Hard Work Pays Off

Leo the Lion says Ger
Jun 17, 2016
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I've been studying almost everyday since June 1st. I went through all the ferallis notes and AP bio 3rd edition book and made flashcards, I watched all of chad's orgo, chem, and QR videos. I have three 5 subject notebooks full of notes yet there is so much info that even if I "review" I'm falling behind on something else and forgetting everything. I did the gen chem for DATBOOTCAMP and got a 13 on the first test and a 21 on the 5th. I took just one bootcamp bio test, I got an 18, but here is the thing, I dont really know the material its asking about, I'm just making educational guesses and narrowing things down.
I use a stop watch to see if I am procrastinating or not and yesterday, I spent 6 hours doing a 100 problems from Destroyer gen chem, not that I can solve them now if you asked me. I don't know what is going on, am I just stupid? like nothing is sticking and there is so much material to go through I fall behind on every schedule I make for myself. I usually take the weekends off even though I don't have it as an off day in my schedule because I just can't do it, sometimes. I'm looking for tips and things to do to help my sorry self if you'd be kind enough to share them, my test is in 19 days and 23 hours :bang:
 

fayevalentine

See you space cowboy.
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I feel your pain. I keep forgetting stuff too. I have no good advice sadly.
 
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May 24, 2015
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How are you reviewing the problems that you are uncertain on? Do you just look at the answer and move on?
For me, while I do the Destroyer or anything else: any concept that I get wrong more than once, I would note down on a sticky note. After I am done, I not only read the detailed explanation (which you should for every problem even if you got it right but was not 100% confident with your answer), I go back and watch Chad's video to understand it fully to prevent any future mistakes. You won't retain anything if you just answer questions and then look at the answer
 
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WheatLom

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Jul 6, 2016
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Ok, this is what you should do. Memorizing a bunch of facts does not help, except for things that are just facts. Let me explain. You can't just memorize ATP synthesis happens in the mitochondria or thylakoid membrane. What you need to remember is the PROCESS! Think of it as a story. One story can be how energy is formed in a eukaryote cell. Let's begin.

Glucose goes through glycolysis to form 2 pyruvate molecules and 2 ATP and 2NADH. Then Two things can happen, if aerobic go to citric acid (krebs) cycle. If anaerobic go to fermentation. If the latter you turn 2 Pyruvate in to ATP and NAD+, the goal of fermentation is to produce energy AND replenish NAD+ to go through glycolysis again.
Lets say it was aerobic, before the citric acid cycle pyruvate turns into AcetylCoA. The acetylcoA will then turn join oxaloacetate to form a 6 member carbon chain. The citric acid cycle will now cycle through to remove 2 carbons reforming oxaloacetate. BUT!!!! It also produces a lot of NADH and FADH2. These electron carriers will go to the electron transport chain and pump out H+ to the outer mitochondrial matrix. These protons renter the inner matrix through ATP synthase and join O2 an electron acceptor to form H2O and ATP!!!

This story contains a lot of facts and process, but it is more easy to remember.

This is contrary to facts. What does Calcitonin do? Well it would decrease the blood calcium levels. WHY? back to the story board. Calcitonin stimulates osteoBLAST (meaning forming) activity, bones need calcium to form. And the opposite is for parathyroid hormone, it increases osteoCLAST activity. So the fact is it would increase blood calcium.

Another straight fact is, What is calcium's effect on muscle contraction, well it exposes the myosin binding sites by binding to troponin. WHY? Back to the story board.


Stories are more inclusive of information and help put the reason behind what you are learning. It is useless to just know facts, knowing why those facts are the way they are and how they work will be easier to learn TRUST ME and will seem less bother some.

By making this post I reviewed a whole subject by typing a small paragraph will the process. I included maybe a little extra information, but it puts it all into perspective. Let me know if this help.



You are NOT stupid.
 
Dec 31, 2015
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I would say if you get stuck on a problem look back at your notes and figure out how to do it. Then remember how to do it by either practice or a some kind of explanation or story to why it would make sense. So review notes, and practice. I would say review your notes first if it's this bad then practice more.
 
Jan 5, 2016
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You'll want to follow WheatLom's advice and know the how's and why's things work the way they do instead of just regurgitating facts. I like the story approach, I used this often. There were quite a few questions on my DAT that make sure you understood why things happened. For example instead of asking "what is a facultative anaerobe?", they may ask "A facultative aneroebe is in an environment high in oxygen, what pathway does it use to create ATP". If you understand the how's and why's, you'll be able to answer most anything on the bio section. I liked the style of Cliff's and I supplemented with Crash Course on YouTube to solidify some of the concepts. I'd also suggest rewatching Chad's over and over for GC and OC until you understand the material. I wasn't able to watch once and absorb everything, it took me 3 times plus lots of flash cards, quizzes, and study sheets. I haven't taken classes in 4 years but I was still able to do it. You can too!
 

fit2

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I know what you mean. Nothing stuck from Gen Chem. What helped me was to rewatch Chad's videos a second time (After already going through all DAT Destroyer problems) I understood stuff like I never did before. I didn't know 50% of the material when I took my Gen Chem ACS exam.

For bio, which was a lot of info, it was also difficult ( still is. by the time I finish all the bio I start to forget what I memorized 2 weeks ago). what helped me was to make flashcards. I know it sounds like a waste of time but I think it really helped me. Then you can go through them and if you do it enough you'll start to have some mental snapshots of some.

Probably the most important thing you can do is go over stuff you're shaky on. It's the hardest thing for me to do (and I still have to do it but hey you just motivated me to go over all the lab stuff in Chem TODAY) Just go over the stuff you don't know (and most likely hate) starting today and keep reviewing it.

Good luck!! My exam is getting close and it's getting stressful so I gotta push even harder.
 
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WheatLom

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I forgot to mention, that with the chemistries remember you can use knowledge from Organic Chemistry in general and vis versa. Neither one can violate the basic laws of chemistry in a stretch same can be for biology, but i doubt a question would come up in that sense.

-Equilibrium
-Acid and Bases
are situations this comes up a lot. I usually use more organic on general than general on organic, but there are times it can be useful.
 

Charles_Darwin

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What helped me was reading everyone's breakdowns and seeing how other people studied. There are tons of different study methods and I'm sure there's some that work for you! Don't let your practice scores encourage or discourage you! Hard work pays off my g :)
 

fayevalentine

See you space cowboy.
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Connect as many different concepts together and continue to build on them.
This is great advice. Something one of my professors had us do that really helped in undergrad were these "mind maps" where you start with a topic and then create branches upon branches of everything you can think of that relate to one another.
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

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May 26, 2015
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Take a deep breath and try to cool off a bit. You'll focus much better if you take out your rage and anxiety on studying instead of being mad at yourself! Trust me I felt the same way sometimes! I think you should focus more on understanding then your practice scores for now! I believe in you! Go kill that test! :)