I don´t know if “active studying” is actually an existing term, but it is the definitely the best learning technique. For me, active studying is something what makes all learning, amusing and exciting. Human body is very complicated but connected complex. If you learn one thing then other thing starts making a sense because parts of the human body are in the relations. It is a fascinating but also intimidating at the same time.
When, I study, I am trying to put things into relations, visualize it and draw it. It can be time consuming, but I guarantee to you that you will have no amnesia at the test or if you will, you get out of it pretty quickly. The most important thing is that we learn for our future life and job, not only for passing an exam. When you cram all terms and then you are on exam it happens easily that you forget something. But your brain have nothing to hold on because you just learned words. If you studied with drawing, visualizing and relations, you can forget one thing but you get back to it, through realtion with other structures or visualising a picture.
This technique is very helpful if you study biology, anatomy, or even chemistry. I am sure you can use this technique also if you study other field, not only medicine. Here are some tips for active learning:
It does not matter if you draw like an artist or 6-years old child. With some practice also yours pictures will get better. You can draw picture and then makes arrows to point on important parts and writes a names. Use a lots of colors and coloring techniques. You know the antistress coloring books? Drawing is kind of anti-stressing what helps you focus more on the studying. If you learn anatomy there is Netter´s Coloring Book which can helps you remember anatomy better.
If you have a visual memory this can be key technique for you. After drawing an image try to remember it. You can try remembering also pictures from books and textbooks. When you are visualising something , you are using other parts of your brain than when you are just learning text. It can helps you remember better and in more details. When, I study an anatomy, I found out that good thing how to rememer origins and insertions of the muscles is to imagine them on yourself.
A lots of people that decide to go study a medicine like science. And science is greatly about a logic. My point is that when you study try make logical connections between things you study. You remember, how a proffesor on the exam got from you things you did not know you know about? He was leading you the direction he wanted in order to makes you make good connections between the things and get into the major point.
Stay curious and ask “Why”
I know that a lot of times you can feel overwhelmed with the volume of study materials and stress from exams. Try keep your passion and enjoy learning about a new things. It is new, it is exciting and sometimes intimidating, but stay positive as much as possible. Relax to restore your energy and fast back to the studying. Also you know when you are telling someone something interesting from the medicine or science he/she asks: why? Why is it like that? And sometimes you don´t really know, you learned but you did not think about it more deeply. When you study try to stay curious, why are things like that and studying will stay still interesting.
Repeat like you are teaching someone
When, you are repeating what you learned, try to imagine like you are explaining it to someone. It can helps you to learn it more deeply. You can also imagine that you are talking about it on the exam in front of the professor what can also decrease your stress from the real exam.