Everyone has a different study style. Understanding yours is essential to optimize your preparation for — and performance on — the board exam.

To better appreciate how this works, we investigated how physicians study. Our conclusion? Most people fall into one of three basic categories: Planner, Crammer, or Episodic Studier.

Check out the table below to find your study style. You may recognize yourself in more than one of these descriptions. That’s okay. Choose the one that fits you best. Then, download the corresponding study guide for a closer look at your study style and to review helpful strategies for more effective exam preparation.

You can also check out our General Study Guide, which includes tips for all types of studiers.

PlannerCrammerEpisodic Studier
Do you tend to plan ahead and stick to your schedule? If you’re a Planner, you likely plug the exam date into your calendar far in advance. Then you find ways to build regular study time into your hectic schedule. By taking a systematic approach to the material over the course of many months, you can generally cover a good deal of the material.Do you cram? Crammers know they perform well under pressure, and they apply the same approach to studying. As a Crammer, you likely carve out time for studying closer to the test, then give it your full focus. You look for a streamlined approach that makes the most of your time.Study when you can? You may be an Episodic Studier. With so many demands in your busy life, you’re an expert at squeezing in your study time — a weekend while the family is away, an occasional afternoon blocked off, while traveling, or even a few minutes carved out while you’re on the go.
Fill out a form and download our study guide, just for Planners.Fill out a form and download our study guide, just for Crammers.Fill out a form and download our study guide, just for Episodic Studiers.