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Time Management

ldsmbhc

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    I have come to the conclusion that good time management skills are essential to being successful in dental school. What are some skills/routines that you guys have learned to do in school that has helped maintain your sanity?
     

    Tooth

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      I stopped studying everyday because I found that it would stress me out too much. Plus, I would forget most everything within two weeks anyway. I adopted a plan where I will start studying four or five days before the big tests. I will put in four hours per day of focused studying for those tests. For "easier" classes I will do that for 2 or 3 days. This way, I've been able to plan out my semester well in advance and simply enjoy days when I don't have to study at all. Of course, I no longer get straight A's with this plan. However, my grades are still respectable.
       

      fightingspirit

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        I have come to the conclusion that good time management skills are essential to being successful in dental school. What are some skills/routines that you guys have learned to do in school that has helped maintain your sanity?

        Approach and time management:

        Time management is indeed essential in dental school. It certainly improves your efficiency and gives u more bang for your buck. The concept of time management is easy to create: just devise a REALISTIC plan and STICK to it! The difficulty lies in the practice or execution of that plan. This measures how much discipline you have and how immune you are to distraction. Time management is a personality thing. If you've never been a good time manager before dental school, then a major behavioral shift is unlikely.

        The other issue you have to consider seriously is your general approach to dental school classes. so while the bad news is the notion that you are either a good time manager or not (you do not become one), the good news is that you can compensate for poor time management skills by altering approach.


        1-never approach dental school with an expectation of doing very well. The will to be a gunner is one thing but the ability of being one is another. Never expect a class to be difficult or easy and be cautious about interpreting the advice of upperclassmen. Expect everything to be challenging so that you can ready yourself for the difficult and relax yourself over the easy.

        2-never ever approach ANY class with passion and subjectivity. NEVER! Treat classes as a duty, not as a creative learning experience. What I am trying to say is: curb your enthusiasm because it will ruin your experience and f-up your grades. For instance: a new class started and you find the subject super cool and interesting, so you get engulfed in actually studying the subject, researching the net and asking the professor questions in his/her office and you find yourself allover the material. You take amazing notes on the class and you learn it so well that you start saying to yourself "aah…that's why such and such happens…blah blah blah. Well guess what? You're mostly likely gonna get a C on the class and whatever you've learned, you will mostly likely forget within a month anyways! This happens because a few days before the test, you pull out your notes and realize they are inadequate because they are tremendous and low yield, all because of your passion. You find yourself tired towards the end of the class--which is when you need to be mostly rested so that you can crash your notes hard in the weekend before the test—all because your passion made you hyper-learn the material parts that are of YOUR interest and NOT the ones that are of the professor's interest. You kinda let yourself go and drift away. The person who memorized sheepishly will get an A and will not know anything about the material. You will get a C or a B and you will only know the material for a month after the test anyways. So guess what remains for ever? Yup! Not the knowledge but the GRADE. So the winner in the end is the person who memorized what is necessary dutifully, not the person who sought the knowledge passionately. Don't ask yourself "what do I need to do to learn the material?"…ask "what do I need to do to get an A?"…don't ask yourself "how cool or boring is this class?"…ask yourself "how many credits is this class worth, and is an A on it more important than an A on other classes?"…..don't ask "this class is boring…how do I make it fun?"….ask "how can I suck it up and do what it takes to get an A?"….don't ask "how do I study this intensively so that I can understand what is going on?"…ask "how can I study this extensively so that I can get as many easy multiple choice questions right as possible?"…..becoming objective is difficult though because you must go above and beyond your interest, temptation; you have to deny yourself in the sense that you should study for what works not what makes you feel good. also, if you get used to studying hard for a class only if it suits your fascination, you will likely ignore classes on which you are more likely to get an A just because these were not interesting. when you're in the first day of a class, and the professor talks about the resources available to study, they might mention old exams, old questions or practice questions on the department's website. DO NOT CONSIDER THESE ELECTIVES FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXTRA TIME ON THEIR HANDS! THESE ARE WHAT YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A GOOD GRADE!.....Again, you will be tempted NOT to use questions to guide your studying because you will think that it's ******ed. Well guess what? Do that and you'll be lucky to get a borderline B.


        I do not know what your intentions are and how good or average you wanna be in dental school but to wrap it up, let me give you a brief account of what I have witnessed.

