nets445

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Everyone says that studying every day is essential for medical school and that cramming doesn't work. However, I've found the opposite to be true. I study about 4 hours every day and towards exam time, 6-8 hours per day while a lot of my classmates just cram 3-4 days before an exam for 12+hrs/day and end up crushing it while I barely make average on the tests. I'm not comfortable with cramming information in within a limited period of time mainly cause memorization is not my strong suit and I'd rather spread things out but due to my subpar performance of class tests, should I switch to cramming?
 

TheShowGoesOn

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Everybody studies differently. You need to find out what works for you. In my opinion, hours spent studying means nothing- far too many people waste time by not studying efficiently or effectively.
 
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Everyone says that studying every day is essential for medical school and that cramming doesn't work. However, I've found the opposite to be true. I study about 4 hours every day and towards exam time, 6-8 hours per day while a lot of my classmates just cram 3-4 days before an exam for 12+hrs/day and end up crushing it while I barely make average on the tests. I'm not comfortable with cramming information in within a limited period of time mainly cause memorization is not my strong suit and I'd rather spread things out but due to my subpar performance of class tests, should I switch to cramming?
Then maybe 4 hours isn't the right number, if you're just scoring average with recorded lectures. If you're happy with average, that is ok too.
 

Stagg737

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Everybody studies differently. You need to find out what works for you. In my opinion, hours spent studying means nothing- far too many people waste time by not studying efficiently or effectively.
This. Ask yourself how many of those hours are actually quality hours vs. just reading over notes or just quizzing yourself without in depth understanding. Cramming 12 hours will be pointless for you if you only get 6 hours out of it anyway. There are people at my school that only study 4-6 hours per day including class time and do well because they are really focused and zoned-in during those hours. I also know people that spend all day studying (12+ hours) but barely seem focused when they're studying and probably only get 4-6 hours of benefit out of it anyway. As previously stated, just figure out what's efficient for you.

Besides, not everyone can be at the top of the class or even average. For some people it takes more work just to get by, and there's nothing wrong with being that person as long as you're learning what you need for boards and clinical years.
 

cbrons

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Everyone says that studying every day is essential for medical school and that cramming doesn't work. However, I've found the opposite to be true. I study about 4 hours every day and towards exam time, 6-8 hours per day while a lot of my classmates just cram 3-4 days before an exam for 12+hrs/day and end up crushing it while I barely make average on the tests. I'm not comfortable with cramming information in within a limited period of time mainly cause memorization is not my strong suit and I'd rather spread things out but due to my subpar performance of class tests, should I switch to cramming?
4 hrs per day can be reasonable if it is 4 full hours of complete focus
 

TBV

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I'd say I agree with donald juan. You should keep up with what you're doing and kick it up a notch before exams. I also believe that research shows that cramming is not conducive to long term learning which may have an impact with step one ever looming (of course perhaps a pro-crammer could cram that too but playing the odds here)
 
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Study everyday, then take 2 half days off the 2 days before the test. Worked for me.
 

madchemist89

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Study with the goal of learning, especially long term. Everything that you are learning now is important and relevant to your future practice even though it may not seem that way. While testing is important, it is not the purpose of your education. Remember that you are building the foundation of your knowledge for your entire career. Don't you want it to be a strong one?
 
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Everyone says that studying every day is essential for medical school and that cramming doesn't work. However, I've found the opposite to be true. I study about 4 hours every day and towards exam time, 6-8 hours per day while a lot of my classmates just cram 3-4 days before an exam for 12+hrs/day and end up crushing it while I barely make average on the tests. I'm not comfortable with cramming information in within a limited period of time mainly cause memorization is not my strong suit and I'd rather spread things out but due to my subpar performance of class tests, should I switch to cramming?
If you are barely making average with a good current study schedule I can't imagine switching to an inferior method would make your scores go up. Your classmates scoring higher are probably either better test takers or just pick up new information more quickly than you do. They certainly aren't beating you on tests because they cram instead of study effectively. As others have said, if you think that some additional cramming of memorization right before the test could help you try doing that on top of a daily studying schedule.
 

