dvmcatdog

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So just curious if my methods of studying right now will be useful in vet school or if I won't have time for them. Currently, all my professors give PowerPoints. I listen to the ppts 1.5-2x speed and annotate anything they said that isn't on the slides. I then after class will make flashcards alongside a word doc. The word doc is more high yield information that I may want to look back later on, or material I didn't understand but took my notes, textbook, and google to put it all together in a way I could understand for a reference. I usually read back on these summary sheets and do my flashcards every day. I will also cover up the summary sheet and write/type what I can on a blank sheet to see how much I can remember and where my gaps are.

Also do most vet schools give packets of notes for each class?
 

PetVet23

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So just curious if my methods of studying right now will be useful in vet school or if I won't have time for them. Currently, all my professors give PowerPoints. I listen to the ppts 1.5-2x speed and annotate anything they said that isn't on the slides. I then after class will make flashcards alongside a word doc. The word doc is more high yield information that I may want to look back later on, or material I didn't understand but took my notes, textbook, and google to put it all together in a way I could understand for a reference. I usually read back on these summary sheets and do my flashcards every day. I will also cover up the summary sheet and write/type what I can on a blank sheet to see how much I can remember and where my gaps are.

Also do most vet schools give packets of notes for each class?
I'm a second year student, and this actually sounds pretty similar to how I study! Granted I can only speak for my school, but our professors will give us access to either the powerpoint file or a PDF version of it before class, and I write my notes directly on them if there's anything extra I want to remember. They also provide us with learning objectives for each lecture, which I will compile into one massive word doc for each exam and add in any additional important info (basically using the objectives as an outline). From there I use a notebook and handwrite notes based on what I've typed out with the objectives as a way to try to condense the information and tie everything together.

I will say that this is different from how I studied in undergrad and I even changed my approach throughout first year. It's really just a lot of time management, trial and error, and finding what works best for you!
 
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dvmcatdog

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I'm a second year student, and this actually sounds pretty similar to how I study! Granted I can only speak for my school, but our professors will give us access to either the powerpoint file or a PDF version of it before class, and I write my notes directly on them if there's anything extra I want to remember. They also provide us with learning objectives for each lecture, which I will compile into one massive word doc for each exam and add in any additional important info (basically using the objectives as an outline). From there I use a notebook and handwrite notes based on what I've typed out with the objectives as a way to try to condense the information and tie everything together.

I will say that this is different from how I studied in undergrad and I even changed my approach throughout first year. It's really just a lot of time management, trial and error, and finding what works best for you!
I guess I just worry sometimes I'm wasting my time doing the word doc because technically it's not active recall unless I make it a point to do it and sometimes I either forget or don't have the time. So how to you get all the material in your head for the exams using your outlines??
 
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Musicandhorses

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The volume of material in vet school would make it almost impossible to make all notes become flash cards. I did use flash cards for things like innervations and muscle attachments for anatomy and for some material that was more difficult to understand or memorize. You can and should study with whatever works for you. But I was all flash cards in undergrad. Stopped except for certain material like 10% in vet school due to volume of material. It’s not wrong however you want to study or what works for you. There’s no wrong or right way. I think most vet schools give you an option to buy note packets which are usually cheaper than printing everything up yourself if you count paper printer and cartridge costs
 
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awesomenessity

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Contrary to the last poster I only studied using flashcards in vet school. I ended 4 years of vet school with something like 50k flashcards lol. I would generally study them by lecture first, then merge all my flashcards for an exam into one deck and go through it once or twice to solidify all of the knowledge. It worked super well for me, and by the time we got to third year I had converted quite a few of my classmates :laugh: I just can't read things and remember them, I need to be prompted with questions like an exam.
 
