Test Taking Strategies: The Brain Dump

brain dump

The MCAT, USMLE and COMLEX. There is a good reason that this alphabet soup strikes fear into potential physicians. Performing well on these exams is critical to getting into the medical school and residency of your choosing. There are many test taking strategies out there ranging from the worthwhile to the ridiculous. Today I want to share with you an extremely effective strategy that I have used for many years. I call it “The Brain Dump”.

I’m surprised more people don’t do this because the concept is exceedingly simple (maybe they do and I just don’t realize it, eyes on your own paper people!). The concept is this. Pretty much every exam you will ever take will either be ON paper or provide you WITH scrap paper. Take advantage of this! Memorize a set of facts that you know WILL be on the test or are difficult to remember and be able to “Brain Dump” them on this scrap paper.

braindump2Here is exactly how I do it. The day before a test I review my notes and identify concepts I think will be tricky for me on the test. An example of this would be something like the MEN syndromes or the viscerosomatic reflexes for you osteopaths out there. These aren’t difficult concepts, they just require rote memorization. This is perfect fodder for a brain dump. I then organize exactly what I want to know and try to create mnemonics or order it in such a way that I can easily recreate it time after time. You have now created a study guide of some of the most difficult material on the test.

The morning of test day I re-create this study sheet a few times just to make sure I remember it. Here’s the important part, when you walk into the test and sit down you “dump” all of the contents of your “brain” on your scrap paper (hence why I call it a “brain dump”). There you have it, you now have a resource to refer to for some of the most difficult material on the exam. You’re welcome.

mnemonicThis is one of my favorite test taking strategies because the concept is simple as shit and it works for every test you will ever take. Taking a 6 or 8 hour test plays tricks on your mind. Things you once were sure about quickly become hazy. Give it a shot, it is by far the most efficient thing you can be doing on the day before a test.

What unique test taking strategies do you use?


Comments

Test Taking Strategies: The Brain Dump — 57 Comments

  1. YES! I have been doing this for years as well! It is the only way I can clear my head before I can start answering questions! Do you know if there has been any research posted on the subject that proves that this is an effective test taking method? Would love to look more into the concept.

  2. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100 positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  3. I felt wonderful to read this and I think you are 100 right. Tell me in case you are considering wealth generators back office, this is my primary expertise. I hope to hear from you soon enough, be careful!

  4. I simply want to say I am just new to weblog and really savored this page. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You absolutely come with fantastic articles. Bless you for sharing your web page.

  5. “Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually know what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally visit my site =). We will have a hyperlink exchange arrangement among us!”

  6. A person necessarily help to make seriously posts I would state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular put up incredible. Fantastic process!

  7. hello there and we appreciate the information you have – I had unquestionably discovered something totally new here. I did nevertheless mastery several practical things using this website, simply because I experienced to reload the web site numerous situations earlier than I might only obtain it in order to load correctly. I ended up considering if your web hosting service is fine? Now not that I am complaining, but slow loading situations will often effect your positioning on the web and might harm your high quality rating if promoting with Adwords. In any case I am including this RSS to my e-mail and might be aware of more from your respective fascinating information. Ensure you update this another time at once..

  8. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  9. whoah this blog is great i really like reading your articles. Stay up the good work! You recognize, a lot of individuals are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  10. I would like to express my thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from such a difficulty. As a result of looking out throughout the search engines and seeing thoughts which were not productive, I assumed my entire life was gone. Living minus the solutions to the issues you’ve resolved as a result of your main blog post is a serious case, and those that might have badly affected my entire career if I had not come across the blog. Your own personal mastery and kindness in taking care of almost everything was vital. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t discovered such a point like this. I can also now look ahead to my future. Thank you so much for the specialized and result oriented help. I won’t hesitate to endorse your web blog to any person who needs guidelines on this topic.

  11. Good write-up, I am normal visitor of one’s web site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  12. I really enjoy examining on this internet site , it has wonderful blog posts. “The longing to produce great inspirations didn’t produce anything but more longing.” by Sophie Kerr.

  13. I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site :).

  14. of course like your web site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the reality then again I will definitely come back again.

  15. Normally I don’t learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

  16. You could definitely see your skills within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart. “A second wife is hateful to the children of the first a viper is not more hateful.” by Euripides.

  17. My spouse and I really adore your blog and find a majority of the articles to be just what I am in need of. Do you offer other people to post content material for you? I would not mind creating a post regarding environmental careers or perhaps on many of the topics you’re posting about here. Great place!

  18. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  19. I intended to compose you that very little word in order to give thanks the moment again for all the unique suggestions you have shown on this site. It’s quite extremely open-handed of people like you to convey extensively what most people could have sold for an e-book to help make some money on their own, even more so considering that you might well have tried it in case you desired. These strategies additionally served to become a great way to be sure that other individuals have the identical passion just like mine to figure out whole lot more with regard to this condition. I know there are many more enjoyable times up front for individuals that start reading your blog.

  20. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  21. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  22. hello!,I like your writing very so much! percentage we be in contact more approximately your article on AOL? I need an expert on this house to solve my problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look forward to see you.

  23. I think other web-site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  24. Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just cool and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  25. Merely wanna input on few general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is very fantastic. “To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.” by Franois Auguste Ren Rodin.

  26. It’s in point of fact a nice and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  27. I think this is among the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *