How many hours per day did you study after 2nd year was over?

  • 5-6

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • 7-8

    Votes: 9 23.1%
  • 9-10

    Votes: 10 25.6%
  • 11-12

    Votes: 16 41.0%

  • Total voters
    39

harrisonIM

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May 4, 2008
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Just wondering from past test-takers how many hours a day you studied and if you feel that number was too much/too less.
 
Last edited:

mudphudwannabe

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Dec 18, 2004
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8 hours was the max for me - I think that was not too short, not too long. "8 hours" for me included some short (~5 minute) breaks each hour, but didn't include 1 hour for lunch.

I think it's a personal thing - if you're used to spending a lot of time studying, you might be able to study for longer. But, remember to balance quality and quantity. It doesn't make sense to study 12 hours a day if you spend the last few hours struggling to stay awake and re-reading the same page over and over. Don't sacrifice sleep, either. I tried to think about it as a full time job - when my 8 hours were up, I was really done. I spent my free time relaxing, making nice dinners for myself, getting some exercise, and making sure to get 8 hours of sleep.
 

Blesbok

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Probably 6-7 on the week before a test, 10 or so the weekend, then 8-9 the week of the test with 12-14 the day before the test.

We had 2 week cycles btw.
 
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harrisonIM

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May 4, 2008
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Probably 6-7 on the week before a test, 10 or so the weekend, then 8-9 the week of the test with 12-14 the day before the test.

We had 2 week cycles btw.
I can see how my title was confusing. I believe there are already a couple threads about how many hours for med school courses. I was referring specifically to Step I. :)
 

Darksmurf

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Aug 30, 2006
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What will confound this question is that some people's 8 hours is other people's 11 hours. I had a friend in college that was always at the library because I think it made him feel like he was really putting in the time, but honestly, if you tracked the hours that he studied versus chatting with friends, perusing the internet, sleeping--I don't think he put in any more time than I did, but he was at the library a lot more.

I think volume is important, but more important is quality. I like the suggested 11-hour schedule that I saw somewhere: 8-12 study, break 12-1, 1-5 study, 5-8 break, 8-11 do questions, sleep at midnight. I think it breaks up the day and gives you some good study time in the early part of the day when you're fresh, and relaxation in the later afternoon when you need it. But the key is actually studying from 8-12, not studying a little bit, checking SDN a few times, reading a couple articles out of the NYTimes, boiling some tea, check the Cavs score.
 

Re3iRtH

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Mar 27, 2006
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What will confound this question is that some people's 8 hours is other people's 11 hours. I had a friend in college that was always at the library because I think it made him feel like he was really putting in the time, but honestly, if you tracked the hours that he studied versus chatting with friends, perusing the internet, sleeping--I don't think he put in any more time than I did, but he was at the library a lot more.

I think volume is important, but more important is quality. I like the suggested 11-hour schedule that I saw somewhere: 8-12 study, break 12-1, 1-5 study, 5-8 break, 8-11 do questions, sleep at midnight. I think it breaks up the day and gives you some good study time in the early part of the day when you're fresh, and relaxation in the later afternoon when you need it. But the key is actually studying from 8-12, not studying a little bit, checking SDN a few times, reading a couple articles out of the NYTimes, boiling some tea, check the Cavs score.
Is this serious? You can't take a 5 minute break during your day to boil
some tea that will probably make your next hours of studying a bit better?
Maybe if you feel a bowel movement coming on you should hold that too,
because you wouldn't want to interrupt your study time.:cool:
 

Darksmurf

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Is this serious? You can't take a 5 minute break during your day to boil some tea that will probably make your next hours of studying a bit better? Maybe if you feel a bowel movement coming on you should hold that too, because you wouldn't want to interrupt your study time.:cool:
It is serious, but perhaps it requires one to read nuances in language. But thank you for your sarcasm.

Certainly I am not implying that taking some breaks during a 4 hour block is unwarranted. If I gave that impression, then I was not clear in my prose.

What I meant to convey is a pattern of behavior that I have myself experienced and that some friends of mine (even medical school classmates) have also come across. That is, a few breaks, limited in time, are probably a necessity. But many people--especially those of us without iron fascist wills--take the time to not only boil some tea, but then read a bit of news, and then just fire off an email message to someone, and then to just check the score of the Rockets game, and then to call home for something, and then to...See the trend? Maybe not all at once, but we squander a significant portion of our studying time.

Perhaps I am the only person on SDN that has had this happen. After all, the average Step 1 score here is 247.

Rather, we might as well spend less time 'studying'--but do it well--and then accomplish many of those other activities during dedicated 'down-time.' Not a strategy that would appeal to everyone, surely, but one that is more amenable to me than pretending to study, but not really enjoying the other things that I was doing instead because I was 'supposed' to be studying.

I had not thought it a controversial comment, but apparently so.
 

Caboose

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Jun 28, 2005
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Darksmurf - your strategy is much like mine inspired by David Allen's "Getting Things Done" book. We do waste a lot of time meandering & you can consolidate that time for efficiency.

I think this exam will be much like the MCAT in the way that I study. I'm in the camp of peeps who have to take a lot of time studying. I actually can't read, but look mostly for letter patterns. While I will spend 8-12 hours a day studying, some of that is making diagrams and staring at recurring problems I've slathered all over my wall whilst drinking coffee. ...although, things may be different as I am in a relationship now. Brutal. Just realized that.

Caboose.
 
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