Shjanzey

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This is a multifactorial problem. I am assuming you are a first year so here are a couple of points

1) You don't know how to study in med school yet. It takes some people time to figure out the best way to assimilate all this information. I remember struggling the entire first semester before I finally found a method. Now it feels like I put in less effort and do much better.
2) People who say they "just crammed" are either liars or already have a really good undergrad/premed foundation. Some of your peers did masters degrees in sports physiology, neuroscience, or have a PharmD (yes a few of those in my school) which directly translates to medicine. How can you compare the amount of time it will take you vs. someone like that? Think of it as you trying to catch up to their level.
3) Focus on you. The first two years are the biggest game ever. The winners never lose sight of the fact that not only do they learn the information today, but they have to remember it again at the end of two years. If that scares the **** out of you then good, because that will make sure you keep trying to go back and retain it. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if someone else scored higher on an exam than you because they crammed. The big monster at the end isn't something you can cram for.

Good luck, keep on making changes and improving.
 

Jabbed

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3) Focus on you. The first two years are the biggest game ever. The winners never lose sight of the fact that not only do they learn the information today, but they have to remember it again at the end of two years. If that scares the **** out of you then good, because that will make sure you keep trying to go back and retain it. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if someone else scored higher on an exam than you because they crammed. The big monster at the end isn't something you can cram for.

Good luck, keep on making changes and improving.
:thumbup::thumbup:
 

ortnakas

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Find a happy medium. You're probably a healthier and more well-adjusted person for going slow and steady, but maybe you need to kick it up a notch before exams if you're not happy with your scores.

Also, don't believe people who say they don't study. Everybody studies.
 

CherryRedDracul

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As someone who has a nearly a decade's worth of cramming experience: don't do it. Study regularly and study efficiently. Go harder close to exam day, but back off the night before. Get a good's night rest. Don't cram the morning of, trying to memorize little bits and pieces of things you think you forgot.

I wish someone told me all that when I was in college, or at least I wish I listened.
 
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illinichief89

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I've crammed for exams my entire career as a student. I had a good undergraduate background in the sciences, so that probably made it more manageable for me to cram than for some of my classmates who were not biology majors or only took the bare minimum coursework in bio during undergrad. However, after every single exam, I regret cramming because I basically spent a week sitting on my butt all day. I wouldn't recommend cramming even though it works for me, because if you want to do well you will be miserable for a week straight before every exam.

In terms of the number of hours studying, I agree with previous posters saying that hours don't matter. What matters is if you are studying effectively. So many of my classmates try to learn every last detail of professors notes. I think that is ridiculous and boring. Rather I try and get a big picture view of what I am learning and the major points and then fill in small details I could get tested on. The only two classes where my method didn't work well is biochemistry and pharmacology, which are more like straight up memorization classes, IMO. Do what works for you, but if 6-8 hours studying a day isn't cutting it, then try a different study method.
 
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I've crammed for exams my entire career as a student. I had a good undergraduate background in the sciences, so that probably made it more manageable for me to cram than for some of my classmates who were not biology majors or only took the bare minimum coursework in bio during undergrad. However, after every single exam, I regret cramming because I basically spent a week sitting on my butt all day. I wouldn't recommend cramming even though it works for me, because if you want to do well you will be miserable for a week straight before every exam.

In terms of the number of hours studying, I agree with previous posters saying that hours don't matter. What matters is if you are studying effectively. So many of my classmates try to learn every last detail of professors notes. I think that is ridiculous and boring. Rather I try and get a big picture view of what I am learning and the major points and then fill in small details I could get tested on. The only two classes where my method didn't work well is biochemistry and pharmacology, which are more like straight up memorization classes, IMO. Do what works for you, but if 6-8 hours studying a day isn't cutting it, then try a different study method.
I do this too. Didn't work in heme/onc, unfortunately.