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College of Medicine Study Skills: Getting Started

Welcome to the UK College of Medicine and UK Medical Center Library's guide for Study Skills. This guide is a compilation of study skills resources available to the UK College of Medicine.

Practice Good Study Skills

  • Excessive note taking, rewriting notes, rewriting slides appear to be study strategies, when in actuality you are simply transferring information from one place to another.
  • Try to actively engaging with the material using the strategies below.
  • Making charts and tables is a useful way to compare and contrast information.
  • Charts allow you to see how things are similar or related, but also how they are different.
  • This is a critical skill when it comes to differential diagnosis, and charts can make that process easier.
  • Use questions to test yourself, but go beyond the surface material.
  • Do not wait until the weekend before an exam to start doing questions. The more exposure you have the better prepared you will be on exam day.
  • Write your own questions/vignettes along with the answers. This is the ultimate in knowledge acquisition and engagement. If you can write your own question along with answers, you will have a much better grasp of the material.
  • In addition to questions you get in class considering using free library resources. AccessMedicine provides CaseFiles and pre-written questions that can be used to test yourself. The e-books found on the Medical Student guide often contain content specific questions even if not clinically integrated.
  • Change the question and answers to get the most out of them. Know why the right answer is right, but also why the wrong answers are wrong. How can you change the question to make each of the wrong answers correct?
  • Spaced repetition is the most effective way to learn the material, and to be able to recall the material long after the test.
  • Spaced repetition means that, prior to test day you will have seen the same material multiple times, with concepts you don’t know as well coming up more often while concepts you know very well come up much less often.
  • Thinking clinically better prepares you to do your differential diagnosis as well as answer questions on a test or USMLE exams.
  • Use these types of questions to think clinically:
    • How would a patient with this condition present?
    • What conditions present similarly and how do you distinguish them?
    • What tests or imaging would you order to confirm this diagnosis?
    • How would you manage or treat this condition?

Tools & Resources

Contact Student and Academic Success

UK Office of Medical Education:

Emily Scanlon

Student Success Director



Jason LaBret

Academic Advisor I


Bowling Green:

Kent Lewis

Student Affairs Officer II


Northern Kentucky:

Emily Scanlon

Student Success Director


Morehead (RPLP):

Bodie Stevens

Regional Project Manager


Key E-Books for Review