SleepingPillow

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So yeah, any encouragements? My goal is to get into UWSOM (instate, but I go to school oos). I know, ranking doesn't/shouldn't matter but I guess it's one motivation to try harder.

I go to a certain premed school, and pretty much got straight Bs and a C+ in bio. Pretty bummed about that, but next week I am starting orgo and bio 2 and I feel the desperation coming in. I am also starting research.
I think I've figured out what works for me. While I didn't exactly slack off (I studied more than others even though it didn't show in my results), I realized I need a lot of time to study (in small chunks) and to get a good night's sleep. Also studying with a friend who has like a 3.8 also didn't help my confidence. None of the times I stayed up late to review worked out well, but the one time I got 13 hours of sleep I scored above average on the chem test. Still, inconsistency in the ways I studied probably hurt my gpa a lot.

At this point Ive calculated that I will need 4.0s for the rest of college to get to a ~3.8. Which is possible, but idk, any advice/secrets/encouragements/critiques/whatever you wanna toss at me to get me going for the year? Thanks!
 

Lardy Boy

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Try figure out what you're doing wrong on exams. Is it the details or the critical analysis questions you're getting wrong? It's the former, study more carefully. The later will require you to connect multiple ideas together and it's a skill that will take time to build.


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CyrilFiggis

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Learn how to study. Don't compare yourself to others. And don't aim for 4.0 in every class - you'll only discourage yourself more. There are many current and former med students who did poorly freshman year and got in without having to Ace every class after.
 
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Traitor Kaepernick

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So yeah, any encouragements? My goal is to get into UWSOM (instate, but I go to school oos). I know, ranking doesn't/shouldn't matter but I guess it's one motivation to try harder.

I go to a certain premed school, and pretty much got straight Bs and a C+ in bio. Pretty bummed about that, but next week I am starting orgo and bio 2 and I feel the desperation coming in. I am also starting research.
I think I've figured out what works for me. While I didn't exactly slack off (I studied more than others even though it didn't show in my results), I realized I need a lot of time to study (in small chunks) and to get a good night's sleep. Also studying with a friend who has like a 3.8 also didn't help my confidence. None of the times I stayed up late to review worked out well, but the one time I got 13 hours of sleep I scored above average on the chem test. Still, inconsistency in the ways I studied probably hurt my gpa a lot.

At this point Ive calculated that I will need 4.0s for the rest of college to get to a ~3.8. Which is possible, but idk, any advice/secrets/encouragements/critiques/whatever you wanna toss at me to get me going for the year? Thanks!
I'm not sure 'bout encouragement. Here is some reality. You're a sophomore, meaning that your GPAs are based on a relatively low number of credit hours, meaning they are flexible------can go up. If you were a senior it would be much different.

Don't assume getting sleep has much to do with scoring high on tests. Yes, over the long-term sleep does help learning, but is way overrated when being discussed with test performance. You have to know the material to do well on a test, simple, yes. I have taken significantly more tests than you have have found there is no association with sleep and my performance. I have had exams where I got 9 hours of sleep the night before and exams where I got 3 hours, and done equally well in both circumstances. Get 8 hours of sleep every night and forget about sleep, move on to focusing on something that will help you do better.
 
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Traitor Kaepernick

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Learn how to study. Don't compare yourself to others. And don't aim for 4.0 in every class - you'll only discourage yourself more. There are many current and former med students who did poorly freshman year and got in without having to Ace every class after.
I get what you're saying bout don't aim for 4.0 in every class, but I'm not sure that is the best advice. With current GPAs, OP would be screened out of a lot of medical schools. 3.0s don't help much at this point as they basically cement the current GPAs. Unfortunately, especially science (the hard classes), you need mostly 4.0s from here on out. You're at a crossroads here and trust me, many many many many many people wish they could come back to the point were you are and get a "do over."
 
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NameGoesHere

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I was in the same situation you are in one year ago! My cGPA was actually even lower but the best thing you can do is to change you studying style because whatever you are doing is not working. Use Anki because it helps and do a ton of practice tests and problems. Also you don't need a 3.8 you just need a 3.6+ to be able to apply anywhere. A lot of clinical hours is also very good so try to get that too!
 

