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Two Sides

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I got a 67 on my first test because I spent too much time making anki cards (had close to a 1000) and never got a chance to go through them. I never used anki before, and I copied every line and pictures from the slides. Bottom line, it was a gigantic waste of time and I don't know how to use anki.

For this test, I'm reading the slides over and over again. It worked well in undergrad, but I also read the textbooks which I can't budget time for now. I'm finding this helps tremendously.

Can you guys help me out? I really want to get my grades up. What are your studying techniques/resources? I'm currently studying for biochem, cell, bio, and embryo for my test on Monday. Biochem is a struggle for me, and I have a test every week and would like tips. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming.
 

radian313

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I got a 67 on my first test because I spent too much time making anki cards (had close to a 1000) and never got a chance to go through them. I never used anki before, and I copied every line and pictures from the slides. Bottom line, it was a gigantic waste of time and I don't know how to use anki.

For this test, I'm reading the slides over and over again. It worked well in undergrad, but I also read the textbooks which I can't budget time for now. I'm finding this helps tremendously.

Can you guys help me out? I really want to get my grades up. What are your studying techniques/resources? I'm currently studying for biochem, cell, bio, and embryo for my test on Monday. Biochem is a struggle for me, and I have a test every week and would like tips. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming.

Do you attend lecture? If so it could be a waste, if its not mandatory attendance.

Here is what I do.

Pre read lecture
Listen to lecture (little notes)
Relisten lecture (detailed notes)
First aid annotation with boards and beyond video
Look at objectives, see what makes sense what doesnt
Take a single sheet of white paper and write a concept map flow chart of the material on one page, fit it in

Re-read lecture slowly and get a dense pick up of info

Meet with group to go over objectives

I took a test this week and got a 95
 
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AlbinoHawk DO

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    I used quizlet for my studying. I just made about 8-12 (Max 15) cards for lectures that targeted the important aspects to memorize. If you make 1000 anki cards, you are bound to fail. Med school is about trimming down to the HY.
     
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    femmeenrouge

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    Hi there,
    First, find out your learning style. Are you auditory? Visual? Kinesthetic? I'm auditory/visual, so I try to make sure all the material I use to study is either one or the other. I usually try to get at least 3 passes through the material. I found that listening to the lecture once, then reading through the PowerPoint once usually gets me a solid understanding of the major concepts. After that I just hammer in the little details reading the PowerPoints 1 or 2 more times and making a little cheat sheet of HY concepts that I then review the day of the exam while doing my morning workout. I averaged 91.5 throughout the first 2 years this way. I think the most important thing is to get AT LEAST 3 passes through the material. 1000 anki cards for one exam is overkill. You should have no more than 10 (and that's a lot) per lecture hour. Also, try Osmosis. If you get Prime then when you upload your lectures to the dashboard the program will synthesize questions for you so you don't waste your you're making anki cards. Hope this helps! Good luck, you got this!
     
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    Kkshake

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    How many hours do you actually spend studying productively a day?
     

    NontradCA

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    I got a 67 on my first test because I spent too much time making anki cards (had close to a 1000) and never got a chance to go through them. I never used anki before, and I copied every line and pictures from the slides. Bottom line, it was a gigantic waste of time and I don't know how to use anki.

    For this test, I'm reading the slides over and over again. It worked well in undergrad, but I also read the textbooks which I can't budget time for now. I'm finding this helps tremendously.

    Can you guys help me out? I really want to get my grades up. What are your studying techniques/resources? I'm currently studying for biochem, cell, bio, and embryo for my test on Monday. Biochem is a struggle for me, and I have a test every week and would like tips. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming.
    Sounds like you've already gotten it figured out. Study the lecture material. Honestly this sounds absolutely ridiculous, that you would take information off presentations made for you by a professional whose sole purpose is to help you learn, and reorganize them.
     

    surfguy84

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    I got a 67 on my first test because I spent too much time making anki cards (had close to a 1000) and never got a chance to go through them. I never used anki before, and I copied every line and pictures from the slides. Bottom line, it was a gigantic waste of time and I don't know how to use anki.

    For this test, I'm reading the slides over and over again. It worked well in undergrad, but I also read the textbooks which I can't budget time for now. I'm finding this helps tremendously.

