You can't compare yourself to other people when it comes to how you study. Everyone has their own unique style and it requires them spending different amounts of time.
For example: Let's compare myself and Student A, a friend of mine.
- We're taking a pathology/pharmacology course organized by organ systems right now (two systems per unit) and we have a unit exam every 2-3 weeks or so. For the sake of argument let's approximate all of them as being 2 weeks.
- The first thing I try to do is stay up to date with the lecture material. We only have lecture from 9 am - 1 pm usually, which allows me the afternoon to study the lectures from the morning, go to the gym every day, cook, etc. This gives me a good daily routine, except on the days where I have some sort of thing going on (student clinic, clinical skills class, etc). I usually make up this time on the weekend. I've also freed up even more time since I don't go to lecture anymore.
- First week - 3-4 hours/day studying, 4-5 hours/day on the weekend
- Then the second week rolls around. Usually we finish all of our lectures by Thursday or Friday, and it's usually only one or two hours of lecture topic, usually miscellaneous, relatively simple stuff. This is the week I spend really consolidating my info.
- I do a few main things: (1) I don't generally actually LISTEN to lecture since it's pointless and I don't learn material by listening unless it's in a clinical setting (2) I read scribe notes and lectures slides and I write the information per hour onto a sheet of paper summarized (but not leaving anything out). (3) group all of the pharm lectures and path lectures together (4) for Pharm, make lists of sheets with just ADRs, Rx, Mechanism - and condense/simplify it drastically.
- All of our exams are Monday exams so: Friday - Sunday or Thurs - Sunday I set up a specific schedule of topics to go through and I do systematic review.
- By Friday evening I'm usually done with the review - and I spend the rest of the evening doing UWorld questions on the topics and annotating into First Aid. It's good practice and helps me consolidate and connect the info as well as refreshing high yield points.
- Saturday morning I spend listening to Goljan Lectures at double speed and reading along with RR Path - unless it's a huge thing like hematology it usually takes somewhere between 1 and 3 hours. Once that's done I study the rest of the day from lecture notes, First Aid, and RR Path.
- I spend all of Sunday doing practice questions from old exams and I go to sleep EARLY, most importantly. Monday I wake up relatively refreshed, go and take the exam, and done by noon!!
This has worked out pretty well for me in general and I'm doing considerably better than I did first year.
- lives off campus, doesn't come to class ever, works purely by listening to the lecture audio and taking notes
- He'll study 10+ hours a day at home during the week and generally only come in for required things. Otherwise he listens to each lecture at LEAST three or four times and takes notes on the slides.
- He transfers all the info into notebooks which he studies from
- Doesn't bother with UWorld but listens to Goljan along with RR Path. In general he learns better by listening to audio and by the end of it he can recite almost exactly what the lecture audio has said - sometimes verbatim.
- Has a similar regimen for the weekend before as me but spends most of it going through his notes and doing practice old exam questions - pulls all nighters the night before and then takes a quick nap before the exam
- Goes to the exam, takes it, goes home and passes out
Thing is he generally does within a point or so better than me on exams. For me however, I prefer my method because it gives me more free time, and I don't see how studying the extra 5 hours a day is worth the extra point. To each their own.