I’ve been studying practically non-stop for the past few weeks. The NPLEX board exam that I took at the beginning of this month was really tough! When people ask me how I did, my response is, “I either passed or failed; I’ll find out at the end of September.” Some questions were easy, and others were challenging. I had to access remote areas of my brain to use the knowledge I’ve gained the past two years, plus some intuition, and hopefully luck!
Finals have arrived, and there is still so much for me to learn. I feel drained and depleted; this is the not-so-glamourous part of medical school. Sleep deprivation is not my friend, so I’m making an effort to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Therefore, during the day, most hours are scheduled for studying. Being organized is a vital part preparing for final exams.
My organizational system goes like this:
- Make a calendar with all the days that are left until finals are over.
- Look at your daily schedule and figure out how many hours each day are available for studying, and write those numbers on the corresponding days on the calendar. Give some leeway, be sure not to schedule every single free hour, because relaxation is important and unexpected tasks may arise.
- Add final exam times and any homework due dates to the calendar.
- Schedule times to complete homework.
- Prioritize classes based on current grade, credit hours, and what requires the most studying.
- Go from highest to lowest priority and add the studying hours to the calendar. Avoid cramming!
While this isn’t the only system that works, it’s one that I found works well for me. I wrote my schedule on the whiteboard on the back of my door, so every morning and evening I’m able to look at it and stay on track.