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3.7+ GPA Study Habits???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by physiclas87, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. physiclas87

    physiclas87 Member
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    Hello everyone,

    I know this question has been asked a zillion times, but I like to get fresh perspectives. For those who achieved a 3.7+ GPA, can you post the following information please? It would be greatly appreciated.

    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA

    2) Your study method and other strategies

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?

    4) How long did you usually study a week?

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?

    Thanks guys and congrats to everyone who did well :clap:,

    physiclas87
     
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  3. minnie2240

    minnie2240 Senior Member
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    Hi Physiclas-

    I can give you all that info but take it with a grain of salt. From personal experience, every individual's capability is different. It may take me 2-3 hrs to study for an exam to get an A but it can take my friends 2-3 days to get the same grade (depends on the type of test & subject).But hope this helps!:

    1. science gpa- 3.85, overall 3.9
    2. I just try to memorize as much as possible & quickly. Luckily I have an almost photgraphic memory so it works for most classes.
    4. Hard question- depends, 10+? But I just read unless I have an exam. Then I study.
    5. My best advice: Figure out what you need to do to do well. If I'm struggling, then I go to office hrs everyday, find tutors etc.
     
  4. ultimateend

    ultimateend fear is the mind killer.
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    like a 3.82 overall and a 3.8 sci

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    Honestly, I have never gone to my lecture classes. I am a self-learner and think that the teachers are not all that great. Even if they are, I wouldn't know. Instead, I usually read the books and highlight a lot. I never take notes. I go through what I highlighted about two more times after the initial reading and that's about it.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    University of Minnesota - Biochemistry

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    depends, but on the week before and the week of midterms/finals I do around 15 hours.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    The most important thing to doing well is knowing the test format and learning only the info that you think will be on the test. It almost becomes second nature after awhile when reading the book that you will see important info and go "oh, that's for sure going to be on the test" and then remembering it for later.
     
  5. 1) 3.85 BCPM, 3.8 overall
    2) Attend all lectures, trying to stay awake most of the time; do all required homework; do much of required reading
    3) a private university in CA; Biology
    4) I don't know. Highly variable from year to year, month to month; maybe 10-20 hrs/week in general
    5) Do other things besides school -- exercise, go out with friends and significant others, have a hobby, etc. Happiness makes studying more efficient.
     
  6. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    Sci GPA: 4.0, OGPA: 4.0

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    Self lerner. Rarely go to lectures especially in science classes. Read the text slowly the first time for understanding while writing out terms that would be important to know.
    In prepping for tests, I will reread again. Then go through my list of terms and define/relate them to other terms. Study by myself since if I am around others, I will socialize.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    State School, Physics

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Varies. In prepping for tests, I start early enough such that I can take the time I need to know it.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    Talk to upperclassmen about classes for the next semester. Start off extremely strong each semester so you don't have the pressure of acing a final. Go to office hours if needed. Become familiar with the format of the tests.

    PM me if more details would be helpful.
     
  7. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    1) 4.0 science 3.982 overall GPA
    2) I plan ahead, and never leave studying to the night before. Once you fall behind in the material, it can be difficult to get caught up especially when you have a difficult schedule. Also, I try to have low credit loads (AP credits help) and do directed study research, as well as one credit courses, so that I can give my real classes the time and effort needed to excell. You also have to read, and re-read multiple times science material for it to stick, it just takes time!
    3) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Biology
    4) I'm not sure, on weekends if I need to I can be in the library most of the day, and then leave the nights open. I do what I need to do to achieve the grade I want.
    5) The key to doing well is by putting more studying and effort into studying and assignments than everyone else. The first exam sets the tone for the rest of the course! Study more for the first test than any other, because if you start with an A its much easier to hold than trying to move up from a C. Also, never blow of small assignments, everything adds into your grade.

    Hope this helped...
     
  8. lexy10

    lexy10 Senior Member
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA: 3.9/3.95

    2) Your study method and other strategies: Started off strong, as a freshman, I did all required reading (usually twice) and all suggested reading, all practice problems, even if not required for grade. Really learned the information rather than just memorized for the test...which was a good idea for my major (microbiology). As I progressed through the years, I didn't have to work so hard. I found that learning the info the first time made it easier in the end.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major? Umass-Amherst (2.5 years) Trinity college in Dublin (1 year), Microbiology

    4) How long did you usually study a week? many...not to say that i didn't do other things, had a long term relationship (3 years), volunteered, had part time job, research in lab, committee member for human rights group.... found that the other things kept me grounded and made sure i didn't spend all of my time studying...

