How the A student prepares for their next semester
Most people believe that it's just what you do during your semester that makes the difference between getting an A or B. Wrong. Being on the path to getting A's in your classes begin even before the semester begins. This is what all serious students are doing that is putting them ahead of the class from the very beginning. Let me explain:
Those who are serious about making those good grades to get into medical school are always willing to go a step farther and make more effort to help guarantee that they will succeed in their classes. Your success in your next semester starts well before you actually go to your first day of class. One of the biggest and yet, sometimes most underrated factors in getting an A in your classes, is starting the semester off smoothly. When it comes to getting good grades, it makes a HUGE difference when you can understand the material from the very beginning and you are not struggling to grasp the concepts.
That's why what you do before the semester starts is so important. So what is it that other pre-med students are doing that has them starting the semester stronger than everyone else?
They are already prepared before they even walk in the door on the first day of class.
The key to being ready for next semester is to familiarize yourself with what you are going to learn. This doesn't mean you have to study it fully in depth, no that's what the course is for. But what you want to do is to skim all the chapters and try to get the big picture. This way, when you walk in the door the first day, the professor will only be helping to clarify what you already have an idea about. This can make such an incredible difference in how easily you comprehend the information. Instead of asking what you got yourself into, you will be breezing through the class and actually enjoying it!
So how do you do it...
Here's a checklist of things you should do to help make sure you are fully prepared for next semester!
1. Read the syllabus and know it like the back of your hand
2. Get your books ahead of time and do a brief study of the chapters
3. Feel confident in understanding what the big picture is, and what to expect from your class
4. Make folders on your computer for each class (optional)
Number one: Read the syllabus!
The syllabus is such a valuable document that it's surprising how few students actually read it. The syllabus is seriously like a cheat sheet for every class you take. You MUST aquatint yourself with the class syllabus. The syllabus contains extremely valuable information. It tells you about how the class is graded, typically the schedule, what chapters will be taught, whether tests or quizzes will be dropped, and most importantly it tells you what to expect!
Not all schools let you see your syllabus before classes start, but if they do, definitely check it out! If not, then do it as soon as you get access to it!
Number two: Getting your books ahead of time and skim them.
This is the MOST crucial step out of all the above listed. Getting your books and studying ahead of time allows you the extra time to understand what's going on so that you are not left behind on the first day of class. You should just briefly skim over all the chapters, look at the vocabulary and try to just understand what the main points are. For instance, if I'm trying to learn photosynthesis, I do not need to learn all of the specifics of the krebs cycle or how much ATP is produced. What you should do is just get the big picture, like the energy from the light reactions is used to fuel the dark reactions. Nothing more complicated than that. Just get yourself familiar with what's going on.
Number three: Feel confident in your understanding of the big picture.
If you want to walk into class the first day prepared and ready to go, then you must have skimmed through your books enough that you feel confident you understand what the big picture is. If you understand what the big picture is, then you can easily add the details onto it, making the learning process so much smoother.
Number four: Make folders for your classes on your computer.
This step is optional because it's not really necessary for starting the semester off smoothly. But it definitely helps to keep things going smoothly and can be really useful later on in the semester if you were organized from the beginning. Though I would highly recommend you do it, as it really helps you stay organized and be more efficient.
Preparation is EVERYTHING.
Make sure you are the student is who is prepared to succeed. There are always those students who are asking other students questions, and then there are the students who are helping those other students. If you just take a couple of days to prepare for your classes before starting, it could really make the difference between struggling the entire semester or going through it smoothly. Starting off a semester well is imperative to making an A.
Please share this with your fellow pre-med! Did this help? Leave us a comment below!
More helpful premed resources:
I hope these tips help and make sure to sign up for our newsletter and join our site to get even more content! If you know another premed who would benefit from this article, do them a favor and share it with them!
Also make sure to check out our free ebook , "The Premed Beginner's Guide" , which summarizes everything that every premed must know! Also get free access to our comprehensive lists of medical schools! Sign up as a free member and get access to all of this right now!