It’s my turn. Boards are just around the corner. In optometry school, the NBEO exams come in three parts. The first part, a test of your knowledge on classes taken while in school, is supposed to be the hardest. In order to prepare, I’ve chosen to purchase a study tool called KMK. Part of the package is that live instructors come to the school for two weekends for a crash course in boards studying. Those weekends were some of the busiest and most stressful weekends I’ve had in school thus far because I also had clinic those days. In case this happens to you, I’ve developed a few techniques which may help you make it through awake and ready to go!
This was a must for me. I move around a lot in my chair when I study, and during KMK weekend, you will be doing a lot of sitting in the same spot. I was a big fan of leggings, a big sweatshirt, and cozy socks. Just make sure it won’t make you too sleepy!
2. Meal Prep
Due to the fact that I had to go right from clinic each day, it really was a non-stop weekend. Meal prepping the Thursday night before made a big difference for me. I could just grab what I made and head out the door. Granted, I was eating basically the same thing for 3 days in a row, but I would still stand by it for your own sanity.
A lot of my classmates were able to sleep in on Friday or Saturday if they didn’t have clinic, but regardless, making sure you get enough sleep is a huge deal. You really want to make sure your mind is sharp and that you are paying attention the whole weekend. You’d be surprised by how tough it is to do so much thinking.
4.Snacks on snacks on snacks
Part of what helped me pay attention (and kept me awake when we were hitting the tenth hour or so) was snacking. An upperclassman recommended healthy snacks, which I appreciated; I think it avoided any unnecessary sugar crashes. The KMK instructors did bring candy, though, if you need some extra sweets.
This may seem silly because you’re already going to be in that one room for the entire weekend, but arriving early was also a big thing. It was nice to get myself settled and ready to go for when the instructor started. Also, people became very attached to their seats, so getting there a little early may help you out if you like to keep your spot the same every day.
Bottom line: make sure you make the most of KMK weekend. It is exhausting, but there is a lot of information you learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and add suggestions along the way.