How to be in the top 12 % of your class?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by Quick Slvr, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Quick Slvr

    Quick Slvr Member
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    To all the dental students, please give us some advice on what we can do to be in the top 12 percent of our class.

    1) How much studing is required for us be in the top 12 percent or how much should we study each night after class, or on the weekends to be in the 12 percent?

    2)Yea, another if you could go back questions hehehe. If you could go back and fine tune your studying habits or fix anything that prevented you from getting in to the top 12 percent or bettering your stats, what would that be?

    3) what other qualities would be essential for us be in the top 12 percent?

    4)Will being on your teachers good side and showing your interest in the subject by showing up to her office hours and asking her questions about concepts not understood; could this mean the difference between a B+ and A-.
    Thank you for your help and comments!!
     
  2. daelroy

    daelroy Senior Member
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    People won't answer this because they don't want to give their own secrets away. And many insecure people will accuse you of being a gunner which is rather petty and unfortunate. I'm going to medical school but from what I have been told, the secret to excel in medical school is to keep up with the material and study consistently every day for several hours. Also, memorize everything! You have to know it all to get A's. Students often learn the hard way that knowing the concepts isn't enough. You have to memorize every tedious detail. The gunners memorize everything and they do it every day. First you have to determine how intelligent you are and how much you already know. If your science background is weak or if you attended an easy college, you might struggle more than others to reach the top. On the flipside, if you have a high IQ and your science background is strong, you will have an edge going into school. Your reading speed will determine how well you do too. Slow readers tend to do worse because there is a huge reading volume in dental/medical school
     
  3. Dr.SpongeBobDDS

    Dr.SpongeBobDDS Senior Member
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    daelroy's right, there's no real secret. Just memorize everything and if you want to be at the top you've got to do it every day to keep up. A lot will depend on how good your memory is; not how well you can think. Sad but true.
     
  4. xc1999

    xc1999 Senior Member
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    Well, honestly, the question seems a bit like common sense to me.

    Keep up with your work and don't procrastinate. If you're like me, it would really behoove you to listen in class cause it'll make learning the material that much easier later.

    Dental school has a crap load of stuff that they throw at you. If your school has some sort of source for past exams for classes, use those to know what to study for.

    I don't know...I honestly don't think there's really any secret to being in the top. I'm sure those top 12% are pretty much using the same strategies.

    And uh....I guess you could kiss up to an instructor, but I definitely think it depends on the class and school if that'll work or not.

    Hmmmm.....anyone else have any other suggestions? Am I wrong that there is some sort of secret to being in that top 12% in dental school?
     
  5. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    We had this discussion last year. Lots of people shared their ideas on how to be at the top of your dental school class. At our dental school, it wasn't a big secret if you wanted to be a gunner. No one would stop you if you wanted to be at the top because everyone had different ideas and goals of what they wanted from their dental education. Here is the link to the thread.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=71606

    Also, about your #4 suggestion, I'd say 95% of our exams in didactic medical & dental classes were completely objective - multiple choice exams. A lot of professors don't have official posted office hours; they just say "Find me in the clinic" or "I should be in my office tomorrow morning." Most professors wouldn't budge between the B & A regardless of how close you are unless you could show them a source pointing to why your answer choice was correct in addition to the posted answer. The majority of dental classes are about understanding the material, followed by memorizing the minute details. If you can skip the understanding and go straight to the memorizing, you might save some time. Almost all the classes have multiple choice exams graded by a machine in some other part of the campus, so there is no room for leeway and "partial credit" and making stuff up like you can on an essay exam in college.
     
  6. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    My advice (at least at my school): don't expect to have a life. Seriously.
     
  7. LetMeIn

    LetMeIn Member
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    Ill give you my personal opinion on this topic. You can decide what works and doesnt work for you. I am almost done my freshman year, im in the top 4% of my class of 125, sharing "#1" with 5 others.

    1) How much studing is required for us be in the top 12 percent or how much should we study each night after class, or on the weekends to be in the 12 percent?

    The more time you put in the better. The more you expose yourself to the material... the quicker you will be able to recall info during an exam, improving your confidence. I dont study every night, but when i know i have an exam approaching, i put in atleast 2hrs of -relaxed casual- study. Before exams, i spend a good 4-5hrs after school (usually after 6pm) on weekdays. Weekends before exams are usually like 9am to 9pm with 2hrs of breaks in between. I dont study at home, because there's way too many distractions... i prefer to study at Barnes&Noble or Starbucks.

    I dont scramble and take notes of every word mentioned in class like most people. I have a feeling some people in my class think im a slacker because of my casual approach to classtime. Id rather put aside the pen and paper, and just listen to the lecture. Paying attention is more important i think.

    Also study more than you have to, not just what the professor says is examinable! Look at the big picture if you have to, to understand material better. But dont go overboard and cover the nitty gritty detail about stuff thats not examinable.