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PetVet23

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I guess I just worry sometimes I'm wasting my time doing the word doc because technically it's not active recall unless I make it a point to do it and sometimes I either forget or don't have the time. So how to you get all the material in your head for the exams using your outlines??
My word doc outlines serve more as a "stepping stone" of sorts as a way for me to organize everything from the lectures, physically writing things in my notebooks is what helps me reinforce the material. I'm a very visual and tactile learner so I'm more likely to remember a concept if I write it out, there just isn't time for me to do that during lectures because they're so fast-paced most of the time.
 

supershorty

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Contrary to the last poster I only studied using flashcards in vet school. I ended 4 years of vet school with something like 50k flashcards lol. I would generally study them by lecture first, then merge all my flashcards for an exam into one deck and go through it once or twice to solidify all of the knowledge. It worked super well for me, and by the time we got to third year I had converted quite a few of my classmates :laugh: I just can't read things and remember them, I need to be prompted with questions like an exam.

Same here! My notes WERE my flashcards; I made them during class. My classmates used my cards quite a bit too.
 
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dvmcatdog

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Same here! My notes WERE my flashcards; I made them during class. My classmates used my cards quite a bit too.
and if you ever wanted to refer back to something, what did you do? just look command/find the material you're looking for in the ppt? and what ab studying for the NAVLE
 

britzen

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I just take notes on the powerpoints and read through them before the test.

I tried out flashcards and making study guides my first semester (which is what I did for undergrad classes), but found it really time consuming and not all that helpful to remembering the material. My retention went way up when I stopped spending so much time organizing my material because it gave me more time to actually review it.
 
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LetItSnow

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I think most any strategy you have used in the past can work in vet school.

Just make sure you have the mental flexibility to see when it isn't and when a different method might suit you better.

I was pretty much a 'read the book and study from the book' kinda guy in college. Avoided group study. Didn't really re-write notes. Didn't do flash cards except for certain classes (like organic chem). In vet school, otoh, I utilized all those strategies at one point or another for different classes depending on the type and volume of information.

I feel like many of my classmates who struggled, or the cases I saw on the committee that dealt with that stuff ... they had two common threads:

1) Continuing to approach their studies the same way even when it wasn't working. You have to be flexible and willing to try new study habits. I personally am HIGHLY resistant to group study because I feel like you end up spending half your time chit-chatting, but there were times in vet school I had to utilize it because my friends could help keep me on track.

2) Inefficient studying. People would insist they were studying hard - to the point of exhaustion - but if you looked closely it was highly inefficient. An example: Studying for 6 hours in front of the tv does not equal 6 hours of intense study, but that student will almost always tell you "but I studied for 6 HOURS last night!" No, you really didn't. Your actual committed study time was probably 1 hour. Maybe even less. But your perception is that you worked yourself to death. You have to be brutally honest with yourself about whether your study time/method is effective and, if it's not, try something else.

Schools usually have lots of resources for learning different study techniques. If you struggle AT ALL you should utilize them. You don't have anything to lose.
 
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supershorty

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and if you ever wanted to refer back to something, what did you do? just look command/find the material you're looking for in the ppt? and what ab studying for the NAVLE

I haven't taken NAVLE yet.

My cards are organized by course and by topic so finding things is very easy. I have all the notes on DropBox too.
 

ajs513

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I think hearing the same answers from different people is useful for questions like this in order to send the point home so I’ll also chime in despite having nothing different to offer.

As people said before (and basically exactly as LetItSnow said), you can make almost any study strategy work. The only barrier to making a strategy work is how much time it takes you to do it. If your usual study strategy is to make flash cards, word docs, listen to lectures again, etc. and that takes 5 hours per day, you may not be able to do that if you have school from 9-5 everyday. If it’s something that takes you a couple hours per day then you could very easily do that. Time and mental health are two things that can really throw off plans, especially in vet school.

Which brings me to saying, please please please make sure that you stay aware of whether or not your study habits are practical. Don’t get entrenched into the thought of “this is what has always worked for me so it has to work.” In all likelihood it will probably work a good amount of the time still, but when it doesn’t that’s a good way to get bent out of shape and freak out a bit. It’s happened to me, and it’s happened to a lot of my friends. Just be aware of the state of your mental health as well, and make time for yourself whenever you can. It’s very important. Whether it’s thirty minutes or a whole day, take some time to remind yourself what it feels like to relax.
 
