Acing the INBDE exam is a daunting task! How do you tackle such a goal? Turns out effective goal setting can make or break your study session. Many professionals use these strategies to get the most out of their day. Here are 5 common mistakes and how to fix them:

Problem One: “I am going learn all of anatomy today.”

We’ve all been there. We make grand, amazing statements about how accomplished our future selves are. But how on earth do you do that?

Solution One: Chop those goals down. Make them specific – “I am going to memorize the muscles of the cheek today.” It’s still challenging, but now you’ve set up clear steps for yourself.

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Problem Two: “I’m getting nowhere.”

Dazed in your material? Staring out the window? Words blurring together? With so many resources it can feel like you’re just running in place.

Solution Two: Make sure the goals are measurable. “I am going to complete a practice test and then take a snack break.” Establish small benchmarks so that you know when you’ve attained your goal. This will help keep you satisfied through the study process and feel the success of what you’re doing – it’s working!

 

Problem Three: “I’m going to get through five FKs today.”

Five FKs is very ambitious. You might be able to do this as a quick review day, but is it really achievable the first time through? Is that effective?

Solution Three: You’ve been through school, you’ve taken many tests, you know your study strengths and weaknesses. Trust this. Create goals that are attainable. Make sure they push you, but that with effort it is something you can do.

 

Problem Four: “I’m going to memorize 100 bacteria so that I dominate microbiology.”

You may have been a microbiology major, you may love microbiology, your significant other may love microbiology. While this is fantastic, it isn’t the biggest focus of this exam.

Solution Four: It’s great to be fascinated with so many things – embrace the nerd. However, this exam is on big picture concepts that are important for basic dentistry. Keeping your goals relevant to the task at hand will help you stay on track. It may not be your favorite unit, but if it’s a large part of the test devote your time to that.

 

Problem Five: “I’ve still gotta get through Dental Anatomy and Occlusion.”

Sometime, maybe this weekend? Hopefully before the test?

Solution Five: Keep a timeline. Somewhat like keeping a budget. Set up mini deadlines for yourself. B&B provides an excellent study schedule, but events and outside life can sometimes get in the way. Use calendars, reminders, apps, anything to help you keep on track.

 

You’ve got this – write down your goals for this week and open those books!

Written by Dr. Kerri Lyons

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