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Why do I study so hard and don't get results as good as someone who studies less than me?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Richanesthesiologist, Oct 10, 2017.

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  1. Richanesthesiologist

    Richanesthesiologist

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    I studied for one week and 2 weekends for a microbio exam and got an 82, which, because of the generous curve in the class, still kept me at an A, and I'm content. However, what frustrates me is how my best friend studied literally the night before using a study guide and made a 92? Its not just with microbiol. I studied just as much if not more than him in physics and yet scored 10 points lower and my grade in Spanish is a 93 while his is a 98 even though I spend double the time on homework.

    For some reason, my friend is able to still get 8 hours a sleep a night and get these good grades while I'm struggling to catch up on 5 hours a night.

    Also, in my research lab, I don't know why I am so inefficient. For example, I take 6 hours to stain and make mistakes still while another cohort of mine whose done the experiment for an almost equal amount of time finishes and leaves in 3 hours.

    Is my IQ like 60 or something?
     
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  3. DV-T

    DV-T

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    You'll always be miserable if you continue to judge/compare yourself to others. There will always be someone smarter, taller, faster, quicker, etc. Find happiness and contentment in your own accomplishments...nuff said...
     
  4. NotYou20

    NotYou20 2+ Year Member

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    You're probably pretty inefficient. Your friend might just be more efficient.
    Or your friend is smarter than you and learns a lot faster. There are people smarter than you and that's ok. I guarantee you learn a lot faster than tons of other people.

    So what can you do about it?
    1. Think about how you study and figure out how to study smarter.
    2. Accept that some people are smarter than you and move on with your life
     
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  5. FinPreMed2020

    FinPreMed2020

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    Don't be too harsh on yourself! You're doing well which is the main thing.
    I think you're just not studying as efficiently as you could.
    Try different methods of note taking. The Cornell method has got pretty good feedback!
    Also what helps me is trying to explain/teach/write it in my own words. It forces my brain to see the topic as whole and truly understand it.
    Plus do NOT underestimate the power of sleep. Do yourself a favor and get at least 7 hours of sleep, especially before an exam.
    Try those tips and see if they help.
    Good luck!
     
    chemdoctor likes this.
  6. Planes2Doc

    Planes2Doc Residency is ruff! 5+ Year Member

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    We are all different, and things will never be fair.

    There are people in junior high that did better than me, they were already taking algebra in 8th grade.

    There are people in high school that did better than me, they got better grades and were able to get into Ivy League schools.

    There are people in college that did better than me, they majored in things like engineering (I can't do math) and got really good grades.

    There are people in medical school that did better than me, they got awesome grades and board scores, and are doing highly competitive specialties.

    At the end of the day, I'm a doctor, and I'm happy. I'm sure you will be too, regardless of how anyone else does compared to you. There will always be people that are a lot dumber and smarter than you. Just do the best you can and it will all work itself out.
     
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  7. rufflev

    rufflev

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    At the end of the day it's quality studying >>> quantity studying. Rather than comparing yourself to others, use their success to cultivate your own.
     
  8. DV-T

    DV-T

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    Off topic, but I think you are the first physician on SDN that I have seen with a dog avatar instead of the gang of cat lovers that roam the hallowed halls of SDN.
     
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  9. Planes2Doc

    Planes2Doc Residency is ruff! 5+ Year Member

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    That's because dogs are awesome! ;)
     
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  10. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    Sounds to me you are just incredibly inefficient. Tinker with your study habits and good things will happen
     
    Goro likes this.
  11. MareNostrummm

    MareNostrummm 2+ Year Member

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    You need to change your study methods up. I used to be stuck in the B+/A- range, then started using Anki for all my classes (except chem/physics), have had over 60 units of straight A's (4.0) since then.
     
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  12. PreMedMissteps

    PreMedMissteps The Great West Coast Silver Donor

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    Not everyone has the same talents or learning styles.
     
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  13. Dox4lyfe

    Dox4lyfe

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    1. Change your study habits
    2. Stop comparing yourself
    3. Sleep more

