The examinations finished When you study for the following?

This entrance comes with regard to the end of examinations of the first fourth month period in the UAM, where I give ORL classes.

The Medicine students of the UAM have been of examinations a little more 1 month, from mid December until this week. The ORL has been the last subject of those of 5º, as always in the last years, after more powerful subjects as the Orthopedic surgery or the Endocrinology. Sometimes I imagine same happening sweeps when already they have given the examination and left the classroom, to pick up the last fallen pieces of brain to the ground after similar intellectual effort.

I become the following question€¦


To grit or not to grit

Calm, calm! €¦ that certainly more than one has thought it in the middle of the time of examinations€¦ €œI do not return to leave as much the next time me€ €œdoes not give time me€ €œFulanito it began to study in October and it looks what good notes€€¦.

The things in the life become by different reasons: because you they order it your parents. Because all friendly do it thus. Because the professors say it. Because you think that he is the correct thing.

This last reason would have to be most important for an adult, and a university student already is an adult.

When he passed it bad in the partial examinations because he had left me neglected some subjects, he always thought €œThis time I begin to study in serious from already€, but never he fulfilled it. Why? Good, by the famous procrastination, because he did not have the habit and he did not know how to generate a new more favorable habit, and by the reflection of Pavlov (1)

My particular reflection of Pavlov consisted of which there was so many days seated to the table, studying worried and with remorses, that an agreement developed. When it returned to seat to me of the fourth month period with the new notes in the home, it gave to a sudden pain buttock/anxiety crisis me and it rose to me to make any other thing.

It was only able to return to seat I in serious when needed 1 month for the examinations, and by then already was behind schedule.

Some will say €œThat is solved with will force€. €œThe one that does not feel to study is a vague one€. Good, perhaps yes. Or perhaps the will force is not so simple to exert.


R. Baumeister is a University professor of psychology of Florida State University and its present investigation concentrates, among others subjects, in the automatic control, the self-esteem and the decision making. It has written numerous scientific articles and it has jumped to the fame by a book of spreading written along with J. Tierney (2). It has made arrive at the great public a few pearls about the €œforce of will€ that can help you to study better and with greater advance (if you want to know more, you can read this interview).

The automatic control depends on your reserves of energy. An expression of your reserves of energy is the glucose that you have stored and the one that you ingest with foods. As with the physical exercise, when you use your energies, your reserves fall, but you practice your automatic control frequently, his capacity increases.


In agreement the day passes we lose decision capacity. Any decision that we took, until pardons, more wears away our reserves of force of will of the day. This explains why to Obama it avoids to make decisions on his clothes or the food. According to it told Vanity Fair, it has gray and blue suits and only it leaves to other domestic subjects to his family and assistants. €œTreatment to reduce the decisions to the essential minimum. I have too many decisions that to take€. There you have a productivity secret.

After making many decisions your automatic control falls, and vice versa. If you have had a difficult day, by the take-night he is simpler than you let yourself take by the customary routine and make worse decisions.

For that reason he is advisable to simplify the routines and that is something that indeed much people do. In the case of a student, the decisions of life academic can be simple, but it agrees to simplify them to the maximum: it decides beforehand to what classes you will go and what classes you will lack, and where you are going to study (in the faculty, in the library of the hospital, at home). It chooses soon what book or collection of notes you will use to study. Thus you will have more €œforce of will€ available to manage to awhile study and thus to improve your preparation for the following examinations.

Other ways to maximize our capacity of control: in the short term, to eat and to rest. In the long term, to maintain an suitable feeding, regular rest and to make physical exercise. And it improves with the practice, as muscles.


You have thought what you are going to do after the last examinations? So that you save energies to the maximum, I propose a plan to you.

1. Tomato one week of rest for €œconvalescing€ and awarding you by the effort that you have made examinations in the last. It sleeps, reunites to you with friends, with relatives, sees the cinema, you do what more you like.

2. First month, programs reviews of notes with a simple initial objective: to have the notes good ordered by subject and to know what concepts have explained every day. To only know what has been explained, is not necessary to memorise it. Simply I propose to you that you become conscious of the material that you will have to handle in your next season of examinations.

For it, Pomodoros of Monday to Thursday uses and rests the week ends. If the first days you seem slow, it is learning curve. As everything, it requires practice to know how to go to the grain. It sees water, my friend.

3. Doing the previous thing during 1 month you have descondicionado yourself: no longer there is (as much) pain buttock when seating to you. Then, during the second month, you can tighten a little the accelerator and propose one first deliberate reading to you of the subjects that seem more complex (of each subject). For it Pomodoros uses and begins to elaborate flashcards. You can extend to some weekend (P. ex. weekend alternating).

4. Finally, to 1 month of the examinations, loose your machine to study to top. The following challenge, the following summit arrived, but already you go better equipped.

You do not forget essential tricks to conserve the energy and your appraised reserves of will force:

  • Small prizes and more prizes by each small taken step
  • Sport and exercise: they let grow neurons in your seahorse, essential region for the memory and the learning
  • Itself you cannot, looks for allies in class and you program together reviews.


Fernando de Rojas (1465-1541) Spanish Writer author of the Celestine.





2. Baumeister, R.F., & Tierney, J. (2011). Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. New York: Penguin Press.




Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

5 Commentaries
  • Marian
    Published to 22:17 h, 18 January To respond

    I already have intentions again cuatri thanks to this post!
    To for that reason!

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 11:27 h, 19 January To respond

      Therefore I like! To for that reason with force, and if to first it does not leave, to second or to third it will fall.

  • Johnny Wang
    Published to 21:01 h, 21 January To respond

    Brilliant the post! and brilliant the first class on study techniques! I am going to begin to put in practice this plan and this one time I am going to be who I gain the pulse to him to the following fourth month period!

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 11:46 h, 22 January To respond

      Thank you very much! As we will see ourselves weekly, you will already tell me how it goes to you.

      After the class I yesterday used the technique of the Pomodoro to work awhile in a thesis correction, and works! So ahead.
      The next week we will keep awake the secret of what type of student prevails more in the Medicine race€¦ and soon I will make a post on that 😉
      A greeting.

  • Aula Magna
    Published to 16:39 h, 04 May To respond

    Very good article. Thanks to share it with all, a greeting.

It publishes a commentary

This site uses Akismet to reduce the Spam. It learns how the data of your commentaries are processed.

Corporative image: Elena Altuna | Design Web: Marina Rodrigo