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DPT School - Study Habits

adpt09

Full Member
Jul 18, 2019
18
5
11
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
As some realize, grad school is no undergrad and those study habits ain’t working! I almost never studied(well) in undergrad, and you can’t survive grad school


4 weeks into PT school, a D in one exam(Movement Science) and something needs to change. This Covid move to online learning is definitely a hard curve, but we must adapt, right?

I’m a good note taker, listen to lecture, but I take longer than most to comprehend concepts. Anatomy- gosh there’s so much, it’s difficult to remember.

So, I hope some smart students , recent grads, professors can help a student out: what are some provenstudy habits that have been helpful?
Much appreciated!
 

wiseOldPT

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2019
157
187
116
Study actively! Don't just read things over, discuss them. Explain them to others, draw! Seriously, draw! Flashcards help some in anatomy. If you aren't getting a concept, reach out to faculty- that's why you pay them! See what tutoring might be available through your program. Study groups work well for some people. Make sure you are putting in the time and not cramming. Read before class, review after.
 
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ptmonster

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5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2015
63
12
111
Get the essential anatomy app. I would also learn/ get familiar with your proffesor’s testing style. Go to your proffesor’s office hours and review/ take notes on those stuff you got wrong.
 
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ya1

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2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2019
440
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Repetitions. Sort out important stuff if you can and go over it over and over, and over, and over again. If you do not understand a concept first, it may help just to memorize the main idea. You will understand it later as you go through PT school, do enough repetitions, or re-learn it in more depth in later classes.
 
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PassionaTeaboutPT

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2+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2018
33
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Do not waste time “perfecting notes.”
We have a learning specialist at my school. My grades significantly went up after taking her advice. I went from Ds to As. Don’t waste time making tables, perfecting notes, flash cards, etc. (unless you can make them quickly). Instead just study & repeat. Quiz yourself often. Talk it out or explain it to someone. You should be reviewing your notes a minimum of 3 times. The first time reviewing is within 24 hours of the lecture.. I also am at a point where I just look at a topic and record myself. Try to say everything I know about the topic without looking at my notes. Then it helps me know what i need to focus on.
 
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kdubz7w7

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
214
150
116
  1. Physical Therapist
As some realize, grad school is no undergrad and those study habits ain’t working! I almost never studied(well) in undergrad, and you can’t survive grad school


4 weeks into PT school, a D in one exam(Movement Science) and something needs to change. This Covid move to online learning is definitely a hard curve, but we must adapt, right?

I’m a good note taker, listen to lecture, but I take longer than most to comprehend concepts. Anatomy- gosh there’s so much, it’s difficult to remember.

So, I hope some smart students , recent grads, professors can help a student out: what are some provenstudy habits that have been helpful?
Much appreciated!
Anatomy is just repetition, repetition, repetition. Something more conceptual like movement science, you really need to *understand* vs *memorize* - although I do agree with the above advice about memorizing, if you're up sh!t's creek, definitely reach out to classmates & your prof but once in awhile you'll come across something that just does not sit in your head, in which case memorize and hope it makes sense someday. So aim to understand, but when your back is against the wall at least memorize.

I started doing a LOT better in anatomy when I got a drawing pad and started drawing. Test yourself often. Try to cluster information - common insertion sites, innervations, stuff like that. I started studying exclusively with drawing pads and whiteboards once I got used to it. I'm a very pen and paper, lots of brightly colored markers person. Several of my classmates & I would randomly remember something on exams just because we remembered writing it out in turquoise, or whatever. Other people really liked anatomy coloring books. I really like the complete anatomy desktop app (if you email them and tell them you're a student they'll send you a coupon code). Having access to a skeleton is also wonderful, but they're expensive.

I really like studying with 2-3 people and doing a talk-through. You often remember things better when you hear it out loud in someone else's voice, or it being paraphrased, when you hear other people's questions, etc.

I personally prefer to limit the number of resources I study with. I just can't deal with 3 textbooks, 17 youtube videos, 3 study guides and my classnotes. I know that works for some people but it does NOT work for me. Just something to consider.
 
