In the spring of 2020, the world changed. The way we all did business and went to school systematically changed. Along with it, so did the way tests and examinations were conducted. In the wake of the pandemic, online learning or virtual study became a necessary way of life with many colleges across the nation solely operating online.
For the countless dental students studying for virtual exams, some changes to your study habits may help you get more out of virtual learning and thrive.
Identify Your Virtual Study Style
Before going further on the topic, it’s important to contemplate your personal study style. You might not exactly know what your learning style is, so here is a breakdown of some of the most common styles:
These students prefer to learn by hearing or listening. They are generally more successful when they can listen to lectures.
These students strongly prefer to read information in order to learn and generally do better taking written notes or typed notes. They prefer PowerPoints or printed handouts.
Hands-on learners, who take a physically active role in the process of learning. This is also sometimes referred to as tactile learning.
Your in-person learning style will translate to your virtual learning style. Unfortunately, not all learning styles lend themselves to virtual learning as well as others. For some people, e-learning is much more challenging than for others.
However, there is no reason to get discouraged as it is possible to succeed no matter how you prefer to learn.
Exam Prep Tips For Dental Students
Now that we have considered what your virtual learning style could be, let’s look at some tips that may help you prepare for online exams.
Change Your Learning Style
In some cases, you might have to modify the way you learn to better fit e-learning. This isn't always easy. It’s a challenge, but hey, so is dental school. Here are some suggestions to help you modify how you learn to better fit today’s virtual learning demands.
Form Virtual Study Groups
Just because meeting in groups may be impossible, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from study groups. You simply have to switch from meeting in person to meeting virtually. Consider video conferencing with dedicated tools like Zoom or Google Meet.
Set up a Virtual Study Space
Create a space in your home that is dedicated to studying alone. This can be difficult because being online in and of itself can be distracting. Thankfully, there are some apps you can use to help stay on task, such as StayFocused, Pomodoro Timers and more. These apps allow you to set up guidelines during preset timeframes. Of course, if you are disciplined enough, you can do this for yourself by setting and sticking to a schedule with great study habits that don’t allow for distraction.
Search for a Mentor
Mentorship in any profession is important. Similarly, when you are getting ready to take your dental exams, speaking with someone who has been through it may be immensely helpful. Some dental societies offer mentoring programs. Look for online alternatives they may be offering to in-person events or services.
Start Thinking about Life after Dental School
This new world of online study, lectures, and exams is a particular challenge for professors and students of hands-on industries such as dentistry. We’re working with dental students, practicing dentists and retiring dentists across the country to help navigate this new normal, weather the challenges they’re facing and prepare for what’s still to come in your industry.
Still, it’s important to remember that life continues after dental school, and that brings its own kinds of challenges along with it.
Learn more about some things to do with your free copy of our post dental school survival guide.
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This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice.