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Who studies harder, HS students in East Asia or US med school students?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by shnjb, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    That was more of a joke title but seriously, HS students in East Asia are real victims of spartan education that is not only unreasonable but also ineffective.

    I've heard horror tales of Korean students, particularly the graduating class- equivalent to 12th graders here, averaging something like 4 hours or less of sleep.
    They wake up, go to school, go to "learning centers" similar to Sylvan learning centers some spoiled kids may go to here to receive "real" education, since the teachers are horribly equipped to actually teach.
    Then they go to another one of those learning centers, or go to library, study til it closes, and then go home around 12.
    At that point, they review what they learned that day at home and go to sleep around 3.

    It is interesting to note that it's not like they learn really much of anything.
    They memorize completely useless facts like the elements on periodic table and their Z number, or about some plant seed that is useful for farming, or what some stupid rule in English grammar is, etc.
    So by the time they get to college, where the real learning is supposed to start, most people are allergic to academics, and idle their way out of college.

    Now of course, no HS student can actually stay focused all that time, I imagine, so I just wonder how they do it?

    I'm a Korean American by the way, and I've only heard of the Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese students going through the same rigors.

    I just wonder what happens to the late bloomers too, those who are not motivated about learning in general until they are past 20 years of age.
    You see so many of those people applying to med school, go through it and become doctors.
    You would never see such things in Korea, where unless you got into med school right out of highschool, you could never get in.

    Boy am I glad I went to school in United States.
     
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  3. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II
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    Did someone say Japanese schoolgirls?

     
  4. geno2568

    geno2568 Senior Member
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    the question isnt who studies more, but who gets wacked with a baseball bat harder if they get a question wrong
     
  5. Sekiray

    Sekiray Member
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    then that would be Freud who gets the wack in the face jk
     
  6. _ian

    _ian Senior Member
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    ...

    WHO CARES

    Apples to oranges...
     
  7. DrZaius

    DrZaius Member
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    Probably med students
     
  8. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Hah! You think Koreans are the only ones who get <4 hours of sleep? T-T All of my overachieving Asian friends do the same. It's the way our parents taught us. "Finish your homework, or you don't sleep tonight."
     
  9. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    Compass,

    I certainly didn't do that when I was in HS and your friends should not have either.

    The point of this thread (if there was a point) was not to say wow look at those amazing Korean students who study a lot, but to scrutinize the stupidity of education system in Korea.
     
  10. jocg27

    jocg27 Senior Member
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    This is like these crazy parents who drive their *grammar school* kids like slaves so they'll win in a national spelling bee. A SPELLING BEE... Talk about memorizing useless crap just for the sake of showing off how much useless crap you can memorize. Or more accurately, showing off how much useless crap your kid can memorize. Now I understand there's value in spelling, and knowing how to spell correctly is an important part of communication. But the words tested in these national spelling bees are NOT important parts of communication. I'm not advocating kids never having to memorize stuff kids have always had to memorize, or skipping teaching about spelling and grammar and the technical details of communication for soft, self esteem, self expression kind of stuff.

    But cmon...watch one of these things and tell me its not the most useless b.s. thing you've ever seen, almost totally created for overbearing parents to brag about what an achiever their kid is.
     
  11. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Forgot to clarify. Magnet program. We took condensed science courses. What was normally a year-long course was compressed into a single semester. We had people taking Calc III in high school, and I was outside the norm by not taking Calc III T-T My grades suffered. I should have worked harder T-T
     
  12. jocg27

    jocg27 Senior Member
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    For what its worth, regarding my above post, I just did a couple minutes research...I am not a literary genius, I don't know every word ever uttered. But I'm fairly intelligent and educated, all of us on here are. I've never had trouble understanding the communication of others or making myself understood. The last winning word for these spelling bees that I would be able to define (or spell) was in 1993.


    My point is, I agree that a lot of these people studying their brains out, of any ethnicity, are learning useless garbage, never learn the big picture, and never actually learn to THINK.
     
  13. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    You just made my point.

    What the hell is "magnet" program?
    Unless you're one of those true geniuses who write thesis for professors at 15, there really is no point in taking "calculus 3" in HS. (What the hell is calculus III? There is no such thing as "calculus 3," certainily not at university level)

    I am very sure all that studying could've taken place with much less effort and time in college, and the time you lost in HS could have been replaced by a lot of richer life experiences, lessons and fun.
     
  14. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    In my opinion, Muhammad Ali in his prime was way better than Anti-Lock Brakes.
     
