     
  7. FrickenhugeMD

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    I suppose I will average out test weeks and non test weeks

    Mon-thurs: 3hrs a day
    Friday: OFF
    Sat: OFF (unless its the weekend before a test)
    Sun: 5-6 hrs

    Total: 18 hrs of STUDY time. I go to all classes, so that takes up a big chunk of my day
     
  8. turkeyjerky

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    This is nearly exactly what I do on non-test weeks. If we have a test, I'll kick it up to about 8-10 hrs a day for the two days before the test.

    If it matters, I score near the top of the class in tests.
     
  9. Random Anesthesiologist

    Random Anesthesiologist Random Anesthesiologist
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    20-25 hours/week non-test weeks
    MUCH more on test weeks.
     
  10. VoiceofReason

    VoiceofReason all i care about is money
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    it varied by day but on average i'd do 3-4 hours a day, including weekends. i didnt actually significantly increase my study time on test weeks i dont think. maybe another 5 hours total on those weeks. went to lecture early on, stopped going later.

    ended up high passing my classes.
     
  11. themudphud

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    Wow--I never studied that much. I think. Look, you just gotta study as much as you need to feel comfortable with the material. I find it difficult to say I will study 3 hours every night if I don't feel like I necessarily need it.
     
  12. JulyMorning

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    Probably an underestimate, but around 20hrs/week. I like to keep up with my sanity and my hobbies :D.
    Cheers!
     
  13. Concubine

    Concubine PDE5 inhibited
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    Not too bad:

    2-6 hours a on week days, depending on when class gets out (I religiously study until 6:00 PM every week day night). I'll study for another 4-5 hours on Saturdays, and another 4-5 hours on Sundays. On test weekends, its from the time I wake up till the time I go to sleep with a few short breaks.
     
  14. scotties123

    scotties123 GrandMacDaddy
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    im gonna call shenanigans on anyone that says theyre studying less than 50 hours/week and doing "well". If your studying that little than your definition of "well" must be just passing and happy with it. Which is fine, but there is no way in hell you could study less than 50 hours/week and consistently score 90 percentile and up.
     
  15. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    i'm curious to hear from anyone who has tests on a weekly basis (like every Monday with the exception of a few weeks). the school ill more than likely be going to is like this so i'm curious to hear from anyone else that has a similar schedule. Thanks!
     
  16. goosedander

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    ditto
     
  17. WellWornLad

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    I'm just as incredulous that people regularly rack up 50 hours a week outside of lecture just studying. I don't think I've done half that in my busiest week, and I'm doing pretty well. And yes, my definition of "well" is > 90%.
     
  18. CuddyMD

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    Is there a difference in HOW you med students studied from undergrad? I ask this because in undergrad, I needed a LOT of time to feel happy with knowing the material. I am pretty neurotic and compulsive (even by pre-med standards), and went through the material 5-7 times. The first go through would be me getting the raw material (my own notes + some book pages + lecture notes) and compile them into a "master" set of what I believed to what would be tested. I would try to reproduce this master set from memory by hand 4-6 more times till my hand knew the answer faster than my brain. I did do well with this method, but I don't think this is going to be possible in med school...
     
  19. gman33

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    There is also a wide variety of pre-exposure to the material that med students bring to the table. Some have never seen it, some were science majors, some have been through SMPs and already taken all the M1 courses. As such, there is a variety of studying that needs to be done to get to the same place.

    Me, I never saw any of this stuff before and I have to study a lot.
    I have friends who have seen the stuff before and they study less.

    I wouldn't worry about anyone else. Just study as much as you need to be comfortable with the material.
     
  20. chemnerd31

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    Although I am not in med school yet I believe it is possible to do well with 3 hrs of studying a night. It all depends on the person, some people pick things up the first time and some people need to see the material several times before it sticks. Just because you are not a person that knows its the first time they see it does not give you the right to say the ones that do are lying. I personally usually remember things from lecture and do not need to study to get 98%+ on exams. In graduate school it was the same. If this follows through to med school I think the 3 -4 hours a night will be sufficient to get HP or H out of most of my classes. So to all of you out there that get HP or H out of 3 hours a night congratulation and for those of you that dont well congratulations as well because you are in med school and are some of the smartest most dedicated people out there.
     