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LetItSnow

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Don’t get entrenched into the thought of “this is what has always worked for me so it has to work.” In all likelihood it will probably work a good amount of the time still, but when it doesn’t that’s a good way to get bent out of shape and freak out a bit.

This quote is the single most important thing in the thread, as far as I'm concerned.
 
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supershorty

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Don’t get entrenched into the thought of “this is what has always worked for me so it has to work.” In all likelihood it will probably work a good amount of the time still, but when it doesn’t that’s a good way to get bent out of shape and freak out a bit. It’s happened to me, and it’s happened to a lot of my friends.

Quoting just to reiterate this (again). And OP, keep in mind that what works for one or a few or most of your classes might not work for others. I had to come up with completely new study strategies for 2 classes (imaging and clinical pathology) because flashcards weren't practical for them and I wasn't retaining the information at all. It took me a few rounds of experimentation to figure out how to study for those classes and I ended up having to do some fairly unusual (for me) methods, but I learned the material SO MUCH BETTER than if I had stayed with what I was used to and what worked for me in my medicine/surgery/etc. courses.
 
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dvmcatdog

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Quoting just to reiterate this (again). And OP, keep in mind that what works for one or a few or most of your classes might not work for others. I had to come up with completely new study strategies for 2 classes (imaging and clinical pathology) because flashcards weren't practical for them and I wasn't retaining the information at all. It took me a few rounds of experimentation to figure out how to study for those classes and I ended up having to do some fairly unusual (for me) methods, but I learned the material SO MUCH BETTER than if I had stayed with what I was used to and what worked for me in my medicine/surgery/etc. courses.
What did you end up doing for those courses?
 

britzen

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I feel like working through cases is the best way to learn both of those subjects (for me at least)
 

supershorty

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What did you end up doing for those courses?

Personally, I had to work through a lot of cases in clin path, but for imaging, I had to write out descriptions of what various things should look like. I don't think very visually and so a class about pictures is not something that comes naturally to me.

The point that I'm trying to make (and others are too) is that there's not one right way to study in vet school. What works for one of us might not work best for you, and vice versa. I think you just need to be flexible and be willing to try out different things if what you're starting with doesn't work. I had to completely change the way I studied from undergrad to vet school because it wasn't time-efficient, and I had to try a few things before I found what allowed me to study the most effectively in the most reasonable amount of time.
 
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LetItSnow

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Quoting just to reiterate this (again). And OP, keep in mind that what works for one or a few or most of your classes might not work for others. I had to come up with completely new study strategies for 2 classes (imaging and clinical pathology) because flashcards weren't practical for them and I wasn't retaining the information at all. It took me a few rounds of experimentation to figure out how to study for those classes and I ended up having to do some fairly unusual (for me) methods, but I learned the material SO MUCH BETTER than if I had stayed with what I was used to and what worked for me in my medicine/surgery/etc. courses.

I never did figure out how to study for imaging.

What did you end up doing for those courses?

Took the B.

Ironically, now I'm the one people come to for opinions on rads when they are in a time crunch and can't wait for the radiologist.
 

CoffeeQuestionMark

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I think my way of studying is pretty minimal and abnormal. I normally do heavy group study in which we diagram all of our notes on a giant whiteboard, then once we've finished (takes a few days) we work through old exams. Sometimes that is all I study and I hardly look at things on my own. If I work on my own, it usually involves rewriting my notes in a different way or watching videos on a subject that explain it differently
 
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SkiOtter

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then once we've finished (takes a few days) we work through old exams.
I REALLY wish we got old exams here. That’s definitely how I learn best. Taking exams and getting things wrong and then never getting them wrong again. Quizlet just doesn’t work the same for me with that.
 