  15. power_to_people

    power_to_people Junior Member
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    There is a calc 3 its really hard. My high school has it but its a after school class because there are like 5 people in it. Magnet schools are public schools that focus on a certain thing like the arts,law enforment,health professions etc. etc. My highschool was/is like this. We were a health professions school and we studied until one in the morning alot and many only got 6 hours of sleep so you do see this in america and the west. We had to learn 600 medical terms in freshman year and learned alot of things med students learn but not as in depth.
     
  16. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    I went to a very competitive high school and I find this sad.
     
  17. Xypathos

    Xypathos Member
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    You know of a magnet school that focuses on law enforcement? Where is this beast of a school?
     
  18. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Calc III is also known as Multivariable Calculus.


    Computer Science/Math/Science program.

    Sadly enough, we had enough people to run 1 Multivariable Calc class. We also had 1 extra period of school a day compared to the rest of the county. That meant we could take more classes T-T


    http://mbhs.edu/departments/magnet/

    Out of our county's applicants (700-800), 100 students are picked based on test grades and an entrance exam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Blair_High_School#Science.2C_Mathematics.2C_and_Computer_Science_Magnet_Program

    I actually knew two Intel STS finalists, 1 Siemens Westinghouse Finalist, etc. A lot of people who went to my school were VERY smart. Most of them went on to Tier 1 schools :confused:
     
  19. DrHuang

    DrHuang SDN Donor
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    i disagree. ALB > MA.
     
  20. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Bah, I'm below average for my Magnet class's SAT scores too, I just found out. Now I'm really sad.
     
  21. mmmkay121

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    I disagree. Mike Tyson's Punchout!! on NES > MA.
     
  22. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    Muhammad Ali can stop Joe Frazier. Could any of those things boast that?
     
  23. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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  24. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    Yeah and you could've taken that in one quarter at a university instead of one year.

    What, you want a medal for being in this "magnet" program or something?
    Aren't you just in the same pool as every one of us mortal beings now applying to med schools?

    Besides, I know a thing or two about competitive highschools, and unless your highschool was Phillips Andover, Exeter, Choate or some place like that, I know your education in HS was probably nothing out of the ordinary.
     
  25. Nerdoscience

    Nerdoscience Senior Member
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    If there is no such thing as calc 3, then what the he11 did I spend all that time doing between Calc two and diff eq?
     
  26. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Being a first generation Chinese American in my family, and also an only child, my parents placed a lot of pressure on me to succeed.

    As a middle school student, I was never challenged. I never studied. If I had not gone to Magnet, my study habits would probably have stayed the same. I did horribly, IMO, in the Magnet. But I learned a lot of things that I would have learned only in college. I also got to experience a lot more than the average high school student.

    Being a Magnet student has nothing to do with college. However, I learned, as a Magnet, to write a research paper, to work at an internship at the National Institutes of Health, and a lot of other courses that may not have counted for credit, but expanded my knowledge nonetheless. The main difference with the magnet is that you have an different curriculum. If I hadn't attended the Magnet, I would not have been able experience programming as much as I've done today. I was able to develop my own video game, and create a robot utilizing sonar technology, and other stuff I would never have been able to do at a normal high school.

    Besides, if I could have done all that in college, we might as well not take any courses in high school, as we learn the same things anyways. Still have to learn chemistry if I APed out becuase I'm pre-med in my college, and do I mind? Not one bit.

    Nothing, apparently. It doesn't exist. You got a nice 3-credit hour break, though, learning imaginary math.
     
  27. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    I challenge you to find textbooks used in universities that use the term "calculus 3."

    That's like calling the third quarter of organic chemistry (or second semester) Organic Chemistry III.
    Do physics students call quantum physics course Physics IV?
    Oh maybe they call electrical engineering courses Physics VIII because it's like the 8th course they take that's like physics.

    It's multivariable calculus, vector calculus, single variable calculus, linear algebra, etc etc.
    Not Algebra I, II, Trigonometry, Calclulus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, Calculus IV (differential equations), Calculus V (vector calculus), etc.

    That's highschool titles, or just arbitrary titles given by universities for the purpose of categorization.
     
  28. power_to_people

    power_to_people Junior Member
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    Yep there is a law enforcement HS in Houston. Its pretty big. Houston has soooooo many magnet schools its crazy. And its starts in elementry school. Yep I am serious. If you live in houston and want to be a architect there is a school for that.
     
  29. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    And what is your point?
    So you studied a lot in highschool and you think that's great.

    Apparently all that rigorous studying in HS still hasn't taught you reading comprehension because my point in the thread wasn't to actually compare med school and HS students in East Asia, or to glorify the spartan studying methods in Korea but to actually emphasize the futility of such exercise.