    I expect to be putting in more study time for my sophmore year.

    2)Yea, another if you could go back questions hehehe. If you could go back and fine tune your studying habits or fix anything that prevented you from getting in to the top 12 percent or bettering your stats, what would that be?
    I wouldnt really go back, but if i had to... id say dont underestimate your 1 credit courses! They tend to surprise you if you slack off!

    It takes a couple of weeks, or even an entire semester for you to decide what works. Be open to changes, try new things. My first week started off with group study... that didnt work out, and we all study seperately now, but still review together.

    3) what other qualities would be essential for us be in the top 12 percent?

    Be helpful to others! If someone asks for help, help them!! You'd be testing yourself on the material, and doing a favour to the other person. Argue your points of view, at the same time, be open to discuss material with others... everyone can be wrong sometimes!

    There are people in my class (and definitely will be in your class) who are the complete opposite. They never share information, they do anything to step over others to compete. Its better to succeed like a gentleman than a rascal, so i feel only pity for them.


    4)Will being on your teachers good side and showing your interest in the subject by showing up to her office hours and asking her questions about concepts not understood; could this mean the difference between a B+ and A-.

    My advise here probably *may* not be the best for you. I never go see instructors... I never did in undergrad and im not doing it much now either. I do my best to understand things myself, and if that fails... i ask my classmates. *This is where helping out your classmates comes in handy again* Classmates can explain things in the same wavelength that your in... whereas instructors might assume you know certain things (that you dont)... and you'd hate to ask them to repeat themselves more than twice! :p

    If your going to need to ask the instructor anything, BE PREPARED and BE SPECIFIC. Dont go in and say something like... "Hi Prf.____ , could you explain to me, the kidneys?". Prepare as much as you can, and write down specific things that you dont understand. "Hi Prf.____, i dont understand how vasopressin effects the collecting ducts, could you explain this to me?". Going in completely unknowledgeble and unprepared will only serve to piss off instructors... they will love you however if you show you've tried.

    As for grade bumps on an individual basis... i know of many people with ~79.2's who didnt get bumped from a C to a B. I wouldnt count on it.


    Hope i helped you out in some way! :thumbup: with school!


    P.s. GavinC is right. Dont expect it... but when you do get some free time, you had better have some good shxt planned!!!
     
  8. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    ...I've gotta ask: why 12%? :)
     
  9. Quick Slvr

    Quick Slvr Member
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    sorry, I should have explained that,but 12 percent sounds alittle bit more acheivable. i know that there will be poeple that will get better grades than me and have the ability to absorb infomation more efficiently than me. This will get me a little bit of slack to get in to the 12 percent (keeping my fingers crossed) :) . To tell you the truth, I really dont know if I will make top 40% of the class, but with hard work it will put me a little bit closer :D .
     
  10. Quick Slvr

    Quick Slvr Member
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    THanks for your help everyone, every little bit was helpfull! Griffin 04, that was a helpfull post. The reason I want to be at the top 10 - 12 percent of my class is because i really do want to specialize and keep my options open. I am currently thinking about going in to pedo, but I also want to keep an open mind. I think it is definatly possible to be in the top 10 - 12% of your class and have plently of friends. I think it would be a sad expierence going to school and having no one to talk to. There are more improtant things in life than grades, but in order to get excellent grades some people might put other priorities ahead of grades. I know this might not make sence to everyone, but it makes sence to me. Thank you every one for all your help!!

    PS: Letmein, thanks for your help!
     
  11. ehop24

    ehop24 Senior Member
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    All the previous posts are right on.

    But i think the key underlying all of it is motivation. You cant just want to be in the top 12%. You must "need" to be in the top 12%

    I had all intentions to be in the top 12%. Like you, I wanted to keep my options open. However, I have no desire for a specific specialty. It was more of a "just in case".

    Then dental school began. In the first year I've established that being in the top 12% requires atleast twice as much work and effort as being anywhere in the next 50%. 90% of my class scores within 20 points of each other. There are a few people who bomb each test, and there are few that ace them. Generally, a few hours of studying for a big test get you plus or minus 80% of the material. There are a few questions on every test that you will not get correct unless you absolutely master (i.e. memorize) all of the material presented. That takes so much more effort.

    I would much rather have a life than be in the top 12%. Until I truly have a desire to specialize, the motivation just isnt there. If it happens in my third year when i'm ranked in the 50th percentile, I won't mind devoting my life (via research, externship, whatever) to that specialty. If it means doing a gpr or working in private practice before i get into my program, that wont bother me, since the specialty must truly be that important.

    So far, I haven't heard of any person that wanted to do a specialty that couldn't find a way to get in somewhere (though it may take time and hard work).

    If you can find and keep the motivation to be in the top 12%, the rest will fall into place. There is no secret; it's just hard work and dedication. Studying while others play, focusing on details. Intrinsic factors help too (memorization capacity, reading skills).