  21. fahimaz7

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    I'm confused... I'm starting medical school in '09 and there's no way I would enter into this conversation without... ah hell, who cares.. Maybe you know what it'll be like to drudge through 30,000 sheets of paper in two years.
     
  22. Igor4sugry

    Igor4sugry Junior Member
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    I study differently than I did in undergrad. For example, for the difficult courses, I try to read the assigned chapter the night before. This reading, I would say, helped me the most because lectures are really designed to go over difficult stuff. Reading gives me a general picture and in lecture the gaps get filled in.

    The issue with medical schools is that you have very limited time to learn something. So you better learn it right the first time. If you learn it right the first time, it will be easier in the end.
     
  23. Igor4sugry

    Igor4sugry Junior Member
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    We have such a system. At this point I don't know whether it is good or bad. But it is tough because you have no weekends. On the other hand it keeps you on your toes at all times.
     
  24. Igor4sugry

    Igor4sugry Junior Member
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    Alright, here is an example for you. On our Microbiology final we had to memorize 70 bacteria and 35 viruses. For each one we needed to know the associated clinical presentations as well as diagnostic tests to tell them apart. All in all there was about 220 pieces of information. This was test 1 of 4 that week.
     
  25. chemnerd31

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    I am not arguing that it is not a ton of material I know it is. I have even went as far as looking at course syllabi for the school I will be attending and looking at the books and some notes. I am not trying to argue the fact that there is a ton of material given to you very quickly in medical school. My argument is some people are able to learn very quickly. Those saying the people that study a few hours a day and get HP are full of crap clearly don't know what they are talking about. I know people that are in medical school and that have graduated from medical school that put in ~20 hours of studying a week and got HP, H. On the other hand I also know people that put in the same or more and only got P's. It is very person specific and those saying it cannot be done clearly don't know. In terms of knowing how I will do... I don't, I am just preparing as well as I can and looking forward to the challenges of medical school.
     
    #24 chemnerd31, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  26. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian
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    Sadly I did the same and ended up high passing my class. So in that regards it was worth it but I was miserable. I also go to all classes so that makes it harder to find ample study time. However, this semester I decided that my sanity was not worth it so now I am putting about half the time and doing just a little better. And I'm happier and am able to feel like a normal human in that I can actually go out maybe one night during the school week for dinner or take my knitting and yoga classes.
     
  27. goosedander

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    I like it. Is that French for challenges?
     
  28. GoodBoy1

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    From what I have noticed most people that claim that they dont study much have narrowed their definition of studying extremely so that they can say that they dont study much. They are often busy however doing what what most people would consider to be studying.
     
  29. chemnerd31

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    Nobody ever said spelling was a requirement for med school :)
     
  30. turkeyjerky

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    Believe it. About 3 hours a day of studying on weekdays and another six one day on the weekend (i usually take saturdays off) outside of class, for a total of, let's say, 25 hrs a week, and 95% or above on every test so far (although, keep in mind, I've only finished my first semester--I'm sure I'll have to kick it up a notch 2nd year). Now keep in mind that this is real studying, not "group review sessions" that consist of gossiping about who got drunk at the aids benefit over the weekend.


    In fact, I'm not sure how anyone could even really study 50 hrs a week. We have about 20 hrs of lecture a week, with another 6 or so of lab (which most people, including myself, do not attend). That adds up to over 70 hours a week devoted to school. Unless you call paging through your notes while on the bike machine "studying", you're going way overboard.
     
    #29 turkeyjerky, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  31. turkeyjerky

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Med school exams are different. In undergrad, they'll ask you questions regarding a concept that really doesn't require memorization, just understanding. In med school, you'll need to have an enormous amount of information committed to memory. For example, our biochemistry professor gave us a list of 30 or so diseases that she wanted us to know for our exam, in addition to the material that she actually "taught". These were diseases that were mentioned off-hand in the course of her lectures. Keep in mind that she only taught half of the 20 lectures that the exam was based on.

    Now did you need to actually know those diseases to pass the test? No, of course not--maybe two questions were asked on them. But those were free points on the test and you'd better believe that we were thankful as hell to receive them--most teachers aren't so nice.