    You apparently liked it and may have even chosen to do the same if you were given the choice, but most would not.
    I went to a regular highschool, didn't study jack ****, and instead had a lot of fun. (I still had a very competitive scores on the SATI,II, etc)

    I'm not going to tell you that my way is any better than yours but since we all have to learn the things again in college, or for the first time, I don't see the point in your route.

    Honestly I don't even see the point in forcing kids to spend all that time in highschool in classroom, even the little they do in the US.

    And you said that you were a first generation immigrant, well so was I.
    I came to US when I was in 7th grade. Big whoop. Nobody cares.
     
  30. coco11

    coco11 will settle for roses
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    ummm what are you talking about. calc 3 = multivariable calc. what's the difference between calling a class calc 2 and calling one calc 3? aren't they all arbitrary classifications?
     
  31. shnjb

    shnjb Rod
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    If you think multivariable calculus is an arbitrary classification, then we might as well call ochem, pchem, biochem, physiology, microbiology, neuroscience, cell biology, physics, and math all science.

    Calculus III is an administrative term that is completely arbitrary, just as easily replaced by Calculus C, or Calculus IIa, Math 20C, Math 2B, whatever.

    Multivariable calculus, introduction to protein structure, vector calculus, principles of genetic analysis, etc are all titles that are given by authors of the books and professors who teach the course that precisely describe the material.
     
  32. ssefase

    ssefase Junior Member
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    krn students, yes 12 yr olds there study harder than us premeds, probably equivalent of med students.
     
  33. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Who said I didn't have fun in high school? Played volleyball, studied journalism, LOLed a lot, etc. No one forced us to go Magnet. We all decided to come.
     
  34. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I think we should give the guy credit for taking Calc III in high school. I took it in college and I didn't find it easy, you'd have to be fairly intelligent to do it in high school. I wish I attended a more competitive high school. And actually, I have met people who went to high schools which weren't Phillips Andover etc who had excellent education, far above the 'average' high school experience. Struyvasant schools are excellent and they are FREE, they like to brag that they send more people to Harvard than any other high school in the country. Boston Latin High is also very good. There's plenty of 'public elites' that are not your average 'wealthy surburban' high school because they required entrance exam for admittance.

    I knew a couple of friends who attended their state's science academies (publicly funded schools which gears students to science related fields) and they were doing college level work as juniors. What does that mean? They have a definite advantage in college since their high school coursework covered much of the first two years of college. They may also get college credits for free and graduate early.

    I used to envy students that could sleep through their Calc III classes because it's just review for them in college. But as it were, I attended your average surburban high school, decent but nothing grand.

    I don't think going to a top high school guarantees success in life, but attending a good high school may give you a 'leg up' in college as it did for some of my friends. Some graduated early, others could take more 'fun' courses or do more research to pad their resume because they had more time devoted to not studying. I attended a selective college and I found it pretty hard to catch up to people who were used to a much harder courseload. But I guess this depends on people's intelligence. One guy came from a small farming community and never took an AP course (b/c his school didn't offer it) and managed straight As throughout college. He was smart and worked really hard. I could only work hard. Anyway, sorry to derail the thread like this....
     
  35. vwhan

    vwhan Senior Member
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    HS students probably don't complain as much.
     
  36. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Phillips Andover, Exeter, Choate <--- What are these?

    And I must point out that Montgomery Blair itself is not a competitive school. Montgomery Blair Magnet is only a small fraction of the school's population (10%) If you want, I can compare the SAT scores of Magnet vs. your school list?
     
  37. blantant

    blantant Fake-Doctor
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    med students are self-motivated and have much more incentive to study hard, like wasting a $130K tuition.

    My relatives in Korea go through the same regiment as described by the OP, but they tell me it's just routine and not really that intense unless you want it to be. for example, at the library they just sit there and doze off. then they come home at 9pm, eat then sleep.
     
  38. SoupWithAFork

    SoupWithAFork Inertia Creeps
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    Interesting thread..

    I know that in India, back in the day and even in some places now, they emphasize almost nothing but rote memorization. Although this is probably changing now, the vast majority of kids in school in India can spit out formulas and things with no effort, but have never been taught how to, say, write an essay.

    What makes it worse is the extreme importance put on numbers like class rank - just about every school there has some sort of ranking system, and it's basically assumed that your class rank is the indicator of your intelligence, with a HUGE negative stigma towards those who aren't ranked as well as the bookworms. And this kind of thing is exactly the problem; they are not taught to think on their own, or outside the box; they are simply taught to know everything there is, or else.