DBC03

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I started with a 2.2 my sophomore year. Now granted I wasn't pre-med, but I was able to get over a 3.5 (basically over a 3.6) the rest of the time. Unfortunately that just got me to a 3.33. I figured I was done for, but I did go back for some postbac classes (13 years later), and with a 4.0 I got my cGPA up to a 3.43 (which will be around a 3.5 this year if I get all As) and got a 522 on the MCAT. You're starting at a much better GPA your sophomore year and you can definitely get it up, especially since you are working on it (I never really tried to get mine higher - I was an engineering student at a school that graded everyone on the bell curve and I was thrilled that I wasn't getting anything below a B at that point). Definitely determine how you learn best - it's almost always by quizzing yourself and doing practice problems. Freshman year is often a difficult transition so you'll likely do better this year.


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altblue

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I'm not sure 'bout encouragement. Here is some reality. You're a sophomore, meaning that your GPAs are based on a relatively low number of credit hours, meaning they are flexible------can go up. If you were a senior it would be much different.

Don't assume getting sleep has much to do with scoring high on tests. Yes, over the long-term sleep does help learning, but is way overrated when being discussed with test performance. You have to know the material to do well on a test, simple, yes. I have taken significantly more tests than you have have found there is no association with sleep and my performance. I have had exams where I got 9 hours of sleep the night before and exams where I got 3 hours, and done equally well in both circumstances. Get 8 hours of sleep every night and forget about sleep, move on to focusing on something that will help you do better.
It's a good thing OP is exactly like you and doesn't need sleep either.
 
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AttemptingScholar

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I would recommend going to office hours at least once a week, trying to hit all your teachers at a minimum once a month.
If you are having trouble, you get your questioned answers. If you are not having trouble, trying to think of good questions to justify going actually lets you engage with the material pretty deeply. Either way, you are more likely to hear what they emphasize (and will emphasize on tests) and are more likely to bump you if you're on a border.
 
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Traitor Kaepernick

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I would recommend going to office hours at least once a week, trying to hit all your teachers at a minimum once a month.
If you are having trouble, you get your questioned answers. If you are not having trouble, trying to think of good questions to justify going actually lets you engage with the material pretty deeply. Either way, you are more likely to hear what they emphasize (and will emphasize on tests) and are more likely to bump you if you're on a border.
Only go to office hours if you don't understand something. Otherwise, you're time spent won't be efficient. Almost universally in my experience, getting help during office hours takes a bunch of hours to ask your 1-2 questions that you could have found the answer to on youtube or wikipedia in about 20 minutes.
 
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AttemptingScholar

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Only go to office hours if you don't understand something. Otherwise, you're time spent won't be efficient. Almost universally in my experience, getting help during office hours takes a bunch of hours to ask your 1-2 questions that you could have found the answer to on youtube or wikipedia in about 20 minutes.
Sounds like we had very different experiences. I was in and out within 5 minutes, and all my teachers knew me by the end of the semester (even to 600 person lectures!)
 
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Traitor Kaepernick

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Sounds like we had very different experiences. I was in and out within 5 minutes, and all my teachers knew me by the end of the semester (even to 600 person lectures!)
I'm including all time spend, not just with the instructor. I did all my studying at home. For me, it was time to drive, park, walk into school and find office, wait for instructor to be ready for me, ask my few questions, walk back to car, drive back home, and refocus.
 
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SleepingPillow

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Thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

With regards to the sleep thing, I think for me being able to sleep 8+ hours before a test is when I feel I am ready, hence the higher test scores. With the lower test scores where I didn't sleep, it was because I didn't understand the material and couldn't allow myself to sleep, and then mismatched my result with the amount of sleep I got when the main problem was that I didn't understand the material and panicked during test time.

Here is my plan for the semester.
1. Review lectures the day of, or at least the day after.
2. Complete all problem sets as soon as possible after they are released/taught.
3. Go to office hours (seems to be a favorite for successful people here too).
4. Plan to study a week before an exam and stick with it, so I don't have to cram.
5. Study myself before studying with a group, so I can also teach others.
6. Review my mistakes closely instead of avoiding them (tbt to when I recycled my chem test after I saw the score)
7. Pray.
 
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DBC03

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I found sleep to be a really important part of doing better my sophomore year. I was working off 4 hours a night freshman year, which just isn't doable. So don't feel bad for prioritizing sleep. I also recommend figuring out efficient studying. I find when I'm on campus I'm more focused and get a lot more done. So if I drive to campus, I set up camp and pretty much study all day (as well as go to office hours, etc.). I put myself in a position to succeed.

