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study aid/program/software???

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by mossyfiber12, Dec 25, 2007.

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  1. mossyfiber12

    mossyfiber12

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    Hey everyone,

    I have been wondering how everyone crams so much information in the little time that you have as med students? I have had a pretty hard time getting B+/A- in college. Granted I just crammed like most people, it definitely doesn't work well enough for me to use it effectively in medical school.

    I was wondering if you guys any sort study aid or softwares to help you manage your notes or that schedules a study plan for you?

    I did a search on google and I came up with SuperMemo and RecallPlus. Has anyone used this software to organize their notes and pinpoint their weaknesses?

    Any
    information would be helpful. I hope you all are having a relaxing holiday :)
  2. hb2998

    hb2998

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    I honestly spent way too much time looking for tools to help me save time than using those tools actually did.

    There is so much material that you just have to learn it how its presented. Reorganizing just takes too much time and effort.

    I bought a Tablet PC, but went back to the basics (writting notes on paper).
    Papers never crash, papers can be studied everywhere, they don't need to be booted up, etc.

    I bought a PDA to schedule my tasks and have everything synced up with google calendar using goosync.com, but it takes longer to plan for me than to just do it and get it done.

    It took me a while, but I (think) finally figured it out. The most effective way to study for me is to maximize the amount of time a book is in front of my face. To organize material you need to know it first, if you already know it.. well you gotta move on to the other stuff you don't know yet.
  3. Twitch

    Twitch

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    Here is how we do the whole google calendar thing. We use a publish/subscribe method. One person in the class sets it up and updates the class calendar if there are any changes (which usu there isn't on a regular basis). The effort is just at the start of the semester. That person is the publisher / keeper. Others in the class subscribe to the google calendar online.

    IMHO tools are great, but the key is to leverage distributive power since med school is a great target for this (e.g. everyone in MS1 follows the same class schedule). Ofcourse, the key for this is a collaborative environment.
  4. mossyfiber12

    mossyfiber12

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    Thanks for the replies. :)

    I keep hearing group studying is the way to go but I have never really worked in groups. Seems like every time the meeting dissolves into couple of us sharing jokes and being inefficient.

    I guess time spent infront of the book can't be discounted, but I have always felt like I am studying harder and not smarter. Many of my friends in the same class seem to do less and knew what material they should focus on. I, on the other hand, would have trouble doing that and get lost in the massive amount of material we cover.

    Any suggestions?
  5. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP

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    I'm sure you'll manage ok just like everyone else. Don't worry at all. You won't have any trouble that isn't self-inflicted.

    In terms of study tools, most people in my class just take hand notes, usually on printouts of the slides (reduced). Several write on the PowerPoints notes section on their laptops (we have PowerPoint slides); others use OneNote. A few people and I use RecallPlus. I use RecallPlus when the instructor is talking less than 1000 words per minute and switch to OneNote when we get those 1000+ word per minute gusts. Seriously though, I use RecallPlus for most lectures and use OneNote for certain lectures where notetaking speed needs to be faster. I'm thinking about just taking notes in Recall Plus only because it's so much better for studying (for me anyway) and just accepting the fact that there are certain details I won't be able to get down with the benefit of essentially having flash cards ready to go immediately for me to start learning when I walk out of lecture. If necessary, I can go back and review and revise the lectures for material that I missed on those that are recorded.

    In terms of study groups, there are plenty of people who do that, but it seems like most people spend a significant amount of time studying on their own. You probably just need to improve your own study skills; it can be done, and I'm sure you'll figure it out when the time comes.
  6. PDsquash83

    PDsquash83 Member

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    You don't mind going into a little more detail about using RecallPlus.

    I went to the website and it seems like it would be more cumbersome to make the maps than they are worth. How are you using it?
  7. Twitch

    Twitch

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    Another thought on tablet pc. It's better suited in some cases than others. For instance, for classes where they don't provide you a printed syllabus. Instead of printing out all the class PPT/PDF slides, just take notes on them. For color slides it's great if you don't want to spend the money on printing out color. The negative side, is that's your notes. So make sure you back up on a regular basis incase your HDD crashes or something.
  8. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP

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    You can use paper index cards if you want to keep things simple. Any flashcard program would probably do ok. I like RecallPlus because it's specifically designed for memorizing information such as medical school basic science material. I don't use all the fancy features. I wouldn't focus so much on the marketing glitz. Fundamentally it's a good tool and the core of the program encourages you to put in just enough so that you are memorizing what is core to the material and what you will forget. If you have to enter every detail in your course you are sunk with this program. I think it's pretty much expected in med school that you'll be able to remember certain things just having heard them one time. The harder important items get drilled over and over.

    Keep it very simple and the program is fast if you're quick on a laptop. Is it slower than OneNote? Yes, but after you are done, you have something in a form that can be memorized. OneNote is just a transcript. If that's all you need to memorize, then you don't need flash cards. I find I need to work pretty hard to memorize and remember all these med school details. I like the fact that it keeps track of what you know / don't know and coaches you with memorization methods that are supposedly are used by memorization champions like these guys/gals (http://www.slate.com/id/2114925/)

    When was the last time that you had a professor that could memorize 1000 digits in an hour or the precise order of 10 shuffled decks? People who compete in these kind of memory games are very good with encoding information for recall and use all kinds of strategies. RecallPlus is designed with those kinds of strategies in mind. If you already have a good system that works, I would go with what you have. I like the RecallPlus system and the hints they give. I would only recommend RecallPlus to someone who already takes fairly sophisticated notes on a laptop during class (can type at lecture speed). If you are using pen and paper, paper index flash cards would probably be a much better choice.

    I thought this was pretty cool (from the slate link above):
    "There are five events in the U.S. Memory Championships. First, contestants are given 15 minutes to memorize 99 names and faces, and 20 minutes to recall them. Next, the contestants have to memorize an unpublished 50-line poem (this year titled, "The Tapestry of Me") in 15 minutes, followed by a series of random digits, a list of random words, and finally a shuffled deck of playing cards. The best memorizers in the world—who almost all hail from Europe—can memorize a pack of cards in less than a minute. A few have begun to approach the 30-second mark, considered the "four-minute mile of memory."

    Here are the world memory rankings: http://www.worldmemorychampionships.com/world_rankings.asp

    Here is another free program you can try to build your memory and concentration (pretty fun too): http://www.lumosity.com/
  9. Shaolin80

    Shaolin80

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    I've hard great things about OneNote from fellow students
  10. custard

    custard

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    Does anything like RecallPlus exist for Macs? (It looks like it's just for PC but please correct me if I am wrong).
  11. seanth

    seanth Junior Member

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    Another question regarding recallplus: anyone else have good experience with this program? Also, which version did you buy - essentials, professional or expert?

    Thanks!
  12. mossyfiber12

    mossyfiber12

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    I know this might sound phony but has anyone tried the memory products that out in the market? Over break I have been googling study softwares and memory boosters and came across couple of programs. One is called phenomenal memory and another is mega memory.

    I also have a Mac and was wondering if there is a good substitute to Onenote for the Mac?

    Thanks for your replies.

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