More grades and a question

First pre-cal test - 84. I know it’s a B, but I don’t care for anything below an A. I guess I just have to work harder at math (it’s not the easiest subject for me), but I’m worried. I don’t know how it’s possible to squeeze any more study time in b/c of my children, who are only in daycare/pre-school for four hours a day. I study after they go to bed, and I study on weekends that I don’t work. I’ve been looking at croooz’s study tips post, and it’s quite helpful, but I’m wondering if anyone has any tips about finding the time and/or some sort of streamlined approach to studying. Thoughts? Suggestions? I really need to prove that stupid old bio professor wrong about not being able to do this just b/c I have kids.


Congrats on the excellent start with your grades. The key with a family is to maximize the balance. When you are studying you must free your mind from worrying about your family and kids. Likewise, when with your family you must not worry about your next calc exam, etc. I found the 90/30 or 50/10 rule to work best for me. I study with 100% focus for 50-90 minutes. Then I take a 10-30 minute break. This was difficult for me at first because I felt like I was “wasting” time, but I have to tell you my retention of material improved greatly. I use the 30 minute breaks when I’m studying at home on the weekends to do mini dates with my wife. Get creative with your break time and utilize it for fun activities with the family. Many of my colleagues in med school have kids, and in fact 3 of them have had their 2nd children during our 1st or 2nd year. It is tough, there will be sacrifice, but you don’t have to be a ghost. One more suggestion, stay focused on the “reason” for going into medicine to motivate and focus your studies, in lieu of “proving” to anyone that you can do it. I say this, as I believe you always perform better when acting due to reason instead of taking action on emotion. Emotion blurs focus. Once again, congrats on a great start. Breathe, Focus, Balance, Repeat. Best of Luck, Cheers.


In my experience, math is just a matter of work. You need to just keep practicing it until you have it. Spend as much time doing practice problems as possible. Write out all the work, and if you don’t get the answer in the back of the book go back through your math to figure out where you went wrong. Calc and pre-calc are much less math-y and more concepty. Lots of substituting, cancelling, etc.