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us? Love what you study...that is the key to how i did well...i was simply fascinated by the classes i took...of course there are the required classes that can seem endless, but just approach those the way you would something you love...with enthusiasm...just remember the goal! :love:
     
  9. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    I'm not going to go through all of the (unnecessary) details of my background, but I'll share a few of the tips I've picked up:

    Go to class. Some people may be self-teachers. I am not. I'll waste most of the time if I skip class, and learn a lot less. It definitely helps me to see and hear the material presented. You also get a good idea of which (other than the obvious) concepts the professor will stress on the exam. Also, if you aren't in a big lecture class, the professors often know who is skipping class and may be less willing to help you in office hours.

    Do your assigned readings and homework problems. If you didn't understand it the first time, do it again. (You have to start early to do this - no last minute cramming.)

    Go to office hours and talk to the professors. You don't have to do it all the time, but to it sometimes. Even if you feel like you know most everything fairly well, pick something you understand the least and ask about it. In discussing it with your professor you may learn more, or it may just serve as a good conversation starter. I've noted that many professors want their students to succeed, and like to drop subtle (or not-so-subtle) tips and exam hints to students who they know are working hard. (This will also help you with recommendations because the professor will actually know who you are.)

    Amount of time varies a lot depending on the classload. One very important thing: setting arbitrary goals for amount of study time is a complete waste of time IMO. Your goal should be to comprehend the material, not to study X hours per week. Some people take a lot more time, others require less. You have to be willing to do what it takes for you to get it done.

    Work out, stay in shape, and get enough sleep. You'll need a lot less (no) coffee and Mt. Dew and will be more alert studying. Plus, you can use your healthy body to score with the ladies/guys when you're not hitting the books. Great stress relief! :D

    That's my quick $0.02, its worked well for me! :thumbup:
     
  10. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    1. 3.89 overall, 3.97 science gpa

    2. do all your homework on time, never let too much work accumulate, nothing special I can just retain information well I guess

    3. top 50 liberal arts school, double major in physics and biochem/molecular bio

    4. during the average weeknight during the year, not counting when tests are the next day, usually about 3 to 5 hours of work a night, no work on Fridays, Saturdays (and Sundays if good football is on), I work my ass off during the week so I can play on my weekends

    5. the key is to understand the material in such a way that you can fully grasp every concept covered. In undergrad, there is almost no concept in science courses that cannot be understood (well, at least to my knowledge as a junior whose taken as much science as possible) if enough time is put into reading the texts, using the lecture notes, and performing practice problems so you learn it satisfactorily. You have to take every grade seriously in each course, so from day one you cannot screw around, unless you truly study well under pressure.

    good luck
    -qm
     
  11. karirunner

    karirunner Member
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    (1) 3.76 overall, 3.55 science and math
    (2) Go to class and try to stay awake; do the assigned problems or study questions; read over class notes, flashcards; study with other anal-retentive pre-meds :)
    (3) State school in the midwest, B.S. Genetics
    (4) Probably 2-10hrs. Test weeks- 5-20.
    (5) Go to class-even if you are bored or would rather be sleeping, it's a way to get exposed to the material one more time before the test. Study, but make sure you know when to take a break and put the books away; there comes a point when the Krebs cycle just ain't going to sink in any deeper that day. Also, avoid too much partying during finals week- your beer and your friends will be there when it is over.
     
  12. chandelantern

    chandelantern MSI at Mayo in August!
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA

    3.78 science; 3.83 overall

    2) Your study method and other strategies

    This sounds ******ed but I always have a positive attitude about my classes. I ENJOY learning the material (or at least I find ways to enjoy it.) I put a ton of energy into the first part of the course (over study) to make sure I do well on the first exam, then I backoff the if I do well. Regardless, I always attend class because I'm an auditory learner...plus I know what the profs emphasize then (because there's no way I'm memorizing a whole book, in fact, I rarely read the books.) Along with that positive attitude I keep a balance with life - there's probably less than 8 hours in any given day that aren't booked with activities, and I wouldn't have it any other way! (I take heavy course-loads but that's not always advisable.) Finally...REWARDS! I set goals and give myself rewards "I'm going to study for 1 hour and then I can have a mocha." For every A I get in a class, I get to eat out at a fancy restaurant. Or just when I finish a really intense day (3 Midterms in 2 days, etc) I will make a movie date with my husband, or play a board game, or whatever.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?

    UC Davis, double major in psychology & biological sciences with neurobiology, physiology, and behaioral emphasis. Also minor in Women's Studies.

    4) How long did you usually study a week?

    My 3rd & 4th years alot less than my 1st two because I found what works for me. In addition to going to classes, probably 2-5 hours/week (closer to 5 if I have a test, closer to 0 if I don't.) If I'm taking classes that require papers obviously I spend time writing papers as well. My first 2 years though I studied at least 10 hours a week (or at least tried to.)

