How to Ace Your Medical Exams: Top 10 Tips

Medical Exams
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Have you ever felt like you’re just running on the hamster wheel? In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get bogged down on a day-to-day basis.

But what about when there’s a huge event looming on the horizon that has the potential to change your life? I bet that’s the time to put your nose to the grindstone and focus.

For many medical students, medical exams are just such an event. Studying medicine-related courses are already tough enough to stress anyone out. But the pressure and academic stress an exam bring can be overwhelming.

These exams can be life-changing. Thus, students need to focus and prepare for their medical exams in order to do their best. But what are the effective ways to ace that exam?

1. Get Organized and Create A Study Plan

You can’t just open your textbook and reviewers the night before and hope to ace the exam. Give yourself enough time to review all of the material, and make sure you understand it before moving on.

A great way to make a study plan is to organize the exam coverage. Mark the topics that you’re having a hard time with and separate them from the easier ones. This will help you manage your time and know where should you give more focus.

2. Be Prepared

This means studying hard and knowing the material inside and out. Find out what kinds of questions will be on the test and how much time you have to complete it. Do a mock exam under similar conditions as the real thing.

For instance, if you are studying to be a Pharmacy Technician or you have a subject related to pharmacy, you can take a free PTCB practice test under timed conditions. This will help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you know what areas you need to focus on the most

3. Use Reviewers and Study Aids

Don’t try to learn everything at once. You’ll only overwhelm yourself and won’t retain any information that way. Instead, focus on mastering key concepts so you can build upon them later on.

You can also use study aids such as medical flashcards and practice exams to help identify areas you need to focus on.

4. Understand the Material Inside and Out

A lot of times, students will understand the basics of what they need to know but struggle with memorizing more specific and in-depth information. To excel on your exams, you need to make sure that you understand all of the material extremely well.

Try breaking down each chapter into smaller parts and focus on one part at a time. After you are done studying, take a day to review everything. Teach it back to yourself and run through it in your mind until you feel confident that you know it backward and forwards.

Medical Exams

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5. Study Past Exams

This is especially helpful when it comes to standardized tests. Studying past exam questions will help you get used to the format and timing of the exam, so you can perform your best on test day.

So if you have recent exam papers, study them. Look at the question distribution, what types of questions were there, and how many were of each type (i.e. multiple-choice, true/false, short answer, essay).

6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to get plenty of sleep before an exam. Quality sleep, especially a few nights before the exams, will help you to be alert, focused, and retain information better. You want to be well-rested so that you can focus and do your best work.

Medical Exams

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7. Wake Up Early On the Day Of the Exam

If you wake early, you will have time to eat a good breakfast. A healthy meal will help to fuel your brain and body so that you can perform at your best. There’s nothing as terrible as not being able to focus or remember what you’ve learned from reading because you’re hungry. Waking up early in the day will also give you time to review your material one last time.

8. Arrive at the Exam Venue Early

This will help you to find a seat and relax for a few minutes before the test begins. You should also get familiar with the exam location. Find out if there are any rules or restrictions that may apply to you.

Identify the location of the restrooms. You may need to leave the exam room to use the restroom. Knowing where they are ahead of time will save you precious minutes you would have spent looking for them.

9. Learn the Instructions

If you are taking a multiple-choice test, find out whether you will be able to remove the pages containing the answers so that you can refer to them during the exam. Learn the instructions.

Don’t assume that the instructions provided are obvious. Make sure you understand, for example, whether you need to follow a separate schedule for each question or whether you can have a total time for the entire test.

Medical Exams

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10. Don’t Panic

When the exam papers are before you, don’t freak out. Don’t panic, even if you feel you don’t know everything. It is usual to feel anxious and nervous before a big exam. Try to relax with some breathing techniques.

Organize your materials beforehand so you don’t have to waste time looking for them. Try to stay calm and focused during the exam, though it can be difficult when facing such high stakes. The more calm and collected you are, the better you will do on the exam. If you prepare properly, you will do great.


Develop a positive mindset. In the end, all of the studying in the world will be useless if you do not have the right mindset to go with it. If you go into the exam hall thinking that you are going to fail, it is more than likely that you will.

On the other hand, if you are confident in yourself and all you’ve read and learned, it would improve your chances of passing the exams with an excellent score.