    Can you guys help me out? I really want to get my grades up. What are your studying techniques/resources? I'm currently studying for biochem, cell, bio, and embryo for my test on Monday. Biochem is a struggle for me, and I have a test every week and would like tips. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming.

    Make anki as you go through each lecture. Generally i made 20 to 40 cards per lecture. Study the deck immediately after creating it...this is important. Keep up with the anki schedule and you'll be fine.
     

    IslandStyle808

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    I got a 67 on my first test because I spent too much time making anki cards (had close to a 1000) and never got a chance to go through them. I never used anki before, and I copied every line and pictures from the slides. Bottom line, it was a gigantic waste of time and I don't know how to use anki.

    For this test, I'm reading the slides over and over again. It worked well in undergrad, but I also read the textbooks which I can't budget time for now. I'm finding this helps tremendously.

    Can you guys help me out? I really want to get my grades up. What are your studying techniques/resources? I'm currently studying for biochem, cell, bio, and embryo for my test on Monday. Biochem is a struggle for me, and I have a test every week and would like tips. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming.

    If you are making a 1000 cards at are all 1st order, you will crash and burn (yes referring to you cloze deletion people).

    If you want to give anki a go again, I suggest going this route. Try making those cards into higher order questions , like 2nd or 3rd order. You will notice that your professors are making questions in higher orders. So think about how they would ask the questions, then try to make them similar. Unfortunately your anki cards won't cover everything, but by doing them in 2nd or 3rd order will definitely cut down a lot of things to remember. As a learning specialist said to me, if you are having a hard time making them into higher orders, this will tell you that you are having a hard time with the material. So you will need to take note and go over it again at a later time.

    I would probably make 8-10 questions per lecture hour and was amazed at how some of those questions generated actually were similar to the ones on my exam! So try this route instead and don't go hog wild making a ton of cards, just make a few and higher order. By making them higher order when you can, you will focus on the important stuff, know what you are weak at, and hopefully do better on your exams.
     
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    Scrubs101

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    I usually make around 1000-1500 cards per 2 week period (exam), i treat lecture as my first pass, making flashcards while proactively intaking and understanding the material as second pass (dont just copy paste, i also answer the questions i make without looking at the material initially then check to make sure the flashcard is right. This doesnt seem to work well when im very tired and just transcribe, ill look at my flashcards later on and think "was i drunk when i made these"???), then i get my 3rd pass going through the flashcards. Id like to get a 4th pass of material in so i could actually utilize spaced repetition, but i typically move onto practice questions by this point. This has been working fantastically for me so far.

    Different strokes for different folks, if creating thousands of flashcards isnt working for you, then dont do them. Do what others have suggested and review high yield material very heavily or try something new. There is a good portion of people in my class that ive talked to that dont even touch flashcard apps and they seem to be doing great.

    My experience is minimal, and i dont know of another solid plan to think of but definitely reach out to your learning resource center at your school if you have one! Best of luck OP i hope you find the study technique that fits you best!


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    grapefruit17

    trim down the material on your powerpoint and focus your studying. Theres always slides that are completely useless test wise. delete those. Try to trim each PP by 50%, initially focusing on half the material, then going back and hitting broader after knowing some of the more important concepts well.

    don't waste several hours making review cards. for me I would make outlines which consisted of condensed Pos that were 1-2 pages per lecture and were super fast to review
     
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    deleted244469

    trim down the material on your powerpoint and focus your studying. Theres always slides that are completely useless test wise. delete those. Try to trim each PP by 50%, initially focusing on half the material, then going back and hitting broader after knowing some of the more important concepts well.

    don't waste several hours making review cards. for me I would make outlines which consisted of condensed Pos that were 1-2 pages per lecture and were super fast to review

    I think it's just a matter of learning exactly what material will be high yield for said course's exam (especially if your school doesn't utilize NBME)
     
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    Drrrrrr. Celty

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    Watch the lectures, re-read the powerpoint the night of or after, go to tomorrows lecture reread yesterdays powerpoint and todays. Saturday and sunday review all powerpoint and make maybe 100-150 anki cards of MATERIAL THAT YOU HAVEN'T YET GRASPED and by the time your test comes up you'll be able to cram hard before it and get down all of the minutae that you may have potentially missed on your first 3 reviews.

    You don't need to anything beyond just memorize powerpoints first year. Maybe get first aid to help streamline the physiology and biochem 2 days before your test.
     
