Study Tips

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General Study Tips[edit]

  • Don't postpone any work. Try to do it as early as possible, i.e. today.
  • First, believe you can achieve an A for the block. Make a promise to yourself.
  • Be friends with students that do well in their studies. It is human nature to compete with those around you, so surround yourself with tougher competition and you'll find yourself studying harder automatically.
  • Make practice tests for yourself.
  • Identify the most productive time of the day and reserve it for the most difficult study material.
  • On weekends and holidays, always start studying in the morning so you can be done by the evening to make room for your social life.
  • Plan hourly. What will you do for the next one hour? Will it be time well spent or a wasted hour?
  • Neglect anything that is getting in the way of your studies. Games, social networking, TV, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, etc. Know your priorities: you are here to get your degree first and everything else second.
  • Learn from other's mistakes: ask your seniors what they would've done differently in that block and what mistakes they made.
  • Ask successful students for tips on how to study. Some successful students may refuse to reveal their secrets because they count others' failures as part of their success, but there are many successful students that will be glad you asked and if you're willing to learn, will teach you their methods. Don't be discouraged if you encounter the first type.
  • Reward yourself. Set short-term goals such as "3 hours of extra study" and reward yourself with a nice meal, movie, date with your boyfriend/girlfriend, fapping session, etc.
  • Some people say that chewing the same flavor of gum during an exam that you were chewing while studying helps you remember what you studied. Chewing gum also relieves anxiety.
  • Teaching others is one of the best ways to study: it helps you identify all the concepts you don't fully understand and solidify the ones you already do in your memory. Teaching also motivates you to study harder, so you don't appear stupid in front of your students/peers. Take every opportunity to teach. If you're shy, you can start by editing the FK Wiki.
  • Create concept maps using lectures and tutorials, and paste them onto your wall.
  • Instead of making notes by simply copying lecture slides, websites, etc., try to read completely first, and then sit with a blank piece of paper and try to write down everything you remember. This exercise will encourage you to transfer your knowledge into your long-term memory.
  • For difficult concepts, adopt a multi-pronged strategy: study the same concept using various sources. Don't forget to check Youtube. Videos are visual as well as auditory, so they help you remember concepts longer. Also, many videos try to simplify difficult concepts to make it easier for you to understand.
  • Read some articles in medical journals every day. This will make you familiar with the type of language used in the medical world while also increasing your general medical knowledge.
  • Constantly remind yourself that whatever you're studying is to help you become a better doctor and help you make less mistakes once you start practicing. These few years are all you have to study. During clinical rotations, there is very little opportunity to study so make use of the time you have now.


  • Go to as many anatomy sessions (other groups) as you can. Familiarizing yourself with the specimens by spending more time around them and hearing the anatomical terms again will allow better retention.
  • Arrange extra tenteran sessions with the Anatomy assistants.
  • Study from the anatomy lecture slides.
  • Make notes before anatomy sessions with hand-drawn pictures. During the session, make any additions or corrections as needed.
  • During the tentamen, since correcting answers is not allowed, write guesses on another line first and leave the answer blank until later.

Skills Lab[edit]

  • Do the work plans for all the skills labs for the entire block immediately before the block starts. This is to reduce the work-load during the block.
  • Read through the entire skills lab explanation immediately before the lab, so it is fresh in your mind.
  • If you have extra time, watch videos about the skill before the skills lab to get an overview of what to expect.
  • Beware of some doctors like dr Adrian. They will sometimes conduct a pre-test. (dr Adrian is an excellent skills lab doctor though).
  • You can attend other groups' skills labs if you have free time to get more practice on procedures that will be tested on the OSCE.
  • Use a permanent marker to write your name on your equipment, specially if you have an expensive Littman brand stethoscope (write your name on the cord).
  • Go for TFSS (extra skills labs taught by assistant docents) for your group as well as other groups. Just make sure you ask for permission (from the group members as well as the asdos) before joining them. Usually they don't mind.
  • Organize at least one mock-OSCE.


  • Start preparing as often as you can during the entire last month before OSCE. Try to practice in front of a skills lab assistant so they can point out your mistakes. Make your practice sessions as realistic as possible.
  • Attend several skills labs for difficult skills, not just your own group's. Simply walk in to another group's skills lab and ask the doctor if you can observe/participate. They will almost never refuse.
  • Don't miss the mock OSCE organized by senior students.
  • Attend multiple TFSS. Ask to join other groups for extra practice.
  • Purchase your own equipment to practice with. There is a medical equipment shop inside Togamas (on Jalan Gejayan at the intersection of Ring Road), another one on the road to Galleria Mall after the gas station, and one on the road in front of Sardjito.
  • Try to practice at the skills lab rooms because that is where the OSCE will be held, instead of studying at home. This will help you feel comfortable (because many students feel very nervous during the OSCE) and also help you remember the procedure.
  • Practice with a timer to make sure you aren't going too fast or too slow. Remember to accommodate for the time that is usually lost traveling between stations and signing your name on the attendance sheet at each station.
  • Use an OSCE checklist (e.g. First Year OSCE Checklist).
  • Remember to explain the pros and cons of anything that you're about to do. Then ask for permission before you proceed. e.g. "I will press my hand into your abdomen to see if your spleen is enlarged. It may hurt a little. Is that alright?"
  • Wash hands (or use the alcohol spray) before and after touching the patient in every station.


