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  • - Hey friends, welcome back to the channel.

  • If you're new here, my name is Ali,

  • I'm a doctor working in Cambridge.

  • And in this video I wanna share with you

  • the study method, study

  • framework, that one of my closest friends used to rank

  • consistently in the top three in medical school,

  • and sometimes even rank one in certain subjects.

  • And he's a medical student at Cambridge University,

  • which is one of the most competitive

  • medical schools in the world.

  • We're gonna split this video up into three parts.

  • Firstly, I'll talk about what the method is

  • and how it works.

  • Then we'll talk a little bit about the evidence behind it,

  • like, why it works, the learning theory

  • behind why this method is amazing.

  • And finally, we'll go into the method in much more detail.

  • And I'll be showing you, using some examples

  • on different apps, about how you can incorporate this method

  • into your own study life.

  • (soft music)

  • Okay so,

  • the method is as follows.

  • Basically, instead of ever writing any notes,

  • instead of ever trying to summarize content

  • from lectures or textbooks, what my friend Aseyd did,

  • is that all he did was just write a ton of questions

  • for himself and then when he was revising,

  • he would just go over those questions over and over again.

  • And after a handful, maybe like three or four repetitions

  • of these questions, he pretty much knew everything

  • and every subject inside out.

  • So how does this work?

  • Let's hop into the laptop, as they say,

  • and I'll show you, these were the documents

  • that he made for each of the subjects.

  • So we've got HOM, which is physiology.

  • We've got MIMS, which is biochemistry.

  • And we've got anatomy, which is anatomy.

  • So let's start with HOM, which is physiology.

  • So essentially, he's gone through the lecture notes

  • and through a textbook alongside,

  • and he's basically converted everything into questions.

  • So the first lecture was about cell membranes and stuff,

  • so his question is,

  • what are some roles of the cell membrane?

  • Then it was about control systems.

  • When is ballistic control good and what's an example?

  • Let's scroll down a bit to, what's another topic?

  • So we've got muscles as another topic.

  • What does the size of a motor unit determine?

  • What is the kinetic state diagram for this?

  • Why is there a constant isometric force

  • below 2.2 to 2.0 microns?

  • Basically, a ton of questions, so 60 questions for muscles.

  • For cardiology, we've got, how many questions is this?

  • Wow, this is a lot of questions, my god.

  • This is how you rank first in medical school.

  • Whoa, 216 questions for cardiology,

  • he was a bit of a cardiology nerd.

  • So he kinda fleshed out the lecture notes

  • with some information from textbooks.

  • But again, never made any notes from the textbooks,

  • all he did was just write questions for himself.

  • More stuff, respiratory, questions from the lecture notes,

  • 100 plus, 158, quick questions about the kidneys.

  • And as you can see, he's basically got an entire,

  • like 37-page Google Doc/Word doc,

  • literally just filled with questions.

  • He hasn't wasted any time in making notes

  • and in summarizing, all he's done

  • is just write questions for himself.

  • And the idea is that he's done this for every subject,

  • and then when he's sitting down to study,

  • he decides in advance or like on the day,

  • what subject he wants to study that day.

  • So let's say he's doing, I don't know, anatomy,

  • and he wants to revise the upper limb.

  • Then what he's gonna do, he's gonna open up

  • his upper limb document, and all he's gonna do

  • is he's gonna go through the questions one-by-one

  • and ask himself if he can feasibly answer

  • those questions in his head.

  • He doesn't really write anything down, he just, sort of,

  • tries to answer them out loud or in his head.

  • So how does the median cubital vein run?

  • Oh god, I can't remember that at all.

  • What do the lucidum cells contain

  • and where are they foreign found?

  • No idea, I don't even know those are a thing.

  • Which two layers make up the dermis?

  • Ooh, I probably should know that,

  • but I really can't remember.

  • Anyway, this is essentially, like,

  • all of the stuff for anatomy.

  • Again, 34 pages of just questions.

  • And that's basically it.

  • The method is, going through the lecture notes,

  • going through textbooks.

  • But like, what we all like to do by default,

  • is we like to highlight and like, make notes.

  • For some reason we think it's useful to summarize

  • our lecture notes, or summarize a textbook,

  • or summarize a revision guide.

  • And then, I don't know, I think the theory is that

  • we all read over our summaries and maybe highlight stuff,

  • and maybe ask ourselves questions.

  • But this is a purely active recall-based method.

  • All he's literally doing is just asking questions

  • and answering them.

  • So, let's move on to why

  • this method works.

  • (soft music)

  • And this whole method

  • is based around the principle

  • of active recall.

  • I have been preaching about active recall

  • for literally the last two years,

  • and actually, even longer than that,

  • since before I got this YouTube channel,

  • just like in talks and lectures and stuff that I would give.

  • I'd be like, active recall is literally the best thing ever.

