The Uphill Battle for Every Pre-Med Student

Every year, thousands of students attempt to do the near-impossible: gain entry into medicine or dentistry. Due to overwhelming competition, getting good grades doesn’t cut it anymore; in fact, medical and dental schools typically recommend an ATAR of 99.00 as a minimum result to stay competitive (and let’s not forget about a 90th percentile in the UCAT). And oh yes, there’s still the voluntary work required to help you develop the traits of a desirable candidate. ‘Difficult’ doesn’t even begin to describe the challenge ahead.

If only we could somehow slow down time!

Everyone's Struggle: Doing a Lot but Not Getting a Lot Done

Here’s the thing: according to our recent surveys of Year 10s and 11s, a typical student spends 3–4 hours per weekday (and around 4–5 hours per day on the weekend) studying for their school subjects. These numbers skyrocket in the weeks before or during exams. That’s approximately 30 hours committed to the pursuit of academic excellence every week.

At a glance, ‘grinding’ is a widely accepted (and even celebrated) notion. By investing a lot of time and effort into your academic pursuits, you will be guaranteed future success. Furthermore, commonly used phrases like ‘short-term pain, long-term gain’ or ‘go the extra mile’ resonate with the mentality of hard-working students, supporting the idea that by doing more than others, you will come out on top.

Sure, that all makes sense… but how much of the time you spend ‘studying’ is actually constructive?

According to our research, most students rate their normal study efficiency at around 60% of their optimal capacity. However, after further investigation, the real figure is closer to 19–26% efficiency. That’s right—a typical high-achieving student takes roughly five times longer to achieve the same result than if they were studying at optimal efficiency. In other words, for the 30 hours per week they spend on ‘studying’, they only produce around 7 hours’ worth of real output.

No wonder students are always time-poor. They are doing a lot, but without getting much done.

Here’s another fact: in the long term, an inefficient study approach cultivates permanent habits of procrastination and demotivation. The latter leads to more of the former, and the former leads to more of the latter. If unaddressed, this cycle leads to poor results, greater uncertainty and less confidence to strive for your goals, both inside and outside the classroom.

The Solution: Correcting and Resetting How You Study

Hoping for more hours in a day is just wishful thinking. However, iCanMed has an alternative solution that can be equally effective, if not significantly better. Let me introduce you to iCanStudy, the ultimate study skills coaching provider.

iCanStudy has spent seven long years looking into every nook and cranny to understand every source of inefficiency. The highly qualified team has then committed themselves to re-imagining how learning works by applying an innovative blend of psychology, neuroscience and the latest learning theories to the study habits of average students. The results are nothing short of remarkable.

When iCanStudy’s methods were tested by 147 high school students, the average improvement in study efficiency over eight weeks was 200%, with some students improving by up to 600% over five months.

Imagine spending 2 hours a day studying (instead of your usual 4 hours per weekday) and still topping the class for every subject. You would be saving 15 hours a week, and 60 hours a month. Even better, once you become familiar with these new ways of studying, your efficiency grows in a truly exponentially fashion to reach peak efficiency: spending 5 hours on what would have otherwise taken 15 hours of study. The best part? The students noticed an equally drastic improvement in the acquisition, retention and application of knowledge in test conditions.

Free holiday webinars (exclusively for iCanMed students):

Introducing Dr Justin Sung, your speaker:

Dr Justin Sung is a University of Auckland graduate, former medical doctor and certified teacher. He is the founder of the educational companies JTT and Finding Gravity, as well as the host of SubCut, a medical podcast, and Bigger Plate, a podcast on efficiency. Justin has extensively studied and applied the neuroscience and psychology behind student learning and now works in both the medical and education space, partnering with schools, district health boards and other organisations to teach students about the medical career and empowering them with the skills to learn more efficiently. Justin’s learning strategies are distinctive in that they are rooted in the latest research but have been heavily adapted for practicality and student-friendliness.

Justin has worked with thousands of students through his speaker events, courses and workshops, and has privately coached students to dramatically enhance their studying efficiency.

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