        In the first few weeks, students A,B,C, and D would smile, laugh and chat and sing the praise of classes and say how cool such and such class is and how easy it is to do this and that, and exchange studying tips and habits…….blah blah blah…guess what? Those students are going to later on have difficulties in the classes and most likely end up being just average students. On the other hand, students W,X,Y, and Z are sitting quietly in the corner, neither enjoying, nor hating classes. They are dispassionate and have no feelings of any sort towards any class. They are not exchanging tips and they do not even talk much. Well guess what? Those are the gunners of the class. They are objective and they study to get As, not to learn. They do not come to lab to look cool or chat or talk about the news. They come to lab to get things done so that time becomes available for didactics.

        Much of this is not making sense to you but once you start dental school, read my post again and you will understand perfectly well the points I am trying to make. The take home message is: passion and subjectivity ruin; pragmatism and objectivity rule!
         
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        rambo2006

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          Fighting spirit, I hope all it going well,


          What ever happened to learning for the sake of expanding one's horizon. the spirit of learning is absent nowadays much more. I guess it really comes down to one's perogative. I think that as long as one is passing in dental school the grades should'nt be a source of stress or huge focus. The way I look at it is that we owe it to our patients to learn as much as we can. I know many will disagree with me on grounds that the first 2 years have classes that "just arent relavent to me (the dentist) after I graduate and begin practice," but I guess thats my perogative.

          peace out.
           

          ldsmbhc

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            One of my problems/strengths is that I am an intrinsic learner. I tend to spend a lot of time trying to master everything because it is interesting and find it takes way to much time. I guess I need to find a middle ground.
             

            SuperC

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              2-never ever approach ANY class with passion and subjectivity. NEVER! Treat classes as a duty, not as a creative learning experience. What I am trying to say is: curb your enthusiasm because it will ruin your experience and f-up your grades. For instance: a new class started and you find the subject super cool and interesting, so you get engulfed in actually studying the subject, researching the net and asking the professor questions in his/her office and you find yourself allover the material. You take amazing notes on the class and you learn it so well that you start saying to yourself “aah…that’s why such and such happens…blah blah blah. Well guess what? You’re mostly likely gonna get a C on the class and whatever you’ve learned, you will mostly likely forget within a month anyways! This happens because a few days before the test, you pull out your notes and realize they are inadequate because they are tremendous and low yield, all because of your passion. You find yourself tired towards the end of the class--which is when you need to be mostly rested so that you can crash your notes hard in the weekend before the test—all because your passion made you hyper-learn the material parts that are of YOUR interest and NOT the ones that are of the professor’s interest. You kinda let yourself go and drift away. The person who memorized sheepishly will get an A and will not know anything about the material. You will get a C or a B and you will only know the material for a month after the test anyways. So guess what remains for ever? Yup! Not the knowledge but the GRADE. So the winner in the end is the person who memorized what is necessary dutifully, not the person who sought the knowledge passionately. Don’t ask yourself “what do I need to do to learn the material?”…ask “what do I need to do to get an A?”…don’t ask yourself “how cool or boring is this class?”…ask yourself “how many credits is this class worth, and is an A on it more important than an A on other classes?”…..don’t ask “this class is boring…how do I make it fun?”….ask “how can I suck it up and do what it takes to get an A?”….don’t ask “how do I study this intensively so that I can understand what is going on?”…ask “how can I study this extensively so that I can get as many easy multiple choice questions right as possible?”…..becoming objective is difficult though because you must go above and beyond your interest, temptation; you have to deny yourself in the sense that you should study for what works not what makes you feel good. also, if you get used to studying hard for a class only if it suits your fascination, you will likely ignore classes on which you are more likely to get an A just because these were not interesting. when you’re in the first day of a class, and the professor talks about the resources available to study, they might mention old exams, old questions or practice questions on the department’s website. DO NOT CONSIDER THESE ELECTIVES FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXTRA TIME ON THEIR HANDS! THESE ARE WHAT YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A GOOD GRADE!.....Again, you will be tempted NOT to use questions to guide your studying because you will think that it’s ******ed. Well guess what? Do that and you’ll be lucky to get a borderline B.

              Dude... You have lost your freaking mind. To the OP PLEASE forget you ever read this. What in the world are you talking about FS? I highlighted the most insane parts of your "******ed" rant.

              Yes, you have to realize what is important, but for God's sake your passion for the material is what will keep you sane. I am not into every class, for example I don't love histology, but it will give you insight on oral pathology and a understanding of the body in general. Knowing what is important is a key to LIFE not just school.