  • It's the best thing ever because active recall

  • is the single most efficient study technique

  • that's ever been discovered,

  • there is a mountain of evidence supporting it.

  • I've got a 25-minute long video, that I'll link

  • in the video description and in a card up there somewhere,

  • where I go through the evidence in much more detail.

  • But essentially, what active recall means

  • is testing yourself.

  • And the reason testing ourselves is so amazingly valuable

  • is because, the way the brain works,

  • it's all based around how many times and how,

  • how much you retrieve information from your brain.

  • So we all have this misconception that,

  • in order to study, we have to put stuff into our brains,

  • but actually it's flipped on its head

  • if you look at the evidence, the actual way

  • to remember anything and to make anything stick,

  • is by retrieving information from our brains

  • rather than trying to put it back in.

  • So let's say we read something once

  • and we've understood a topic, at that point

  • the most effective thing we can do with our time

  • is ask ourselves questions about that topic.

  • And they've done loads of studies whereby they've taken

  • a group of college students, or high school students,

  • or whatever, and they split them up into different groups.

  • And they'll teach all the groups exactly the same topic,

  • but for one of the groups they'll get them to reread it,

  • for one of the groups they'll get them to make a mind map,

  • for one of the groups they'll tell them

  • to read it four times, for another group they'll tell them

  • to make notes, and for one of the groups

  • they'll just give them a test on the subject.

  • And then if you look at the results afterwards,

  • like when they get tested maybe a week later,

  • you'll find that the people that get tested,

  • the people who did the active recall,

  • who actively tried to retrieve the information

  • rather than just reread it or make notes on it,

  • those were the people that performed

  • significantly better in their exams.

  • And again, much more evidence in my, like,

  • legit evidence-based revision tips video,

  • this is just kind of an introduction.

  • So, I don't think this can be stated enough.

  • I recently set up a Discord server,

  • I'll put a link down if you wanna kinda hang out

  • with me in the evenings on Discord.

  • And we've got like, a little study,

  • tips, chat thing on there.

  • And it baffles me as to

  • just how many people still ask the question,

  • how should I be studying for my exams?

  • It's just the only, like, it's such a good

  • revision technique to just test yourself on stuff,

  • that it still baffles me that despite even like,

  • watching some of my videos, and maybe reading a book

  • called "Make it Stick," really good book to,

  • how to effectively learn, and watching any of my friend's,

  • Thomas Frank's videos, like, all of the evidence

  • around study tips is basically that

  • active recall is the way forward.

  • And I'm waxing on

  • about this for absolutely ages

  • because, you know, they say that on average it takes

  • about seven repetitions, like, seven times hearing

  • the same concept to really fully internalize it.

  • And I think, like, the more people in the world hear

  • about active recall and kind of, hear about the good news

  • of active recall, the better human productivity

  • as a whole would be and the better our lives as students

  • would be because we'd have to spend less time studying

  • and more time doing the things that actually matter to us.

  • But, yeah, that's basically how the method works.

  • I'll stop droning on about this now.

  • Let's now talk about the method in a bit more detail,

  • and I'll show you how you can use various different apps

  • to achieve the same effect.

  • Before we do so, I just wanna tell you

  • a little bit about this video's sponsor,

  • and that is Brilliant.

  • Brilliant is an amazing, active learning,

  • problem solving community with online courses

  • and daily challenges for things like, maths,

  • science, physics, computer science, that sort of stuff.

  • They've got a load of courses that you can take

  • to help understand concepts like,

  • computer science fundamentals, programming with Python,

  • data structures, algorithms, search engines,

  • neural networks, machine learning,

  • so that's in the computer science segment.

  • And we've also got things like probability,

  • how casinos work, the fundamentals of statistics,

  • and just like, a load of really, really

  • well-produced courses.

  • And the nice thing about these courses is that,

  • it's not just a passively educational video like this one.

  • What it does is that they guides you through the concepts

  • and then it forces you to use active recall

  • to apply those concepts to certain problems.

  • And recently they've introduced this new

  • daily challenges feature where,

  • it only takes about five or 10 minutes,

  • but everyday there's a new challenge,

  • based on maths, or physics, or computer science.

  • And what they do is that teach you a little bit

  • about the topic, and then they throw you into a problem,

  • and then you try and grapple with the concepts in the topic,

  • and then you solve the problem.

  • And this is actually a similar format

  • to how the education system works

  • at universities like Oxford and Cambridge.

  • And as part of their interviews,

  • what the supervisor or the professor does,

  • is that they would give you a little snippet

  • of information, sort of, introduce you to a topic,

  • and then they'll ask you a question about it,

  • and then you have to, kind of, use your brain to figure out

  • and, sort of, kind of actively go from step A to B.

  • It's not the case that,

  • you just kind of get spoon-fed information

  • and then you have to regurgitate it back out.

  • So, I really like Brilliant, I've been going through

  • their computer science fundamentals course 'cause I can

  • sort of code myself and I've been coding