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    Goro

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    I got a 67 on my first test because I spent too much time making anki cards (had close to a 1000) and never got a chance to go through them. I never used anki before, and I copied every line and pictures from the slides. Bottom line, it was a gigantic waste of time and I don't know how to use anki.

    For this test, I'm reading the slides over and over again. It worked well in undergrad, but I also read the textbooks which I can't budget time for now. I'm finding this helps tremendously.

    Can you guys help me out? I really want to get my grades up. What are your studying techniques/resources? I'm currently studying for biochem, cell, bio, and embryo for my test on Monday. Biochem is a struggle for me, and I have a test every week and would like tips. Everything is so fast paced and overwhelming.
    Go see your school's education or learning center for help with time mgt skills etc. This is a skillset you must master.

    You're probably going to struggle for the next 1-2 months, as you learn the hard way that what worked in UG won't work in med school.

    In the mean time, read this (and ignore the comments in the thread from the posters whose self-worth is wrapped up solely in Step I scores)
    Goro's Guide to Success in Medical School (2017 edition)
     
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    AlbinoHawk DO

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    Go see your school's education or learning center for help with time mgt skills etc. This is a skillset you must master.

    You're probably going to struggle for the next 1-2 months, as you learn the hard way that what worked in UG won't work in med school.

    In the mean time, read this (and ignore the comments in the thread from the posters whose self-worth is wrapped up solely in Step I scores)
    Goro's Guide to Success in Medical School (2017 edition)
    In my experience, that's the worst group of people to reach out too. Just liberal arts majors who never had to experience high level studying. Reach out to upperclassmen
     
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    Drrrrrr. Celty

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    In my experience, that's the worst group of people to reach out too. Just liberal arts majors who never had to experience high level studying. Reach out to upperclassmen

    At least they'll sympathize with you.
     
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    shadowlightfox

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    Dear lord. How the hell do you manage to make 1000 cards just for one block!? I make Anki for nearly everything, including on things I didn't even need to make cards out of, and the most number of cards I've ever had to go through in one day was about 400. And even then that was with older cards from previous blocks, and that's not even including my anki for my other stuff, like learning other languages, and it still doesn't add up anywhere near 1000.

    You are definitely doing something wrong.

    I don't know how much content you're covering in your lectures, but unless you're having an exam only about once a month, I see absolutely no reason to make that many cards. Only make cards on topics you do not feel comfortable in.
     

    Drrrrrr. Celty

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    Dear lord. How the hell do you manage to make 1000 cards just for one block!? I make Anki for nearly everything, including on things I didn't even need to make cards out of, and the most number of cards I've ever had to go through in one day was about 400. And even then that was with older cards from previous blocks, and that's not even including my anki for my other stuff, like learning other languages, and it still doesn't add up anywhere near 1000.

    You are definitely doing something wrong.

    I don't know how much content you're covering in your lectures, but unless you're having an exam only about once a month, I see absolutely no reason to make that many cards. Only make cards on topics you do not feel comfortable in.

    easy, they made cards for things they knew in 10th grade biology.

    this not to mention that many of the cards they made that had validity probably could have been avoided by simply reading first aid or googling it.
     
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    Scrubs101

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    easy, they made cards for things they knew in 10th grade biology.

    this not to mention that many of the cards they made that had validity probably could have been avoided by simply reading first aid or googling it.

    The truth behind this is shocking

    Since every line in my professors notes becomes a card, theres definitely a lot of duplicate information. Theyre not all stuff ive known prior in fact a small percentage probably is, but there definitely is a lot i could cut down on strictly from the fact theyre logical and easy to figure out based on other information.

    Also i dont really know whats high yield yet so it might be slightly "scary" for me to deviate at this point, but i know i definitely will have to. I know of a second year at my school doing something very similar memorizing even the most "low yield" material and he's doing very very well.

    Dont get me wrong I think it's a total time sink making an overdose of flashcards, but itd definitely be pissed at myself for missing some easy point or got a low yield question and missed it because i purposely skipped over it during review. But i think thats a good idea giving the low yield info a quick google or look up to learn them and keeping flashcards for high yield stuff

    Anyways cutting down on flashcard making is definitely a goal of mine


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    Two Sides

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    Thanks for all your helps guys! I'll definitely incorporate your strategies/tips as I go along my journey. For this test, I made it my goal to preread the powerpoints, listen to the lectures, reread the powerpoints, and then review the week's previous slides.

