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studyyyy study??

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by KDPTK, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. KDPTK

    KDPTK

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    Current pt students...how much time is spent each day/week studying?? Do you have some free time during the week?
  2. kingsandmen

    kingsandmen SPT, UF' 2015

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    this could be a good thread...
    but I'm a bit more curious about questions like:
    In what ways have you changed your approach to studying from undergrad to be more efficient with your time yet still retain and the apply large amounts of information?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  3. NYCPT

    NYCPT

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  4. angl88

    angl88

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    Except that thread is more focused on curriculum and hours/time spent in the classroom......I am not sure it is a question of how much tome spent in class although it seems that you have to expect that is the equivalent of a full time job. From reading i have learned that studying must be a daily thing.........cramming wont work but it would be helpful if successful DPT student could share strategies learned
  5. Bones26

    Bones26

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    I'm not sure if sharing strategies is very helpful because everyone has their own style. Some people in my program really enjoy studying in groups at school. I quickly learned that's not for me because I'm more focused when I'm alone at home. I've learned that if I can explain something to a classmate or even just out loud to myself I know the information. For me, saying the words and hearing them are beneficial. We use colored pencils to color diagrams of the brain and spinal cord...during anatomy we drew line diagrams of muscles. Also, during anatomy we went into cadaver lab in very small groups (3 or 4 people) and quizzed each other a few times a week. Coming in on Saturday mornings when the lab was pretty quiet and spending time looking at each cadaver was helpful. Just pick up a muscle, nerve, artery and say, "What's this? How do you know what it is? Where is it coming from/where is it going?" Etc, etc. That was really helpful before anatomy lab practicals.

    Some things, like skills, you must practice with as many people as possible so that you're working with different body types.

    By the time you get to PT school you probably at least have an idea of what study strategy works for you. You might just need to modify it. The first few weeks of the first semester were stressful because my friends and I were trying to find a groove with our studying. You'll figure out what works for you and what you need to tweak. The major change I had to make was that with pre-reqs/undergrad I could get away with only studying 2-3 nights before an exam. There's no way you can do that and be successful/retain the material in PT school. You MUST keep up with the classes. There is no cramming.

    During the week I study about 2-3 hours every night. I usually take Friday night off from studying and do something fun. On the weekends I'll study 3-4 hours during the day Sat and Sun. If I have an exam the coming week I'll stay home Sat night and up the studying to 6+ hours/day. Some weeks are lighter or heavier. It just depends on what's coming up.

    Yes, you can have a life during PT school. Working out is really important to me because it's my major stress reliever. I have time to work out 4 or 5 days a week. My classmates and I went to happy hour the last 2 Fridays after class. Many people in my program have spouses and families that they actually spend time with. I've also noticed that some of my classmates like to downplay the amount of studying they do. "Oh, I haven't even looked at anything for X exam yet," when really they are most likely going home and hitting the books like everyone else. Don't worry so much about what everyone else is doing.

    Sorry this is disorganized. My brain hurts from studying too much neuro last night.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  6. rangardrum

    rangardrum

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    This is very helpful information. Thanks!
  7. NewTestament

    NewTestament

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    I'm not in PT school yet, but getting rid of the TV in my room was beneficial. I also don't read news (which I can do all day) until night when everything is finished. Facebook might be fun but it won't improve your grade. Find a time of day when you focus really well. That for me is very early in the morning (6:00-8:00 for example). Also get to class five to ten minutes before it starts, so you're relaxed. Punctuality is professional anyways.

    Kevin
  8. ptootles

    ptootles DPT

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    This was very true for me. In fact, the stress pretty much extended through the entire first term until I saw positive results in my grades and understanding of the material - my confidence improved. My time outside class studying (either alone or with a group) is about the same as what Bones26 mentions but I do make a few hours available on the weekends for my hobby (ballroom dancing) as a diversion. Keeping up is essential - skipping classes or procrastinating on studying will lead to a bad end for sure. I am now near the end of my first year and feel like I've hit a nice groove with studying - it's not getting easier necessarily, I'm just more confident. :)
  9. kingsandmen

    kingsandmen SPT, UF' 2015

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    I acknowledge that sharing strategies may not be helpful. I guess I was looking for clarification of the higher level of thinking required at a grad school level. I have this book
    http://www.amazon.com/Physical-Therapy-Professional-Foundations-Success/dp/1556424116

