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5 Ways to Enhance Active Recall for FMG Exam Preparation

Feb 26, 2024

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#1 Mock Tests

#2 Reverse Outlining 

#3 Group Study Sessions

#4 Mnemonics 

#5 Flashcards 

5 Ways to Enhance Active Recall for FMG Exam Preparation

Hello Aspirants! You know what’s more crucial than thorough FMG exam preparation? It's active recall! 

What is that? Well, it is a study technique that requires stimulating memory by retrieving information from memory rather than reviewing it passively. In other words, it is actively trying to remember your study material on your own without looking at your notes. This way you actively challenge your brain to recall the studied material. 

By practicing active recall you can achieve enhanced retention of information, gain an achieved understanding of concepts, and identify your knowledge gaps. To reap the benefits of active recall, you can use different techniques. Below, we've outlined five major ways to do this: 

#1 Mock Tests

Engaging in mock exams before fully mastering a topic may seem counterintuitive, but it's a strategic move that boosts your memory recall and eases exam anxiety. When you subsequently study the topic after attempting a mock test you will be able to recognize the depth of information needed to attempt the real exam. 

In most exams, you will come up with questions that will appear repeatedly and that is when you will be able to actively recall at appropriate times of difficulty. Mock tests can significantly enhance active recall by simulating the conditions of the actual exam and providing opportunities for retrieval practice. 

Start taking FMGE mock tests before mastering a topic. YES! Flip the method of learning. 

Last-minute exam breakdowns and confusion are normal but not necessary! Practice tests mimic real-life exam conditions and when you take these you gain confidence and an edge over others who do not. 

Learn the role of FMGE mock test for scoring high in the exam

In addition to the mock tests, you can also practice clinical questions from our QBank which is India’s only clinical bank

#2 Reverse Outlining 

Reverse outlining is a technique where you summarize a piece of text in your own words after reading it. You create an outline of the main points or arguments in reverse order. It helps with active recalling because it makes you actively engage with the information, organize it, and retrieve key points from memory. 

Here’s how to practice the reverse outlining method for active recalling- 

  • Read the material- Anything from lecture, notes, textbook, etc.
  • Identify Main Points- Key concept being discussed.
  • Create an Outline- Use bullet points or headings to organize. 
  • List supporting details- Under each heading and subheading/ elaborate the main idea that further explains the main idea. 
  • Arrange points in a logical order- This promotes memorizing the flow of information in a logical order, and thereafter arranging it.
  • Quiz yourself- Recall the important points and the supporting details to reinforce your understanding and memory of the material.
  • Check Accuracy by comparing it to the original text- Fill in the gaps by finding out the areas where you have struggled to recall information. 
  • Repeat as Needed- Repeat the same process for different sections of the material. The more you practice the better you become at it. 

By incorporating this technique into your study routine, you can enhance your comprehension, retention, and recall of the material, ultimately improving your performance in exams and assessments.

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#3 Group Study Sessions

Studying in groups promotes enhanced learning and retention of information compared to those who study alone.

Group study sessions engage you in a deeper level of understanding as you're actively engaged in articulating and discussing information, which leads to a deeper understanding of the material. Articulating information forces the teacher to organize their thoughts coherently, identify knowledge gaps, and clarify complex concepts. 

On the contrary, if you are in the habit of studying alone, you can try explaining the concepts to yourself or maybe teach an imaginary audience. As you mentally prepare to teach a topic, you're compelled to organize the material coherently and systematically which further reinforces your memory of the material.

And, when you recall information and coherently explain concepts, you reinforce neural connections associated with knowledge. This process strengthens your memory retrieval pathways, making it easier to recall the information in the future.

#4 Mnemonics 

Mnemonics help process complex information in an organized manner. By transforming complex or abstract concepts into vivid and memorable mental images, phrases, or acronyms, mnemonics create distinct memory cues that can be easily retrieved during active recall. 

Mnemonics provide a dual coding system by combining verbal cues (such as words or phrases) with visual imagery, thereby activating multiple memory channels and increasing the likelihood of successful recall.

Some examples of mnemonics: 

  1. Types of Leukocytes (White Blood Cells): "Never Let Monkeys Eat Bananas"
  1. Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism: "HOT T3"

Heat intolerance, increased Oxygen consumption, Tachycardia, Tremor, Thyroid enlargement (goiter)

Mnemonics break down complex information into smaller, more manageable chunks. Our working memory has limited capacity, and chunking allows us to process larger amounts of information by organizing it into meaningful groups. 

You can find several video lectures on PrepLadder where educators have used mnemonics to explain complex topics. You can watch conceptual video lectures on Pharmacology made easier with mnemonics to get an idea on how mnemonic techniques can help in active recall. 

Also, you can also come up with your personalized mnemonics to memorize things better.  

#5 Flashcards 

Using flashcards is a well-established cognitive strategy that will help strengthen memory and promote long-term retention. When you attempt to answer a question on a flashcard, you stimulate the retrieval of stored knowledge, making it more readily accessible in the future.

Treasures employs the use of engaging flashcards for last-minute active recalling and quick memorization. When you attempt to answer a question on a flashcard, you stimulate the retrieval of stored knowledge, making it more readily accessible in the future. The repeated practice of retrieving information from memory through flashcards strengthens the encoding of that information in long-term memory. 

As a result, flashcards are not only effective for last-minute review and quick memorization but also contribute to durable learning outcomes over time.

Remember, effective preparation is the key to success. By incorporating these five smart strategies to enhance active recall into your study routine, you're taking proactive steps to boost your FMG exam preparation

At PrepLadder, we're dedicated to supporting your journey towards success. Dive into our comprehensive learning resources and unlock your full potential. Time to conquer the FMG exam together!

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Auther Details

Nikita Thakur

Nikita Thakur is a Content Specialist at PrepLadder. She is known for her writeups that meticulously guide medical aspirants through the intricate maze of medical exam prep.

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