    Anki is not my thing. I made so many cloze deletions that I had a mountain of slides. Maybe over winter break I'll practice how to use it, but for now, I'm relying on what worked well for me in the past.
     

    Drrrrrr. Celty

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    That's for the best tbh. I honestly never used flashcards during medical school. I wrote down what I needed to review and revisited it in the powerpoint.

    Medical school doesn't really require a large scale revision of study style until second year and even then it'll be a gradual march towards being boards minded.
     

    hallowmann

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    That's for the best tbh. I honestly never used flashcards during medical school. I wrote down what I needed to review and revisited it in the powerpoint.

    Medical school doesn't really require a large scale revision of study style until second year and even then it'll be a gradual march towards being boards minded.

    I think that depends heavily on both your undergrad study style and your med school curriculum. The biggest transition of study style for me happened in the first semester of med school. Sure, there was a lot more going on in second year and it was more work, but in terms of changing the way I did things, not much changed.
     
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    IslandStyle808

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    That's for the best tbh. I honestly never used flashcards during medical school. I wrote down what I needed to review and revisited it in the powerpoint.

    Medical school doesn't really require a large scale revision of study style until second year and even then it'll be a gradual march towards being boards minded.

    I had several large scale revisions through the year and a lot depended on the professors who taught. Initially I had a lot of mind maps, but those were taking a while to make. I then switched to anki, but then I had issues remembering the cards (I purely typed my answer). Then I switched to doing more BRS questions and firecracker, which worked for some professors but not others. Then I switch back to anki, but this time I actually used the slides in the answer portion, this worked for most of my lectures. This was through out the entire year.

    I never "really" got the hang of 1st year because of how brutal gastro and neuro were during the 2nd semester.
     

    AlbinoHawk DO

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    At least they'll sympathize with you.
    I remember I went to one first year and I said "there is just so much to learn" and the guy said "yeah, but all you have to do is know 70% of a lot." I should have grabbed the chair and beat him with it.
     
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    IslandStyle808

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    I remember I went to one first year and I said "there is just so much to learn" and the guy said "yeah, but all you have to do is know 70% of a lot." I should have grabbed the chair and beat him with it.

    Okay now that guy sounds like a *****...

    The learning specialist I see, although not experienced, has picked up a lot very quickly. She has even went at several blogs of medical students and even spoken with residents at the near by hospital as to how to study for medical school and boards. Although it doesn't beat speaking to an upperclassmen, but for sure she is not a tool!
     
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    shadowlightfox

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    I remember I went to one first year and I said "there is just so much to learn" and the guy said "yeah, but all you have to do is know 70% of a lot." I should have grabbed the chair and beat him with it.

    An upperclassmen told me that it's better to learn 100% of the 70% than to know 70% of 100%. I don't know if it's a better idea, but I can see it being a significantly smarter advice than the one you got.
     
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    Two Sides

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    I read the slides 5-6x and felt so confident, then the tutors gave practice questions and I did terrible. My test is tomorrow, and I'm not sure what'll happen to me. I'll let you guys know what happens. Thanks for the support.

    -The UnderDOg
     
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    Azete

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    The beginning of med school was the hardest for me because it's tough to get comfortable with all the verbiage. You're basically learning a new language, but there's a lot of patterns and the further along you get the more you realize how repetitive everything is.

    Just put your head down and grind, don't get bogged down with a million resources. Watch your lectures, read the slides, find YouTube videos if you're confused -- this is more than sufficient to pass all your exams. As you get better at it, start testing out other resources and begin honing your craft. By the start of second year you'll be a master of your method.
     

    NecrotizingFasciitis

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    Hey OP,

    My first exam is tomorrow, so idk how well my method this first week is going to work, but I've been supplementing my studying with the Anki Bros deck. We're doing biochem right now and it's actually helped a decent amount with memorizing those annoying enzymes (& other stuff.) Plus the deck is pre-made and free to download.

    Sorry if this was mentioned before, I kinda skimmed.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
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    SurgDoc95

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    Hey OP,

    My first exam is tomorrow, so idk how well my method this first week is going to work, but I've been supplementing my studying with the Anki Bros deck. We're doing biochem right now and it's actually helped a decent amount with memorizing those annoying enzymes (& other stuff.) Plus the deck is pre-made and free to download.

