Oct 31, 2013
87
36
Status
Pre-Medical
For those who have performed well in upper-level Bio courses and Organic Chemistry, what were your specific methods in studying your material? What's your studying routine like?

I'm strongly considering switching over to flashcards because I've figured that my current method isn't good enough.
 

Pacna

Dyslexics, untie!
Jun 2, 2013
2,017
2,251
MN
Status
Medical Student
My study method: Never miss a class. Take notes on the lecture slides/coursepack.

Approximately 2 days to a week (depending on load of material) before the exam, rewrite 100% of the information on the slides/coursepack into a notebook. Then do practice exams. Worked great for me! :)
 

justAstudent

7+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2011
803
492
California
Status
Medical Student
My study method: Never miss a class. Take notes on the lecture slides/coursepack.

Approximately 2 days to a week (depending on load of material) before the exam, rewrite 100% of the information on the slides/coursepack into a notebook. Then do practice exams. Worked great for me! :)
+1 Don't forget to stay on top of the material and not fall too behind.
 

frosted_flake

waaahmbulance attendant
Oct 27, 2012
1,151
737
Los Angeles
Status
Pre-Medical
What I found works for me is to take notes/ highlight directly onto the powerpoint slides (I print 4 to a page, front and back) and then type those into an outline in Microsoft one note when I get home. I print those outlines off, annotate them and then use those to study 3-4 days before the exam. I will also re-read the power points depending on how I feel about the material.
It takes a significant chunk of time but these guides suffice for my finals study guides too. Two birds with one stone :)
This is for my bio courses. Chemistry I kill me some practice problems (I have yet to take orgo so I am of no help there)
 

Syncrohnize

PGY-1
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
2,866
2,829
Status
Resident [Any Field]
For those who have performed well in upper-level Bio courses and Organic Chemistry, what were your specific methods in studying your material? What's your studying routine like?

I'm strongly considering switching over to flashcards because I've figured that my current method isn't good enough.

I use flashcards but it's key to use them properly. What I do is try to attend every class (it gives you context which is important even if you don't grasp the details). Takes notes on the note guides the give you (especially important if the notes have blanks and the PPTs aren't available online). Then, about a week from the exam start studying the material 2-3 lectures per days and iron out each concept. Use your notes/textbook/etc. and use a lot of printer paper to work through and understand concepts. Once you've got a concept "crystallized" write it in form of a question on the front of a note card.

Ex.

-What leads to the build up in Tay Sach disease?
-what are the symptoms?
-how is it managed?

On the other side write:

- Recessive Mutation_HexA_Lysosomal Enzyme --> Increased Ganglioside in Nerve Cell
-Retinal Red Spot, Mental/Physical Deterioration.
-Limited drugs, lithium-->Psych Symptoms


Keep it simple. Write one-three words for the answers. No one memorizes complete sentences/long lists easily. Ask unambiguous questions so when you're reviewing your FCs, you'll understand the questions.

If you have practice exams, after every lecture you complete, look over the practice exams and see which problems you can complete now and do them. This will give you instant feedback on whether you are focusing on the right concepts and if you are learning them effectively! It will also give you a sense of accomplishment which will motivate you to keep studying.


I learnt this method sophomore year and I have stuck to it with success. As for orgo, math, chemistry, physics, and statistics, you're better of just using paper to iron out concepts and making outlines and doing problems and thinking of ways things can be twisted (ex. give a different variable) and how to deal with that. Flashcards are useful but should be used sparingly for things like memorization of common molecule names, weak/strong acids, definitions of postulates (sometimes you're asked strict definitions of theorems in calc), and atomic decay formulas (physics).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: StephSam
Aug 4, 2013
187
79
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Recording lectures, and listening to them over and over again worked really well for me as I learn more by listening than writing:):):)
 

Eremba

MS3
5+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2012
671
379
Status
Medical Student
For orgo I did basically every practice problem I could get my hands on....went to every class...and took the practice exams given by the professor. Result: A.

Just be diligent and keep up on the material.

For upper bio courses: flash cards!!
 

Jimsy

5+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2012
406
125
Whale Island
Status
Pre-Medical
I used to solely rely on lecture notes and my books in the earlier years of undergrad...then I discovered YouTube. It has good videos covering various topics in upper level bio and ochem. Watch some of these to supplement what you're reading/learning in class.
 
  • Like
Reactions: emilym

blahblahblagh

7+ Year Member
May 30, 2009
34
5
Status
Pre-Medical
For bio, I liked transferring class notes taken in a notebook onto powerpoint slides and improving them later the next day or so using lecture recordings (listened to at ~1.5x speed). That way all of the information that I needed to study was in one place.
Doing mechanisms and problems on a whiteboard helped me in organic chem.
 

BamaNicole

PGY 1
5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2012
922
737
AZ
Status
Resident [Any Field]
For upper division bio, I read the material beforehand and outlined it. Then I went to lecture and hand wrote my notes. That night I would type an outline of my notes from lecture and merge my pre and post lecture outlines. If there was anything I didn't understand, I would write my questions down and go to office hours. I did very well in every upper division boo class I took.

For o chem, I did the same plus a crap load of practice problems.
 
Sep 23, 2013
98
35
Status
Pre-Medical
My orgo class was an experiment for POGIL style teaching. For my class we worked a work book and the professor came and helped us if we had a question. I know I retained information way better this way then a lot in the traditional style lecture. However, I think the biggest reason was the fact that all I did every class and for homework was work problems. That is key, its not like your bio classes where you study and memorize material, you need to be able to work problems. Just get as many practice problems as possible work them. Also for IR and NMR, I used SDBS (you'll probably use it in lab) to print of random IR and NMRs to practice identifying structures.

Also for upper level bio I'd say stay pretty clear from flash cards except in pretty situational cases. I have noticed for me and a lot of my classmates that the difference between a B and A is memorizing the material vs learning the material. There is a place for memorization but you really have to understand systems, pathways, etc to really be able to regurgitate the material on test day. I usually review the notes of the week, and then starting about 2-3 days before an exam I go through all my notes on a white board.
 

The_Bird

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
7,753
9,292
Status
Medical Student
I don't get very much out of lectures. I attend for quizzes and in class stuff as well as little tidbits of information the professor wants us to know specifically. The best method for me is to read the textbook and take very detailed notes on printer paper. It's a bit tedious, but this is how I learn (basically self teaching) and by the end of a unit I have a very personalized and effective study guide for the exam.
 

frosted_flake

waaahmbulance attendant
Oct 27, 2012
1,151
737
Los Angeles
Status
Pre-Medical
When I re-listen to my lectures, I normally just record them on my iPad/phone and listen to them that way. Is there a better program? Specifically so I can listen to them at 1.5/2x speed?
Thanks!