How often do you review your notes?

A

AnkleGuy

I have a concern. It takes me about three review cycles over my lecture notes to be "exam ready". The problem is that I don't have time to review my lecture slides that many times because there's so much information being thrown at us. I only have time to review lectures once, maybe twice before the exam. And for my brain that isn't enough time to memorize enough information to get a good grade. For example in anatomy I am falling behind because even though I only review each lecture once, I'm only retaining ~50% of the information because I don't have enough time to do more reviews of my notes. I know some students who have such a good memory that they don't need to glance over the notes very many times because it just sticks for them.

wanderingorion

5+ Year Member
Condense them/make flashcards?

1 user

cluelessmedstudent411

2+ Year Member
1x = fail
2x = C
3x = B
4x = A

Each successive time should take less time overall. What I used to do was mark important things/things I think will be tested the first time I was going through it. The last time only studied those marked things.

Usually 1hr lecture took 2hrs to go through 1st time.

3 users

Lannister

7+ Year Member
You absolutely need to review lectures more than once. Why don't you have time to do multiple reviews? What is taking up all of your time?

NotYou20

7+ Year Member
Early in first year I found that I just can't retain much on my first pass. There were things I just couldn't remember that day and by the time the weekend came around I forgot a lot more. So now I spend 30-60 minutes on the first one then another 30-60 the next day as a second pass. I retain things pretty well this way. Then the day before really studying the lecture right before a test I read things over for 15-30 minutes. Again I retain things much better after the "real" study time and it doesn't take as long. it's kind of weird but may be worth trying

5+ Year Member
Never

1 user
A

AnkleGuy

1x = fail
2x = C
3x = B
4x = A

Each successive time should take less time overall. What I used to do was mark important things/things I think will be tested the first time I was going through it. The last time only studied those marked things.

Usually 1hr lecture took 2hrs to go through 1st time.

This is very accurate

A

AnkleGuy

You absolutely need to review lectures more than once. Why don't you have time to do multiple reviews? What is taking up all of your time?

Because I'm taking four other classes! Lol. Class from 8-5 and then studying all evening. Two hour lectures = four hours of studying for the first review

Gurby

5+ Year Member

I cut out the middle man and go directly to flashcards. The only notes I take during a lecture are a bullet point list of topics I want to learn more about and plan to look up / make flashcards for after class.

3 users

theonlytycrane

7+ Year Member
^ I do what @Gurby does with each slide deck after class and just listen/make a few cards during class. Then just pound through my deck and look up stuff as needed.

Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app

1 user

7+ Year Member
I call BS on that.

Seriously, don't believe that.
Lol, you'd be surprised

I know a kid, one of my very good friends, who showed up to lecture every day, just paid attention didn't take any notes. All our tests were on Monday's, this is what he did for every one:
- didn't study a single minute until about 36 hrs before the test
- Basically studies for 14 straight hrs on Saturday, sleeps for 6 hrs Saturday night
- wake up around 9-10am Sunday, start studying for 24 straight hours
- basically complete 1 full pass of the notes, at an average of 25-30 minutes per lecture
- pull all-nighter, maybe sleep for 20mins up to an hour in the early morning on Monday
- take exam at 9am Monday morning, proceed to destroy it to the tune of mid to high 90's (the lowest he ever scored was a 92).

This kid was #2 in our class as far as preclinical average. After finishing 2nd year, he screwed around for about 6 weeks before he finally decided to start studying for step 1. He studied for 3 weeks, and got a 263. He took the Mcat his sophomore year of college before finishing the prereqs, studied for 3 weeks and got a 39. He ended up not applying to med school for a few years, and his Mcat score expired so he had to retake it. Studied for 2 weeks and got a 37 (mind you he is like 3 years removed from taking the prereqs by this point). His ability to absorb information, quickly process it, integrate it and then apply it is insane. He spends most of his time learning about everything other than medicine, then at the last second he'll cram everything he needs to know for the exams, but still retains all of it. It's insane.

Geniuses exist, just accept that fact.

