Over the years Dean McBride has interviewed many students who have scored in the >99th percentile on Boards. He has the same goal as I do to find out what makes these high-achievers tick, and then share those ideas. From these high-scorers, three common themes emerged:
Prepared for 2 years. These students had been focused on academic achievement during the first 2 years of med school, so by the time the Step 1 exam rolled around, they had a solid foundation. You can’t review what you never learned in the first place.
Prepared for each lecture. If high-achieving students always seem one step ahead of the game, it’s because they are. They pre-read the lecture material, focus on the Learning Objectives, and find time each weekend to premeditate the following week.
Conceptual/Active learning. Motivation is easier if you actually find joy in learning. When you find joy in learning, you own it, and rather than memorize facts, you internalize concepts until they become a part of you.