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?

    As a couple other people already said, you have to find what works best for you.
    1. Make sure that you are studying something you are interested in...the passion has to be there!
    2. Go to class and understand the material. If you don't understand in class, make time to study that before the next class and make it make sense! (go to office hours, etc.)
    3. Overstudy for your first exams so you know what is expected of you in the class (and how the prof tests.)
    4. Don't torture yourself...find out who the good profs are for required classes and take them. Find out what the good electives are when you have choices.
    5. Try the reward system :) Start off small, and you have to decide the circumstances.
    6. Limit group studying...although I'm all for teamwork this usually doesn't work out too well in accomplishing learning. It can be OK if you have a good group though (usually small numbers.) Quiz each other, clarify info, etc.
    7. Balance your life and enjoy your undergrad experience!
     
  13. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    1) 3.8+ Science, 3.8+ Overall

    2) Find out when your exams are and fill out a schedule. make each week dedicated to the exam approaching. Completely ignore all other subjects if it's not their week. Keep your head clear for those few hours you're going to study for that exam. I'd rather have 4 focused hours of studying than 20 hours of unproductive studying. Study alone and tweaked off of caffeine. Avoid dating. Don't party too much. Don't go overboard with extracurricular activities.

    3) Top 15 University - Chemistry

    4) Average week, no lie : 4 hours of studying + 10 hour Lab Reports + 5 hours of homework.

    5) Skip as many classes as you possibly can. Some classes are just a waste of time. Figure out how the professor designs exams. If s/he uses a lot of in-class, not in the text material - you're out of luck. Try to have buddies in all classes and have helpful relationships.

    "Disciprine come from within!"
     
  14. ND2005

    ND2005 1K Member
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    1) 3.72 overall, 3.78 science (though that's with a 3.1 overall, 3.2 science my first semester freshman year)

    2) I attend classes; I'm a self-learner but find the repetition very helpful. One big thing I do is make concise but pretty complete outlines the week before an exam. This is especially helpful to me in courses with cumulative finals, b/c I have a lot of good material that makes sense to me (since I wrote it) to look back on.

    3) ND, Psychology

    4) 2-3 per night on a normal week; as a rule I didn't ever work Friday nights or Saturdays (though that went out the window senior year right before thesis was due). More on a big week.

    5) Honestly, I think what you're doing in this thread is a pretty good idea. Look at some of our ideas, and then develop your own study methods that you feel comfortable with and confident in -- they'll carry over across disciplines (I study roughly the same way for histories, social sciences, hard sciences; just with minor variations to my methods).
     
  15. p00psicleSTICK

    p00psicleSTICK cat's in the cradle
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA

    3.98/3.98


    2) Your study method and other strategies

    Go to class and get your brain "primed." I start studying 2 days before the test and finish half of the test material on the first day, then the other half on second day + review of everything. I usually end up studying for 5-7hrs each day including breaks.


    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?

    Georgia Tech Biology!


    4) How long did you usually study a week?

    Only if there's an exam... which was usually every week.


    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?

    It's really about having a good study habit and being able to plan things well. And FOCUSFOCUSFOCUS while you study. Set goals, get them done. Reward yourself after!
     
  16. Twitch

    7+ Year Member

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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    Science GPA: 4.0 and Overall: ~3.8

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    Like others have said before, I start off strong, which helps in several ways. You don't have to sweat getting your grade up towards the final. You stand out from the crowd - in your own eyes (a great motivator), your prof's and your peers.

    Some teachers pretty much tell you - hey you do xyz and you'll do well. For instance, I started Organic I this past semester and first day of class the prof listed out a bunch of things to do well in the class. The most important of which is practice. There is a reason he/she is telling you this. I typically got the highest grade on the tests. The gunners in the class would crowd around me as if I'm some genius (yeah...only if) and ask me what the secret is or whether I study all the time. I'd tell them exactly what the prof said. There is no secret. Study well and you'll do well.

    If your teacher doesn't tell you how to succeed in the class, talk to others who have taken the class. Look at old tests. Goto class. Do the assigned reading or review the chapter AFTER the lecture. I was always too lazy to pre-read the stuff, though once in a while I'd glance over the topics we're supposed to cover. Do the problems the prof assigns. Do NOT cram. Do NOT look at the stuff for the very first time the night before the test. What you get out of this is confidence. You go into the test and you pwn it.

    Confidence is key, IMHO. No matter what the prof threw at me, I knew I could bring it down. This is because I came into the test knowing fully well that I've prepared (by doing the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph).

    One more thing - pay attention in class. Don't let your mind wander for too long or surf the wireless network from your laptop for too long (or stare at the hot chic three rows down from you for too long. Pay attention man! This is the biggest reason I don't spend countless hours studying. Pay attention in class and get it the first time. Then go home and practice with the questions and review with the text/notes.

