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Study advice from a medical student at The University of Sheffield

Hi, I am Evie, a fourth year medic at UoS, these are some study tips that I have learned throughout my time at University and school studying for exams!

Best study Techniques:
- Active recall
You only have a limited amount of revision time, so the best thing to do is to make the most efficient use of time. Active recall requires you to think of answers, recall knowledge and make connections, this helps to solidify information into long-term memory. Do anything that makes you come up with the answers yourself; testing your friends on topics together, using question flashcards, past papers etc
- Spaced repetition
Re-visiting topics again is important, each time you go over it, more will stay in your head. Doing small amounts of each thing each day or few days is better than doing each topic on its own in one block.
- Practice questions in the style of the exams you will take
Part of passing exams is all about exam technique. The more past papers you do, the more you will understand what they are looking for in the answer and the way things are graded. Looking at the mark scheme is essential for learning this too.
- Practice questions under exam conditions
A lot of people struggle with the timings of exams, the best way to get better at this is to practice! It will really improve time management in exams, and reduce the likelihood of you missing questions due to lack of time.
Revision time tips:
- Take mental breaks
Your brain works away in the background moving things into memory and making connections. By taking breaks where you sit quietly/go for a walk or are not distracted by other things, it can help the information you have just learned stay in your memory. Even short minute-long breaks can be helpful. Doing this rather than scrolling on social media, can improve memory retention and can also reduce stress.
- Nap if you can
Naps work in a similar way to the mental breaks. Sleep is when your brain refigures what you have learned that day. Naps can help with motivation with work as well as learning.
- Make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest at night
Prioritise sleep and wind-down time at night. Sleep is so so important for memory, concentration and motivation.
- Keep some fun activities in your schedule
While it can be tempting to cut out anything fun during revision time. Doing fun things is so important for your mental health and motivation.
- Drink plenty of water (2L plus)
A huge proportion of your body is water, and it is vital for functioning! Keep it topped up!
- Eat brain foods
Learning and revising uses up a surprising amount of energy. Eat foods that fuel your brain - health fats (avocado, olive oil, meats, oily fish, nuts etc), vegetables and fruits, proteins!

Hope you find this useful, and if you have any questions about other study tips, I will do my best to answer them!

Evie
(edited 1 month ago)

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