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Learning Vs. Passing

xscpx

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  1. Other Health Professions Student
    Does anyone else ever feel like you are trying so hard to get an A that you aren't actually learning as much as you could be? Perhaps it is just my school, but I feel like my science classes in particular focus more on passing than on learning. I actually just dropped Organic when I was passing, but I honestly didn't feel like I knew anything. When I would ask a question my reply would be "Don't worry about it, its not on the test." Anyone else have any issues like this or any suggestions on dealing with it? I think I'm going to take Organic at my local community college. Twenty students in a class Vs. my school's 370.
     

    PharmD321

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      Does anyone else ever feel like you are trying so hard to get an A that you aren't actually learning as much as you could be? Perhaps it is just my school, but I feel like my science classes in particular focus more on passing than on learning. I actually just dropped Organic when I was passing, but I honestly didn't feel like I knew anything. When I would ask a question my reply would be "Don't worry about it, its not on the test." Anyone else have any issues like this or any suggestions on dealing with it? I think I'm going to take Organic at my local community college. Twenty students in a class Vs. my school's 370.


      Damn, I am sorry that you are having a tough time with your professors! where do you go to school?

      My school has all kinds of different teachers. I actually have 2 good professors right now but one professor is very confusing. He is acting like what you are describing about your professor. It is the Core Composition 1 class that I am taking now and he doesn't want to teach us with the 'everything an arguement' book but making us write a bunch of papers that he wants us to write. I feel that I didn't learn anything from him and he suggested to me to go to the writing center (sounds like he doesn't even know what is wrong with my writing). I went there and they told me I had problems with the pronouns like I used to like to use the word 'they' and I needed to change it to a specific person or in other words, who am I referring to.... and the only paper he graded was a C+ and the like 5 other papers were trash and I don't know what is going to happen now.

      Also, a really wierd thing happened. I have another english class I am taking and that teacher is really cool. The class is about the American/British Literature and we have to write responses about each chapter or parts of a story we read. That teacher gave me my last two papers, both were A- on it. which makes sense because I like to participate in class about the reading discussion and the criticism.

      anyways, my point is that every university has to have at least one of those kind of professor that is very wierd so you shouldn't just think that it was all your school's fault. I would recommend you to rate your professor like crap if he really didn't do his job. Good luck!

      UPDATE: I finally met up with my core comp teacher and then we talked for 30 minutes. I found out now that he didn't like my papers because I did too many unnecessary research on the papers, he told me to work more on writing about my opinions. That only took 30 mins and now I know why he gave me two C+!
       
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      xscpx

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        You really need to learn the stuffs for pharmacy school. I suggest get in another better school.

        That's not at all an answer. I chose to come to this school thinking it was better than it was. I am now a senior so changing schools is not an option, especially since my husband's job is here and this is where we are settled.



        Sadly, all of my science classes have felt like this. I got a 98% in General Chem I and a 94% in Gen Chem II and honestly, I don't think I know jack. All of the science classes seem to be geared towards pre-meds and just shoving them through. It's terrible really.

        I go to the University of South Florida. I really enjoy my non-science aspects of the school. I also have a degree in Anthropology and one in Classics and both departments are fabulous.
         

        alenadoma

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          I think you bring up an excellent point. Students, especially pre-med or pre-pharm, are soo focused on getting that A, and then you end up forgetting all of the material after getting it! It's happened to me before! The course that I learned the most in was probably a graduate level Cell Bio class, and I only got a B in it!
           

          GatorRomp

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          Sep 7, 2008
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          1. Pharmacy Student
            Sadly, all of my science classes have felt like this. I got a 98% in General Chem I and a 94% in Gen Chem II and honestly, I don't think I know jack. All of the science classes seem to be geared towards pre-meds and just shoving them through. It's terrible really.

            Dear SDNer,

            It is refreshing that you seek to actually learn as much as you can in the sciences rather than just wanting to pass. Your future patients will thank you for it. But only if you'll actually use SN2 reactions, Markovnikov's rule and the synthesis of alkenes to treat them. IMO Organic chemists, medicinal chemists, biochemist are experts at these in search for cures etc...