    Also don't be an ass - help others in class who are struggling. After class or after a review session, I'd stay back with some of the students and get up on the board and teach. You're not wasting your time doing this. You're helping others out and at the same time it's great review for you.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    Engineering - Texas A&M, College Station.

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    As long as it took. School comes first (well maybe sex first :) My point is there is no set universal formula that is applicable to everyone reading this. Take as long as it takes for you to get the confidence I mentioned above. It's like the average looking guy walking into bar ends up going home with the hot chic. Confidence man confidence. But don't build that confidence from nothing. Have something to back it up. In the case for school work, it'd be doing your homework, reviewing tests and such.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?

    Some students complain the prof sucks, the books sucks, the material is difficult or tests are hard. Figure out a way to do well. Here is the bottom line folks. A C-level exec at a major fortune 500 company once told us that if a task is assigned to you then you either do it right and do it in time OR you have an excuse. The excuse could be a perfectly valid excuse. Regardless, the task wasn't done and you failed to deliver. So ask yourself - are you going to get the task done or will you have an excuse?
     
    heartwarming likes this.
  17. 1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    4.0 Science, 4.0 Overall

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    I go to all my courses and sit in the front. I recopy my notes after each lecture and review, and refer to the text to fill pieces in. I have a photographic memory and memorize things fast.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    Fordham University, Biology (Senior)

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    About 2 hours each day (counting homework, review, and recopying)...so 15 hours per week. I start studying for exams the week before.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    Pay attention to Professor cues, and don't wait until last minute to study. I never, ever pull all nighters.

    Best wishes.

    Angel
     
  18. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    Attending Physician
    Undergrad gpa: 2.5 (1990, BS Biomed Eng, BU)
    Post-Bacc: Science and overall gpa: 4.0 (2001-03, UCONN)

    Why the big difference?
    Big chronic health issue as an undergrad, no such problem in post-bacc; however I had two young kids and a husband in post-bacc that didn't exist in undergrad.
    Biggest difference; I had a set goal and liked the material I was studying. Engineering is great, but the theoretical stuff and math did not come easy to me. Bio and chem are much easier for me.
    I was much more focused as a 33 yo than as a 21 yo for many reasons. I was at first concerned my brain wouldn't work anymore in the academic sense, but I was thankfully wrong.

    Advice:

    Take things a step at a time. Take a few classes to get your feet wet and figure out what study methods work best for you before jumping into a crazy semester full of prereqs.
    Study what you love!
    Don't procrastinate...and don't cram for exams!
    Make friends with the smart people and study with them. It will be beneficial to all of you.
    Pick your lab partners wisely if you have a choice.
    Get to know your professors. Ask a few questions after class or go to office hours. Big help for understanding the material they will emphasize on the tests and will help them put a name to a face for LORs. This is not kissing a$$, it is called networking.
    Keep priorities straight and that means your well-being and that of your loved ones comes before school.
    Be grateful for your gifts and opportunites.
     
  19. 1) Your science GPA and overall GPA: 3.79 overall; 3.73? Science

    2) Your study method and other strategies: Varies with class, quarter and schedule. I do best when I stay up on material, go to class, attend LOTS of office hours/help sessions, lots of practice problems for classes like O.Chem and Physics. I'm a big picture learner, so my lowest grades (3 B/B+'s) were in the first quarter of a science series (1st chem, 1st bio, 1st physics). I tend to have to study much more for these first quarter classes and after I learn the preliminaries, all the other material comes to me quickly. I ask a ton of "why" questions, it's just how I learn... helps me to remember the material and there have been many times that my "why" questions have let me learn more material then needed in the first quarter, so by the second and third quarters I already know some of the concepts from asking questions initially.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major? University of Washington, Microbiology

    4) How long did you usually study a week? COMPLETELY varied each quarter. I'm in my senior year, so currently I haven't been studying much at all, I can tell you that... makes for an extra-stressful finals week though. (Had my last final this morning!!!) :D

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us? Find a *good* study buddy or two to go to the library with. Study a little bit every day and ask questions as soon as you get them... it will make your life easier and honestly you will actually learn the material for later tests (i.e. MCAT). If you happen to not take this advice and procrastinate and get bad grades on midterms, etc, you can still do okay: just work your a$$ off during finals - I mean LIVE in the library and don't leave until you have the material down... if this means staying up all night - do it.

    *it's much easier to procrastinate and still do well in memorization-intensive classes (i.e. biology, immunology, etc). With the logic-based classes like Physics, O.Chem., etc., it's a bad idea to procrastinate - stay current with the material so that you don't get stuck with questions that can't be answered right before an exam.
     