              You need to consider classes as a steping stone the the next. They will build on each other.

              Fighting Spirit should have gone to medical school, he is DN1 and complaining about being a tooth mechanic. Please just drop out and become a life saver

              I personally love the "I did bad becuase I studied too much" routine. There is nothing wrong with being into the materail, but any [email protected] knows that just becuase you are into muscle physio does not mean that you can fore go the other 19 lectures that you got in that class. You have to study it all

              How do you do well in school, get excited, enjoy the material, learn AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, and work hard.

              -C
               

              danhook

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                I only have one issue to address: when discussing something such as time management it is important to consider the credibility of the person posting- are you really going to believe a person complaining about courseload, instructors, and grades? Fightingspirit clearly has spent hours venting to innocent knowledge seeking dental and predental students alike. Look at his other recent postings. Anyone with enough free time to post 100 line responses or questions having nothing to do with dental school clearly should not be allowed to post anything on sdn again.
                Fightingspirit, the credibility you have built on this forum is compararabile to Hillary Clinton's chance at becoming president. You clearly have no time management skills, no knowledge on how education works, and certainly did not do much research when you were deciding on your LIFE CAREER!!!! I encourage you to refrain next time you think about posting your response to anything even if the topic is SUCKING AT DENTAL SCHOOL. You were clearly not cut out for the upper echelons of education, maybe you should have spent your time job shadowing at wendy's or a newspaper boy. There you would have had all the freedom in the world to voice your opinions and actually sounded knowledgable. Your grammar would be on par, and you would not have had to sink thousands of dollars on school- you could have purchased what you probably are going to school for anyways, an awesome set of rims for your rice burner, sweet tv, and leather couch. You would not have dissappointed anyone who unfortunately had to reapply this year and wait for their dream career, a shot at something you carelessly slandar and waste virtual breathing space. Forum discussions are constantly cluttered by your mindless banter- half the time not even making sense or truely being in relation to the question.
                Fightingspirit, I have but one suggestion for you. Put your computer away, go to class, pay attention, take notes and study those. Not everyone is as ungrateful as you, when we get up we are excited about the material and chance we have been given to become dentists. If this is something you simple cannot do then for everyone's sake just please leave the profession. At the very least quit posting anything on SDN, no one has or will ever benefit from your opinions. so in summary here is my opinion on the way you should manage your time:

                JUST QUIT IF YOU DONT LIKE IT!!!!
                 

                esclavo

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                  ...the credibility you have built on this forum is compararabile to Hillary Clinton's chance at becoming president....

                  "...so you're saying there's a chance..." (to quote Jim Carey in one of the greatest movies of all time) I knew she could do it!!!!!!

                  I think I had to deny about 3/4 of my IQ to make those last comments but I learned in drama class how to assume the identity of those you are trying to impersonate....
                   

                  danhook

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                    For me I have found it very valuable to not bring my computer to class- pay close attention to the lectures and take GOOD notes. After school, instead of reviewing everything for hours I will review the new material from the day for a couple of hours (1-2)- any other material would be pointless for me to study because I would forget it. The week of the test I shut the world out and study my brains out all night and all weekend.
                     

                    SuperC

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                      For me I have found it very valuable to not bring my computer to class- pay close attention to the lectures and take GOOD notes. After school, instead of reviewing everything for hours I will review the new material from the day for a couple of hours (1-2)- any other material would be pointless for me to study because I would forget it. The week of the test I shut the world out and study my brains out all night and all weekend.

                      Right buddy..... Here is how it really goes down.... Slack off for two weeks and then...........
                      CRAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      If that's not time management, I don't know what is.
                      -C
                       

                      Istr8nthem

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                        This is what I tell everyone that ever poses this question:

                        The most important thing you can do when you get to dental school is forget what worked for you in undergrad as far as studying goes. When you get to dental school, the material is not necessarily any harder, but the quantity is MUCH more. This being said, cramming just isn't practical. You must find what works for YOU the best. Many find studying alone locked in a library study room works for them while others find that studying with a friend in Starbucks works best for them. For me, I always used the library-lockdown method in undergrad, and found it did not work for me in DS. I found a good friend who learned at the same pace and had the same work-ethic as me and studied with him nightly. We would study and read over the material ourselves and then we would go through everything and make sure we both understood everything completely... quizzing each other on things, asking questions we didn't understand, etc. Now, I'm not saying this is the method for you, I am only saying this method was what worked for me, and allowed me to excel in dental school, when I was an AVERAGE student in undergrad. I hope this post was somewhat helpful, and again, this was only meant to provide an example of what worked for me, but the most important thing I can convey to you is to find the way you study best in DS, and time management will fall into place. You CAN make time to do just about anything you want in dental....once you learn how to study and manage ALL of your classes.
                         
