Episode 20: Learn your innate learning style, 14 study techniques, 6 types of material you encounter in medical school and premed courses, 5-Step Study Method, and a cheat sheet that integrates all of these tools into one printable checklist to staple to the front of your notes for a particular test.
Listen to the 39 minute podcast here…
Like many would-be doctors, I struggled with certain parts of the MCAT more than others. I took a $1,000+ commercial speed reading course to help me improve and spent the summer at the Kaplan center only to be disappointed.
It wasn’t until the first year of medical school that I actually learned how to study, speed-read, and manage my time so that I could be successful in school and spend time with my family. Next, I studied these learning styles and study techniques and formalized them into a 5 Step Study Method that I’ve been teaching for several years.
When I began teaching all of the techniques, people really appreciated the insight into a “doctor’s mentality” and found that they shaved hours off their time spent studying and were enjoying more time with family and friends almost immediately!
Then, I began to get a lot of emails with specific questions and I soon realized that, just like in medical school, everyone’s approach to different techniques and types of information varied a little bit.
Then a light bulb went off!
What if I taught you how to teach yourself which techniques work for you?
That’s when my Custom Speed Reading System was born. This profoundly insidious system has become ingrained in how I think, not just how I study.
I have since prepared myself to excel at and pass those big exams like MCAT, medical school exams, and all four of the USMLE exams. Most of the methods in my speed reading course will be less foreign to you than you might initially think and therefore its easy for us to learn and use!
I created a multi-media course on Speed Reading for Medical School:
- Evaluate your own study methods and test them objectively
- Prepare yourself to be a speed reader
- Manage your time and spend it the way you want
Here is a little bit of the science I teach behind my methods:
As children we were taught to read letter-by-letter and word-by-word. We start from the very beginning of a sentence and read through to the last word of the document. We rhythmically and painstakingly give attention to every word and most of our schooling focuses on memorizing each detail.
I submit that the United States is behind many leading countries in the education department because of a lack of vision. This type of rote reading is only good when you’re reading a novel or fulfilling another pleasurable pasttime. However, this type of reading is not what we need in medical school and many students don’t have the academic “genes” to survive undergrad without something more. They experience this with a damaged GPA or low score on an MCAT section.
What we need is a different type of reading that is fast and has good retention of the facts, not only for a test but also for an important career.
Normally you can read a book in about 3-5 hours with the help of this Speed Reading Course. More importantly, you will learn how to set goals for each time you sit down with a book. It’s possible to shorten the time it takes you to get everything you need from a book to 30-45 minutes per book – total! With this you can spend your time covering more study resources or with your friends and loved ones.
My Speed Reading program is actually a combination of reading methods, which will increase reading speed and comprehension of voluminous material. To us doctors/med students/premeds, this is the every-day fact – that we need to study tons of medical details. Thus, we need to prepare ourselves to be able to adapt the ever-challenging MCAT, USMLE and other test that are always changing and growing.
Your Custom Speed Reading System is a collection of reading methods, which attempts to increase efficiency and retention. It is an evolving and custom approach to studying your learning styles and study techniques.
Photo reading is a specific process/technique in gaining information out of a document at an accelerated rate and using your whole mind. This technique utilizes the right and left parts of the brain and, when incorporated into a custom Speed Reading System, activates other peripheral units. For example, the limbic and amygdala regions that will magnify long-term memory associated with emotional memory – activated by studying diseases in the context of a someone you personally know who has that disease.
The heavily commercialized Speed Reading courses cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars on the internet and claim that you can read up to a 10,000 words a minute without reducing much of your retention on the information being read. The science behind this is weak. Further, photo reading can supposedly demonstrate that you can read up to 25,000 words with much lesser comprehension.
My focus is on people of average intelligence who want to successfully compete in an above-average environment – medicine.
The advantage of a custom Speed Reading System is attaining that information quickly, accurately, and with high retention. With my techniques you can both use your left and right brain as you read medical school syllabi, USMLE and MCAT Prep books, and even exams themselves! With goals and systematic structure you can get that important, correct information right away.
Though commercial Speed Reading courses claim that you can read up to 25,000 words in an accelerated phase, the actual technique they’re selling requires that you blur your eyes and only glance at a page for 1-2 seconds – never even seeing the words! It doesn’t take an ophthalmologist to understand that without focusing on the words your central nervous system can’t translate the page into thought. Therefore, I don’t use gimmicks. I only teach this technique for experimenting with it to gain peripheral information.