5 Tips for Practicing Social Distancing while Studying for Medical Exams

If the social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO) have left you scrambling for new ways to study for your medical exams, you are certainly not alone. Even with these measures in place, though, it is possible to continue your studies uninterrupted. Here are five tips for practicing social distancing without sacrificing your study time.

#1 – Study Alone

Most students benefit a great deal from scheduling solo study time into their daily calendars, but as with all things, moderation is key. Studies have suggested that group study is the best way to reinforce previously learned material, so when it comes to review sessions, visiting a fellow student’s dorm or meeting up at the library is ideal. However, with COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions in place, this is simply not possible. To make the most out of your solo study time, try saying things out loud – even if there’s no one there. This simulates a group setting and may help you recall more of your studies later.

#2 – Make Use of Online Groups & Rooms

Now that social distancing is occurring on an almost-global scale, numerous companies have provided access to online meeting rooms and chatrooms that provide a simulated group meet experience. Some of the best options include Zoom, a popular video conferencing platform, as well as Facebook, which has recently implemented its “Rooms” feature, available via Facebook Messenger.

#3 – Use a Question Bank Frequently

One of the best and most underrated ways to study involves utilizing question banks that mimic the questions that you will be asked on your placement or licensing exam. However, not all question bank platforms are created equally, which means you’ll need to be sure that you know what to look for in a quality platform. Similarly, the platform you choose should come with numerous customization options – and perhaps even room to compare your mock exam scores to others to see if you’re on the right track.

#4 – Visit Online Libraries

Libraries – and especially reference libraries – often become second homes for medical students. They spend countless hours poring through piles of medical journals and texts to understand the most complicated parts of human anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Though students cannot simply go to the library every day like they did before the pandemic, they certainly can explore most (if not all) of what the library has to offer online. What’s more, some libraries even offer prerecorded lectures that you can access if you feel like you need a little extra help.

#5 – Ask Your School’s Faculty

Finally, if you are unsure of which resources are available to you in your local area or through your school, the best way to discover them involves simply asking the faculty. Contact the school’s library or perhaps even your professors to ask them about digital study materials that may be available to you, any Zoom study groups that may be taking place, or even opportunities for phone or video tutoring for students who need some extra help.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way most of us go about our daily lives, it doesn’t have to put a complete damper on your studies. You can study alone with a question bank or through an online library, or you can study with groups through video conferencing apps like Zoom or social apps like Facebook. The possibilities are limitless – just like your potential. All you have to do is embrace them.


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