How to study Naplex effectively

Discussion in 'Pharmacy Licensure and Exams' started by SuccessOverStruggling, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. SuccessOverStruggling

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    Hi,

    I did some Rxprep practice and I noticed that I get the k type questions wrong because I cannot recall details even though I studied them. I'm scoring in the high 50's and low 60's

    1) How do I effectively learn doses, frequencies.
    For example, drug A needs to be primed 6 times vs drug B primed 2 times. I cannot memorize that kind of information even though I have carefully read and made notes at least 3 times.

    2) How do I learn all the contraindications to a drug? There is just too much.

    3) How do I memorize all the age restrictions for the drugs

    4) How do I memorize all the drug interactions besides the Pacman Grapefruit and PS PORCS

    5) When I get a case question asking for the best drug to use, how do I eliminate choices. When I took my Naplex, they gave me all valid choices from the Rxprep chapters and I could not eliminate choices.

    I barely passed Pharmacy school and struggled with all the clinical classes.
    I don't believe that math is my weakness as I was able to get answers for all of them.
    Based on this info, do you think i may have a learning disability?

    Thank you
     
  2. Apotheker2015

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi SuccessOverstruggling,

    I guess it is not clear if you took and passed the NAPLEX and became licensed OR if you did not pass. Your status says "Pharmacist" but you are studying for the NAPLEX?

    To comment on your question, I think that regardless of what anyone speculates you will not know whether you have a learning disability. If you want to find out, you should get evaluated by a professional. That would really be the only way that you would know. I imagine that there is some testing involved and then you will have your answer.

    If I may, to me it sounds more like you need to figure out what your learning style is and use that channel to mindfully retain information. You can't just memorize. I have a very good memory and I don't actually memorize. I mostly make sense of the information, then make associations and then recall. They key is to recall. You can't just read through. You have to stop, take a second and recall the information.

    When it comes to making associations it always comes down to the pharmacology and receptors for me. If you know those, you are golden. I think you just need to exercise your memory muscle more and it will grow stronger.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
  3. SuccessOverStruggling

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    No, unfortunately I failed the first time I took it and haven't attempted a second yet, which is why I am asking for advice.
    Thanks for the advice though.

    By the way, how do I figure out my learning style?

    I tried making concise notes but it turned out not detailed enough for the Rxprep questions. It seems like to score above 80%, I have to memorize all the minutiae.
    That is what I found when I went back to look at my answers.

    I find going over and over, as well as self testing is the best way for me to retain. Unfortunately, there is just too much info in the book to simply go over and over. This strategy worked in undergrad but Pharmacy School was too fast paced which is why I struggled.

    So, I guess my real question is how do I mindfully retain the minutiae? By the time, I got to the end of the book, I have already forgot the beginning material.
    I've made up wierd/funny mnemonics for many of the drugs, but things like dosage and age range seem hard to make mnemonics.

    I might be wrong, but I think many of my classmates can recall info if they studied 2-3 times while for me it would take like 10 times. Maybe I'm not studying correctly.

    P.S. I chose the status as Pharmacist, because I graduated already and am no longer a student. There wasn't an option to label myself as something else.
     
    #3 SuccessOverStruggling, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  4. Apotheker2015

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey SuccessOverStruggling,

    I was not trying to pry about your status. I just wanted to know exactly where you were at. There are times when a pharmacist licensed in state X wants to get licensed in state Y and they have to retake the NAPLEX because the score is no longer valid, etc.

    My best advice to you is to effect a shift in thinking. Stop calling "minutiae" information you deem to be of no importance. I have done that in the past and it's worked against me. Someone or rather, Rxprep and NABP seems to think that what you consider "minutiae" is actually important. Don't fight it and embrace it. I can tell you everything there is to know about Warfarin because my maternal grandmother died of a hemorrhagic stroke which stemmed from careless INR monitoring by family members. This happened years before I started pharmacy school. To this day I have dreams of shouting "she needs to get her INR tested frequently". The point I am trying to make is that you need to put of face to what you call "minutiae". Believe me, it will stick once you recognize that these conditions and drugs are closer to home than you think.

    Be respectful of the information that you call "minutiae". Truth is that it is not "minutiae". Doing so will make you a more knowledgeable and competent pharmacist. Study for the exam with the purpose of being the most competent pharmacist you can be and passing will happen as a byproduct. I turned a 67 Pre-NAPLEX into a 107 Naplex score by shifting my thinking and the purpose of my studying.

    Try it... It may just work for you.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     

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