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  • As doctors, we treat patients with evidence-based medicine, meaning treatment modalities that

  • are backed with sound scientific research. We can do the same when it comes to study

  • strategies. These are the 7 evidence-based study techniques with supporting scientific

  • evidence.

  • Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • We can thank the psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus for studying his own memory and generating

  • what is known as the Forgetting Curve. In its simplest terms, the Forgetting Curve demonstrates

  • that after forming a memory, we gradually forget more and more of it as time elapses.

  • With attempts to retain the information at increasing intervals, just before we forget

  • it, the memory becomes more durable.

  • We know from neuroscience fundamentals that repetition potentiates neural connections

  • and allows us to remember information more effectively. The problem is that we have far

  • too much information to learn - we can't repeat every fact we need to know on a daily

  • basis. Enter the Spacing Effect. By repeated exposures to a piece of information at increasing

  • intervals between each repetition, we can optimize memorization and retain the most

  • information in the least amount of time.

  • Spaced repetition is most powerful when the timing is just right. If too little time elapses

  • between repetitions, the information is not reinforced as strongly. If too much time passes,

  • you forget and are unable to recall the desired information.

  • If we see the same information multiple times over increasing intervals, we'll be far

  • more effective at encoding those facts into long term memory. This is why cramming is

  • so ineffective. Studying for 8 hours over 2 weeks will generally result in superior

  • performance compared to studying for 8 hours in one sitting.

  • I'm a big proponent of using tools and systems to streamline and automate processes. I recommend

  • you take this same approach with spaced repetition. You could create a study schedule for yourself

  • where you plan out when to review older lectures in addition to recent lectures. Alternatively,

  • you can offload the process to other apps, like Anki, which will test you on bite-sized

  • pieces of information through flashcards and automatically schedule the cards based on

  • the difficulty of recall for each.

  • The most common mistake is procrastinating and cramming just days before the exam. This

  • undermines any of the potential advantages of spaced repetition.

  • When practicing spaced repetition, make sure you're using effective study strategies

  • and not simply re-reading your notes. Re-reading your notes is a form of recognition, whereby

  • you look at some facts and tell yourself, “oh yeah, I know that.” This is unreliable.

  • Instead, spaced repetition is most effective when combined with active recall, whereby

  • you test yourself for the answer. Which brings us to the second evidence-based study strategy.

  • Active recall is the practice of using the Testing Effect to your advantage. If you're

  • already using active recall, chances are you love it because of the resulting drastic improvement

  • in performance. If you aren't using it yet, there's a bit of a learning curve which

  • may be discouraging. You should expect active recall to be a difficult process, as active

  • learning methods are, by definition, far more challenging than passive forms.

  • When it comes to active recall, I normally advise students to create flashcards through

  • Anki, or to use practice problems, which also has the added benefit of practicing higher

  • order level thinking.

  • There are other ways to incorporate active recall, though. For example, you could write

  • or sketch out everything you know about a certain topic without looking at your notes.

  • Be as thorough as you can be, and afterward check what you've written compared to your

  • class notes for accuracy and to fill in points you may have missed.

  • Many students try active recall for a short period of time, only to give up soon after

  • because they find it difficult. The key is to understand that if it feels difficult,

  • that means it's working. And with anything in life, with practice you'll get better

  • at it. It becomes easier with time.

  • Another common mistake is studying facts in isolation. Particularly with flashcards, students

  • may focus too much on individual facts without adequate comprehension. Do not neglect comprehension,

  • which means truly understanding the relation between ideas and how certain concepts are

  • similar or different.

  • Lastly, remember to not only practice the recall part, but also check your answers.

  • If you are practicing recall without verifying accuracy, you may be reinforcing incorrect

  • information.

  • Closely intertwined with active recall is the concept of desirable difficulties. This

  • states that a learning task that requires a considerable amount of effort will improve

  • long-term performance, even though it may slow down learning initially. Research demonstrates

  • that the traditional easy forms of passive learning show better temporary performance

  • effects, but more difficult tasks, such as learning with active recall, result in improved

  • performance in the long term.

  • Think of it like going to the gym. If you bench press 10 pound dumbbells, you're technically

  • doing chest exercises, but you're not challenging yourself enough to improve. This is like passive

  • learning. On the other hand, if you bench press 100 pound dumbbells in each hand, you'd

  • be exerting yourself to a far greater capacity, resulting in muscle breakdown and ultimately

  • hypertrophy. This is a desirable difficulty, which you are more readily able to achieve

  • with tools such as active recall.

  • Desirable difficulties is an overarching principle that serves as a common thread throughout

  • the 6 other evidence based learning techniques.

  • Elaboration refers to further describing and explaining various ideas or concepts that

  • you're studying to solidify your understanding of the material.

  • The concept of elaboration sounds great, but the tricky part is how to effectively implement

  • the technique. Here are a few suggestions:

  • 1. Generate questions for yourself about how various concepts or principles work and the

  • underlying reasons as to why. Try answering on your own first, and then turn to your class

  • materials or study buddies for verification and further explanation.

  • 2. Cross reference different ideas, even if your professor or class materials didn't

  • explicitly do so. By comparing and contrasting relatable components, you'll better understand

  • the nuances of each, how they interplay, and you'll be less likely to confuse the two.