Last edited:
9 users
A

AnatomyGrey12

Eh I am really inefficient at making cards. For me I put all the info on one big sheet of printer paper, and then just look over my 5-6 big sheets before the exam. I also get more out of lecture the more I watch it, so honestly sometimes I just blast through it on 2x speed once or twice more the day of the lecture. Combining these strategies gets me 3-4 passes before the exam.

1 user

NotYou20

7+ Year Member
Not all lectures are created equally. Some are mainly memorization (anatomy) and some mainly understanding (physiology), so the method applied to retain the material necessary to secure a passing grade should vary. I suggest always starting by understanding what you can first, and build on that with memorizing.
I'm a second year, I know classes are different, but really every class requires a lot of memorization. Understanding things in med school is easy for me, memorization is the time sink. And yeah, depending on the class the focus of each pass is a little different. This method worked for everything first year once I figured it out, except anatomy which hit everything I suck at. Its working well so far second year too

Lannister

7+ Year Member
Because I'm taking four other classes! Lol. Class from 8-5 and then studying all evening. Two hour lectures = four hours of studying for the first review

Sorry dude, that sucks I cannot even fathom why some schools think they need to have classes from 8-5, unless it's a shortened pre-clinical curriculum or something.

bashwell

5+ Year Member
I only took and reviewed notes at the beginning of med school. I didn't like it.

What I found worked better for me:
-Attend or usually watch the lecture at home (if recorded) so I can just watch the relevant bits
-Google for information I didn't understand or needed to know more about
-Read the FA section on the same material
-Do a bunch of questions on the same material
-Do a bunch of questions again with a different source

I would spread all this out so it wasn't all on the same day (spaced repetition).

3 users
A

AnkleGuy

I'm a second year, I know classes are different, but really every class requires a lot of memorization. Understanding things in med school is easy for me, memorization is the time sink. And yeah, depending on the class the focus of each pass is a little different. This method worked for everything first year once I figured it out, except anatomy which hit everything I suck at. Its working well so far second year too

Well yeah you have to "understand things". But if you don't remember the things you understood at the time then you fail lol. My problem is retention.

A

AnkleGuy

Lol, you'd be surprised

I know a kid, one of my very good friends, who showed up to lecture every day, just paid attention didn't take any notes. All our tests were on Monday's, this is what he did for every one:
- didn't study a single minute until about 36 hrs before the test
- Basically studies for 14 straight hrs on Saturday, sleeps for 6 hrs Saturday night
- wake up around 9-10am Sunday, start studying for 24 straight hours
- basically complete 1 full pass of the notes, at an average of 25-30 minutes per lecture
- pull all-nighter, maybe sleep for 20mins up to an hour in the early morning on Monday
- take exam at 9am Monday morning, proceed to destroy it to the tune of mid to high 90's (the lowest he ever scored was a 92).

This kid was #2 in our class as far as preclinical average. After finishing 2nd year, he screwed around for about 6 weeks before he finally decided to start studying for step 1. He studied for 3 weeks, and got a 263. He took the Mcat his sophomore year of college before finishing the prereqs, studied for 3 weeks and got a 39. He ended up not applying to med school for a few years, and his Mcat score expired so he had to retake it. Studied for 2 weeks and got a 37 (mind you he is like 3 years removed from taking the prereqs by this point). His ability to absorb information, quickly process it, integrate it and then apply it is insane. He spends most of his time learning about everything other than medicine, then at the last second he'll cram everything he needs to know for the exams, but still retains all of it. It's insane.

Geniuses exist, just accept that fact.

That was inspiring

1 user

NotYou20

7+ Year Member
Well yeah you have to "understand things". But if you don't remember the things you understood at the time then you fail lol. My problem is retention.
Mine too. Seeing and thinking about things once without really trying to memorize makes actually memorizing things much easier for me

A

AnkleGuy

Mine too. Seeing and thinking about things once without really trying to memorize makes actually memorizing things much easier for me

Good point

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
Zero times. I don't like taking notes, it makes me pay less attention and be less engaged, so I remember less. If I pay attention and ask clarifying questions, I remember the details and if I distract myself writing or typing, I only remember the key points.

