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1. A general outline of How to Make a SMART study plan for the FMGE:

  • You should always remember “Goal without a plan is a dream” students have a number of ideas about the study plans, but they are either unachievable or unrealistic.
  • Success demands self-discipline, steady commitment, and a sense of humor, therefore construct your schedule so that you intersperse serious times with fun times.

Characteristics of SMART study plan for the FMGE:

SSpecific: Specific tasks/goals with priorities & deadlines.
MMeasurable: Measurable performance to assess the improvement.
AAchievable: Achievable amount of content per the time frame.
RRevisions: Effective spaced revisions.
TTiming: Structured timing for all activities per day.

Develop your personal schedule so that you can create a realistic study plan based on:

  1. Time of the day or night are you most alert?
  2. Your preference for large blocks of study time or hourly increments.
  3. How much sleep do you need?
  4. Duration of the breaks & the activities you seek when you take a break.

Task Batching/theming:

  1. Craft groups of to-dos together based on either the type of activity or by the energy level you have to get things done in less time.
  2. Times of day in which your energy level is high or low:
    • Use your high energy hours to tackle difficult chapters.
    • Use your low energy hours to tackle easy chapters.

Chunking:

  1. Break down a single task into actionable bitesize actions, reducing stress by making tasks more approachable.

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2.Time management of the study plan:

How many hours/day should I study & how to choose them?

  • Study duration/day: 10 hours to 14 hours  (Be aware that only 2/3 of the total scheduled time shall be effectively utilized for preparing).
    • Read/take notes, watch & discussion: 7- 9 hrs.
    • Revision: 2-3 hrs.
    • Practice tests: 3-4 hrs.
  • The very important point to be emphasized: This schedule is not strict/rigid & should be modified according to your happy hours + convenience & high energy slots, however, you need to adhere to an organized study schedule from 9 m to 5 pm daily because this time frame is during which the FMGE will be conducted, therefore:
    1. You need to practice to stay alert during this period.
    2. Do not break concentration for long during this period.
    3. Take only a short break from your desk during this period.
    4. Never take a nap during this period (you shall take a 1 hr nap between 5-7 pm).
  • Take regular & guilt-free breaks: take protein-rich snacks (avoid sugars) & move around/stretch in order to warm up.
    Suggested time table
    Time                          Activities
    07.00 – 08.30 AM
    • Fresh up + Meditate/exercise & Breakfast
    08.30 – 12.00 AM
    • Study (read/take notes, watch & discussion)
    12.00 – 14.00 PM
    • Lunch  & errands
    14.00 – 18.00 PM
    • Study (read/take notes, watch & discussion)
    18.00 – 19.30 PM
    • Exercise & dinner+/- nap
    19.30 – 00.00 PM
    • Study (revision & practice tests)
  • Should we sacrifice sleep during this period of preparation?

    • Absolutely No. Minimum 7 hrs sleep /day is essential for the consolidation process of your memory.
Sleep research &  Study Skills
  • During sleep, your brain sorts through the things you studied earlier, organizes them, considers them, calculates them, decides what’s important and what’s not.
  • This process changes the physical structure of the brain cells so that specific pieces of knowledge are etched more permanently in memory especially during Slow Wave Sleep referred to as consolidation.

Time management with Pomodoro Technique (six steps):

  • Working in short bursts of time can help to improve your attention on a set task.
  • This time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
  • One of the best ways to increase the quality of your work sessions and save yourself time in the long run.
  • Regular breaks are taken, aiding assimilation.
  • Steps: 
    1. Decide on the task to be done.
    2. Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes)
    3. Work on the task.
    4. End the work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
    5. Take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
    6. After four Pomodoro, take a longer break (15–30 minutes).
      • Reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step.
  • After task completion, any time remaining in the Pomodoro is devoted to over-learning.

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3.Specific guidelines of the schedule (Customizable per individual)

  • Each student is unique in his/her personality profile & learning style therefore study plans & schedules should be customized to suit your requirements based on time duration available, your subject proficiency & so on.

Duration of the preparation:

  • The most crucial aspect of designing your schedule/plan.
  • Duration depends on the month & year of the exam you are targeting.
  • 5-6 months will be optimal for an effective study plan where you spend 3-4 months for completing the subjects & about 2 months for revisions with various test practice.
  • Depending on the availability of the time before the exam you can customize a plan for yourself.

Subject proficiency (current level of knowledge in various subjects)

  • The current level of knowledge in various subjects is the second most crucial aspect of designing your schedule or plan.
  • The time you spend per subject for the reading & revision depends upon your basic knowledge of the particular subject.
  • Strengths vs weaknesses: Appreciate your strengths, and identify your weaknesses, so you can fill up the gaps in your knowledge.

Which order should you choose subjects & topics to study?

  • Bigger or Longer-term vs smaller or shorter-term memory subjects :
    1. Study Bigger or longer-term memory subjects early.
    2. Study smaller or Shorter-term memory subjects late.
  • The time you spend per subject depends upon:
    1. Your basic knowledge in the subject (Cover weak areas first → go to your stronger areas→ returning at the end of your entire review to those subjects you once considered your weak areas).
    2. Tougher subjects/topics first → easier ones later.
    3. Plan to spend more time on those subjects that gave you trouble, and less time on your strong subjects.
  • Highly yield subjects & topics should be given more importance.

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4. Regular Revisions to improve recall:

  • Revision is the key to recall (revise all the older topics in the last 1-2 months &  try to avoid reading any new topics before).
  • Full understanding and knowledge can grow deeper with persistence, routine, and practice.
  • Revise all topics regularly (5 revisions will be optimal but minimum 3 revisions are essential).

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5. Practice tests regularly & attempt mock tests:

  • Practice tests regularly aid in the following:
    1. Diagnose your competence (strengths and weaknesses) in the subjects & exam-taking skills for FMGE.
    2. To maximize your efficiency of learning (70/20/10 Model of Lombardo and Eichinger) during your FMGE preparation.
    3. To practice time management (speed) in FMGE.
    4. To improve accuracy & increase the confidence level in FMGE.
    5. To desensitize the exam anxiety (increase the familiarity with the online platform) in FMGE.

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  • Tests to be practiced:
    1. Chapter-wise/subject wise/Module-wise practice tests.
    2. Previous years (FMGE MCQs + NBE MCQs) Question Papers: must practice on a regular basis (Read more about the Reasons to practice past papers).
    3. Attempt FMGE mock tests regularly to boost your confidence level, sharpen accuracy & aid in time management.
      • The optimal number of mocks/week: 2 full-length FMGE mocks/week will be Optimal however a minimum of 1 full-length FMGE mocks/week will be required.
      • What to start practicing the mocks? Start practicing mock exams as early as possible otherwise at least 6-8 weeks before your exam.

Grab the Best Qbank for the FMGE 2020 ↓

 

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