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CoffeeQuestionMark

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I REALLY wish we got old exams here. That’s definitely how I learn best. Taking exams and getting things wrong and then never getting them wrong again. Quizlet just doesn’t work the same for me with that.
I think more classes should offer old exams. Every teacher has a different testing style and so you can study well but just not be used to the style so do poorly, which I don't think is very fair
 
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SkiOtter

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I think more classes should offer old exams. Every teacher has a different testing style and so you can study well but just not be used to the style so do poorly, which I don't think is very fair
Yep. The reason why we don’t here is because they usually use a lot of the same questions year to year in their question bank which is unfortunate, especially with only having two exams per quarter so there’s really no getting used to any professors style here, especially since some will only teach one or two lectures but still be in charge of some exam questions for that material :confused:
 
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that redhead

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I would start with your current method and be ready to adapt quickly. For me, first year was tough because I had to study differently for everything. I ended up settling into a three person study group (ended up being two of my best friends through school!) and it was great. Not at ALL what I would have expected because I never preferred that method before but it clicked and I went with it. Just don’t keep trying to force your old way of studying if it isn’t working; vet school material volume requires efficiency.
 
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LetItSnow

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Yep. The reason why we don’t here is because they usually use a lot of the same questions year to year in their question bank which is unfortunate, especially with only having two exams per quarter so there’s really no getting used to any professors style here, especially since some will only teach one or two lectures but still be in charge of some exam questions for that material :confused:

Heh. Unfortunate from the student's perspective, but consider the professor's --- writing good test question is HARD and super time-consuming. And, if you're always creating a new test there is a higher potential for mistakes in the questions. And, there are only so many questions to create for some classes or types of information.
 
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SkiOtter

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Heh. Unfortunate from the student's perspective, but consider the professor's --- writing good test question is HARD and super time-consuming. And, if you're always creating a new test there is a higher potential for mistakes in the questions. And, there are only so many questions to create for some classes or types of information.
Oh I totally understand why they do it, it just makes me sad that I can’t use old exams since that’s one of my most effective ways of studying.
 

PetVet23

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Does anyone have a good method for studying muscles and nerves? Memorization isn't really my thing
 

ajs513

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Does anyone have a good method for studying muscles and nerves? Memorization isn't really my thing
If your school gives you access to CSU’s virtual anatomy website, use it. It’s absolutely incredible. There are also good quizzes you can take on the actual scans of the specimens and it helped me so so much.
 
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CoffeeQuestionMark

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Does anyone have a good method for studying muscles and nerves? Memorization isn't really my thing
Mneumonics. Every cat lives under furniture, some destroy furniture. Good sailors build good ships.
 
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WonderingStudent

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Does anyone have a good method for studying muscles and nerves? Memorization isn't really my thing
I definitely recommend mnemonics, location and action grouping.

For canine/feline:
A train to BOSTon
A = Accessory Nerve (Cranial Nerve 11)
Muscles it innervates:
B = Brachiocephalic (cleidocephalicus)
O = Omotransversarius
S = sternocephalicus
T = trapezius
Innervates all the extensor muscles of the brachium
 
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desertdwelling

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Contrary to the last poster I only studied using flashcards in vet school. I ended 4 years of vet school with something like 50k flashcards lol. I would generally study them by lecture first, then merge all my flashcards for an exam into one deck and go through it once or twice to solidify all of the knowledge. It worked super well for me, and by the time we got to third year I had converted quite a few of my classmates :laugh: I just can't read things and remember them, I need to be prompted with questions like an exam.
Did you use Anki or another online flashcard platform? Did you follow a schedule to get the cards done for each lecture in time before the exam?
 

batsenecal

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Did you use Anki or another online flashcard platform? Did you follow a schedule to get the cards done for each lecture in time before the exam?

Not who you quoted, but I used flashcards heavily during my second year where the bulk of our curriculum's memorization comes in. I used Quizlet and paid the $20/year to get the ability to have pictures on them. In order to keep up with everything, I made the flashcards in lecture off our powerpoints. Literally copy and pasted from one to the other. Noted the ones the professor emphasized or add extra info to. Depending on the lecture, I could get them done in that 50 minute period.

If using the flashcards is what works for you, I would ****highly**** suggest finding flash cards made by upperclassmen on the flashcard platform of your choice. It makes zero sense to me for people to make flashcards over and over again if you don't learn from making the cards themselves. I know my friend group has shared our Quizlet names/flashcards to our lower classmen friends to use for studying.

