PA school is going to be one of the most challenging time periods of your life. The amount of information you learn in a short period of time is shocking to say the least.
Start studying early.
I’m not talking about a week before the exam, I’m talking about as soon as you get the material. The day of, even if its only reading over the notes you made in class, do something
Stay engaged in class
As you’re taking notes in class, highlight or underline the things your professor say are important. Often times, there will be a question on it. Or, if you professor says the words “this will be a test question”, write it down, highlight it, underline it, do something to draw attention to it.
Don’t study passively.
By this I mean don’t just read over the notes. Try to integrate them. If it helps you to think of funny sayings to go with a word or statement, use them. If it helps to think of how something applies to your own life, do it. Or if you can think of how what your learning coincides with other material for the test, thats always great too. Write things, don’t type them. Every person I talk to in my classes who does exceptionally well, writes their notes. It uses another part of your brain and gets you more engaged than simple typing.Read over those notes you write, and make additionally notes in a different color or highlight things. The more you read it and are engaged with it, the better the test will go.
If you’re reading over your notes and you don’t understand something, hit up your professor or even a classmate. That’s what they’re there for. Getting an explanation in a different way than the material was originally presented is going to help you understand it better.
Make a study plan.
For me, I like knowing what I have to do and being able to cross off items from my checklist. It keeps me on track and keeps me focused. Often times, I don’t follow the study plan exactly, I may deviate but just that general idea is helpful. Each of the things coming off the main study topic are things I definitely want to do to help me prepare. And then all of the additional branches are different ways I can improve on those main study methods I want to do.