Study Tips

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by GaPharmGirl09, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. GaPharmGirl09

    GaPharmGirl09 Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Is there a website with tips that might help me study better. I don't have the best "memory" skills. I do okay if I have to "learn" something, but when it comes to just memorizing information, like 200 drug cards (front and back), I have a really hard time.

    Any suggestions? I'm about to start my P2 year, and I've heard it is going to be "H*E*Double*L" !!! :scared:
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. pharmagirl

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Have you tried flash cards? I think they work best with only minimal information, like one or two words per card.

    Also, writing things over repeatedly really helps me... and when I say repeatedly, I mean rewrite it until you can get through it in your sleep.

    Of course, this isn't how I regularly study for exams, but if I have lists or structures that I need to memorize, it works.
     
  4. twester

    twester Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    I try to make my reading as active a process as possible. I use Pharmagirl's suggestions. Recreating information over and over helps a lot with retention. I've had less success with flash cards because I put too much information on them. I also outline the material in my own words as I read it. It takes time, but has probably been the best tip I've ever been given.
     
  5. pharmagirl

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    That was always my problem with flash cards too... they only really work if you can REALLY condense the material.

    I also like to outline in my own words, I think just the process of writing out the outline helps me learn.
     
  6. Cocogirl

    Cocogirl Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Flashcards don't work for me - too small! (Although they are good for structures etc). I like to make tables and kind of compare things across the board ie.. what are the similarities between different drugs, what are the differences. Just the act of creating the table clears up concepts for me sometimes.

    Other that that, I do a fake professor routine, where I try to teach the wall the topic I am studying. I switched to that from rewriting from memory because writing takes a whole lot longer than talking ! :) Being able to call upon the material from memory is the only way to really know that you have learned it. Passive (and even active) reading is not enough for me to retain material.

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. Requiem

    Requiem Senior Member
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    4
    Honestly, one can only offer suggestions; learning is very independent.

    Environment is just as important as technique, and all of this depends upon your mental state. If you're fatigued, or frustrated there's no point studying - take a break and come back later.

    In terms of technique I think flashcards are largely useless, you have to read the material - make all that material into notes and condense the notes - then you start learning. This is way too time consuming if you're dealing with any course with a large amount of material (think anatomy).

    Some people re-write the material, i've tried this and it seems decent but it really depends on how much material you have and how much time, frankly rewriting the nervous system would take way too long - but that's me. I re-write material for "intermediate courses" where often you're given bulleted powerpoints and no textbook.

    Repetition is the key to retention, and I find re-reading the material a couple of times to be helpful. While others are preparing ways to study, you're on your 2nd-3rd read of the material. First read you can skim through it, 2nd one you can highlight and begin to understand then the 3rd time through you should focus on repeating the important thoughts over. This is where you may wanna write somehting out to prove you can do it from memory, but I don't really do that. To study for anatomy/physiology i'd just simply read the book over and over - it's boring, but it's school what do you expect.

    But, to clarify I have never been an expert memorizer. I find memorization utterly uninspiring, and parrot-like. It, in my opinion denotes nothing of understanding - which is why I preferred courses in math/chem/physics because there was a true understanding.

    I do worse in memorization based courses with MC examination than I would a problem-solving orientated exam, but i'm in pharmacy so that's what i'm stuck with. I find more people in my class are geared towards memorization than understanding, which frustrates me.

    To paraphrase Albert Einstein, you do not truly understand material unless you can explain it to your grandmother. Most people in this program seem to be unable to do this and can only receit material, not explain it. My final piece of advice is to gain an understanding of the material and where it's relevant. Do not try to aim for the highest marks in class, aim for an understanding and the ability to articulate it coherently to someone much less educated than yourself. This is why i'm awesome, and am better than the person who has a 95 average across the board.
     
  8. off2skl

    off2skl Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is true, but THAT is also part of the studying. What I like about flashcards is that I can mix them up and quiz myself. When I read through my notes, I could just say"Yeah, I know that;" with flashcards, if I don't have the right answer it goes right back into the pile.
     