Your plan looks good. If you are struggling during the year, hop back on and ask for advice. Good luck!!



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Traitor Kaepernick

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Thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

With regards to the sleep thing, I think for me being able to sleep 8+ hours before a test is when I feel I am ready, hence the higher test scores. With the lower test scores where I didn't sleep, it was because I didn't understand the material and couldn't allow myself to sleep, and then mismatched my result with the amount of sleep I got when the main problem was that I didn't understand the material and panicked during test time.

Here is my plan for the semester.
1. Review lectures the day of, or at least the day after.
2. Complete all problem sets as soon as possible after they are released/taught.
3. Go to office hours (seems to be a favorite for successful people here too).
4. Plan to study a week before an exam and stick with it, so I don't have to cram.
5. Study myself before studying with a group, so I can also teach others.
6. Review my mistakes closely instead of avoiding them (tbt to when I recycled my chem test after I saw the score)
7. Pray.
Don't correlate sleep with how well you do on an exam. If you don't know the rate limiting enzyme in glycolysis, 12 hours sleep the five nights before the exam isn't going to make one bit of difference.
 

hamstergang

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Don't correlate sleep with how well you do on an exam. If you don't know the rate limiting enzyme in glycolysis, 12 hours sleep the five nights before the exam isn't going to make one bit of difference.
We don't need your personal experience to know that getting adequate sleep helps with learning and with test performance. Numerous studies throughout the years have supported this as even a cursory glance through the literature would reveal.
 
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Traitor Kaepernick

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We don't need your personal experience to know that getting adequate sleep helps with learning and with test performance. Numerous studies throughout the years have supported this as even a cursory glance through the literature would reveal.
I'm not denying getting adequate sleep will help test performance. The part I'm arguing is garbage is the idea the amount of sleep on the night before the exam. Duh!! If you want to do well and factor in sleep, get 8 hours of sleep every night for the whole unit leading up to the test. This will help with learning and retention on a daily basis leading up to the exam where it will actually make a difference on the score.

Big pictures stuff, if you don't know the content, sleep doesn't matter!!!!!!!
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I'm not denying getting adequate sleep will help test performance. The part I'm arguing is garbage is the idea the amount of sleep on the night before the exam. Duh!! If you want to do well and factor in sleep, get 8 hours of sleep every night for the whole unit leading up to the test. This will help with learning and retention on a daily basis leading up to the exam where it will actually make a difference on the score.

Big pictures stuff, if you don't know the content, sleep doesn't matter!!!!!!!
Except that numerous studies on test performance and sleep the day or two before test day show the exact opposite. Try to parse out your anecdata from actual data.
 

Isoval

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I'm not sure 'bout encouragement. Here is some reality. You're a sophomore, meaning that your GPAs are based on a relatively low number of credit hours, meaning they are flexible------can go up. If you were a senior it would be much different.

Don't assume getting sleep has much to do with scoring high on tests. Yes, over the long-term sleep does help learning, but is way overrated when being discussed with test performance. You have to know the material to do well on a test, simple, yes. I have taken significantly more tests than you have have found there is no association with sleep and my performance. I have had exams where I got 9 hours of sleep the night before and exams where I got 3 hours, and done equally well in both circumstances. Get 8 hours of sleep every night and forget about sleep, move on to focusing on something that will help you do better.
Just wanted to pop in and say I vehemently disagree with this.

The importance of a good night of sleep cannot be overstated. If you're in a position where you must cram through the night before an exam, you're doing it wrong and something needs to change.

Sleep is possibly the most important requisite of an exam - especially those where critical thinking is required.
 

Kpw101

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I've gotten a few friends to start scoring high marks on their exams and this is general advice that I found works for everyone:

1) Try your best to pay attention and learn everything while in lecture
2) Review your lecture notes (you don't have to try and study every detail but just look it over at least) the day you have your lecture
3) Start studying way before your exam. I'm talking 2-3 weeks via little chunks in a day.
4) Look over your material twice.
5) After you looked over your material twice do as many practice problems as you can or mental exercises leading up to the exam. (Mental exercises include making flow diagrams from memory, index cards, writing out reactions from memory. Anki is also an amazing resource for mental exercise of your material.)

Anything other than the guidelines above I feel changes from student to student. Personally I study my lecture notes by reading it over and over again + making diagrams. Others like to rewrite theirs. Others like to listen to recordings. Find what works for you and you should see improvement!
 
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