But then one of my classmates started making a fuss about people asking questions in lecture and basically threatened to get people in actual trouble for it (not sure it would have worked, don't want to find out) so now I just ignore lectures entirely and do my own thing and it's worked out fine. I usually don't even read the titles of the lectures I miss.

1 user
A

AnkleGuy

But then one of my classmates started making a fuss about people asking questions in lecture and basically threatened to get people in actual trouble for it (not sure it would have worked, don't want to find out)

What haha

1 user

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
7+ Year Member
Sorry dude, that sucks I cannot even fathom why some schools think they need to have classes from 8-5, unless it's a shortened pre-clinical curriculum or something.

Which was literally my first year 8-4/5pm on most days, and I would only at maximum get 3 reviews in. It sucked. However, in 2nd year our classes are usually 8-2/3pm. It the first time I ever felt "not" behind. And our curriculum is a 2 year pre-clinical curriculum.

A

AnkleGuy

Which was literally my first year 8-4/5pm on most days, and I would only at maximum get 3 reviews in. It sucked. However, in 2nd year our classes are usually 8-2/3pm. It the first time I ever felt "not" behind. And our curriculum is a 2 year pre-clinical curriculum.

Okay I'll admit that it's not till 5 every day, but some days it's even 7 pm because of tutoring sessions.

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
7+ Year Member
Okay I'll admit that it's not till 5 every day, but some days it's even 7 pm because of tutoring sessions.

But are the tutoring sessions mandatory?

Atom612

7+ Year Member
Zero times. I don't like taking notes, it makes me pay less attention and be less engaged, so I remember less. If I pay attention and ask clarifying questions, I remember the details and if I distract myself writing or typing, I only remember the key points.

But then one of my classmates started making a fuss about people asking questions in lecture and basically threatened to get people in actual trouble for it (not sure it would have worked, don't want to find out) so now I just ignore lectures entirely and do my own thing and it's worked out fine. I usually don't even read the titles of the lectures I miss.

But do you make yourself anki flashcards of the material later? If so, do you look at the lecture slides again or you make your flashcards entirely from scratch just from hearing it one time and asking questions? Because that sounds insane.

For example, in biochem we went over eukaryotic transcription, and a single slide lists five transcription factors (TFIID/A/B/E/H) + RNApolII, the role they play in transcription, and the order in which they need to bind. Our instructor wants us to master all of these details for the exam. There's dozens of equally dense or even more dense slides we need to know. You hear the instructor go over it once, ask some questions, and then never need to write anything down for later review? Teach me your ways.

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
But do you make yourself anki flashcards of the material later? If so, do you look at the lecture slides again or you make your flashcards entirely from scratch just from hearing it one time and asking questions? Because that sounds insane.

For example, in biochem we went over eukaryotic transcription, and a single slide lists five transcription factors (TFIID/A/B/E/H) + RNApolII, the role they play in transcription, and the order in which they need to bind. Our instructor wants us to master all of these details for the exam. There's dozens of equally dense or even more dense slides we need to know. You hear the instructor go over it once, ask some questions, and then never need to write anything down for later review? Teach me your ways.
Oh, I'm not saying me...but it happens. (My school would be a poor example anyway, we have essay exams so less to memorize, but also no context cues.) But I'm not even one of the super-memorizers, and even still...it's not like you could pull it out of thin air, but don't you have those moments where somebody says a random enzyme or factor and you have no idea how, but the lecture slide pops back in your head? Imagine being the person where that happens every time.

1 user
A

AnkleGuy

No, the tutoring isn't mandatory but I need them

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
7+ Year Member
No, the tutoring isn't mandatory but I need them

Do they record it?

A

AnkleGuy

Do they record it?

No, but they send out PDF's of what they went over sometimes.

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
7+ Year Member
No, but they send out PDF's of what they went over sometimes.

That does make things tough. My school records the review sessions, and they are usually helpful. However, I only listen to the ones that I am struggling with.

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