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Undergrad study tips

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by patch_o, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. patch_o

    patch_o Member
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    Hi i am currently a bio major at a small private college. I am having a little difficulty studying in bio courses. I do OK on tests, but i know i could do better. Since my classes are generally small, multiple choice questions are few and far between. I was just wondering what you guys do/did to study for tests. Any tips are welcomed!
     
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  3. periodic

    periodic Senior Member
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    Hey patch,

    If your tests aren't multiple-choice, what are they like? Are they problem-solving oriented, or more about writing out everything you know about a particular topic (angiogenesis, cellular respiration, etc)?

    Also, if you tell us more about how you currently study and approach tests, we might be able to give more specific advice. Do you cram? Study in groups or solo? Rewrite lecture notes, read texts, and/or attend lectures...? It's all about fitting your learning style to the expectations of the assignment.
     
  4. DMO

    DMO Diving Medical Officer
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    Hello, Hello

    You must find your Chi and Zen; then vamp it up with caffeine. I find that studying at night allows me to concentrate more than if I had studied in the day time. Maybe it has to do with my bio-clock. The library or with music may help you a little better. Techno, Classical, and anything without lyrics help me study a bit.

    Re-writing notes and taking my own practice tests also help me jam a good amount of volume into my noggin.

    Also, not studying may help you to study. Take a break. Run a couple of miles. Vent on SDN's forums. Go street racing. Go see a movie - spur of the moment. Do something irrevelant.

    Good luck!
     
  5. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    Flash cards of terms and important concepts work well.

    Commit to memory important diagrams in lecture by rewriting them until you can reproduce and explain concepts in in diagram format.

    Mneumonic devices.

    After you have perused a topic, discuss it with your classmates, it will more than help to solidify the information.

    Teach the concept to your dog, cat or parakeet. (this one works in theory).

    Studying takes a long time, don't forget to commit time. ;)

    Hope that helps. :D
     
  6. patch_o

    patch_o Member
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    Hey guys thanks for the replys. Well the tests i take are a lot of problem solving, and essays where you have to write everything you know on the subject. My current method right now is that I write a review sheet on the tested material, and then i go through the notes again after i am comfortable with the review sheet. Thanks for your tips so far, i really apreciate it.
     
  7. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    With essay questions it is easy to start writing down everything you think you know just to fill up the page. Try to avoid that. Really try to develop precise and to-the-point answers and make sure you aren't just adding a bunch of words to fill up the space. Try to remember what the prof said in lectures and try to word your answers the same way they taught it.

    When you are studying, try to figure out what type of questions could be asked on a test. So basically you find yourself writing test questions and by doing so you start to think about the material in a different way rather than just rote memorization.

    Good luck.
     
  8. MoCookiess

    MoCookiess Hater of Biochemistry
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    What I really need help with is staying motivated. When I'm sleep deprived and the stress is really on, I get really cranky and lose all motivation to study.

    I used to keep a list of the average salaries for different specialties by my desk, but that's not really a longterm solution.
     
  9. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    That is a harder thing to deal with. I am sure it is easy for me to say that you need more sleep, but since you are sleep deprived it must be for a reason you can't control.

    You need to look for ways to release your stress. Hitting golf balls at a driving range, meditation, walking, hiking, kick boxing, boating, rollar skating, bowling,etc.. In other words things that are great stress releasers.
     
  10. periodic

    periodic Senior Member
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    So you feel that after the test, you knew more than you were able to convey? You could be:

    A) not studying the right material or studying it enough, or
    B) not finding yourself able to put on paper what they're looking for

    It sounds like your difficulty right now is closer to B (correct me if I'm wrong). Time and space pressure can be hard, especially with the amount of information you have ready to burst out. With those types of essay responses, sometimes the grader just goes through looking for whether you covered key concepts and facts. Like AmyB said, really try to hit the what the class stressed. Maybe you can meet with professors to see what you are missing in your responses -- it's possible they test more on lecture or text material than you're orienting your studying towards.

    Also, try to study with a group or classmate (preferably one who does pretty well) at least once to see whether that helps you.
     
  11. omarsaleh66

    omarsaleh66 Senior Member
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    start studying for the exam a week before. That way study a little each day so u learn good study habits and dont procrastinate, and that way the night before the exam should just be review.

    peace
     
  12. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    Ask the professor what needs to be improved upon and go from there.
     
  13. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    I think these are two subtle, yet important points. Try to learn not only the material, but the prof's style and the things he/she likes to emphasize. Try to study what you think will be important and relevant; make sure not to miss anything, but I think you can always get some idea of what the professor is more likely to put on a test.

    One great example of this was in O chem. Before every test, the professor would have a review session the day before. He'd go over a previous practice test, and if you stayed long enough during the review, he'd end up saying almost exactly what would be on the test the next day. I'm positive that those who stuck it out during the review were immensely more prepared for the test, even if they weren't superior students or had studied more of the material.
     
  14. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    The best approach to studying for exams is nightly prayer. If you pray, He will come...or you can cheat.

    Either method works.
     
  15. Thundrstorm

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    I have this one particular bio prof. who is fond of essay questions where you have to write every single detail on a subject and she'll take off 1/2 points for every tiny thing you miss, but she also ties together lots of different topics, so it's important both to memorize EVERYTHING and to understand the big picture. Starting 2-3 weeks before an exam, I read every chapter in its entirety, taking notes on everything, even the details she did not mention in class. I then take those notes and the powerpoints, handouts, and notes from class and combine them, by topic, onto 4x6 notecards with the most important points in an easy-to-memorize bullet format on the front, and relevant drawings on the back. I then read the notecards over and over again, and finally, the day before and morning of the test, I cover the notecards and make sure I really have them memorized.

    Speaking of which, I have an exam tomorrow, and I need to go back to studying. :rolleyes:
     

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