    The days of teachers holding your hand to learn "concepts" are over the second you start orientation.
     
  32. FrickenhugeMD

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    I feel the same way. I have 5 hrs or so of lecture everyday, starting at 9 and ending at 3 with a lunch in the middle. By the time I get home and do the chores I need to get done done I dont really feel like studying for more than 3 hrs a night. I have a girlfriend to keep happy, not to mention myself.

    On weeks with exams, I definitely ramp it up to 6-7 hrs a day studying on exam weeks (we have 3 weeks lecture and 1 week of light classes and tests). I would probly pull my hair out if I had tests every week.

    I guess I also have to mention that this method nets me in the 90th percentile, so yes it is possible to study 3 hrs a night, honor and have a life at the same time :)
     
    #31 FrickenhugeMD, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  33. chemnerd31

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    I have long since passed the days of hand holding. Going to graduate school taught me to rely on myself and teach myself. The professors were never around in grad school, they were too busy doing research. I also think that 4 years as a college professor well help me transition well. I am not trying to say that medical school is easy. I know it will be difficult and I know it will be hard work but it is doable.
     
  34. RySerr21

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    they probably dont attend much of those 20 hours of lecture.... I'm guessing you go to lecture, since you brought it up as a limiting factor for studying 50 hours/week. When you go to lecture, you are still learning, it is essentially the same as studying. You just happen to benefit from going to lecture more than others, and they choose to study all day on their own and not go to lecture. If you add up the time you study on your own, and the time you spend in lecture, its really not much different than the people that just skip lecture and study all day on their own. Its not like you spend 18 hours a week on med school material, and thats it. You cant just ignore all the hours you spend in lecture. You go because it is useful to you, and you learn the material. That should be counted towards your total hours of studying.

    Now, if students go to all lectures and study 50 hours on top of that......thats insane.
     
  35. coldweatherblue

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    I have no idea, but if I had to guess:

    week after exam week: ~1hr/day. No studying on the weekends. crazy weekends.

    2nd week: 2 hrs/day. slightly less crazy weekends, study ~3 hours Sunday

    3rd week: 4 hrs/day. Study Saturday before the big college football games, and Sunday before the big NFL games.

    4th week: Same as week before. starting to get freaked out by how much I don't know.

    5th week (right before tests): This is when I usually stop going to class to stay home and study. 6-7 hrs/day. Go through all the notes for each class several times. Same on weekends.

    Test week: wake up, take exam, come home, study, go to bed. Probably 2-3hrs taking exams and 8-10 hours studying. I always get good sleep though, never stay up too late.

    Repeat, etc.

    really not a bad life. Next semester will be about the same, I hear, and second year will be much more involving. :-D. btw this is NOT group study hours, hanging out in the library or anything like that, I'm talking about studying-as-if-your-life-depended-on-it hours.
     
  36. AK_MD2BE

    AK_MD2BE New Member
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    Caveat...I never went to class.
    Weekday: about 7 hrs/day
    Weekend: about 6 hours/day
    So...about 45-50 hours/week depending upon how close to exam time.
    Now that I am in 3rd year, I would LOVE to only devote 45-50 hours/week of my life to medicine (all of you 3rd years out there are hearin' me on this one ;))
     
  37. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV
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    Big difference in numbers if you include attending lecture as part of "studying".

    I put in about 20-25 hrs outside of class on a non-test week and about 30-40 hrs on a test week.
     
  38. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member
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    About 2 hours a day during regular weekdays, and then on the weekend (saturday) about 5 hours or so. This is on non-exam weeks. On exam weeks, about 3 hours a day during the week and then about 10 hours on sat and on sun right before (most of our exams 1st and 2nd year were on mondays). This totals about 15 hours on non-exam weeks and about 35 hours the week right before an exam.

    This was good enough for me to consistently be in the 2nd quartile of the class, about 70th percentile, which is perfectly ok with me. I'd rather sacrifice being in the top 10 and AOA for a social life and having lots of fun anytime. Could I have killed myself to be elite? Probably. But I don't think it's worth it. You only live once, and I have no interest in derm or integrated plastics anyway. Oh and I scored with the top people in my class on step 1 anyway so whatever.
     