  20. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    3.96 science, 3.95 overall (4.15 if A+'s weighted as 4.3, which they aren't)

    Go to every lecture, go to every review session, do all required and suggested reading, do all required and suggested homeworks, do stuff that isn't required, start studying one week before the exam. Do all practice problems and practice exams if available. Write out everything that needs to be memorized and then memorize it.

    Duke; Biology and Chemistry double major

    I am amazed at how little most of you study. A fairly good (i.e. 3.6) student here studies at least 4 hours a day, not counting class. For me, I spend about 12 hours per day on schoolwork, which works out to 4 hours of class per day and 2-3 hours in the lab. So I guess that's about 5 or 6 hours studying/homework/papers/lab reports per day. Study on 80% of Friday and Saturday nights.

    Honestly, people spend way too much time focusing on stuff that doesn't need to be studied. Go through your notes that you have meticulously taken by attending every class, write down EVERYTHING that could possibly be on the exam. Do this one week in advance. Throughout the week do all of the practice problems and practice exams, or if there are none available, make up problems and do them. Whenever you get a spare moment (i.e. riding the bus, waiting for a class to start), bust out your study guide and memorize the material. After one week you should be able to recite that thing from heart. Then on the exam it's just a matter of applying the concepts, which you've already practiced.

    Granted, my method requires a good memory, but if you have that memory you basically are prepared for any question that the prof throws at you. You will ace every exam that you take. The rest of your assignments (papers, quizzes, homeworks, labs) can be aced by pure and simple hard work.
     
  21. BMW M3

    BMW M3 Senior Member
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    I agree with "solitude" ... appropriate name? ;)

    How the hell do you guys study so little?! :eek: I'm very very impressed and will buy you a drink if i ever meet ya! But myself? I'm cheating on my gf with my textbooks.

    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    I've worked my @ss off to get my 3.8X GPA (we'll see how low that last number goes after this semester).

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    Learning doesn't come easy to me, but i figure that if you want something bad enough (med school), you'll get it. I study with ear plugs so as to filter out all the ambient noise

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    Private NJ school w/ a dual major in Literature and Biochem. Might as well get my moneys worth, right?

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Figure at least 3 hours a day, so about 15-20 a week?

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    IMO, balance is key.. don't sacrifice too much for that 3.7+ GPA. Ask yourself when enough is enough and don't get too caught up in work that you miss the pleasures of college

    Hope this helps, Cheers mate
     
  22. novawildcat

    novawildcat Senior Member
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    3.99 science 3.75 overall

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    Tell you the truth, most of the time I just crammed the night before the test. I know this may not be good advice for most people, but I was able to usually tell what the most important material was to study. This is an important skill to learn. Learn what is important and what isn't. By my sr. year I have become a pro at this and basically can predict almost 80% of the questions that will be asked on my exam

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    Villanova Chemistry and Mathematics Econ minor

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Roughly 10-20 hrs. If I have papers or labs due then it may be 30 hrs.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    Take good notes. In most classes textbooks are worthless and take way too much time to read. Only use textbooks to supplement your notes, not as your primary source for reference.
     
  23. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    3.85

    3.75

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    I avoid girls in the fall and the spring...i don't do drugs during the year either


    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    A small liberal arts college,
    I am a chemistry major

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Its not about the hours but the work. It is bad to think of the amount of time you spend. You should focus on the quality of your work.


    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    DON'T DATE WOMEN IN THE YEAR! ONLY DO HOOKUPS! REALATIONSHIPS ARE FOR THE SUMMER ONLY!
     
  24. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    3.8+ science, 3.75 overall
    2) Your study method and other strategies
    I learn best by going to lectures. Can get a B+ with no reading or work in most things just by listening very carefully to the professor. To get an A, I have to read the book/chapters as well. In really tough classes, I have to take reading notes as I read the book if I want an A.
    If you are gonna read the book, read it like you mean it. Too many students read a chapter but can't tell you what was in it.
    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?UAB: BS Psychology BA Philosophy, minor German
    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    First year: 0 hours
    Second, 3rd, 4th year: 5-10 hours
    Fifth year: 10-15 hours (includes time writing 2 honors theses)
    Final exam week, any year: constantly when not at work, about 20-35 hours.
    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    Figure out early on how you learn. Reduce things that aren't effective. Some people don't get anything out of lecture. I get almost everything out of lecture. Some people can't read worth a damn. Those people need to learn how to read, then come back to college. Do lots of problems for any math or math-based chem course. I understood the concepts and could solve the problems or re-derive the equations on my own after going to the lecture, but you need to be fast at these things to rock the exams and the MCAT. Practicing the problems that you already understand reduces your time per question on exams, and frees up extra time for you to spend on the tough stuff. I got a B in an advanced statistics class once because I didn't do any of the optional homework. I knew the material better than any of my classmates, but I couldn't complete the exams fast enough because of all the routine problems/tasks that I hadn't practiced.
    If you study 50 hours a week and are miserable, reduce your load, take an extra year to graduate, and be a happier person. Life is too short to burn your early 20s studying 100% of the time. :laugh:

    Good luck dude...
     
