shreypete

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I recently took my physiology final last month and I failed it (very narrowly) and now I have to prepare for the biochem final within 15 days and I don't know how it's really possible to do the entire biochem in 15 days (including all the structures and pathways). If I fail biochem, then I have to take my physiology 2nd attempt in august and then after that I'll have only 4 days from then to take my biochem final 2nd attempt.

Did any of you guys deal with such a stress situation? What made you feel better or rather how did you cope with it? I'm just so freaked out and burned out (from studying for physiology) that the thought of failing crosses my mind ever 5 min and this prevents me from concentrating on what I'm reading. I don't even know how to control it. I thought of watching a movie or so but one of my friends told me that it's not a good idea (coz apparently one has a higher chance of forgetting all the biochem structures then). This is absolutely the worst time for me. I guess I will not have a summer break this time :(
 

psammomabody

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I thought of watching a movie or so but one of my friends told me that it's not a good idea (coz apparently one has a higher chance of forgetting all the biochem structures then).

Sounds like you're really having a rough time. You really should take some breaks. We are not machines - you can't expect to pack in information 24 hours a day. Make sure you are sleeping enough at night to stay focused during the day and just do your best. Take a break every now and then! See your friends, let off steam.

Best of luck.
 

ar2388

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is there anyone you can talk to? adviser or a dean?

edit: the kaplan biochem lectures sound good...listen to them whenever you want to take a break from actual reading?
 

coffeebeanjenn

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Maybe 20-30 min walks? It gets you out of the house and is less trouble than truly working out (you don't need to change clothes or shower afterward). You could listen to music, but I like to just listen to the neighborhood.
 

WellWornLad

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Sounds like you've got 2 problems: study burnout, and stress. It sounds trite, but exercise is a good way to relieve both. Personally, if I can't truly focus while I'm studying, I don't even bother trying. I get up and fix whatever is bugging me - food, sleep, bathroom, boredom, stress - and go back when I'm ready. It sounds counter-intuitive to tell someone who needs to cover a lot of material to stop studying, but it's like a Chinese finger trap: to get your fingers apart, sometimes you have to push them together.
 
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shreypete

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Thank you guys. Do short walks really help? My sister used to always tell me the same thing but I still haven't tried it. And how long a break do you guys generally take between studies? I'm sure it differs from person to person but on just an average figure. I guess sleep is one thing I haven't been getting lately. But I do eat well and blah blah (no exercise :()

I just hope this exam phase passes. It's horrible (not just for me) because there's just so much to study. I just want to pass and get these two subjects over with already (Especially biochem :((

I will give the walking a try. I used to do exercise regularly but the only problem is that it consumed a lot of my time (almost 2 1/2 hrs and after that, I just felt so tired and wanted to hit the bed.)
 

njbmd

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I recently took my physiology final last month and I failed it (very narrowly) and now I have to prepare for the biochem final within 15 days and I don't know how it's really possible to do the entire biochem in 15 days (including all the structures and pathways). If I fail biochem, then I have to take my physiology 2nd attempt in august and then after that I'll have only 4 days from then to take my biochem final 2nd attempt.

Did any of you guys deal with such a stress situation? What made you feel better or rather how did you cope with it? I'm just so freaked out and burned out (from studying for physiology) that the thought of failing crosses my mind ever 5 min and this prevents me from concentrating on what I'm reading. I don't even know how to control it. I thought of watching a movie or so but one of my friends told me that it's not a good idea (coz apparently one has a higher chance of forgetting all the biochem structures then). This is absolutely the worst time for me. I guess I will not have a summer break this time :(
Your first step is to look at where you have weaknesses. If you narrowly failed an exam, you knew some of the material therefore look at what you knew best last and focus your learning (put in the most time) on what tripped you up. After that, review what you know and then a quick review of everything. If you are like most people who find themselves in these sorts of situations, you have a knowledge base but you need some fine-tuning of the things that were confusing to you first time through.

Don't look at any of these remedial retakes as a total redo of an entire semester because they are not. They are a chance to make sure that you learn what you missed and a quick review of what you have already learned. Look at it this way, you are going to have a "leg up" in terms of board review because you are essentially doing a mini-board review right now.

You can get this done if you don't spend time worrying about what you believe you "can't do" rather than digging in and doing what is totally under your control. If you were totally unsuited to get this behind you, you would not have been offered this chance to remediate.

Do the following:
  • Take an inventory of what you need to work on most.
  • Divide that material up into "learning chunks"
  • Check off as you complete each chunk (shouldn't be more than 2 hours each) and repeat until you have completed what you need.
  • Work in small time periods rather than trying to do everything at one sitting (say 50 minutes at a time then 10-minute break and repeat).
  • Take short breaks and then get back to your work refreshed and ready to go.

At the end of each day, do a quick inventory of what you have accomplished, set your schedule for the next day and keep marking your progress as you move forward. You CAN get this done and you will be more efficient if your brain can see daily progress.

Don't forget to do something aerobic to reduce your stress level. This can be as simple as running up a couple of flights of steps when you feel yourself getting stressed and then come back and dig into your work. Drink plenty of water (not coffee/caffeinated or sugary drinks) and eat light meals to prevent "food coma". If you keep focusing on this as an impossible task, it will become impossible because you will burn up valuable study time on worry alone. Think positive, have faith in yourself and rise to the task. It isn't what has happened to you in the past but how you make this work and tackle the task in front of you. From West Wing: "Act as if ye have faith and to ye, faith will be given" that is "fake it until you make it".
 
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TopSecret

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Get plenty of sleep to increase your learning efficiency and concentrate on what you need to know (i.e., know what you don't need to know from your course instructor). Also, use a flash card program that uses the Leitner method, such as jMemorize. This helps you to focus on the trouble spots. And of course, don't listen to music or have the TV on when you study or study with friends if they're a distraction.