  39. HPSPpayissue

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    I studied about 25-30 hours/week, and it was enough. However, I don't know if you are counting the class times also, so... I went to most of my classes which adds up to another 15 hours per week.
     
  40. HPSPpayissue

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    Actually, the issue is not about LEARNING, but more about actually REMEMBERING. Most people in med school are smart, and they are able to learn and understanding big pictures, concepts, key points etc. Some even pick up an remember 90% of the materials for a week or two. But it is rare to see anyone not review the material again for three or four weeks and be able to recall more than 50% of the details. Again, you have to know EVERYTHING, not just big pictures. By the end of each block, you would have about 150-300 pages of notes for each class.
     
  41. HPSPpayissue

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    I think it is possible, if you attend only good lectures and don't go out on weeknights and weekends. If you can handle not having a social life and study all the time, it is doable. Don't be ashamed of that. Also, I think you should still get about 8 hours of sleep per night.
     
  42. URHere

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    I think this point is absolutely vital. If someone comes in to medical school with a graduate degree in neuro/biochem/whatever - there is already a wealth of information they have learned in more detail than their medical school classes will cover. This is also true of people who took a ton of science courses in college - if you've already learned the minute details, it's far easier to re-learn them for medical school, and it is completely unnecessary to study the material every night for multiple hours.
     
  43. montessori2md

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    ditto. We typically have exams every 2 or 3 weeks.

    This was NOT true for anatomy block, b/c in addition to that I put in substantial lab time (frickin' anatomy is time-consuming). Exam weeks for anatomy it was pretty much my waking hours, less time for food, walking to class, meetings. But I didn't study on weekends for anatomy.

    I typically sit near the class mean, so I'm no gunner, and my only non-pre-req science course was biochem.

    I tried not studying as much for one exam to see what would happen -let me tell you, it wasn't pretty.
     
  44. chemnerd31

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    Exactly... When I said learn that implies knowing every detail, knowing how it fits with other topics, and being able to answer question both directly from the material and questions that are just related to the materal but require thought and integration of ideas. Learning is not just getting a big idea picture it is seeing how things fit together and knowing all the little tid bits of information that are taught to you.
     
  45. MDpride

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    Do u mind sharing ur studying style?

    I understand stuff pretty much in lecture but have a hard time memorizing and retaining stuff.
     
  46. MDpride

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    i agree
     
  47. jumpingjax

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    1st year:

    5hrs/weeknight
    6hrs/sat and sun
    Friday night off unless test coming next week

    2nd year:

    5hrs/weeknight
    6hrs/sat and sun
    Friday night never off b/c it seemed like there was a test q.o.d.

    That set me up to end up in the top 1/3 and hammer step 1.

    Have never worked as hard since - will never work that hard again.

    Step 1 dictates what specialty and where you'll end up - work hard and skip having a life for just 2 years. My 2 cents.
     
  48. DRTLA

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    Do any of you study with notecards? That is the way I have always studied, though it is incredibly time consuming.
     
  49. dnslay

    dnslay New Member
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    Probably about 30, but I didn't go to lecture so that's net work time.

    First semester really isn't that bad if you know how to sift out all the chaff from studying

    e.g. a lecture that takes 2 hrs to explain concepts that can be understood in 30 min. Slides + wiki does wonders for a basic overview. Then go to the text for the real dope :thumbup: Memorize that, take test, repeat.
     
  50. Climberak

    Climberak Senior Member
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    To those who have stopped going to lecture:

    What made you make the change? Did you do the same thing in undergrad? Do you have any concern you may miss something that was pointed out in lecture? I'm starting med school next fall, and I'm trying to get a good picture of how medical students study.

    Also, some medical students have told me that during their first year, they stuck mostly to the lecture notes (or powerpoints) and they did just fine. For all of you in the high percentile, is that what you did?
     
  51. bawer234

    bawer234 ASA Member
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    I ENVY all of you who don't put in the 50+ hours/week.

    Unfortunately, I am a normal person who has to rely on discipline and a lot of hard work to keep up with my peers. I would say that during the first semester (including lecture) I put in 50-60 hours/week. During my Head and Neck Anatomy it was around 80/week (I wouldn't have done this to myself had I not really, really wanted to honor). I'm only around 50th percentile of my class. Oh well.
     

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