  25. DNM503

    DNM503 Senior Member
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    I also am not going to post all my stats, but I meet your criteria, and go to well-known school.

    I seriously cannot stress how much I believe that the key to doing well is learning how to pay attention without fading out AT ALL during class and taking good notes. I've made it through my entire college career without reading a single textbook with the exception of physics (which the professor was beyond terrible, and I stopped going to class entirely). But in class, I am an attention machine. It is rough listening intently during lectures everyday, but in the end, it DRASTICALLY cuts down the amount of work you have to put into studying. I have friends who start panicing a week or so before an exam because they "haven't even started reading the book yet," and I just can't figure out why that matters. As long as you have the notes, understand the notes, and only use the text for things you can't understand with your notes alone, then you can cram a day or two before most exams because you have a very concise amount of material to study.

    P.S. I will be attending a primarily lecture-based school :).
     
  26. nekrogg

    5+ Year Member

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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    3.8 science 3.8 bpcm (3.92 if it wasnt for wretched math classes)

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    I am a primarily self studier. While I fought alot of it off, I still have some residual add tendencies so I cant really focus in class. I just make sure i jot down all the notes and try to listen when the teacher places emphasis on certain topics. Then i go home, let it sit for about a week, and when it comes to test time, I study a week ahead of that test. I do all the problems avaliable to me (literally ALL) and this helps me in tests alot. For the most part the problem that I find people encountering is the fact that they dont study they stare. Get your feet wet and pick up that pencil! Doing problems is 10 times better than staring blankly at examples and hoping to memorize them.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    State school, biology

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Depends on the class really. For the most part im so used to studying i dont even notice it when i study more than 20+ hours a week.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    get old tests. Its not cheating but should be :). Seeing the exact problems before they are tested is like heaven.
     
  27. byeh2004

    byeh2004 Senior Member
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    3.91 BCPM, 3.99 Overall (Darn B+ in Bio)

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    -Do not waste your first week; use it to your advantage to get ahead!
    -Don't waste off time... like at lunch... or waiting for something, use anytime between times to squeeze in some studying
    -Mechanical: Practice practice practice.
    -Conceptual: Rehearsal is key. I usually do it with a group of people, initiate the group so your the leader and you have the upper hand when it comes to talking (rehearsing) concepts
    -Plan out your week before the week starts: get an organizer of some sort
    -Balance: Know when you can't study anymore and anymore studying would be wasted... know when to relax
    -Read before lecture and go over your notes right afterwards if you have time

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    UC School; Psychology

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    15-20 hours a week. 30-40 hours a week during finals.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    Focus, Drive, Determination.... believe in yourself! With those four things anything is possible! =)
     
  28. Em1

    Em1 Senior Member
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    1) 3.9, 3.91

    2) I go to every class and NEVER bring the notes or ppt from the website. Instead I write down nearly everything the prof says- this forces me to pay attention and I remember the material better than if I just sat and listened. The notes/ppt are useful, but only after lecture when I want to look at a figure or can't read my handwriting. After class I sometimes read the book (depends on how useful it is) and look over my notes. I occasionally make flashcards, depending on how appropriate they are for the material.

    3) Georgia Tech, Biology

    4) Um, this varies widely from semester to semester. On average maybe 10hr/wk

    5) I always hit a point in the semester where I no longer have the abillity to get things done in my apt, so I make myself go to the library!
     
  29. byeh2004

    byeh2004 Senior Member
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    thats very important especially if you live alone.... even though you get no noise or alot of privacy, being couped up by yourself there can interfere with your studying.... switch studying spots if you need to
     
  30. SeventhSon

    SeventhSon SIMMER DOWN
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    i have to disagree strongly with lots of people here. Going to lecture is very often a complete waste of time. If you are wretchedly far behind, then you oftentimes go to lecture and waste an hour just being lost and not understanding anything. You're better off not going and trying to catch-up as long as you hvae a way to access lecture notes.

    i think a smart thing to only attend lecture when it helps you, otherwise ditch it and study in the library instead. Some professors just suck at teaching and it's a better use of your time not to go. There are some classes that just follow the book exactly... you can usually figure this out the first week of class. Just make sure you are networked with people in the class and are up-to-date on administrative announcements like what's going to be on the test.

