Jun 23, 2014
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In the past I would read a textbook, take notes while reading then create note cards. I find myself just essentially writing down exactly what the book says on my notes with a slight change in wording. I dont even really retain what I am writing, I just get through copying things down after a while. This is a serious time suck, I will spend close to an hour on 2-3 pages. With this taking so much time taking a much heavier load this quarter is going to be impossible. This is for biology btw. I have looked up some previous posts and everyone says read the power point slides. The slides my teacher provides are essentially useless for anything other than big picture idea. I just need some tips for reading the textbook and taking notes effectively for long term memory and cut down time. Thanks.
 

Holmwood

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Try something else. Writing something over and over again seems to only work if it's in some visual format like a chart. Great for pathways and processes, but terrible for vocab and concepts.

Recently I've been doing some powerpoint presentations and realized how easy it was to retain all the information after rehearsal. Even ridiculous stuff like ED 50 numbers, chemical names (ex: tranylcypromine), pathways (ex. MAPK pathway), etc.

So my suggestion is to try making bullet points of different concepts/vocab and practice "elaborating" on each bullet point verbally. Maybe even stand up to do it and pretend you have a crowd in front of you, lol.
 

NotASerialKiller

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There is no point in writing out notes from the textbook if you're on autopilot and not absorbing any of it. While there's nothing wrong with just reading slides if you can get away with it, active studying is generally best. I would write the key points of each slide out (while paying attention and thinking about the material) to study.

The reason people say slides over text is because for most classes the textbook contains a massive amount of information that you don't have to know. The slides contain only what your prof deems important, which is what you will be tested on. You can always ask you prof what is testable, most of them will be honest and tell you if the text is just an additional resource or will be explicitly tested. You want to study efficiently and not spend time on material that won't help your grades, only do additional readings for interest's sake in your free time.

If you do have to know this textbook material, I'd recommend reading over passages and writing down the key points, not every little factoid that is offered. There is usually a lot of filler material and context surrounding core testable ideas.
 

Lawper

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I stopped buying textbooks since freshman year unless I have to use them for practice/homework problems or lab protocols. For studying purposes, I just read the slides few times until I understood the material. Slides contain the information the professor will test you on, so a textbook is usually a waste.

If you have to take down notes, do so in lecture.
 

Holmwood

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Lecture recording and following through the recording with the powerpoint slides in your own time at home carried me through upper division. So ditto to the suggestions above.
 

bengirlxD

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If you have an online textbook. Create flashcards on Quizlet as you read about important info and since its an online textbook, you can copy and paste the information instead of having to spend hours writing it out
 
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NotASerialKiller

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I stopped buying textbooks since freshman year unless I have to use them for practice/homework problems or lab protocols. For studying purposes, I just read the slides few times until I understood the material. Slides contain the information the professor will test you on, so a textbook is usually a waste.

If you have to take down notes, do so in lecture.
I saved so much money not buying textbooks for 3 years. Some people I know rely on them though, to each her own.
 
OP
Dr.kennethnoisewater
Jun 23, 2014
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Try something else. Writing something over and over again seems to only work if it's in some visual format like a chart. Great for pathways and processes, but terrible for vocab and concepts.

Recently I've been doing some powerpoint presentations and realized how easy it was to retain all the information after rehearsal. Even ridiculous stuff like ED 50 numbers, chemical names (ex: tranylcypromine), pathways (ex. MAPK pathway), etc.

So my suggestion is to try making bullet points of different concepts/vocab and practice "elaborating" on each bullet point verbally. Maybe even stand up to do it and pretend you have a crowd in front of you, lol.
There is no point in writing out notes from the textbook if you're on autopilot and not absorbing any of it. While there's nothing wrong with just reading slides if you can get away with it, active studying is generally best. I would write the key points of each slide out (while paying attention and thinking about the material) to study.

The reason people say slides over text is because for most classes the textbook contains a massive amount of information that you don't have to know. The slides contain only what your prof deems important, which is what you will be tested on. You can always ask you prof what is testable, most of them will be honest and tell you if the text is just an additional resource or will be explicitly tested. You want to study efficiently and not spend time on material that won't help your grades, only do additional readings for interest's sake in your free time.

If you do have to know this textbook material, I'd recommend reading over passages and writing down the key points, not every little factoid that is offered. There is usually a lot of filler material and context surrounding core testable ideas.
Thanks for the tips!
 
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Dr.kennethnoisewater
Jun 23, 2014
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The textbook is really the only resource. So I essentially have to read the textbook but I just want to do it more effectively and actually retain the info.
 

cantankerous

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Start by interpreting and understanding all figures and pictures.
Supplement this by reading the information.

Of course, that's just how you should read a textbook. As for note taking, write down definitions. In biology, it's all about applying definitions to different scenarios.
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Rather than start a new thread, I figured I would revitalize this one...
I need some feedback on my primary study method!

I read through the lecture slides (after taking brief notes) and type them up into OneNote. My exam scores are excellent when I use this method, but I am wondering if this is going to work in med school... My powerpoints/lecture notes range anywhere from 50-80 slides (with a lot of detail... ex: embryology) and I end up with anywhere from 5-8 pages (single sided) of notes depending on the depth of the material/how comfortable I am with it. I re-read these and write annotations in the margins and the information sticks like glue.

PS: I am applying next cycle, I am not just some neurotic freshman ;)

PPS: I never read the book either. This is my sole method of getting the information for the exams.
 
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Dral

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I would take my own notes during class and then when I reviewed/studied, I would interface my notes with the powerpoint. This seemed to work well for most classes like Biology...but you know, to each their own.
 
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Lucca

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I stopped buying textbooks since freshman year unless I have to use them for practice/homework problems or lab protocols. For studying purposes, I just read the slides few times until I understood the material. Slides contain the information the professor will test you on, so a textbook is usually a waste.

If you have to take down notes, do so in lecture.
Same here for biology-Esque courses. I try to get as much info from slides and lecture and try to solidify mechanisms/concepts (in a biochem major so basically all of my major courses talk about some type of logical mechanism) by talking through it step by step with my friends, by myself, or at office hours depending on what my schedule is like. Putting ideas into words and logic makes things a lot easier for me to understand and retain since I am not very good at memorizing things really quickly so this might work for you if you are like me.