  • Most tutors count how many times a student spoke when giving Proactive. Don't say your whole answer in one go.
  • Impress tutors by mentioning journals as your source. Don't mention "Wikipedia" as your source because most doctors feel it is not a good place to get your information from.
  • If you copied directly from Wikipedia, HSC, FK Wiki, or the block book, keep your answer short. Don't bore your fellow students with material they can easily find.
  • Ask to be the book scribe if you did not prepare for the tutorial.
  • Don't put-down anybody else. So, don't belittle, humiliate, or embarrass your fellow group-mates. Instead of saying, "Your information is wrong," say something like, "I found a different source that says..."
  • Don't rush anybody either by telling them to hurry up or limit what they share. This shows that you don't value what they've researched and brought to tutorial to share. Be patient and listen attentively to win your fellow student's (and the tutor's) respect.
  • Don't underestimate students with low GPA during tutorial. Pay attention to everybody and you will also get the same respect and attention when it's your turn to speak. It is unfortunately a common practice to ignore students with lower GPA during tutorials.
  • Don't be stingy with your knowledge. Teaching others is the best way to retain and organize your own knowledge.
  • Many LOs can be found in the current week's lecture slides.
  • Try to memorize concepts and speak without reading verbatim from your sources.
  • Score 'Proactive' by drawing diagrams on the board or bringing relevant objects, books, graphs, or photographs. It shows extra effort.
  • Ask the tutor to contribute their own LO's during step 5. Tutors have a checklist of LO's that students need to cover for the block exam. Although this defeats the purpose of PBL (where students develop their own LO's), it helps to ensure focus and relevancy for the block exam.
  • Although tutorials don't count (much) for marks, the topics covered will show up on the block exam. So, thoroughly research the LOs.
  • During step 7, make short notes on topics that you think you're still weak in. Study these over the weekend. Don't hesitate to ask the tutor for feedback on step 7. Often, the tutor will tell you if they think mistakes were made or if certain important topics were not covered.
  • Students tend not to pay much attention during tutorial to students with low GPA. So, ensure your GPA is high to get respect from your fellow students during tutorial.
  • Study for the upcoming week's tutorial over the weekend. Formulate your own questions and LO's. Do lots of studying before Step 1 to ensure you get the most out of the tutorial sessions which are designed to identify the gaps in your knowledge/study.


  • Memorize the principle.
  • Memorize the functions of the reagents.
  • Memorize past-year pretest questions.
  • Do as much of the lab report before the lab session. It will save your time later on and also help you study for the pretest.
  • In labs where you have to idlely wait for the result, spend your time finishing up as much of your report as possible.
  • It is possible to complete the "discussion" or "interpretation" part of the report before coming to the lab session. Just write about all possible outcomes, e.g. what does a positive and negative result mean?
  • Hand in your report immediately after the lab session. This will reduce your stress and workload for the whole week.
  • Draw diagrams of test-tubes and colorful graphs to score extra points on your lab report. Take pictures during the lab session. Print them out and glue them onto your report.
  • Mention at least five sources.
  • Neat reports (good handwriting and unbent paper) is also suspected to help in convincing doctors to give better marks on lab reports.
  • Longer reports are also thought to get better marks. To make your report longer, add greater spaces between words. Also, use an indentation to create a wide margin on the left side of your paragraphs, making them vertically longer. Don't write on the reverse side of the pages to make sure your report appears to consist of lots of pages.
  • Search for "Shotgun histology" videos on Youtube when studying for Histology.
  • Search on Flickr when studying for Pathological Anatomy. Also go through Robbins.
  • Check the "references" section at the end of each lab in the block book. Often, text-books used as reference do a much better job in explaining than the block book itself. Reading the textbooks used as references may not always help you achieve high marks in pretests, but you will defenitely have a much better understanding of the subject matter.

Block Exam[edit]

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  • Use the topic-tree found in the block book as a checklist if you cannot get your hands on the block exam assessment blueprint. (The blueprint is usually printed in the first few pages of the block book. If you cannot find it in your block book, check a senior's old block book.)
  • Use past-year block exams as a guideline to know how deep you should study each topic. Study the correct answers as well as the incorrect answers. Ask yourself, "why are these answers incorrect?".
  • Make short notes for all the lecture slides. Then make even shorter notes using the notes.
  • Use lecture slide PDFs and the paper-based lecture slides (found in the hallway in Grha Wiyata) to see what works better for you.
  • Do not sacrifice time on refining lab reports because they are worth much less than the block exam.
  • It is never too early to start studying for the block exam. Do not create an artificial barrier where you wait until 5th week or 6th week to start studying.
  • Go over all the past-year block exams available immediately before the exam even if you went over all of them earlier.
  • When studying the past-year block exams at the last-minute, avoid looking at the incorrect answers so you only remember the correct ones.
  • Every day that you have lectures, go over the lecture slides later on. Make brief notes. Every weekend, go over all the lecture slides for that week again.
  • During the block exam: Don't waste time on questions that you're not 90% sure of. Take a quick guess, flag the question, and move on.
  • Study from the text-books and websites mentioned as sources in the lecture slides. Text-books often do a much better job in explaining difficult concepts in great depth.
  • Simply ask professors what they will put on the block exam. Some professors are happy to tell the students, others are not, but it never hurts to ask, although it takes some courage. A good time to approach professors is right after they give a lecture or at the end of tutorial. Ask them something like, "Doctor, which topics out of this lecture would you recommend I study in-depth to prepare for the exam?"


  • Cardiac Forum - Provides downloads for lots of medical books for free.