  9. crossurfingers

    crossurfingers Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    20
    I seem to have some sort of undiagnosed ADD problem during lectures so I get very little out of them at first, especially if I don't know what they're talking about to start with. Depending on the class, teaching style and type of exam questions I either re-read everything about 3 times or I re-listen to the lecture and re-read everything. It has helped me so much!
     
  10. ButlerPharm.D.

    ButlerPharm.D. Honor Before Glory
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    For me, I start studying early by going over my notes. Once I have gone over my notes I then move on to reading the material in the book that coincides with the lecture material. I have found that group studying works best for me. Honestly, I get a private room in the library and myself and my 3 roommates sit in there and study and when we have covered a good deal of information or the clock reaches a pre-designated time, we will stop and review. If one of us has a topic down pat then that person will "teach" the others the material. I know not everyone is comfortable studying in groups but I have found them to be VERY useful. In fact, my school recommends that students form study groups. When I am reading the material I take it in small chunks and I read it 3 times and then I move on. Once I have covered a good amount of material I see if I can write out everything that I have covered. If so, I move on and continue in the same fashion. In terms of drug cards, I have found that pure memorization is the only way to do it. Something I think might help you is if you made an excel table and you filled in all of the info on a spread sheet with pre-designated hading, this way you can see the info and then once you have the info committed to memory, if I asked you a question about a drug, you may be able to jump to that spot in the excel table in your mind and answer the question; thatÂ’s how I remember info about certain drugs.
     
  11. Phantom_Eclipse

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    That's what I do. But then again, that was also in undergrad. I hope it will still work in pharm school as I have no other way of studying that would work for me(flash cards wont work, and re-writing takes too much time).
     
  12. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,642
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    We have a Yahoo Group where people post all sorts of tables and outlines that they have created. I like to create my own in Excel to study from, then I download what other people have done and study those.

    I color the cells based on a common characteristic. When I take an exam, I can remember the color and recall the chart. I also make manual notes with boxes or shapes drawn around different topics. Then, I can recall the shape and "see" what was written inside of it. I'm better with visual concepts than written words.
     
  13. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
    Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,407
    Likes Received:
    6
    Can't tell you how to study since your brain and mine operate differently.

    But I can tell you when presented with new material, study and learn it with an attitude of wanting to know with a genuine interest on the subject.

    Studying to just get through a test will get you by... but you won't retain it as well in the long run.

    Antimicrobials were absolutely fascinating for me. I studied and learned it because I wanted to know. It's a class of drugs that cures...instead of maintenance. Because of my keen interest in ABXs, I did well ..

    Even now, I love to discuss the topic of ABXs.
     
  14. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    3,547
    Likes Received:
    18
    Maybe thats why the LMWH's get you so fired up ;) Personally, I loved the clotting cascade. :D
     
  15. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
    Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,407
    Likes Received:
    6

    Total geekness...

    I just did Novo-7 last friday.. does that turn you on?
     
  16. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    3,547
    Likes Received:
    18
    You are so weird! It must have been a long weekend for you!

    But....I am curious - what did you decide about Novo-7 - is it on your formulary. How does the price compare with desmopressin - not yours specifically, just awp comparison is fine....

    I'd think it would be hard to justify since desmopressin is so cheap.
     
  17. Smilescali

    Smilescali Almost there...
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    623
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Pharmacist

    Wow..very helpful Requiem. Great advice. :thumbup:
     
  18. LogicalFallacy

    LogicalFallacy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    When you have to memorize large chunks of text, imagine it as if your own professor is right there, speaking those words in front of you. I learned that it helps if you get to know your professor, or even if (and I'm serious) your teacher has an accent. I know that many people recreate the classroom by being the teacher themselves but let's face it, we're much better learners than we are teachers.

    Or, try drawing cartoons. It helps me more than flashcards, though it can sometimes get time consuming, but the images stick in your head for much, much longer.
     

Share This Page