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Any tips to remembering what I learn more?

NolanW

New Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2015
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Remembering things after the semester is over has kind of always been an issue for me. I get good grades but then begin to gradually forget things over time. I guess this is normal for everyone to forget things but any tips for remembering what I learned in school long term easier? I am about to start my second year of DPT school and want to be the best practitioner possible. I also hate the feeling of forgetting things so any tips would be amazing.
 

Tnpt12

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
13
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  1. Physical Therapy Student
Don’t stress about it, you’ll forget info over time and that’s normal. I would suggest using mnemonic devices, this has helped me retain important info.
Also, a ton of things you learn later in the program will be a progression of what you have learned early on. So you should have ample opportunity to review past material.


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May 26, 2019
192
146
41
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Mnemonics are huge. Other silly things like relating the info to a picture in your head, or telling a story with it, or relating it to your life are also massively important. Remember, your brain evolved to remember things that were relevant for it- that's social interactions and survival info like where to find food or how to stay away from danger. That's why relating info to stories works so well. So does relating words and concepts with a map in your mind, whether it's a location in your house or in some imaginary place you made up (see memory palace).

Just remember what your brain evolved for, and try to imagine relating the info to things that your brain automatically cares about.
 
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wiseOldPT

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Jan 21, 2019
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Focus on learning concepts, not memorizing facts. Even anatomy, while there is some unavoidable memorization, think about it conceptually- where does this muscle insert so what would the action be (don't need to memorize actions, can think them through). Link things you are learning across classes. PT school should be reinforcing. You'll learn and expand on the same things in anatomy, kinesiology, and clinical courses. Each time you relearn it, you'll learn it stronger.
 
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kdubz7w7

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Jun 28, 2017
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  1. Physical Therapist
Remembering things after the semester is over has kind of always been an issue for me. I get good grades but then begin to gradually forget things over time. I guess this is normal for everyone to forget things but any tips for remembering what I learned in school long term easier? I am about to start my second year of DPT school and want to be the best practitioner possible. I also hate the feeling of forgetting things so any tips would be amazing.
You'll repeat things in various classes over and over. It is impossible to remember literally everything. It is super frustrating, I agree, but inevitable. I completely agree with the advice to attach meaning to things, and understand concepts vs memorize information.

I highly recommend the PT365 app from Scorebuilders. They provide a daily boards-style question, complete with why the answer was right and the others were wrong. It's a great way to stay fresh with random material (e.g. one day the question is ROM, the next may be integ, etc). You obviously won't know how to answer every single one until you are done with all didactic coursework, but you can still read how the question is phrased & learn a new thing. I started using it my second semester and if the question was way over my head, I either just skipped it or read it for "fun".

There are also a few instagram accounts that post daily questions you can stay fresh with, such as @ptstudyguide (not an advertisement, I have no idea who they are, just like the questions they post). I even follow a few PA accounts that post questions, as some of the material does dovetail with ours.

Other than that, don't overly stress about it. As you begin seeing repeat info, you'll know immediately where you need to brush up, and where you're like oh wow I remember that. Just don't dive too deep into brushing up - make your primary focus the new material. I made that mistake in my first neuro management class after taking neuroscience and went down a deep backward rabbit hole into trying to relearn tracts before realizing I just needed the big picture, not every little nuance!
 

ya1

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Mar 9, 2019
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Remembering things after the semester is over has kind of always been an issue for me. I get good grades but then begin to gradually forget things over time. I guess this is normal for everyone to forget things but any tips for remembering what I learned in school long term easier? I am about to start my second year of DPT school and want to be the best practitioner possible. I also hate the feeling of forgetting things so any tips would be amazing.
Repetitions. And you will get those later in PT program as information you will be learning becomes repetitive. Then you will be repeating again when you start working.
 

Philt85

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Dec 15, 2016
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Denver
  1. DPT / OTD
You will forget a ton! That's ok! Focus on the fundementals and refresh yourself on the details when the time is appropriate. Knowing more details wont necessarily make you a better clinician. Being able to identify what people need, listening, being resourceful, and pattern recognition are what I am focusing on early in my career.
 
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LostLlama

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Feb 8, 2020
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  1. Physical Therapy Student
What has worked for me is explaining things to laymen (wife, friends, whomever). As you are done with your first year, I am assuming you've learned about the gate control theory of pain. Explain this to a non-medical person via analogies. (Do not just lecture them on afferent fiber types.)

Making cogent analogies is not always easy. Doing this, though, will build more synaptic bridges in your mind and will make things easier to recall later.
 
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btjack22

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Mar 18, 2017
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Georgia, United States
  1. Physical Therapy Student
You will forget a ton! That's ok! Focus on the fundementals and refresh yourself on the details when the time is appropriate. Knowing more details wont necessarily make you a better clinician. Being able to identify what people need, listening, being resourceful, and pattern recognition are what I am focusing on early in my career.
Appreciate you for saying this! I'm in my last semester and I suffer from that too. I can't possibly fathom remembering everything like some of my classmates seem to. I'm thinking that beyond the basics, the specifics will be easier to remember once I actually apply them to patients during clinicals.
 
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