Pre-Med Studying

Staying on top of everything you need to do as a pre-med can be extremely challenging. It can feel endless - from needing to ace your classes, do research, volunteer, shadow, get clinical experience, finish your major, and let's not forget sleeping, eating, and having a social life. Below are resources we have liked for planning your time, organizing your notes, and some study tools and resources to get you through.

Planning

There's an app for everything these days and so of course, there are a million apps to help you stay on top of that endless to-do list. My personal favorites include:

  • Apple Notes & Calendar - for the person who wants to keep it simple
  • Todoist - a focused ToDo app that uses smart recognition and many integrations to make adding tasks as simple and natural as possible
  • Evernote - for a task manager integrated with your notes around classes and topics
  • Monday.com or asana - for a more project management-oriented approach to your tasks
  • Notion - for multiple ways to organize your tasks and notes
  • Trello - for the OG board style task management

Note Taking

There are multiple great note taking apps out there today as well. The ones that stand out include:

  • Notability - an amazing experience if you like to handwrite notes. It allows you to handwrite your notes on an iPad, record lectures while you do it, and search your notes easily later.
  • Goodnotes - similar to notability, the strength lies in being able to handwrite everything in search it easily later.
  • Evernote - a multi-functional cross-platform note-taking app that allows annotation, typing, and multiple note formats as well as providing a way to pull in any content from the web, emails, etc.
  • Notion - a note-taking app with built-in database options to keep things extra organized

Preparing for Tests

Test preparation is incredibly individual and will depend on your classes and your particular study style. However, some aspects of the premed experience (like organic chemistry being a weed-out class) are fairly universal.

To get around those things, the most valuable study tip we can give you is to study actively. Hours spent reading passively are not going to force that information into your head. Active reading, quizzing yourself, practice problems, videos - anything that keeps you engaged and focused and forces you to work out the concept for yourself will help much more and be a far more effective use of your time. The second most valuable thing we can say is to understand and not memorize. Many things will stick better if you understand the general concept or trend behind them, or if you understand why. It's true there are some things you have to memorize. But even when you have to memorize, if you can understand why things are named the way they are, or construct a memory palace or a silly story to connect them in a logical way, it will be far easier to remember.

In terms of resources, there are some great online videos and tutorials for common pre-med classes and concepts, and there are a multitude of resources for the MCAT. Here are some of our favorites: