In medical school, most of my peers and I tended to be people who excelled in school from elementary school through college without any special assistance. However, med school can be a game-changer, and sometimes we find ourselves needing to reexamine our approach. In particular, medical licensing exams are different than anything encountered before. The sheer volume of material that one is expected to assimilate is typically greater than even students from the most demanding undergraduate disciplines have ever encountered. Couple that with organizing the material in order to apply it on marathon-long eight hour tests — sometimes spanning two days — and it’s easy to see why intelligent people who were always good students can sometimes benefit from expert help.
There are many benefits to having a private tutor. Especially one who has achieved very high scores, comes from a top medical school, and has developed compassion and understanding through extensive teaching and tutoring experience. Below I will list some of the specific things you can expect from your experience working one-to-one with a tutor.
1. Information that never made sense in your medical coursework will begin to make sense.
If you ever found yourself regurgitating information on exams during the first two years of medical school without really understanding it, it may be difficult to use that information to answer more complex questions on the USMLE or COMLEX. Your tutor will help recognize and fill in any gaps in your understanding of the major principles of modern medicine. This is something that you will take with you through your entire career.
2. You will learn better study habits that will make you a better lifelong learner.
This is a crucial skill in medicine. Although as a med student you're most likely already pretty adept at studying, even you may not be fully prepared to keep up with the rapid pace at which medical science is advancing today. Making sure your study habits are optimal can make everything feel more manageable.
3. You will get a detailed study schedule with specific assignments for each day.
You and your tutor will tailor this schedule to your specific needs, and make sure that it is flexible enough to modify if things are not working as smoothly as expected, or if you discover an unexpected knowledge gap. If you're not sure how to organize your studying and and also remain happy and healthy, tutors will keep that in mind and help you plan everything out. We will help you schedule your time to maximize your success on exam day while maintaining your sanity and humanity.
4. You will learn better test-taking skills.
Many students have issues with time management on tests. If you think you're one of them, and don’t know what to do when you don't know the answer to an exam question, private tutors teach you strategies that will help you on your licensing exams. These problem-solving skills will last a lifetime.
5. Expert troubleshooting.
You will have an expert in your corner to help you troubleshoot your problem areas as well someone to help you figure out what the obstacles are when you are struggling.
6. You will work hard.
Your tutor will help with your study schedule, test taking strategies, and knowledge gaps, but you will be the one putting in the work. You will be expected to follow the schedule, show up to scheduled tutoring sessions, and speak up when there is a problem. You will put in long days. Make no mistake — getting help from a tutor will not make exam prep easier per se. However, it will make it more effective.