As a medical student, you are required to memorize a lot of medical terminologies and absorb important physiological and pharmacological concepts in order to perform well in exams. Completing lab work, preparing for quiz, preparing assignments and taking notes make medical school a bit challenging for students. Too much academic pressure makes it difficult for medical students to score an impressive GPA and perform well in USMLE Step 1.
Following some effective learning strategies can help medical students achieve their academic goals and perform outstandingly in board exams. Flashcards are one of the most effective study strategies that help students to ace their final exams and get an impressive GPA. Adding flashcards to your study routine can help you become a successful medical student as it helps studying less intimidating.
Many students think of flashcards as a boring learning strategy; however, it is exactly not the case. They are the most preferred study methods that work greatly and give the desired results. There is no denying the fact that flashcards are a versatile study tool that can be used throughout your medical school journey and residency program.
Flashcards, if used right, help students to retain factual knowledge for long and perform well during exams. If you haven’t used flashcards before, try this effective study method for preparing for exams and improve on your GPA.
Let’s figure out why you should add flashcards to your study routine and how it will make you a successful student.
Focus on Active Recall
One of the major reasons to include flashcards in your study routine is that it focuses on the active recall concept. They help you engage in the active recall by teaching your brain to memorize anatomical terminologies, medical concepts and processes without contextual clues. You can make flashcards for important courses you will learn during the preclinical and clinical years. For instance, anatomical terms, pharmacological processes that require step by step understanding.
Basically, the concept of active recall works great and creates a powerful connection among neurons to build long term memory. The best part of using flashcards is that they facilitate repetition, they can create different memory boosting recall events. According to some studies active recall practice can lead to 150% higher retention compared to passive study techniques.
Flashcards are effective as they allow you to remember a lot of information in your long-term memory, thus helping you do better in class tests and exams.
Promotes the Process of Metacognition
Flashcards allow you to check the correct answer to the question; this process of self-reflection is called metacognition. Basically, metacognition is the process of controlling your own learning and knowledge. Metacognition is based on self-monitoring and correcting your learning processes. This process allows you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses and make you an active learner.
Many studies have shown that metacognitive strategies can sharpen your memory and result in better learning outcomes. As metacognition highlights your weaknesses, you can make tweaks to your study plan and dedicate extra time to those topics that need your attention. One of the greatest benefits of this effective learning strategy is that it allows you to analyze how well you know the material.
Flashcards Boost Your Confidence
Flashcards promote the practice of confidence-based repetition that is a proven way to sharpen your memory. According to different studies, it is a scientifically optimized method to improve your memory. Flashcards allow you to repeat the act of memorizing information until you are an expert on the information.
It will eventually increase your confidence by allowing you to learn too complex information in a more engaging way. It allows you to connect ideas and concepts, which increases your confidence levels and eventually your academic performance.
Improve Your Note-Taking Skills
Building the flashcard material allows students to improve their note-taking skills by summarizing the most important points of a lecture. Instead of writing each and everything, reviewing flashcard notes allow you to learn only the important information. Reviewing these notes allows you to retain important information.
When preparing flashcards, it is important to figure out what is flashcard worthy. It sounds interesting to add every single detail and fact so that you can perform at your best on the exam. But this strategy doesn’t work at all. If you attempt to write every little fact on flashcards, you will end up with hundreds of cards that are impossible to master.
The key is to read the lecture or course material thoroughly and figure out the important facts, terms and information that are most likely to show up on the exam you are preparing for. This technique will not only improve your note-taking skill but also prepare you for your exams in advance.
Add Only Required Information
There is no need to fill the flashcard with unnecessary information. Identify the main points that are important; you can create a concept diagram or flowchart that helps you memorize the concept. This way you can recall the whole process by simply seeing the map or diagram. Do your best to make effective flashcards so that you can easily memorize the concepts and prepare well for your board exams.
If you spend a lot of time studying but feel like you can’t perform well on exams, it is advised to use flashcards as an effective learning strategy. Flashcards help you learn better and store important information in your long-term memory that will help you learn new course material, improve your academic performance and score a high GPA in medical school and you can become a successful student that can work overseas like many graduates are doing laser hair removal in Dubai.