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5 tips to Juggle Your Clinical Placements and Exam Preparation
  • 05 Feb 2024
  • Medical Revision

A medical degree is renowned for its demanding nature, not just because of the challenging content you need to learn, but because of the massive amount of content you need to know. However, this Is not the only challenge medical students face, they’re required to balance this massive workload with clinical placements.

Clinical placements are periods of time where students work under qualified physicians to practice working in various settings under different specialities, allowing students to witness what they’ve been learning in a real-life setting. However, when exam season comes around, it can be extremely difficult to manage placement and revision. So, we wanted to create a blog sharing some advice on how you balance your workload.

1. Create a study plan.

A detailed timetable for your revision and clinical placement shifts is an excellent way to ensure you can cover all the exam content before the exam dates. By adding your shifts to a planner, you can allocate your time effectively. If you want to go the extra mile, set topics you would like to study within your spare time slots to remove the struggle of remembering what topics you have revised and what you haven’t yet covered. Some of our favourite time management apps include:

  • Google Calendar: This is the #1 digital calendar app in the world. You can embed links, quickly change the schedule if necessary and colour code your schedule to ensure you can get to your shifts on time, revise effectively and have time to socialise in between!

  • AI: Reclaim.AI is a time management app that is paired with your Google Calendar, removing the headache of allocating your timeslots yourself. This time-blocking app will add everything to your schedule, whilst taking into consideration the tasks you already have in your calendar. For example, if you realise you haven’t factored in an exam that’s coming up in four weeks. You can give reclaim a due date and a time allocation of how many hours you need per week to get this task done… and voila! Reclaim will integrate your new task into your schedule without disrupting your previous arrangements.


  • Pomofocus: Pomofocus is a time-allocation app that allows you to maximise productivity by setting short spaces of time to maximise focus. Based on the Pomodoro method (One of the most popular time management methods ever) this app allows you to split your time into allocations of pure focus and small breaks. This psychological trick helps individuals to get the most out of their free time between their shifts whilst considering breaks med students deserve.


2. Look after your well-being.

Although this sounds self-explanatory, you would be surprised how many people sacrifice their well-being to manage their time effectively. A great example of this is when people reduce the amount of sleep they get to get to their shifts on time and cram revision late at night into their schedule. When in reality, you’re reducing your cognitive function and memory by ignoring the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep for an adult per night! To learn more, read our blog, on How Sleep Can Impact Your Academic Performance.

3. Set Realistic Goals

One of the typical struggles of balancing time is people are not realistic with their goals. They forget that alongside working and studying, they need time to relax, socialise and live their lives! So, when you’re creating your social calendar, it’s more beneficial to overestimate how much time you will need per task you want to complete. By giving yourself a bit more time than you think you need, you can make sure to hit your goals and have some extra time for whatever you want once your daily tasks are done.

4. Remain consistent.

Another mistake many medical students make is deciding not to revise at the start of the year and trying to pick up the slack later. By doing this, you put yourself at risk of burnout later in the year as you underestimated the difficulty of the challenge you set yourself. It’s more beneficial to set smaller, more manageable goals over the entire year so you aren’t working around the clock, walking straight out of your medical placement and straight to the library as you’re constantly playing catch-up with yourself during exam season.

This can have a serious impact on your mental health, so be sure to get into a rhythm at the start of the year for the most effective results when revising. For more invaluable advice on looking after your well-being as a medical professional, please read our blog, Well-being Micro Steps Created for Healthcare Workers.

5. Time management

The Pastest app is a great resource to help you stay organised and efficient with your time as you can revise anywhere, whether that be on a lunch break or on the bus whilst travelling to your clinical placement. The app offers all the features offered on our website and has removed the headache of taking a laptop with you to revise. By utilising great features such as the QBank, you can consolidate your knowledge on the go. Furthermore, all the Pastest materials are specific to the exams you’re sitting ensuring a tailored approach to your revision wherever you are.

You can also filter the questions by topic, unseen questions, or questions you have previously got wrong, making sure your revision is always focused on your strengths and weaknesses, creating a personalised revision experience no matter where you are.

Download the Pastest app!



  • 05 Feb 2024
  • Medical Revision