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                        gryffindor

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                          Approach and time management:

                          2-never ever approach ANY class with passion and subjectivity. NEVER! Treat classes as a duty, not as a creative learning experience. What I am trying to say is: curb your enthusiasm because it will ruin your experience and f-up your grades. For instance: a new class started and you find the subject super cool and interesting, so you get engulfed in actually studying the subject, researching the net and asking the professor questions in his/her office and you find yourself allover the material. You take amazing notes on the class and you learn it so well that you start saying to yourself “aah…that’s why such and such happens…blah blah blah. Well guess what? You’re mostly likely gonna get a C on the class and whatever you’ve learned, you will mostly likely forget within a month anyways! This happens because a few days before the test, you pull out your notes and realize they are inadequate because they are tremendous and low yield, all because of your passion. You find yourself tired towards the end of the class--which is when you need to be mostly rested so that you can crash your notes hard in the weekend before the test—all because your passion made you hyper-learn the material parts that are of YOUR interest and NOT the ones that are of the professor’s interest. You kinda let yourself go and drift away. The person who memorized sheepishly will get an A and will not know anything about the material. You will get a C or a B and you will only know the material for a month after the test anyways. So guess what remains for ever? Yup! Not the knowledge but the GRADE. So the winner in the end is the person who memorized what is necessary dutifully, not the person who sought the knowledge passionately. Don’t ask yourself “what do I need to do to learn the material?”…ask “what do I need to do to get an A?”…don’t ask yourself “how cool or boring is this class?”…ask yourself “how many credits is this class worth, and is an A on it more important than an A on other classes?”…..don’t ask “this class is boring…how do I make it fun?”….ask “how can I suck it up and do what it takes to get an A?”….don’t ask “how do I study this intensively so that I can understand what is going on?”…ask “how can I study this extensively so that I can get as many easy multiple choice questions right as possible?”…..becoming objective is difficult though because you must go above and beyond your interest, temptation; you have to deny yourself in the sense that you should study for what works not what makes you feel good. also, if you get used to studying hard for a class only if it suits your fascination, you will likely ignore classes on which you are more likely to get an A just because these were not interesting. when you’re in the first day of a class, and the professor talks about the resources available to study, they might mention old exams, old questions or practice questions on the department’s website. DO NOT CONSIDER THESE ELECTIVES FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXTRA TIME ON THEIR HANDS! THESE ARE WHAT YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A GOOD GRADE!.....Again, you will be tempted NOT to use questions to guide your studying because you will think that it’s ******ed. Well guess what? Do that and you’ll be lucky to get a borderline B.

                          Fightingspirit, it's not undergrad anymore, there is no time for being passionate about a 4 credit class when you have 23 more credits demanding your attention. If you love a subject so much, study it intensely and do your extra internet searches during your summer break. If you want to make it out with the highest grades possible, well, just follow your own advice highlighted in the bold above. Heck it worked for me and now I am in my residency of choice and have all the free time I want to study about subjects that may have piqued my curiousity back in histo or physio or gross in first year (do I? nah, I'd rather spend my time reading about my specialty or on AIM.)
                           

                          USUaggie

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                            You have to figure out what your priorities are and plan your time around that. Keep in mind, I'm an average student, currently watching the Simpsons and reading threads. (it's the one where Homer gets a gun and joins the NRA, good times) If grades and specializing are important to you, sure, you'll have to be willing to block out lots of time every day to stay competitive with your GPA and all. If you just want to be a good general dentist, it's ok to memorize a bunch of stuff for tests (like the krebs cycle) without a lot of passion and spend time doing other things you are passionate about like, oh, I dunno, let's say basketball. I'm probably the biggest crammer in my class but it's been working for me so far.
                            That being said, there are classes that will make you a better GP and are important to try to do your best in. Right now I'm taking oral pathology and I really enjoy the fact that this is something I feel like I should be learning in order to better serve my patients.
                            My point - list what matters to you in life and organize your time accordingly. Draw your week out on paper if it helps.
                             