    Sorry if this was mentioned before, I kinda skimmed.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

    How/where did you get that?
     

    NecrotizingFasciitis

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    How/where did you get that?

    This walks you through everything you need to know (where to download, how to use, etc.):

    BROS Anki Deck Comprehensive Guide! • r/medicalschool

    The mobile app is $10 I believe (worth it IMO), but it's free for the laptop. Supposedly if you can make it through this deck in your first year (suspend stuff we don't cover until second year like most path and most pharm.. unless you're feeling super ambitious), and then again in your second year (with the addition of path/pharm), you will be in a strong position come time for boards.
     
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    Two Sides

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    The test was brutal. At this point, I'm extremely numb and depressed. I don't really know what to do with my life. I'm going to let the impact settle, and then I'll come back with a plan. I just feel that no matter how much and how hard I study, I get KO'd come test time.
     

    12glaucoma34

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    Go see your school's education or learning center for help with time mgt skills etc. This is a skillset you must master.

    You're probably going to struggle for the next 1-2 months, as you learn the hard way that what worked in UG won't work in med school.

    In the mean time, read this (and ignore the comments in the thread from the posters whose self-worth is wrapped up solely in Step I scores)
    Goro's Guide to Success in Medical School (2017 edition)

    Time management skills? Say what???

    Totally not this, nothing like going to learn how to get through medical school from those who have no clue what medical school is like. Try this or try this or try this....really, that isn't help. They have no idea what really works. Something a non clinician faculty will suggest as helpful, but those of us who have been or are in medical school know is really of very little use.
     
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    Real Name Here

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    OP needs the Minimax strategy:

    cUDIOaIJJZ8jcOepi1Fvgi-SpLYNERXsT1LgudNjg0E.jpg


    TL;DR: minimize your wrong answers, maximize your correct answers!
     
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    Two Sides

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    Guys, I got my score back. I got a 75! I'm so happy!
     
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    IslandStyle808

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    Guys, I got my score back. I got a 75! I'm so happy!

    Congrats, but remember this is just a stepping stone. You will still need to improve more. So take a good look at what has worked and what hasn't, then do slight tweaks here and there. Then continue to improve.

    Good luck, your doing good so far.
     
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    Shotapp

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    You got this man.

    The recent adjustments you made to your study repertoire helped you pass your test. Tweak your study plan a little more/make it a little more efficient so you can be in the +80 range.
     
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    Drrrrrr. Celty

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    Time management skills? Say what???

    Totally not this, nothing like going to learn how to get through medical school from those who have no clue what medical school is like. Try this or try this or try this....really, that isn't help. They have no idea what really works. Something a non clinician faculty will suggest as helpful, but those of us who have been or are in medical school know is really of very little use.

    I think time management skills are probably the most important skills you'll get in medical school aside from clicking the microwave buttons and memes.

    But honestly, I would say that chances are many people who struggle have issues with how they use their time. Even I'm not perfect and have often mismanaged my time and energy and had I been any more stupid than I am generally it would have effected my performance a lot more. So learning how to pack in the amount of effort you need to go through a former 5 hours into 3 is a major advantage. It opens up two extra hours for other things such as life activities and or more studying.
     
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    JustPlainBill

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    Do not make the mistake I made --- which is confuse activity with studying -- making cards, reading through power points with the objective of making it "x" number of times through is not studying, it's activity. I don't care if you make it through the PPTs only once -- understand the material and then do some practice questions to check your understanding. this is no mystery.

    You may also want to consider a study partner to meet the weekend before the exam and go through each and every powerpoint and try to come up with the 3 questions that could come off of that page -- usually the test is broken out into 3 questions per lecture hour -- plan and study accordingly....
     
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    JustPlainBill

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    Guys, I got my score back. I got a 75! I'm so happy!

