In order to best study for final exams, I start studying ~3-4 days BEFORE I EVEN THINK THAT I NEED TO STUDY for an exam. It is critical to give yourself enough time. Here are some tips that I have to make that happen:
Make “Quick Disease Fact Sheets” or “Quick Medication Fact Sheets”
I suggest for Disease States to focus on Key Features of the Disease, Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Medication Management, and Non-Pharmacological Interventions. For Medications, I suggest focusing on Indication, Generic and Brand Names, Side Effects, and Therapeutic Class. It might be helpful to include pictures and charts.
Create a Rough Schedule for Studying
By this, I mean plan out which days leading up to exams that you are going to spend on each subject. For example: Monday: Pharmacotherapy 1, Tuesday: Research and Design, Wednesday: Integrated Pharmaceutical Sciences 1, etc.
Listen to Study Music
Here, I’ve attached a Study Music Playlist that I listen to on Spotify! It may be helpful to create your own.
Put that phone down. Turn off that TV. Go somewhere quiet. Anything to help you avoid distractions.
Use a Timer!
There are lots of Study Timers online. I like the Pomodoro Method of Studying where you have 25 minutes of studying and then a 5 minute break. After an hour, you get a 15 minute break. Here is a useful online timer!
Going along with the last one, remember to take breaks! Your brain will stop absorbing information after about 20-25 minutes without a break because, as humans, we have a short attention span.
This kinda goes without saying, but I feel like I still have to say it. Don’t wait until the last minute to study.
Make Quizlets or Practice Tests
This one has worked really well for me over the year. Being able to create my own questions with the material gets me thinking about it in different ways. I’ve even been able to anticipate almost the exact question that a professor is going to ask.
Focus on What You Don’t Remember!
If you spend most of your time going over the stuff that you got right on previous tests, you are going to neglect the stuff that you had a hard time with. The point of studying is to get a better grasp on the things that you don’t know or have a hard time remembering.
Get some SLEEP.
It is extremely important to sleep, especially during this time. It allows you to better retain information and leads to increased performance.
Good luck on your exams!!