Apps like EMT Review Plus and Paramedic Review Plus go a long way toward helping you understand the NREMT and ALS exams, but first, you need to know how to study efficiently. We’ll be sharing some of the essential skills and pointers to make the most out of your study time, beginning with organization.
If you aren’t organized, you’ll spend precious time flipping through quickly scribbled notes, not knowing where to start or finish, and possibly end up more confused than when you began. These are our top tips for making the most of your study sessions.
Start with Note-Taking
The best way to stay organized is to start organized. For each page of notes you begin to take, write the topic and date at the top of the page. This will come in handy when organizing notes later for test prep.
Stick to a Time
Make studying a habit instead of a chore. If possible, pick certain hours in the day where you will be the least distracted and keep those times consistent every week with a reminder in your calendar. It also helps those around you be more aware of when you’re studying, so you can have some peace and quiet.
Don’t try to tackle the whole exam at one time. Set an attainable goal for each study session and plan your time accordingly. Your goal will provide much-needed structure and clarity for an exam like the NREMT. Don’t forget to somehow reward yourself when you reach your goal. Studying shouldn’t be ALL bad.
Rewrite Your Notes
Especially if you have any notes from class that are particularly messy. Rewriting gives you a chance to organize your notes by topic while simultaneously helping your brain retain the information. For short notes, try elaborating on your rewrite.
Take It Slow
Focus on one topic or area of study at a time. Whether it’s trauma, vocab, or assessment, take your time and study to the point of confidence in each area. Use some sessions to recap topics that you’ve already studied to ensure memorization. But be mindful of subject fatigue and move on if you start to become sluggish or lose focus.
Snacks will keep your energy levels up while minimizing distractions or calls to the kitchen. Not all snacks are created equal though… Blueberries, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and avocado are all proven to help boost brain power and memory. Sugary and salty snacks will make you crash, so avoid the junk food drawer.
It’s sometimes easy to procrastinate on the more difficult material, but always study the hardest topics when you are the most alert. Make a note of what time of day you are the most awake and productive. Schedule study sessions for these times, and do smaller recaps throughout the week.
Take a Break!
Your brain is going to need to take a break, so make time for non-academic activities. Play with your kids, read a fun book, binge your favorite British cop drama, take a hike with friends…you get the idea.
Study tools like notebooks, flashcards, apps, study partners should come after you figure out the best schedule. Remember, studying is most effective if it happens often – so don’t wait until the week before the exam to cram.