    By the way, it also depends on your class. Remember, you rank is comparable to your classmates. Got a bunch of gunners? A bunch of slackers? That would make a big difference. Good luck!
     
  12. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Can I tell you how to be in the bottom 12%?
     
  13. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    Please tell me how. I just need to graduate with my DMD. How to graduate dental school with least effort and least study ?
     
  14. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    Well, everybody's got to have goals. If I were you, I'd shoot for the top 12% at first, then back it off a little. That way, you won't be totally screwed if you find that even graduating is difficult.
     
  15. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Here's how to be at the bottom 12% but still passing with a 69.6% average to get your DMD degree (some dental schools require a 75% to pass, but most only 70% to pass).

    1) watch as much reality TV as possible
    2) study only absolutely necessary (the night before the exams)
    3) never go into the sim lab to practice
    4) don't buy any textbooks
    5) study only from old exams
    6) maintain your BAC level at 0.06 at all times
    7) skip as many classes as possible
    8) forget about the midterms, but do well on the finals

    These ideas should get you to your goal of bottom 12% very easily! Good luck!

    :idea:
     
  16. Frank Cavitation

    Frank Cavitation Game Center Arashi
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    Barely passing is much harder than being at the top of the class. More is at stake as well; if you end up in top 13% of the class there is still a chance of getting in a specialty, but if you got 69.4% at the end of the year it could well mean repeating a whole year. Partial studying doesn't work; what if you study the first half of the book and the prof asks the second half? And if the prof decides to write up a totally new exam from what has been floating around for 10 years?

    The only guaranteed way to get 69.6% is to be a total genius and know 100% of the answers. Then intentionally get 30% of it wrong on the exam.
     
  17. anamod

    anamod Senior Member
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    Yah E hit it right on the nose I personally practice rules 2,3,4,5,7and 8 religously. I would have to add golfing to this of which I do as much as possible 3 times a week usually. I do all of those rules and do just fine (3.0).
     
  18. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    Cool.... my anxiety is now disappeared. :rolleyes:
     
  19. daelroy

    daelroy Senior Member
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    Good post

    I think the key is studying every day as opposed to cramming even 3 days before an exam. What you will find that 80% of your class will cram. Sure, they may not cram the night before but they will cram 3-4 days in advance. And most of these students can help but cram since they did that all through undergrad. It's nearly impossible to change 4 years of habits overnight. The people who finish in the top study consistently. The people at the top study from day one as if the test was the next day.
     
  20. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    So what you guys are saying is if you hit 70 on each exam, all 4 years, you will pass?
     
  21. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    Yes, but that's literally skating on the edge of disaster.

    You are making an investment of upwards of $150,000. You owe it to yourself to safeguard that investment by studying enough to guarantee a margin of safety from flunking out.

    I'm not saying everyone should bust brain and try to ace all A's, but aim a bit higher so you will have a cushion-- Aim for all 80s or something.

    HTH.
     
  22. drPheta

    drPheta Some random guy
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    YUP!

    And LETMEIN has the same approach that I have. It's almost exact, it's scary. However, I find that some classes warrant note taking. Usually those that have many diagrams that you can color in and trace the exact path of the nerve or the cascade of events involved. Other than that, I rarely took notes in gross anatomy or dental anatomy. I like to sit and listen more and skim the notes/handouts during lecture as much as possible.

    Keep a tight network of classmates as well. You will find that little tidbit of info you missed will be on the exam, and your peers will save your perfect score with that extra help. It's a give give environment in our class, as long as you're on good terms with your peers. And there isn't any amount you need to give or they need to give. Just give info freely, and the entire class will be better off. The amount of resources you have has less of an effect on performance than does the amount of effort and efficiency you can get out of any one tidbit of information.

    Make charts, tables, and circulate them. You will get them looked at by others, they will pick up on errors, and effectively create a large, indirect study group. This helps you out with getting accurate info, and it's a whole different learning process that you just forced yourself to partake in. It's no secret, everyone knows that the best way to learn is to collaborate and teach at the same time.
     
  23. grettlin2

    grettlin2 Senior Member
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    Dr. Pheta. Your post helps.
     
  24. datu

    datu Founding Father
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    I agree, if earning higher marks can compensate for poor performance in other areas.

    Since I have no ambition to enter a specialty, my main objective is to pass all the courses with a level of understanding so that I can legitimately call myself a doctor at the end of four years and carry out procedures in a competent, efficient, and informed manner.

    It's hectic enough around here, and I will not burn myself out in order to grasp the most minuscule details of histology, biochemistry, and microbiology.

    Around here, you earn 3 Fs and you're history. Even if you earned 10 As in your other courses. We had a situation where someone was in that boat. Doing well (understandably) in one thing doesn't compensate for doing poorly in another, especially when you're dealing with the health of real people.
     
  25. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    Thanks guys, that was good info! :luck:
     

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