            Food for thoughts:

            Did you drop Chem I and II, even though you 'earned' a grade of A?


            What will you tell the pharmacy/med adcom when you are asked: "Why did you drop out of Organic I?"

            I'm sure your answer that you were passing but..... would have been heard before or it may appear as outright foolishness.
            Of course, having a smaller class size helps but you'll still need to reinforce the material after class.

            Your attitude towards learning is one I appreciate, but not at the cost of time and money.

            In pharmacy school, there are too many minutiae to remember and you can't possibly memorize them all. The essentials though, you will KNOW for sure!
             
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            tootoo30

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              I often feel the same way that I am just learning material to pass the class, but it doesn't bother me, if I have to relearn the material in pharmacy school, well so be it. My goal is to get into pharmacy school by all means necessary. I agree that half of the stuff that i have learned in Gen Chem I and II plus Organic probably won't translate into the real world, so I plan to learn the material in pharmacy school where it will actually count toward something. Just my 2 cents....:)
               

              Antimony

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                I always try to compare a schools GPA to PCAT score. While I know some students have a language barrier which handicaps them on the PCAT, overall it is a good measure of how difficult a university's classes are. It also shows how well the classes prepare them for the science material.

                I sometimes don't understand how a student can get a 3.8 GPA but get in the 70's or lower on the PCAT. You can be a poor test taker, but at some point you must have learned the material. The PCAT's questions are not that tricky!
                 

                Antimony

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                1. Pharmacy Student
                  That's not at all an answer. I chose to come to this school thinking it was better than it was. I am now a senior so changing schools is not an option, especially since my husband's job is here and this is where we are settled.



                  Sadly, all of my science classes have felt like this. I got a 98% in General Chem I and a 94% in Gen Chem II and honestly, I don't think I know jack. All of the science classes seem to be geared towards pre-meds and just shoving them through. It's terrible really.

                  I go to the University of South Florida. I really enjoy my non-science aspects of the school. I also have a degree in Anthropology and one in Classics and both departments are fabulous.

                  Why didn't you consider UCF? They do a great job at preparing you for pharmacy school here. And let me tell you, very few people get A's without fully understanding the material. Our science department is awesome, but hard.
                   

                  LECOM-B2012

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                  1. Pharmacy Student
                    Welcome to Pharmacy school, At least you have the flexibility to change teachers if you want. That is always going to happen. In pharmacy school now, we have teachers that are good and teacher that are bad. We don't have the option of dropping the class. My favorite answer so far has been when they tell us, "deal with it this is grad school". It upsets me, because as pharmacist we can't use excuses with patient. I can't tell a patient, "Oh, I am sorry the question you are asking me is the one I got wrong on the test". That is why once you get into pharmacy school don't let grades define who you are, because in the end, the fact that you got a 100 or an 80 doesn't make you any better of a pharmacist.
                     

                    tootoo30

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                      Welcome to Pharmacy school, At least you have the flexibility to change teachers if you want. That is always going to happen. In pharmacy school now, we have teachers that are good and teacher that are bad. We don't have the option of dropping the class. My favorite answer so far has been when they tell us, "deal with it this is grad school". It upsets me, because as pharmacist we can't use excuses with patient. I can't tell a patient, "Oh, I am sorry the question you are asking me is the one I got wrong on the test". That is why once you get into pharmacy school don't let grades define who you are, because in the end, the fact that you got a 100 or an 80 doesn't make you any better of a pharmacist.

                      Well said :)
                       

                      parabolic

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                        Sadly, all of my science classes have felt like this. I got a 98% in General Chem I and a 94% in Gen Chem II and honestly, I don't think I know jack. All of the science classes seem to be geared towards pre-meds and just shoving them through. It's terrible really.