  • 3. Make the content relatable. While elaborating on a concept, relate it to your own life experiences

  • or memories for a stronger memory anchor. Integrating new material with concepts you

  • already know helps you organize the new ideas, facilitating recall in the future, such as

  • on test day.

  • Don't be overzealous with your elaboration, meaning keep it within there scope of what

  • is accurate and reasonable. Overextension of elaboration can actually cause further

  • confusion in the long run.

  • Practicing elaboration with small groups, such as with the Feynman technique, can be

  • helpful, but beyond three people the drawbacks begin to outweigh the benefits.

  • Interleaving is the practice of alternating your studying from one topic to another rather

  • than blocking time for only one subject for an extended period of time. The literature

  • suggests that this strategy is particularly helpful with subjects requiring problem solving,

  • such as physics, chemistry, or math. Why is this counterintuitively beneficial? Interleaving

  • facilitates finding the links, similarities, and differences between ideas.

  • Interleaving simply means you need to switch between topics, ideas, or subjects during

  • a study session. Avoid studying one focused area for too long.

  • As you interleave, it's recommended you approach the topics and subjects in different

  • orders to facilitate improved understanding. While doing so, make it a conscious practice

  • to think how you can link principles between the different concepts.

  • The added benefit that goes overlooked is one of sustained endurance. When you're

  • strategically shifting between topics, you can ward off burn out and boredom through

  • novel stimuli. I used this practice almost religiously as a medical student to get through

  • study marathons on an almost daily basis.

  • Interleaving requires a bit of calibrationif you spend too little or too much time

  • on a single topic, it can prove detrimental. Switch too often and you begin to face the

  • issues of multi-tasking, whereby you fail to achieve meaningful deep understanding and

  • effectiveness drops. Spend too much time and you're not interleaving but rather just

  • performing traditional blocked studying.

  • My recommendation is to perform at minimum 1-2 Pomodoro blocks before switching to a

  • new topic. At the end of the study session, summarize the relevant key points, but do

  • so in a different order than when you first reviewed the information.

  • Concrete examples are a useful tool in facilitating understanding complex or difficult concepts.

  • It's quite simplefind relevant examples that illustrate the principles from a lesson

  • you're trying to learn, and ensure you deeply understand how the concrete example is a reflection

  • of this principle in practice.

  • To implement this practice, collect examples and then explain how the example illustrates

  • the principle you're attempting to learn, and repeat. You can also create your own examples

  • or exchange examples with your study group for added benefit.

  • When practicing this technique, ensure that the examples are actually relevant and accurate

  • to the concept or principle you're studying. Too often, students will find poor examples

  • online, through friends, or from other resources that reinforce an improper understanding.

  • Dual coding is the practice of inputting information related to the same concept through multiple

  • forms of media. For example, you may read about a concept in a textbook, and additionally

  • use visuals and diagrams to drive the point home.

  • To most effectively implement dual coding, don't simply look at a visual and think

  • ah yes, I know this,” but rather actively explain the concept in your own words. Even

  • better, take the information you've read about in a textbook or heard about in lecture

  • and create your own visuals. This goes back to the summary sheets and synthesis questions

  • I spoke about in my how to take notes video. This will not only prove helpful in the active

  • process of creating the diagram, but now you also have a condensed high yield visual for

  • future reference.

  • The most common mistake to avoid with dual coding is passively reviewing the various

  • forms of media rather than approaching the practice through active methods. To demonstrate

  • mastery, you should be able to draw necessary figures from memory without cheating and looking

  • at your notes.

  • Understand that these seven principles are not to be practiced in isolation, but rather

  • are interrelated and should be used in conjunction. I refuse to believe the myths that how you

  • do in school or on standardized exams is fixed and based on predetermined intelligence. I

  • believe anyone has the ability to dramatically improve their study techniques, efficiency,

  • and performance on test day. If you need help taking your performance to the next level,

  • our team at Med School Insiders will help you implement these 7 techniques and more.

  • Not only are our tutors top tier performers with top percentile scores on the MCAT, USMLE,

  • and other tests, but they're also phenomenal teachers as well, helping thousands of students

  • drastically improve their performance. Unlike other companies, we don't just take any

  • tutors - we are insanely selective and only recruit the best. My team and I have worked

  • tirelessly in creating the best 1-on-1 tutoring experience for future doctors. We've obsessed

  • over creating the most effective and rigorous system that optimizes for one thingdelivering

  • results. If you want to crush your MCAT, USMLE, or need help doing better in any class, from

  • organic chemistry or physics to cardiology or surgery and everything between, our team

  • has got your back. Visit MedSchoolInsiders.com to learn more.

  • Out of the 7 evidence based study techniques, which ones are you neglecting and going to

  • practice moving forward? Let me know with a comment down below. If you liked this video,

  • please give us a thumbs up to keep the YouTube gods happy. To see more content like this

  • every Saturday at 8AM, make sure you're subscribed with the notification bell enabled.

  • Much love to you all, and I will see you guys in that next one.

As doctors, we treat patients with evidence-based medicine, meaning treatment modalities that

Subtitles and keywords

B1 INT recall active recall active repetition information study

7 Evidence-Based Study Strategies (& How to Use Each)

  • 33 3
    Summer   posted on 2020/09/05
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