Med School Exam Survival Kit

Nov 6, 2021

Written by MedicGuild

A third year med student with many an exam season under their belt, has come up with the best tips to survive and thrive through your exam period!

Special thanks to Noa Kolkovski and Dr Olivia Baenziger for the illustrations.

Medicine has an overwhelming amount of content. Break it down into a checklist with smaller subsections!

As the wise Desmond Tutu said, "there is only one way to eat an elephant, a bite at a time." If you are overwhelmed, just start, bit by bit you will get there, by taking on just a little at a time. Each small win gives you the confidence and encouragement to keep going.


  • Study in 25 minute bursts (a pomodoro)

  • Cut down on distractions - your phone, social media

  • Take a 5 minute break

  • Once you have completed 4 pomodoros, have a 30 minute break

  • Use those breaks to completely unwind - meditate, do some yoga, grab a coffee or go for a walk!

  • Flashcards are a great way to revisit information!

  • When you watch a lecture, youtube video or read a textbook chapter, write down everything you can remember.

  • Rewatch the video or skim the chapter - whatever you missed, make it into a flashcard!

  • This makes studying for OSCEs both fun and productive!

  • Teaching helps memory retention, so grab a whiteboard and a few friends and get to teaching each other different topics!

  • Focus on your sleep hygiene!

  • Keep your bed for sleeping (and avoid studying in it!) and limit technology before bed.

For more tips on sleep hygiene see our evidence based article: Tired, Stressed, Forgetful? Your Sleeping Habits Might Be Doing More Harm Than You Think


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