    Biochem made me want to puke --- the first trip through I had my clock cleaned -- it got better -- I took great comfort knowing that once I had made it through that, the rest was going to play more to my strengths -- that was a lie also but still, I hated biochem and found it unnecessarily difficult -- I can't think of a good reason to memorize all that garbage since I can tell you for certain that the only time I have used anything I have learned in biochem is when I want to shut up some "Dr. Google" acolyte who's in my exam room trying to impress me with their knowledge of medicine -- I try to be kind but if they push it, I show no mercy -- when I start talking about the L-Carnitine shuttle and the debate of 36 or 38 ATP formed down the glycolytic/ETP pathway and how receptors change conformation along with cAMP/cGMP signaling down the insulin pathway, those types tend to shut the hell up and quickly. Just get through it ---
     
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    Two Sides

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    Thank you all for the support. I'll continue progressing, studying hard, and adapting to the new challenges med school throws at me. From what I experienced, anki is not for me. I mean, I could understand screenshotting a couple of slides here and there, but the whole cloze/basic format just isn't my style. Who knows what the future holds, so I'm not crossing anki off for good. Also, now that biochemistry is over, a huge burden has been lifted off my chest.

    Biochem made me want to puke --- the first trip through I had my clock cleaned -- it got better -- I took great comfort knowing that once I had made it through that, the rest was going to play more to my strengths -- that was a lie also but still, I hated biochem and found it unnecessarily difficult -- I can't think of a good reason to memorize all that garbage since I can tell you for certain that the only time I have used anything I have learned in biochem is when I want to shut up some "Dr. Google" acolyte who's in my exam room trying to impress me with their knowledge of medicine -- I try to be kind but if they push it, I show no mercy -- when I start talking about the L-Carnitine shuttle and the debate of 36 or 38 ATP formed down the glycolytic/ETP pathway and how receptors change conformation along with cAMP/cGMP signaling down the insulin pathway, those types tend to shut the hell up and quickly. Just get through it ---

    Biochem's the reason why I got a 75. It was never a strong subject of mine, and by allocating x number of time to master the pathways, I'd be "wasting" time studying for my strengths. The citric acid cycle, urea cycle, purine/pyrimidine degradation/synthesis, etc. minutiae was a task to memorize and understand. The whole course just feels different, and doesn't mesh well with the rest of the block.

    Now off to histology!
     

    12glaucoma34

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    Do not make the mistake I made --- which is confuse activity with studying -- making cards, reading through power points with the objective of making it "x" number of times through is not studying, it's activity. I don't care if you make it through the PPTs only once -- understand the material and then do some practice questions to check your understanding. this is no mystery.

    You may also want to consider a study partner to meet the weekend before the exam and go through each and every powerpoint and try to come up with the 3 questions that could come off of that page -- usually the test is broken out into 3 questions per lecture hour -- plan and study accordingly....

    This is some of the best advice on SDN. Too often, people discuss "passes" and how many is enough. The quality of the pass is more important than the number. I made three "passes" and did very well. My first pass was watching the lecture and outlining the important information, this took me on average 3-4.5 hours per lecture. Some days I struggled to get through three lectures. On average I got through 15-20 lectures per week. Once I got through this pass, I didn't have everything memorized, but I understood every detail I felt necessary to do well. Then I went over all the week's lectures during the weekend. The weekend before the test I went over all the lectures one more time. Each pass was faster because I understood or had previously understood my outlines so I was just refreshing my memory. I never used anki.

    Quality > Quantity

    Understand > Memorize
     
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    Two Sides

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    And I got a 60 on my 3rd test and I'm on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. I really need advice on how to proceed onwards. I read the slides, listen to the lectures, reread the previous days' slides. So when test comes, I'll give the lectures 6-7 passes and everything will be memorized. The problem is when I go to the test, I just sort of forget everything. My school doesn't give practice materials or old exams. Does anyone have any advice, bank suggestions, or anything at all! I feel like I'm developing learned helplessness. I just started immuno, and I feel like I'm drowning.
     

    Drrrrrr. Celty

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    And I got a 60 on my 3rd test and I'm on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. I really need advice on how to proceed onwards. I read the slides, listen to the lectures, reread the previous days' slides. So when test comes, I'll give the lectures 6-7 passes and everything will be memorized. The problem is when I go to the test, I just sort of forget everything. My school doesn't give practice materials or old exams. Does anyone have any advice, bank suggestions, or anything at all! I feel like I'm developing learned helplessness. I just started immuno, and I feel like I'm drowning.

    Take a deep breathe, relax.

    You've got the major gist of how to do things now. Now you've got to take it and become more efficient and start using and applying the information. You should be going over things about 3 times prior to your cram period and while on your cram period you should be pondering examples of how the mechanisms and materials work. For example, associating igE dependent mast cell activation with allergies and thinking about how an allergen binds them and causes degranulation and then maping it out in your head how individual compounds like bradykinin and histamine cause inflammation and the movement of fluid.

