ciestar

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My school had us complete the VARK learning styles questionaire. I am supposedly an auditory AND read-write learning... Any of you similar to me have any advice on how you study?
 

njtrimed

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My school had us complete the VARK learning styles questionaire. I am supposedly an auditory AND read-write learning... Any of you similar to me have any advice on how you study?
No- we had a learning questionnaire, and I am apparently someone who learns by doing. You are at a huge advantage in the pre-clinical years; I personally need to take notes while watching lecture recordings and then I need to draw out the pathways from memory in order to learn them. When no pathways are involved, I have to get creative and quiz myself. I personally think auditory learners are at the greatest advantage; you can listen to lectures, or whatever is said on rounds, and actually remember it. I'm working on that. As someone who had a prior career in the clinical realm, I have only been a faster learner than others when I watch someone do something and then try to emulate it. That actually doesn't translate as well as I wish it would to seeing a pathway and remembering it. I'm the classic "see one, do one, teach one," which I can only hope means I will be spectacular in my rotations, because I'm a pretty middle-of-the-road M1.
 
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TheGreatDekuTree

Auditory/Read-Write (kinesthetic) learner here (apparently, these learning questionnaires aren't exactly gospel but whatever) - I have tried a lot of different methods in the first month but here's what has (seemed) to be most effective.
1. Pre-read the night before class taking super, super basic notes - ONLY write down things that you know you don't know or haven't seen before. Use slides/objectives/anything that's been given to you ahead of time to gauge what the lecturer thinks you should be getting out of the lecture.
2. Go to lecture and take no notes at all - just listen. Hopefully your lectures are recorded. If not, record them yourself (if that's allowed).
3. Later that day, re-listen or re-watch the lectures, and take whatever notes you need now. Again, take notes only on stuff you don't know and need to learn. Yes, you're a kinesthetic (writing) learner, but writing out stuff you already know just makes you feel better - it doesn't actually help you learn.
4. Re-wind the lecture, re-consult the books, or Google anything you're not getting on this pass through the material. Repeat until you get it. If you still don't get it, talk to the professor.
5. When you've reviewed that day's lectures, then quiz yourself (flashcards, cover up parts of your notes, re-draw diagrams and such) at the end of the day.

Other tips that I am still working to perfect -
A. Use the Pomodoro method (look it up - you will procrastinate a lot less)
B. Make a list of what you plan to achieve every time you sit down. If you don't know what you should have gotten finished by the time you are done, you will never be done. If you are never done, the lines between study time and personal time become blurred. This is going to make your studying less efficient and your personal time less rewarding or nonexistent.
C. Set time limits - get your prereading done in an hour or two, get your lecture reviews done in three hours or less - whatever it is. Just set a limit on how long you can get it done. If someone said you had unlimited time to run a marathon, you probably wouldn't end up working that hard. If someone said you only had 3 hours to get it done, you'd probably be working your a** off. This correlates strongly with point B above.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you pick up things along the way that work for you, too.
 
Jun 13, 2016
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That is very much the kind of learner that I am and I made 500+ paper flash cards for every exam in med school and also listened to the lectures at 2x a couple times and watched the pathoma videos a couple times for each test.
 

Tabiyou

2+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2014
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216
Auditory/Read-Write (kinesthetic) learner here (apparently, these learning questionnaires aren't exactly gospel but whatever) - I have tried a lot of different methods in the first month but here's what has (seemed) to be most effective.
1. Pre-read the night before class taking super, super basic notes - ONLY write down things that you know you don't know or haven't seen before. Use slides/objectives/anything that's been given to you ahead of time to gauge what the lecturer thinks you should be getting out of the lecture.
2. Go to lecture and take no notes at all - just listen. Hopefully your lectures are recorded. If not, record them yourself (if that's allowed).
3. Later that day, re-listen or re-watch the lectures, and take whatever notes you need now. Again, take notes only on stuff you don't know and need to learn. Yes, you're a kinesthetic (writing) learner, but writing out stuff you already know just makes you feel better - it doesn't actually help you learn.
4. Re-wind the lecture, re-consult the books, or Google anything you're not getting on this pass through the material. Repeat until you get it. If you still don't get it, talk to the professor.
5. When you've reviewed that day's lectures, then quiz yourself (flashcards, cover up parts of your notes, re-draw diagrams and such) at the end of the day.

