- Don't believe people who say they are not studying, and those who say they're studying non-stop. Study at your own pace and take breaks.
- Find your technique; whether that be writing, reading, drawing or talking out loud. Everyone learns differently so don't feel pressured to do it a certain way by your peers.
- Ensure ‘break days’; when studying for an exam, the team would give themselves at least a whole day off per week (usually a Sunday) to ensure some balance.
- Have a good plan B in case you fail, a plan that you are comfortable with, so that you can study without the fear/desperation of failure, as this is a distraction.
Whānau/Family & Friends
- Enrol the help of loved ones to respect your study times, quiz you if they can, join you at off times and understand the roll of the exam in your life.
- Don’t forget to celebrate afterwards, schedule a get together with friends/family or something you enjoy doing as a goal to get towards, there’s always a big lead up and then the exams themselves are quite anti climatic, so one idea is to schedule a nice dinner out afterwards prior to the usual med school party that will be definite to ensue…
Te ora o ia ra/Every day
- Make sure to take the time to look after yourself and eat healthily. You will learn better if you're well-nourished and take some time to de-stress.
- Try to get fresh air every day or keep up some sort of exercise routine. It may feel like 'wasted' time in the moment, but it will help your recall and mental health.
- Get a good TV series and drip feed it to yourself as a reward.
- Ensure good sleep patterns and hygiene.
- Aim for 30 min per day of exercise (can be something new, or something you like and wouldn't normally do) such as:
- A stretching routine (have you tried yoga?)
- Get a new piece of exercise equipment (what about a Swisse ball or some weights)
- Ideally have something you can see some gains in, or are measurable so you can feel like you’ve achieved something.
Exams are tough, but they are a necessity of becoming, and being a Junior Doctor. Having a strategy and a plan around exams can be a huge help, and can be vital in order to get though.
And don’t forget, you’re not the only one going through this; remember to reach out to your friends, whanau, colleagues & union for support if you need it.
The STONZ Team