Staying Motivated During Board Exam Preparation Series – Part 2

Keep MotivatedIt is time to start studying for the Step 1 exam if you are planning to sit for it in May or June – if you have not already started. The question for many students is HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED??

Over the next few months, we will post articles to help with this. We will link to other posts on our site and to other sites for suggestions on how to stay motivated. A few weeks ago, we posted the first article in this series. To view Part 1 in this series on staying motivated for boards, go here:

These suggestions have been tested and work:

Ask your administration to help keep the class motivated with a reward for doing well on boards as a group. They could donate a few dollars to the class for a celebration at your success. It would also be great if administration could find and reserve places on campus for you to study in small groups and be minimally disturbed for 4-6 weeks. Administration would probably enjoy being asked by the class to become more involved in motivating their students to do well on boards and bond with the group in their efforts. A couple of meetings during board preparation season to serve as pep rallies for success would bring everyone together for a common cause and provide the energy so many need to keep going toward their goal. With student ideas and a little encouragement, you will be pleasantly surprised at the response of administration in supporting your ideas.

Everyone has to have their inspiration. And music is great to give you that lift and make you feel like you can conquer the world. Try something that really gets you moving and encourages you. Some of the tried and true anthems are by Queen and just seem to work for every generation. “We are the Champions,” ”We will Rock You,” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” are Queen favorites that remain at the top of the list. Then when you finish an assignment, sing along to “Another One Bites the Dust” as the ultimate send off to conquering that subject. Gloria Estefan’s “Reach” is tamer but an anthem that many find will help them find another morsel of motivation to ignore the temptations of fun and sun to instead take time to work toward that ultimate goal of doing superbly on Step 1 or Step 2. For the country music lover, “How Much Do you Want It” by Tim McGraw is pretty awesome for that motivational kick. Another rock song, “Don’t Stop Believin'" by Journey is another piece that would work great as a motivating anthem. The New Radicals song, “You Get What You Give” says it all merely in the title and listening to it in its entirety can help energize you when you plateau. Blue October’s “Jump Rope” reminds us that life is filled with ups and downs and you will feel them poignantly during board preparations. Have some fun with your inspirations and embed them into your journey to becoming a physician. Let others know what songs motivate you during your board preparations. We can make a playlist for everyone and post it.

It may not make sense immediately, but as you progress through months of preparation for Step 1 or Step 2, taking photos of your progress and looking back at them will help you realize how much work you have committed to your efforts. Looking back on how much growth you have made can bring you comfort. The joy of studying with classmates, the notes generated on the board in group study room, the mess you created from getting organized for your preparations can all help you appreciate your hard work. Looking fondly and humorously at those moments can keep you motivated for the next few weeks of studying. The photos help surface moments of bonding among classmates, the amount of expansion and consolidation of knowledge, and the huge gains in testing skills. Capturing moments such as starting your question bank, getting half way through prep videos, getting your new First Aid book, or finishing your First Aid for the first pass are a few suggestions for documenting and creating a book for motivating your board preparation activities. Motivational quotes would also be a great addition to your memory book.
Here are some inspirational quotes for you:“Life at any time can become difficult. Life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how one adjusts oneself to life.” Morarji Desai“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” Les Brown“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.” Louis Pasteur

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.” Les Brown

Continue to check back for additional suggestions for staying motivated during board preparations and check out our tweets for more inspiration.


One Response to “Staying Motivated During Board Exam Preparation Series – Part 2”

  1. medstudent says:

    Did DIT ever make that motivational songs playlist?

    If so, let me know where it is?


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