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Aug 25, 2017 10:09:10 AM | By: Mary Simon

The Secret Ingredient

Every time exams approach, I do my best to thoroughly prepare by studying all of my notes a few times. Even with putting in hours of studying, the reality is that I will never know everything! I used to struggle with this fact, but coming to accept it and developing the secret ingredient -- intuition -- has helped my studying and exam-taking habits.


Intuition can help get you through when you feel like you have nothing left to give. Using your gut instincts, even when words and concepts seem unfamiliar, helps access deeply stored information that you don't even realize you have. In a few classes, the idea of developing intuition has been discussed, not only for student-life but also to use in practice.

Intuition comes into play both during studying and test taking. When I study, I use my intuition to guide me in what questions or concepts are the most likely to be tested. I then spend more time on that material to memorize it, or I use techniques to connect the information in logical ways to easily access the information.

Intuition during exams is the second aspect. Since the vast majority of assessments at NUHS are multiple choice to prepare us for taking board exams, using intuition to sort through the remaining answers after eliminating some choices based on knowledge is better than randomly guessing.

This week I have three quizzes/exams in Botanical Medicine IV, Internal Medicine, and Environmental Medicine. I've been studying consistently for the past 4 or 5 days, but with the volume of information presented in every class, it's not realistic to expect myself to memorize everything. I always rely on my intuition, in addition to knowledge, to get me through!

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