Alternatively, if you have a strong friend group, you guys could divide the lectures out each day and each person makes the flash cards for 1-2 lectures, gives everyone in the group links to the cards, and save time that way. Making a fraction of the cards while still getting all the lectures done.

Both ways allow you to actually use the cards more than if you need to make all of them. But again, that only matters if you get more out of using them vs making them.
 
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awesomenessity

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Did you use Anki or another online flashcard platform? Did you follow a schedule to get the cards done for each lecture in time before the exam?

I used Anki yeah, and I didn't really do daily studying to be honest :laugh: I would just make a filtered deck for whatever I needed to study for an upcoming exam, and do the flashcards in the week or so leading up to it.
 
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desertdwelling

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Not who you quoted, but I used flashcards heavily during my second year where the bulk of our curriculum's memorization comes in. I used Quizlet and paid the $20/year to get the ability to have pictures on them. In order to keep up with everything, I made the flashcards in lecture off our powerpoints. Literally copy and pasted from one to the other. Noted the ones the professor emphasized or add extra info to. Depending on the lecture, I could get them done in that 50 minute period.

If using the flashcards is what works for you, I would ****highly**** suggest finding flash cards made by upperclassmen on the flashcard platform of your choice. It makes zero sense to me for people to make flashcards over and over again if you don't learn from making the cards themselves. I know my friend group has shared our Quizlet names/flashcards to our lower classmen friends to use for studying.

Alternatively, if you have a strong friend group, you guys could divide the lectures out each day and each person makes the flash cards for 1-2 lectures, gives everyone in the group links to the cards, and save time that way. Making a fraction of the cards while still getting all the lectures done.

Both ways allow you to actually use the cards more than if you need to make all of them. But again, that only matters if you get more out of using them vs making them.

This is great! Ok, I love the idea to make cards during the lecture, this would save so much time! Would give me a reason to be a bit more engaged and less distracted! I need to start bugging some second years for their study material!
@awesomenessity Teach me your Anki ways!!!!
 

supershorty

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Not who you quoted, but I used flashcards heavily during my second year where the bulk of our curriculum's memorization comes in. I used Quizlet and paid the $20/year to get the ability to have pictures on them. In order to keep up with everything, I made the flashcards in lecture off our powerpoints. Literally copy and pasted from one to the other. Noted the ones the professor emphasized or add extra info to. Depending on the lecture, I could get them done in that 50 minute period.

If using the flashcards is what works for you, I would ****highly**** suggest finding flash cards made by upperclassmen on the flashcard platform of your choice. It makes zero sense to me for people to make flashcards over and over again if you don't learn from making the cards themselves. I know my friend group has shared our Quizlet names/flashcards to our lower classmen friends to use for studying.

Alternatively, if you have a strong friend group, you guys could divide the lectures out each day and each person makes the flash cards for 1-2 lectures, gives everyone in the group links to the cards, and save time that way. Making a fraction of the cards while still getting all the lectures done.

Both ways allow you to actually use the cards more than if you need to make all of them. But again, that only matters if you get more out of using them vs making them.

I also paid the $20 a year for the pictures and it was totally worth it - and I second the suggestion about looking for cards made by upperclassmen if MAKING the cards isn't what helps you learn it. I feel like making them did help me, but many of my classmates used my cards without making their own and did fine.

I'd be happy to share my cards with anyone who wants them - I have a google spreadsheet of what different sets cover (plus some stats on the classes at MN in terms of their average cards per exam, etc., I got bored one day :laugh: ) and what their titles are so they're easier to find in the 700+ sets I made.
 
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awesomenessity

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This is great! Ok, I love the idea to make cards during the lecture, this would save so much time! Would give me a reason to be a bit more engaged and less distracted! I need to start bugging some second years for their study material!
@awesomenessity Teach me your Anki ways!!!!

I also made mine during class! Such a huge time saver, and definitely helped keep me engaged. I usually just worked a few slides ahead of the lecturer and if I ran into a question I would wait for them to get to that point and see if they answered it, or then I could ask about it.