                        Some people are just better teachers than others. Can't really be helped. In cases like those, you have to just buckle down and force yourself to learn the material on your own time, and if you have questions, try finding a classmate or TA who knows their stuff when the prof won't talk with you.

                        At the same time, while I don't agree with professors dismissing your questions with, "this won't be on the test," chances are that if they're not testing it, you probably really don't need to know it. There's a lot of superfluous material in the weed-out classes. If a concept is important enough, you *will* see it again in pharmacy school, and hopefully it will be better taught the second time around. The professors at my school actually make a huge deal out of stressing that grades don't matter, so long as you know your stuff.

                        Final thought: you may feel like you're not learning anything, but hopefully you're at least picking up on the major points and important concepts. Sometimes that's all you can ask for. Good luck!
                         

                        FarscapeGirl

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                          The first time I went through chemistry and organic chemistry, I really didn't understand it much. Well, I did at the time and did well enough to get mostly As, but I didn't remember much. But when I retook organic chemistry to fulfill a pharmacy school requirement and reviewed chemistry for the PCATs, I increased my understanding a lot. My husband tutored o-chem several years ago (like about 8 or so) and can still help me when I'm confused. The reason: you really have to know something to teach it.

                          My point is that it's with the reviewing of the materials that you'll learn something. If it's important, it will come up again, and you'll be better prepared to actually learn the material.

                          So go over chemistry later, after you take it. Take higher classes in areas, and you'll have to review the preliminary material so much that you'll know it. Tutor.

                          But never put up with a "it's not on the test" response, unless it comes from a frustrated professor or TA the day before the exam when they have a million other questions to answer. And then go back to office hours right after the exam to get the answer.
                           
                          T

                          Tatodotcom

                            I always try to compare a schools GPA to PCAT score. While I know some students have a language barrier which handicaps them on the PCAT, overall it is a good measure of how difficult a university's classes are. It also shows how well the classes prepare them for the science material.

                            I sometimes don't understand how a student can get a 3.8 GPA but get in the 70's or lower on the PCAT. You can be a poor test taker, but at some point you must have learned the material. The PCAT's questions are not that tricky!

                            i completely disagree with you...my school's science department is ranked 13th in the nation according to American Science committee. One can know every question on the PCAT and understand the material very well and still not score well. I've seen students from top tier private schools with perfect G.P.A.s do poorly on the test(my cousin). Whether it be from test anxiety, or simply not having enough time on each section. I don't think the pcat is accurate in showing how well the classes prepare them for science material. 1. there are mistakes on two pcats that i've taken. 2. this test isn't even based on the info you know, it's just based on if you know more info than previous test takers....no one really knows how they come up with the composite scores........i dunno i just don't think it's very accurate.......just my 2 cents.
                             

                            Storm90

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                            1. Pharmacy Student
                              I've done both Organic I and II through correspondance with little to no help from anyone. Got an A- and an A respectively, and I feel I earned as well as learned the material. Am I happy I got the grades? Of course. Am I more satisfied that I learned everything myself and that I will be able to use some of the pathways for future development? Yes. And now I'm currently doing Biochem through correspondance. Because I don't have anyone to really rely on to teach me, I have to learn everything. And that's harder than being in class. That means when I need to call on something more specific during my PharmD education, I'll have the base to fall back on and the ability to do it.
                               

                              Dave4468

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                                OMG ya!! I complain about this all the time. Schools are becoming a freakin arms race. And there are those schools where you can get a 94% and still get a B or where the class average is like a 46%. Its like you try so hard and stress over getting an A because of the ridiculous difficulty of the class that you stop caring about the concept, but rather you start caring about "what do I need to know to get an A on this next test."

                                The classes I like are where the teachers don't stress you out with work, and actually make sure you know what will be on the test. When theres not so much stress involved, and tests aren't so ridiculous, it makes the learning really fun and helps one to really take in the material in my opinion. I agree we need to stress, but with some classes and at some schools, it just goes too far. Well, thats the end of my rant, good post.
                                 
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