    So ... judging by the description of schools in Korea, things aren't much different in India either.
     
  39. RSAgator

    RSAgator Junior Member
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    I just got back from spending a couple months in Korea and like someone else said, they don't necessarily spend all the time studying. I was doing research in an engineering lab and the people would come in at like 8 and usually sleep there or stay till about midnight, but they would do very little work. Also, almost all Koreans start learning english from a very young age, but that definitely doesn't show. Honestly, I don't feel like high school students have the capacity to study as hard as med school students or even college students. You can put in 20 hours of studying a day, but that doesn't mean you've learned anything =)
     
  40. xylem29

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    As ineffective as you claim the system to be - everytime an east asian immigrates to north america, and go to high school, they find the curriculum to be easy and they're always at the top of the class.
    But yea, it is quite ridiculous, the education system over there - from our perspective that is.
     
  41. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...
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    It's a myth. If asian kids study that much when do they have time for all the other things that fall under asian stereotype:

    1.) Karaoke
    2.) Korean dramas
    3.) KPOP, JPOP, CPOP music videos
    4.) video games
    5.) porn (for the japanese)
    6.) kung fu
    7.) xanga
    8.) church fanatics
     
  42. dsh

    dsh
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    I would like to chip in as a graduate of one Montgomery's competitors. We both have similar programs.

    I didn't think that my school was that tough. It was definately rigorous, but it wasn't unmanageable. Few of our students slept 4 hours a day because they were given too much work. I imagine those that were like that are the types of people that would have put that sort of effort in no matter which school they went to.

    My school prepared me very well for college. I don't like to say I breezed through it, but at the least I've definately had a leg up on my classmates. My friends from high school tend to say the same thing, whether they go to junior college (most successfully transferred) or somewhere in the Ivy League.

    I think our school's main disadvantage was the how it impacted admissions to the public college system. At least for the UCs, school difficulty is not too big of a factor. It's not a big deal for the top 20% of our class, but the average applicant from our high school gets severely handicapped due to their lower GPA. Interestingly though, after we made it onto the US News rankings our Cal/LA admission rates jumped up dramatically.
     
  43. Rafa

    Rafa headbutts like zidane
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    I'm learning Japanese solely to understand the 5 minutes of dialogue in every 55-minute JAV I...ahem...come across.
     
  44. SitraAchra

    SitraAchra Attending Anesthesiologist
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    i love how when i was in a normal public highschool, we kicked this houston fine arts magnate school's ass in the all-state orchestra competition every year. that is my contribution to this nonsense.
     
  45. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才
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    I'm a US med student originally from Japan.

    Hardcore HS kids there study harder than most med students here. But Japan has no shortage of slackers.
     
  46. footcramp

    footcramp Senior Member
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    exactly. nobody works as hard as they say they do. i thought medical school was going to be this huge deal but it's not really. i mean it's a pain in the ass but not like OMG i'm gonna die. same thing is probably true for asian high schools. besides, those who study that hard are trying to get into good colleges. if you put those guys and compare them to the derm or plastics gunners then i'd say the med gunners would beat them. oh and don't think that medical students don't memorize stupid useless things. memorizing the periodic table sounds bad but it's not really that much worse than memorizing anatomy or histology or some random sodium channel and how many proteins it has and how many times it spans the membrane, etc. in summary, med school sucks.
     
  47. jozloo

    jozloo Junior Member

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    I came to america in 7th grade and i feel like sharing the education system in Vietnam. Interestingly enough, the system there sounds a lot similar to the ones in India or Korea you guys just described.

    It is based mostly on memorizing stupid facts and having a ranking system. :sleep:

    I guess i was a rebel of some sort because i only studied the concepts and didnt' try to memorize anything. We had 2 types of tests: one is the written exam which was free response and the other is an oral exam. Usually i scored really high on the written exam because it usually asked for concepts while i always failed the oral because it always asked me to regurgitate EVERYTHING i read. I lucked out because my teacher rarely ever called me up for the oral exam so my grade didnt' suffer much. :luck:

    My cousin told me that one time she had an oral exam and after she finished a sentence, she said "etcetera" but her teacher told her that she was supposed to say: "..." because that's what the book wrote. :rolleyes:

    That was 6th grade though. I only studied for 5 minutes before an exam but still did okay (ranked 5th or so in my class)

    When i asked my friends and cousin there about their classes, i realized that they take 1st year of calculus in 12th grade and their science was easier.

    From what I see, their material is easier but since they have to memorize so much, it's not really easy :thumbdown:

    I'm only a premed so i dont know if med school is harder, though. :p
     

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