    Other than that, just be sure to emphasize quality studying time over quantity. No goofing around in a coffee shop with friends getting nothing done... buckle down for 3-4 hour study sessions you can screw around later. Always make sure you understand how different concepts in the class fit with each other, draw flow charts/diagrams etc. Ask yourself what are the concepts that practice problems are trying to reinforce. And finally, start early so that you have time to go to office hours if you get stuck. No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel.

    maybe i should emphasize that I am an engineer and we are a completely different breed... material is a lot more convoluted and professors tend to be even worse teachers.

    good luck.
     
  31. n4ted0gg

    n4ted0gg n4ted0gg
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    Sometime you just have to relax. To much stress does little to help you GPA.

    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    3.82 overall, 3.75 science

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    Go to class, pay attention and take notes. It goes along way. Never wait till the last minute and always prepare for tests plenty of days before hand. Most importantly use your common sense to focus on what will be on the test and don't waste time on material that is not likely to be covered (getting your hands on back tests from previous years can certainly help with this but the general lecture focus should be enough). Take time to understand how the test will be formated and how best to prepare. Its all about being able to take tests well. And finally, don't overstress about tests, be comfortable and confident and you will do fine. A little bit of stress is a good motivator, but putting to much on yourself is devastating.

    When you don't have work, enjoy yourself. Go out and get ****ed up. Drink Jagermeister and be belligerent. Consume far to much alcohol at least 2-3 times a week.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    JHU, Natural Sciences

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Approximately ten hours, including time to do assignments and such

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    Be efficient and take time to enjoy yourself. A 3.8 isn't worth missing 4 years of college for.
     
  32. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA
    Science, 3.6, overall 3.7

    2) Your study method and other strategies
    This one varies. I work full-time and have a family, so my studying usually didn't start til about 830 or 9. I'd dedicate about three + hours a night to studying, and a lot of weekends as well. I'd always give myself a night off, though, usually starting on Saturdays with an early morning surf!

    There's a lot of resources on the internet as well for topics you're not completely familiar with. Your schoolbooks aren't the only resources you're allowed to use. Don't be afraid to ask questions- that's what your professors are there for.

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?
    Attending Portland State University, majoring in Human Biology.

    4) How long did you usually study a week?
    Anywhere from 15-20 hours per week, it depends. I took breaks from the books when I felt I needed one, spent lots of time with my family, but reviewed the hell out of all the boring or hard-to-understand first.

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?
    DON'T GIVE UP!! It only gets harder. Ask questions. I can't think of anyone who didn't benefit from a study group. And relax- take time away from the studying when you really need to, but have enough discipline to get back to it! Another tip is to sit in front of your class- it forces you to pay attention. You're also not distracted by the jackasses in the back of class who don't give a damn.
     
  33. Truman Stanford

    5+ Year Member

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    Is everybody freshmen/sophomore status on this site, haha...these gpas are pretty enormous...good work.
     
  34. novawildcat

    novawildcat Senior Member
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    This is BY FAR the best advice given by anyone in this thread so far.
     
  35. DeadorAlive

    DeadorAlive Senior Member
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    I don't usually contribute to these threads precisely because my "study habit" for achieving a high GPA was knowing how I, PERSONALLY LEARNED BEST. Others' methods wouldn't work for me.

    I did go to lecture, and wrote down everything the prof wrote down - often the key concepts (although not the only). I very rarely read a text, which kicked my ass in one class and I ended up reading 1000page textbook over 3 days. Fun times. I crammed before tests, studying on my own - not ALONE, always "with" friends but we would go together while they worked on English/engineering/physics/polisci and I did neurobio.

    But MOST IMPORTANTLY other than understanding my unique style: I had a whole hell of a lot going on OUTSIDE of class. Activities, social life, mentoring, side projects, research, work.... which kept me happy and motivated and busy. I really think I would have failed if my classes were all I had going on. Sure, grades were important, but it was the outside experiences that made me want to get good grades to excel at a place that I loved.
     
  36. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    3.8+ for both; bio major at a state school

    I always go to lecture and take notes on materials that I cannot otherwise obtain (I don't write much during Powerpoint lectures, but I write everything down in a chalkboard lecture). I have good notes, so I never bother re-writing them, but I do use them to study. I never use flash cards to memorize things (except o-chem 2 synthesis rxns), but I do use lists of things (you can cover up one half of a list for things like definitions and such). For some classes, like organic and gen chem, it helped a lot to do practice exams, but not so much for biology classes. Sometimes, it helps to read the book, because lengthy detailed explanations will help you get down the basics since you understand a little more of the WHY and not just WHAT. For example, reading a two-page explanation on ATP synthase and all its subunits and motions helped me understand its purpose a lot better.