I actually made a basic guide for Anki a while ago, I just updated it with the correct add-on links etc for you :)
 
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WardenN7

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I completely revised how I studied first year of vet school - there was just too much material to do what I did in undergrad (which was mainly just reading things the night before, honestly). I did a lot of writing things out by hand first year, drawing diagrams (esp. for anatomy/physiology), using a dry erase board, etc. Pretty much perfected that by the end of first year.

Then second year came along. Waaaay too much to write things out so I adapted to typing note outlines as a way of studying. Got really good at it, by the end of second year had it down to an art form.

You can probably guess where this is going. Third year, I found that a lot more of the material was understanding concepts rather than just memorization, so I worked out a system of answering learning objectives.

Then back to memorization type stuff for NAVLE.

Point is, you will probably change how you study multiple times; my best advice would be to let that happen. If you're so rigid about how you study that you don't adapt, that will be a problem. Play around with different methods. And try to avoid comparing yourself to other people in your class (easier said than done, I know) - it's easy to fall into that trap of wondering if you're a failure because you don't have color-coordinated flash cards, when the person with color-coordinated flash cards may very well be jealous of you for not needing that. Basically, what works for one person may be completely wrong for another; we all learn in different ways. Just focus on finding what works for you. :)
 
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desertdwelling

WSU C/O 2024
Sep 29, 2019
31
63
NM
Status
  1. Pre-Veterinary
I also made mine during class! Such a huge time saver, and definitely helped keep me engaged. I usually just worked a few slides ahead of the lecturer and if I ran into a question I would wait for them to get to that point and see if they answered it, or then I could ask about it.

I actually made a basic guide for Anki a while ago, I just updated it with the correct add-on links etc for you :)
THANK YOU. This is so helpful!! I have been attempting Anki but have not perfected a method yet, I will give this a try!! The med student anki youtube advice is a bit intensive and I haven't been able to keep up with it. Again, thank you for sharing this!!!!
 

awesomenessity

only cut don't close
2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2016
663
1,551
Status
  1. Veterinarian
THANK YOU. This is so helpful!! I have been attempting Anki but have not perfected a method yet, I will give this a try!! The med student anki youtube advice is a bit intensive and I haven't been able to keep up with it. Again, thank you for sharing this!!!!

No problem!!! I am always happy to spread my love of Anki :laugh:
 

MixedAnimals77

Trash Panda C/O 2022
2+ Year Member
May 16, 2016
3,264
4,421
with the livestock
Status
  1. Veterinary Student
THANK YOU. This is so helpful!! I have been attempting Anki but have not perfected a method yet, I will give this a try!! The med student anki youtube advice is a bit intensive and I haven't been able to keep up with it. Again, thank you for sharing this!!!!
Theres tons of premade study material on the jdrive.
Also our class has a class quizlet so you might toss that idea out to your class. Inevitably someone has dedicated time to making flashcards. I'd be happy to share 2022 with you if you send me a PM but I know alot has changed in profs and class structure to alot of the 1st year classes since our 1st year so not sure how helpful the 1st year material would be but more resources!
 

PetVet23

VMCVM c/o 2023
Mar 5, 2019
113
180
Status
  1. Veterinary Student
I'm not sure why I didn't think to put this on here sooner, one of my classmates introduced me to it last year and I love it! There's a free program you can download called XMind that's for making flowcharts and webs. I've used it for things like diagnostic decision trees, mapping out branches of vessels and nerves for a given system, and organizing information for different diseases. It's super easy to use and they have a ton of different colors/styles you can pick for your layout!
 
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LetItSnow

Skipping the light fandango
10+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2011
19,352
18,864
Plymouth, MN, USA
animaltracks.wordpress.com
Status
  1. Veterinarian
I have a google spreadsheet of what different sets cover (plus some stats on the classes at MN in terms of their average cards per exam, etc., I got bored one day :laugh: ) and what their titles are so they're easier to find in the 700+ sets I made.

*backs slowly away from supershorty*
 
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