    There's a chapter in it on studying habits that basically says that unlike undergrad in professional education you have to constantly integrate and relate the information. "Actively ask yourself, "How am I going to use this informaton?"" It also says "The volume of reading required will exceed your capability to read it." It suggests becoming good at reading only critical information. It also suggests strategies for improving retention, comprehension, information processing and ways to integrate and apply the information. The impression I got from the book was that the schools are going to test you in a different way than undergrad and your studying should reflect that. To me it sounded like more prioritizing has to happen and that your time to learn, retain and integrate the information is shorter. I guess I was looking to see if anyone could validate something like this and if they had to change how they approached studying
  10. jblil

    jblil

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    I had to memorize tons of things in Anatomy/Physiology. A book that saved my bacon is "Moonwalking with Einstein." Check it out, it's a very enjoyable read and it has several tips on how to memorize a large amount of info. I think the New York Times had a review of the book when it first got published, so look for it.
  11. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel

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    Great responses so far! My studying varies, but as a "rule" for myself to make sure that I don't fall behind, I usually spend 2-3 hours right after class doing some type of work/studying. Then, by 5 or 6pm I head home and then I am OFF for the night. Once I get home I try to make it my "freedom" space. There are times that I also study at home, but I find that by doing a chunk of work at school every day, I am burning out less this semester than last, when I was doing all my homework at home.
  12. NYCPT

    NYCPT

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    That's a good plan, I think I will follow a similar schedule as my commute may be about an hour, depending on traffic. I didn't have too much homework with pre-reqs outside of lab work, do you find there are a lot of assignments/homework on top of studying for exams?
  13. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel

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    Well, I have a lot of outside "homework" because my program is a modified PBL cirric. (problem based learning) so every Tuesday and Thursday I get a handful of learning objectives that I have to research and have all the answers to by the next time we meet. My PBL usually takes me 3-5 hours each time, so by breaking it up, it seems to make me feel less stressed about it. Last semester (my first) we didn't have any PBL, so there was much less out-of-class work, other than practicing skills in the lab.

    Besides my PBL work (which is part of a 7 credit course and another 1 credit course) I don't have too much to do outside of class in the form of official assignments. So, I'm sure that will be different with every program!
  14. johncronejr

    johncronejr

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    This really is the best advice I have seen. I have never been a "studier". I am a non trad at 46 yera sold and changing my lifetime habits has been difficult if not impossible at times. There are many classes that you can absorb by paying attention in lecture only. Then there is Gross Anatomy and Neuroscience, which I find I have to do more than just pay attention in order to do well. It is a massive amount of information. One professor said it would be like, "trying to get a drink from a firehose". I think as markel said, it may be best to try to work on these subjects a bit each day because it can be so overwhelming to try to cram for a gross anatomy test.

    Best of luck to each of you!
  15. dreamlife

    dreamlife

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    I'm in my 1st year 2nd semester, and despite the fact I'm taking 21 credits and am in the "threshold of hell" as my fellow classmates like to refer to it, I still have free time. It really comes down to how you prioritize and what you have going on outside class.

    For myself personally, I'm living in a city where I know no one outside my classmates, I'm single, living by myself, and don't have a job. I'm in class from 8-5 Monday thru Thursday, and my Fridays vary. With that said, I'm usually engaged enough in class where I don't have to study too much after class unless it's for an exam or they involve concepts that I have trouble understanding.

    This is what works for me:

    1. I dedicate about an hour each day to work out (usually before school). I'm an early bird (waking up between 5 and 6am). It helps clear my mind and gets the endorphins going.
    2. After I get home from class, I eat dinner and relax for a couple hours. I'll then complete assignments or study for 1-2 hours. A couple nights a week I'll go to a study session with my classmates instead.
    3. I go to bed early (between 9 and 10pm).
    4. On weekends, I prioritize to where I will clean my house, do laundry, go grocery shopping, etc in the mornings. Then I'll do homework in the afternoon, and then do something fun in the evenings if I feel like it, whether that be going to see a movie or going out to dinner with a friend.

    Hopefully this helps! PT school is definitely doable. That's not to say I don't get stressed- some weeks are worse than others. However, at the end of the day, I love what I'm learning and that's what gets me through. :)
  16. NYCPT

    NYCPT

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    Sounds too perfect. Which school do you attend, if you don't mind? That is the balance that I am hoping to maintain.
  17. mtm34

    mtm34

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    It has varied a lot for me throughout school based upon semester courseload. To all those entering school I highly reccomend starting to read research heavily especially as you get in the clinic and have you're basic coursework under your belt, this is the foundation for evidence based clinical decision making and will be the way you continue to learn. I reccomend jospt, the pt journal, ijspt for those interest in sports/ortho.
  18. DocOfPT2013