    You should work now really on associating things and identifying patterns. It'll increase your ability to remember things and also help you to really be better in thinking about material.
     
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    12glaucoma34

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    And I got a 60 on my 3rd test and I'm on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. I really need advice on how to proceed onwards. I read the slides, listen to the lectures, reread the previous days' slides. So when test comes, I'll give the lectures 6-7 passes and everything will be memorized. The problem is when I go to the test, I just sort of forget everything. My school doesn't give practice materials or old exams. Does anyone have any advice, bank suggestions, or anything at all! I feel like I'm developing learned helplessness. I just started immuno, and I feel like I'm drowning.

    First, don't fool yourself into thinking that you "forget everything." I call total BS on that one. If you can get into medical school, this forget everything excuse doesn't work, remember the MCAT? Memorizing is not equivalent to understanding and many test questions require applying the information which extends beyond simple memorization. "6-7 passes" is likely part of your problem, I bet very little is learned from these passes.

    You need a completely new strategy.
     

    coffeeclothesaddict

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    And I got a 60 on my 3rd test and I'm on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. I really need advice on how to proceed onwards. I read the slides, listen to the lectures, reread the previous days' slides. So when test comes, I'll give the lectures 6-7 passes and everything will be memorized. The problem is when I go to the test, I just sort of forget everything. My school doesn't give practice materials or old exams. Does anyone have any advice, bank suggestions, or anything at all! I feel like I'm developing learned helplessness. I just started immuno, and I feel like I'm drowning.


    To me it sounds like the issue is you're spending way too much time on passive learning. Reading, watching, reading 6-7 times isn't productive use of time. Either read the lecture slides OR watch the lectures and take notes on the slides (or by making flashcards quickly, NOT everything just the most important things you might forget). Then use the extra time to do active learning. Either studying flash cards you made and quizzing yourself or by doing practice questions from a reputable source. Most textbooks have questions at the end of the chapter- BRS subject books are pretty good. If not invest in a question bank like either kaplan or usmle-rx. You can do subject based questions, so that you are actually seeing what you've absorbed before it comes time for the exam.
     

    Two Sides

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    I accept all responsibility for my poor performance. It wasn't external forces, but it was my studying techniques/processes that have brought me down. I know I can get back up, but I need help developing a plan. My school doesn't provide me with practice material, and I'd like advice on which qbanks are good. I tried BRS for cell bio, and they had a lot of passages that were either too advanced for our coursework or were too basic (not representative of the exams). Do you guys recommend firecracker, kaplan, or usmle-rx? Any other sources? I'll do whatever I can to pass; I just need some structure. I hired a company for the MCAT that devised a detailed plan for me to follow step-by-step (read this chapter, do this practice test, etc.). I know it's hard for people to give me suggestions like that as everyone has a different study style, and go to different schools.
     

    precisiongraphic

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    And I got a 60 on my 3rd test and I'm on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. I really need advice on how to proceed onwards. I read the slides, listen to the lectures, reread the previous days' slides. So when test comes, I'll give the lectures 6-7 passes and everything will be memorized. The problem is when I go to the test, I just sort of forget everything. My school doesn't give practice materials or old exams. Does anyone have any advice, bank suggestions, or anything at all! I feel like I'm developing learned helplessness. I just started immuno, and I feel like I'm drowning.

    Have you talked to your instructors?
     

    tunicaexterna

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    When you do these passes, are you actually engaged in the material or are you just reading?

    We have notepackets are our school, so I read those and the powerpoints. I usually do 3 big passes on material before the exam. The first pass is to get the big ideas down. Every few paragraphs or so I stop and rehash what the material said in my own words. If I can't do that, then I read it again. The second pass is to get some of the finer details down. The third pass is to get the minutiae down that separates "The A's from the A-'s".

    During this third pass I write terms/concepts I am struggling with in a google doc and review that google doc until the exam.

    This method usually nets me a B+/A- on the exam.
     
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    Kkshake

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    Do you think you're memorizing the material and just have a hard time applying it? You need to practice 2nd and 3rd order questions. For instance in Anatomy, it's not enough to identify the nerves of the brachial plexus, you need to be able to know what would happen if there was lesion on the root, trunk, division, cord, and branch.
     
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