                            danhook

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                              :laugh: ... I wonder if anyone uses your strategy at Penn where a major test is administered every week ...

                              Coming from a Predent... hmm...Was I speaking about a school who has one test a week no. I dont mean any offense to anyone out there at UPenn because I am sure it is difficult, my strategy works for those who are lucky enough to have block examinations. You know: your walk in the park 6 Exams in two days... like I said I do not discount anyone's dental school- Each is set up to be challenging, its just no tolerance for predents criticizing my study techniques when they have no idea what it is like- sorry zanderale6 maybe you should keep your comments to topics that are relevant to you. Thanks in advance.
                               

                              Dutchboy

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                                Coming from a Predent... hmm...Was I speaking about a school who has one test a week no. I dont mean any offense to anyone out there at UPenn because I am sure it is difficult, my strategy works for those who are lucky enough to have block examinations. You know: your walk in the park 6 Exams in two days... like I said I do not discount anyone's dental school- Each is set up to be challenging, its just no tolerance for predents criticizing my study techniques when they have no idea what it is like- sorry zanderale6 maybe you should keep your comments to topics that are relevant to you. Thanks in advance.

                                It's funny, me and a friend of mine were having this exact conversation today. He told me that he has a good friend at Penn who says that they only have one big test a week. We were both jealous. I Wish we only had one test a week, that is considered an easy week.
                                 

                                danhook

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                                  We are coming up on three exams monday, one on wednesday, and two on friday- it seems so chill this week at school because they are not all on monday- I honestly feel like going out and probably will every night this weekend.
                                   

                                  I'mFillingFine

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                                    I would not survive without time management, and I'm CERTAINLY not an organized person (you don't have to be to do well in d-school.) Here are some specific things I do:

                                    --Plan ahead which things I'll study when. If I have a certain number of powerpoints to go through for an exam in a week, I'll divide it up so I'm only studying for that class a half hour at a time. I can retain things a lot better and don't get as stressed. It does mean writing down when your exams are and saying what day you'll study what, but it works! It's much better than going to the library and saying you'll stay there for 6 hours but not deciding what you'll study (you usually just waste time.)

                                    --Don't study for more than 2 hours or so a night. There were some exams I really needed more a day or two before, but if you study ahead, that's rare. I'm not one of those people who can study for 6 hours straight and do it again the next day (I'll be burnt out for 3 days ;)) so do what you can to break it up into pieces.

                                    --Like Tooth said, there are some topics where if you study TOO early you'll forget it before the exam. So for those, start studying a week before so you don't have to do it twice.

                                    --However, there will be some classes where you CAN'T do this, or you'll get buried in 3 weeks of pure memorization (like maybe gross or neuro or physio...whatever it is in your school.) In that case, just do the half hour or so a night and you'll find it catches on. The week-before thing is probably good for things like dental materials or any of the dentistry/community/ethics courses.

                                    --Get involved in something...this is SO important. I'm in a community chorus here, but do whatever you like doing! Balance is key...it's probably best to take a few nights off a week and to not study at all.

                                    --DON'T get obsessed with what everyone else in your class is doing. That will wear you down really fast. Keep your eyes ahead, and only study and hang out with people who don't pressure you (or cause you to have a lot of pressure on yourself.) A small amount of competition is healthy for motivation, but you will just run yourself in circles if you try to keep up with what OTHER people are doing as well as yourself.

                                    --Don't even order cable or get an antenna for your TV...cut out the distractions that you only do for 15 minutes at a time but that really add up! You won't miss not having TV; it's surprising.

                                    Hope this helps! :D
                                     

                                    Zanderale6

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                                      Coming from a Predent... hmm...Was I speaking about a school who has one test a week no. I dont mean any offense to anyone out there at UPenn because I am sure it is difficult, my strategy works for those who are lucky enough to have block examinations. You know: your walk in the park 6 Exams in two days... like I said I do not discount anyone's dental school- Each is set up to be challenging, its just no tolerance for predents criticizing my study techniques when they have no idea what it is like- sorry zanderale6 maybe you should keep your comments to topics that are relevant to you. Thanks in advance.

                                      Woah. ... I wasn't laughing at your strategy. I think it's a great one, given the layout of your exam schedule. I was just thinking how comical it would be for someone at Penn to adopt it. They'd end up collapsing after the first month. ... Sorry for the confusion. Geez. :smuggrin:
                                       
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