    DocOfPT2013

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    I am so glad I am not the only that realizes her classmates are downplaying the amount of studying they are putting in! Lmao! Sorry, it's just so funny to me when people do this. Seriously, there is no way to pass these classes without studying more than what they claim they are doing.
  19. dptstudent2014

    dptstudent2014

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    The amount of time I spend studying just depends on what is going on in the curriculum. You definetly have to plan to study every day, and then maybe take a weekend day off for fun if there are no exams. Usually everyday after school I workout and then cook my meals for the next day (you will learn to do this because it is too expensive and unhealthy to purchase breakfast, lunch and dinner at school haha) and then I either write papers, read for the next day, or memorize things for about an hour. On the weekend, if there are no tests, I spend about 3 hours a day preparing for the week and review notes. If there are exams, I study everyday after school, on my breaks, and about 12 hours per weekend day. Exam weeks most people don't have lives :) A typical week for me is that we have classes 4 days per week, for 6-9 hours depending on the day. We get 2 breaks that are either 30 or 60 minutes to eat. We have a crammed schedule so that we can always get 3 day weekends, which helps with maintaining a life outside. During midterms we have several exams per day hectic. You will be fine if you manage your time though. A lot of students are married, and find time for their families. PT school is not like undergrad. *Almost* all of your classes are highly relevant and so the time flies back because you are enjoying you learn. You will spend a lot of time practicing test on the people around you so its not just all bookwork. You will also find that it is impossible to cram in PT school. Those who tried it are no longer in the program, so don't bother with it. Just keep up with the work so that these concepts become second nature to you. Good luck!
  20. sparkeeze

    sparkeeze

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    Sorry I have nothing to contribute, but I just really wanted to thank everyone for their input! I've been scared about the course load, but this has helped put me at ease and given me the right mind to focus for the upcoming year
  21. pubicsymphysis

    pubicsymphysis

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  22. kingsandmen

    kingsandmen SPT, UF' 2015

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    i asked this prior to starting the program last year but never really got a good answer on the difference between PT and undergrad or change in study habits for them. Honestly for me it comes down to time management. You have to balance everything a lot more. I think it's really important to keep working out, hanging with friends, doing fun stuff. You will lose your mind if you were to study 12 hrs a day and likely you'll put in the volume but be inefficient with the time because a few hours in you'll fatigue and start to slow down. I don't know what others in my program do. I study alone most of the time. I try to finish all my assignments, readings, projects during the week even if it means being at the library late. I use the weekend to review everything from the week and preview for the next week. That to me is way different then undergrad where I just read the book a couple weeks before the test and did fine. There is just too much material now. They throw a lot at you. I still make time during the week though to work out. Sometimes it'll be inbetween classes or sometimes Ill study a couple hours and then when I feel like im being lazy ill go work out for an hour grab a bite and then hit the books again. If I could tell me pre-pt self advice on preparing. It would be don't stress but find out how you study the best. I can't even begin to tell you how useless lecture notes are for me. But i know a few classmates that use them exclusively. I like making study guides and my own notes. I make them really complete but also compact. When I review them a few weeks later it feels like I just read the readings again.



    Footnote *** I read that moonwalking book btw. It was an interesting read but completely impractical for me as a method. I read the how to study in med school book which I thought had a lot more practical suggestions for managing study load.
  23. pubicsymphysis

    pubicsymphysis

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    Thanks for the heads up. Time management is something I need to improve since I am very "go-with-the-flow" type of guy. Keeping a good balance of doing things outside of school seems pretty healthy. Probably keep my sanity. I started reading moonwalking with Einstein but ima try to check out the book you read. I do like practical suggestion. Much appreciated! I'll take it all into consideration.

    How long did it take to find your study groove?

    And what I see student posting all the time is The brachial plexus for anatomy. I remember a little bit of it in my post bac but is that a difficult muscles to memorize or study?
  24. kingsandmen

    kingsandmen SPT, UF' 2015

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    It took me about a 3 weeks to a month before I really settled into a study routine. The first exams were pretty high anxiety because we didn't know what to expect but started to really feel settled in after midterms.

    Um well first off I'm not sure how other PT schools do anatomy or how much they weight they put on certain things so I can only speak to my experience. Brachial plexus is something we learned along with all the other plexi but they didn't test us on myotome type information till neuro. There's a lot of youtube videos with simple diagrams for brachial plexus which pretty much cover what we needed to learn at the time. The muscle part of anatomy is pretty much memorization it's not difficult material there's just a lot. If you get a heads up on anatomy I would recommend not learning origins and insertions except in a general sense because you may be required to know specific phrases for origins etc. No sense memorizing twice. I think early on learning the actions and the nerves and kinda familiarizing yourself with the layout can't hurt.We had to learn a lot of relationships in our anatomy like the nerve courses under this muscle and around this landmark etc etc which is not something you can really prepare for before hand. Thats why i said familiarizing yourself with the images and like internalizing the muscles fiber direction and so forth can help a lot. My final take away though is that I wouldn't stress out too much about anatomy you'll have plenty of time in school to study so make sure to enjoy your time off now, I didn't listen to that advice last year and it is good advice. If you got into a program then it speaks to your abilities, if you put in a good effort you'll do just fine.

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