Tips to Top the Class in Dentistry

October 04, 2022


Dentist equipment.

Image source: Unsplash

Dental school, just like other medical schools, isn’t an easy task. There are tonnes of things to remember, procedures to follow, types of equipment to know, assessments, coursework, and the list goes on and on. 

Graduating at the top of the class might seem impossible - only if you don’t know the way. Don’t worry, this article will guide you to the pinnacle!

1. Take notes.

Book and pen.

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The advice sounds so basic, yet it is true. Almost everyone jots down their lectures but not everyone aces their papers. So, how is this advice supposed to be helpful?

First, Many mistakenly jot down their notes simply for the sake of jotting them down. The thing about taking a good note is to jot it down in a way that is easy for you to refer to later.

Second, you must know what kind of notes to write and when.

During lectures, it is advisable for you to write thorough notes, an encapsulation of almost everything taught in the classroom. Thorough notes are important here since your mind is still trying to grasp new concepts that may be forgotten.

Simple notes are great for when you are trying to revise what you have learned. At this point, your mind is more familiarised with the concepts so you can omit a few details to save your notebook some space.

2. Know which strategy suits you best.

Student strategising in front of the whiteboard.

Image source: Unsplash

Every person has different preferences in consuming information.

Some people can only absorb information when being pressured, some in the morning, some at night, some need music, and some need silence, it’s a different process for everyone. 

Simply put, everyone has different ways of studying effectively. There is no one-for-all approach. The key is to know which strategy suits you best, and to know it fast!

3. Lecture yourself.

One way of thoroughly understanding something is to teach it, but it can come with its own challenges: sometimes you are shy, sometimes you can’t find anyone to teach and sometimes you are afraid you might misguide people with your teachings.

All of that can be eliminated with one simple step - by teaching yourself! Just lecture yourself out loud about everything you have learned in the day.

4. Don’t spend all your time on dentistry.

Jogger on a running trail.

Image source: Unsplash

Sounds ironic, but that’s the truth. Many stress themselves way too much to rank high in class that their mind is too stressed to even perform.

Dentistry is stressful, so you should find something to take your mind off it as a mental break - painting, sports, reading comics, or watching movies are simple and enjoyable activities. They will help to relieve your mind of all the stress it acquired from studying, assignments, and others.

However, remember to  set a boundary and learn to balance between the two. In simpler words, don’t overdo your short breaks. 

5. Acronyms are great for memorising.

Scrabble tiles.

Image source: Unsplash

In dentistry, you will need to memorise a lot of anatomies, components, equipment, and others. Creating acronyms to memorise all the names will definitely help you a lot.

The key is to keep your acronyms ‘database’ simple by only making acronyms for parts that are difficult for you. Just make sure you can remember what the letters actually mean!

An example of acronyms that the readers may be familiar with is Roy B. Giv. No, that’s not a person. It is an acronym used to memorise the colour sequence of rainbows: R.O.Y.B.G.I.V. (red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo, and violet) -  It’s as easy as that!

6. Quiz yourself.

Multiple choice answer sheet.

Image source: Unsplash

Do you realise how when an examination ends, you will suddenly understand almost everything that you were struggling to answer before?

That’s the nervousness messing with your memories - and not to forget, the shock of discovering how hard the exams actually are.

Spare yourselves and prepare your mind to face the examinations by answering past examination questions or quizzes. 

Keeping a set of flashcards full of simple questions would also be helpful. It is less tedious than answering exam papers and you can revise anywhere - at the gym, on your bed, or even while showering! (Just make sure it is waterproof). 

For quizzes, we would suggest you explore the various quiz sets available in Quizlet - and yes, they have dentistry questions too! 

All in all, dentistry requires dedication - both in your studies and in yourselves. Keep on learning and revising but don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health, you’ll ace it for sure. 


Written by: Engku M. Fakhruddin

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