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kdubz7w7

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
214
150
116
  1. Physical Therapist
As some realize, grad school is no undergrad and those study habits ain’t working! I almost never studied(well) in undergrad, and you can’t survive grad school


4 weeks into PT school, a D in one exam(Movement Science) and something needs to change. This Covid move to online learning is definitely a hard curve, but we must adapt, right?

I’m a good note taker, listen to lecture, but I take longer than most to comprehend concepts. Anatomy- gosh there’s so much, it’s difficult to remember.

So, I hope some smart students , recent grads, professors can help a student out: what are some provenstudy habits that have been helpful?
Much appreciated!
ps - some great advice I got from my anatomy prof - you will simply never know EVERYTHING. Know when you know enough and call it quits. She recommended setting timers - devote an hour (or whatever) to anatomy, hard stop, an hour to something else, hard stop. This keeps you from obsessing over knowing every little detail. This also helps you pay attention to all of your classes vs being consumed by one.
Example, one of my classmates got a 100 on our anatomy final and failed our Intro to PT final the next day...he had to remediate that exam during our break. No fun.
 
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adpt09

Full Member
Jul 18, 2019
18
5
11
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Anatomy is just repetition, repetition, repetition. Something more conceptual like movement science, you really need to *understand* vs *memorize* - although I do agree with the above advice about memorizing, if you're up sh!t's creek, definitely reach out to classmates & your prof but once in awhile you'll come across something that just does not sit in your head, in which case memorize and hope it makes sense someday. So aim to understand, but when your back is against the wall at least memorize.

I started doing a LOT better in anatomy when I got a drawing pad and started drawing. Test yourself often. Try to cluster information - common insertion sites, innervations, stuff like that. I started studying exclusively with drawing pads and whiteboards once I got used to it. I'm a very pen and paper, lots of brightly colored markers person. Several of my classmates & I would randomly remember something on exams just because we remembered writing it out in turquoise, or whatever. Other people really liked anatomy coloring books. I really like the complete anatomy desktop app (if you email them and tell them you're a student they'll send you a coupon code). Having access to a skeleton is also wonderful, but they're expensive.

I really like studying with 2-3 people and doing a talk-through. You often remember things better when you hear it out loud in someone else's voice, or it being paraphrased, when you hear other people's questions, etc.

I personally prefer to limit the number of resources I study with. I just can't deal with 3 textbooks, 17 youtube videos, 3 study guides and my classnotes. I know that works for some people but it does NOT work for me. Just something to consider.

What you said !!!! Thank you!
 
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chdom02

Full Member
Nov 12, 2019
24
18
36
  1. Physical Therapy Student
Third year here and just finished up my didactics. First I want to commend you for recognizing that your study habits need to change, that can be hard for some people to accept, so you're already on the right path. As others have mentioned, definitely study actively. I would start out passively writing all of my notes onto computer paper, and draw diagrams (I prefer paper without lines as material tends to have lots of diagrams and charts). Once I passively reviewed the material I used my white board (HIGHLY RECOMMEND A WHITE BOARD) and I would write out a topic I was studying, and then list everything I know about that topic, and I wouldn't stop until I was able to actively write and recall all the information. I would do the same with any diagrams as well. I basically wouldn't feel confident with the material until I felt I could teach it to an invisible class, NEVER rely on just recognizing information on an exam, because for the most part, your exam questions will most likely not be straight recall.

I know it is challenging as everything is on line, but it is also important to find a study buddy. I had 2-3 close friends who I studied with once we felt we reviewed enough ourselves and wanted to talk about the material. Sometimes we would make practice questions which was a great way for us to start thinking critically, as well as a general conversation starter for topics. Try zooming or using google hangout with some of your classmates. You can also share screens so you can share a whiteboard on zoom and quiz each other by asking to draw anatomy for example.

I would also record myself reading my notes and then listen to the recording throughout the day when i'm brushing my teeth, getting dressed, about to go to sleep, which I found really helped.

A general tip while studying is to group information together, view things as one big picture and how everything fits. For example, dont just memorize action origin insertion blood supply and nerve supply of a muscle in isolation. Be able to name an artery and then rattle off all the muscles it supplies, be able to name a bony landmark and then all of the muscles that are attached there. Think about how if one muscle is damaged, what other muscles are there to compensate, etc.
 
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