    Study ahead of time - at least 2-3 days. "The night before" has almost never worked for me, unless it was an easy subject.
     
  37. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Yeah, that is a big difference. Biology is so factual/memorization-based, that it often doesn't matter if you miss a few lectures and such - you're not going to be "behind" and not understand.
     
  38. Miss155

    Miss155 Senior Member
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    3.91 overall 3.88 science


    I always go to class and take good notes by writing down everything the teacher talks about. I try to read the chapter carefully before attending the lecture. The week before the exam I re-read the chapters but not too heavily, and write down what I think is important from the chapter. I do all the homework, both required and non-required. So for exams I combine my own notes, notes from class, and the textbook. I also write small notes in the book. I think the important thing to do is try to read before coming to class so that you can understand what the teacher is talking about. By studying a week before the exam you are making sure you have memorized everything important. Also do well on the exams so that you can relax a little for the final.

    University of Houston-major in Biology with minor in Psychology
     
  39. BuckyBoy_DDS

    BuckyBoy_DDS Member
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    Some have 3.8's, 3.9's but then they go to schools where there GPA's are curved against near high school drop-outs...No wonder you'd have a high GPA..

    If you're worried about GPA transfer to an easier no-name school..
     
  40. 786

    786 Member
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    4.0, 4.0

    My study habits were by no means good, however, I did go to every class and take notes (bring printed out ppts if you have them ahead of time). But often, I would fall asleep in class, or nod off and on throughout the class period. Most important thing to getting an A in a course I found was to get a professor in which it was EASY to get an A. That is one who has optional finals that replace lowest test grades or has generous curves on tests. I know this info cannot be found for each class but try your best. Also, find old exams from the professor (another key aspect in making an A much easier). After that, depending whether it was a biology type course which only requires memorizing or math/chem course which required more understanding the material, I would take roughly 3-4 days to study before a given exam. If you go to class each day, you can get by without studying a little everyday (but this is the best/easiest way to study efficiently and not be stressed before an exam). I repeat, this is just how I studied. I am not advocating that this is the best way to study.

    University of Florida / Microbiology

    Like I said before, I studied 3-4 days before an exam. 2 days for reading over material, 1 day for note taking/memorizing, 1 day for review.

    Key points: find easy professor, get old exams, go to class and take notes, take 30 minutes to review each days notes after class (if possible), take 3-4 days to study for each exam. If you do this, most likely you will get an A.
     
  41. Tommy1496

    10+ Year Member

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    1) Science GPA 3.79, overall GPA 3.822

    2) Using study methods that work for me, such as flashcards

    3) Biology/Pre-Medicine major, Chemistry Minor at The University of North Carolina Wilmington

    4) 40 hours a week... like a job

    5) Do what you have to do to get it done... anyone can get an A in college if they work hard enough, however most people do not... its that simple
     
  42. AcesHigh

    AcesHigh Member
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    This is REALLY important I think. Everybody gets to the point of information overload where they cannot take in any more information. Which is why you should "cram" every day but the one before the test!
     
  43. AcesHigh

    AcesHigh Member
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    double post
     
  44. SirTony76

    SirTony76 Senior Member
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    1) Your science GPA and overall GPA

    4.0/4.0

    2) Your study method and other strategies

    Study enough for the test. Everybody knows when enough is enough. Use office hours. Do practice problems. Compare a prepared study guide with somebody who has similar goals as you (no not one the teacher gave you...one where you wrote down what you thought was important).

    3) What was your undergraduate school and major?

    Marquette University; Biomedical Engineering

    4) How long did you usually study a week?

    Enough to not want to keep track...

    5) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still has this lurking over us?

    Work hard, play hard, but work harder.
     
  45. Grrr

    Grrr Junior Member
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    Study Tips:

    1. RELAX! Learn to calm yourself - the calmer you are, the better you will learn the material.

    2. Learn Conceptually. Focus on key concepts, try and connect material either from different sections or even different classes.

    3. This is a study method i used for Cell (where you actually did need to know the entire chapter). Read through assigned reading, carefully, slowly, make sure you understand what you are reading. Dont understand some word you see? Go figure out what it is/means before moving on. As you read, any time you come across something you can't remember forever (ie - protein names), write it down.

    When the test comes around, just read over your notes, they contain everything you need to know.

    4. Most important. If you have the time, dont be afraid to go off on a tangent. I'd read something interesting, and go elsewhere in the book or on the internet. Yeah, its not on the next test, but at some level all of the material you are learning in science classes is connected - this will help you firmly establish certain concepts, and they will build over time. As an example, i just took biochemistry, and because of all the random reading i did while studying for other classes, i didn't have to go to class and would only study for a few hours the night before the test, and still get high A's on the tests.
     

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