A Look into Effective MCAT and USMLE Study Strategies: Part 1

Posted by Ben Williams on Apr 10, 2014 12:05:02 PM

Yesterday, we tweeted about how a good night's sleep can cement memories better than inadequate rest. Recent studies presented at this week's annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society support the theory that late-night cramming sessions are not the best way to prepare for exams.


Scott H Young, author of Learn More Study Less, takes this idea a step further. On his blog, Young discusses his "Three-Step Strategy to Study Hard without Burning Out" that he refined during his MIT Challenge: learning the institution's ENTIRE 4-year curriculum for computer science in 12 months!

Step 1 of Young's strategy is to have concrete studying hours with ample rest time. Maintaining a healthy balance between the two, though, is difficult for many students. Procrastination is often the culprit: as the big test draws nearer, studying takes precedence over leisure. If substantial time had not been invested into studying earlier, then there's very little room for relaxation, which is not a sustainable approach.

So, the first thing to do is set aside predetermined times for socializing, exercising, sleeping, or whatever it is that keeps you sane. Young's schedule allowed for free time on weeknights, one weekend day, and half of the other. He didn't have to sacrifice rest for success; in fact, appropriate relaxation was necessary to maximize his work time.

Once you've scheduled your leisure time, you've essentially allotted your study time. Normally, one would have to further administer that time: prioritizing material to review and creating an effective system for such.

But not with Firecracker! We have all the content you'd ever need to review, an adaptive program that ensures you're not wasting a second, and ways to tailor your study plan toward your current needs. Firecracker is mobile optimized, so you can do questions wherever and whenever - so long as you're not sleeping or hanging out with friends!

Find the time to study, find the time to relax, and Firecracker takes care of the rest. Keep checking the blog as we dive deeper into Young's 3-step strategy in the coming weeks!

- The Firecracker Team

Topics: Medical Education

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Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at chat@firecracker.me.

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