Other tips that I am still working to perfect -
A. Use the Pomodoro method (look it up - you will procrastinate a lot less)
B. Make a list of what you plan to achieve every time you sit down. If you don't know what you should have gotten finished by the time you are done, you will never be done. If you are never done, the lines between study time and personal time become blurred. This is going to make your studying less efficient and your personal time less rewarding or nonexistent.
C. Set time limits - get your prereading done in an hour or two, get your lecture reviews done in three hours or less - whatever it is. Just set a limit on how long you can get it done. If someone said you had unlimited time to run a marathon, you probably wouldn't end up working that hard. If someone said you only had 3 hours to get it done, you'd probably be working your a** off. This correlates strongly with point B above.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you pick up things along the way that work for you, too.
Wow! This is actually really, really helpful. I am an auditory listener. Thank you so much!
 
OP
ciestar

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
5,879
6,344
Status
Medical Student
Auditory/Read-Write (kinesthetic) learner here (apparently, these learning questionnaires aren't exactly gospel but whatever) - I have tried a lot of different methods in the first month but here's what has (seemed) to be most effective.
1. Pre-read the night before class taking super, super basic notes - ONLY write down things that you know you don't know or haven't seen before. Use slides/objectives/anything that's been given to you ahead of time to gauge what the lecturer thinks you should be getting out of the lecture.
2. Go to lecture and take no notes at all - just listen. Hopefully your lectures are recorded. If not, record them yourself (if that's allowed).
3. Later that day, re-listen or re-watch the lectures, and take whatever notes you need now. Again, take notes only on stuff you don't know and need to learn. Yes, you're a kinesthetic (writing) learner, but writing out stuff you already know just makes you feel better - it doesn't actually help you learn.
4. Re-wind the lecture, re-consult the books, or Google anything you're not getting on this pass through the material. Repeat until you get it. If you still don't get it, talk to the professor.
5. When you've reviewed that day's lectures, then quiz yourself (flashcards, cover up parts of your notes, re-draw diagrams and such) at the end of the day.

Other tips that I am still working to perfect -
A. Use the Pomodoro method (look it up - you will procrastinate a lot less)
B. Make a list of what you plan to achieve every time you sit down. If you don't know what you should have gotten finished by the time you are done, you will never be done. If you are never done, the lines between study time and personal time become blurred. This is going to make your studying less efficient and your personal time less rewarding or nonexistent.
C. Set time limits - get your prereading done in an hour or two, get your lecture reviews done in three hours or less - whatever it is. Just set a limit on how long you can get it done. If someone said you had unlimited time to run a marathon, you probably wouldn't end up working that hard. If someone said you only had 3 hours to get it done, you'd probably be working your a** off. This correlates strongly with point B above.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you pick up things along the way that work for you, too.
This is the best study advice I've received so far. Thank you so much!
(Our next exam is the hardest we'll take all year, so crossing my fingers).

But you're right, I have a horrible habit of writing things down I already know for comfort or for security...just essentially wasting my time. I should be focusing not on writing things down, but writing things I don't fully understand in a way that I do. (And we're starting metabolism next week, what better time to try this out lol)
 
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TheGreatDekuTree

I'm glad you guys found something useful in there! I think one of the worst parts of beginning medical school is being told over and over again "it's going to be the hardest thing you've ever done - and you just have to figure out what works for you in order to do it." Because if you guys are anything like me (and probably a lot of our colleagues as well) you just want step-by-step instructions on how to do well, but no one can give that to you. So if you end up taking away a few things from each person who gives you advice, and they end up working for you, that's awesome.

I would love it if someone could guarantee me that if I just do the work for 4-6 hours a day outside of class, I will have no problems passing and doing well on step 1. But no on can tell you that for sure, and I think that's the wiggle room where the whole What if I'm not smart enough, and I end up working really hard and still failing out? thoughts creep in. Or at least, that's the case for me.

Best of luck to everybody, and just remember if you're ever thinking you got in by mistake or you're not cut out for this - you are so incredibly far from being the only one.
 
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