    4. Observe your improvements.
     
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  14. WhyNeedAName

    WhyNeedAName

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    I'm one of those people that study less and do pretty well, God bless. I'm not showing off, I actually am giving "credentials", if that's what I should call it lol. I'm going to speak for "us", but I obviously am not that kid in your microbiology course, so results may vary.
    To simply answer your question: we're lazy. We have the grit to do tasks and accomplish great things.... But that requires energy and we're lazy. So many big companies (Google and Apple) hire "lazy" people because we want to be effective and efficient. How do we survive college? Read on! (please, I'm doing a favor of typing it out, I'm lazy lol)
    Ok, first thing first, know what kind of learner you are. There's something called the VARK test to know what kind of learner you are and how to study more effectively and more efficiently. Google it, it will help you. I, unfortunately, have all 4 ways to learn, so I ~try~ to find ways one study method is more advantageous for me than another because I'm lazy and one method would be great.
    Second off, *simplify information as much as you can*. All we need is the gist and maybe few key details and we're pretty ok. To practice that, try summarizing movies into 5-6 words (Like, Spiderman homecoming: Spiderman wants to join the Avengers). Also, something I learned in high school calculus that helped me in college calc: that weird/funny af way someone remembers something might help you remember. Create a funny story with the information, laugh at the pun jokes, make studying fun again lol
    Last but not least, apply that sh*t in the real world. You want to be in the world of medicine. Medical world isn't in sections like you microbio class differs from AnP which differs from physics. They all play a role; they all tell their side of a story that makes up life as it is.
    I hope that helps, and if anything, study with your classmate.

    TL;DR
    Lazy isn't always bad.
    1) VARK, 2)simplify, 3)apply
     
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  15. WhyNeedAName

    WhyNeedAName

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    Lol, I'm reading my reply and it sounds like a YouTube tips/hacks videos:heckyeah:
     
  16. ODea

    ODea

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  17. ChymeofPassion

    ChymeofPassion

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    Hes either smarter than you or studies more effectively. Sleep is very important; I'm not sure how people let themselves get so behind that they have to do all-nighters or only get five hours of sleep. I got a lot less sleep in HS, taking 7 classes at a time. College is what, four classes and a lab? Be more efficient with your time to get more sleep.
     
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  18. RooskayAliskay

    RooskayAliskay

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    I definitely feel that Rufflev adequately summarized the primary issue here. Efficiency is nearly everything when it comes to studying and being able to actively apply the information is the ultimate goal you should have. Sure, memorization is a very necessary component, but having a thorough understanding of the subject will ultimately assist you more.

    Try making a study schedule and sticking to it, blocking out certain time periods for each subject area and prioritizing those that you need additional practice with. Changing up your study space periodically and your methods of studying can also make a very noticeable difference in the grades that you receive. For instance, do you learn better from studying through a textbook or through listening to/attending lectures? Do you find studying with others engaging and useful or does this tend to distract you from your work? Everybody learns differently, so finding out what works best for you personally will help you tremendously. As many others have also pointed out above, obtaining an adequate amount of sleep on a regular basis can be a huge factor in your performance, so it would definitely be worth it to apply some better time management strategies.

    I'd also be interested to know which types of resources you're typically using as well. Are you sticking to just the required textbooks, audios, etc. for the courses? If so, supplementing it with other highly related materials could certainly help you grasp a better understanding, especially if you're struggling to decipher an explanation. Reading three (distinctly composed) explanations is better than just one. Whenever you still have trouble understanding something essential, don't just shrug it off and hope that it doesn't appear on exams -- research it or if need be, ask for assistance from a tutor, TA or professor.
     
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  19. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    I do well without studying very much. I take very good notes during lecture that I then summarize later that evening. I review those summaries once a week or so, then I will go through the detailed notes before the exam. This all amounts to not many hours of studying. I am blessed with a very good visual and kinetic memory, so I just use my strengths to be efficient. Find your learning style and tailor your studying/notetaking to that style.
     
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  20. Richanesthesiologist

    Richanesthesiologist

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    Currently, I'm using the required materials and this "cheat sheet" made by this company that simplifies information for me. I read the required sections of the textbook and watch the class lectures. I will sometimes look up more information online, but since our exams are based on our textbook, I don't want the extra information to confuse me. Also, lately, I've had a test or essay due every week, and what I would do (I know its bad) is binge study for one class and barely study for any other classes. Then the next week I have a test, I would binge study for that class and ignore other classes. I want to distribute my time more evenly but am just tempted to study for the most immediate exam. Kind of like paying off my American Express with my Visa and paying off my Visa with my discover card.

    Also, I actually find studying with others like a friend better. Cause then, for some reason, I tend to get less distracted on social media and my phone. I guess its cause I want to be a good example for them.
     
  21. medstudent257

    medstudent257

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    Friend could be lying. Lots of people say they don't study and guess where we find them 3 weeks before exam
     
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  22. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    Some people have better retention and absorb material faster.

    The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself.
     
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  23. chemdoctor

    chemdoctor

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    Maybe you're not studying properly? How do you study? Do you try to memorize or actually learn? Do you do constant practice exams? Do you go to office hours?

    Also, it is possible that your friend is lying... Lol

    Either way, don't worry about what your friends are getting. Maybe use it as positive peer pressure to do better. as people have said, you prob learn a lot faster than other people. Just study differently. You'll be fine.
     
  24. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

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    Binge studying and not sleeping is the worst way to study. It will kill you in med school so find a solution NOW.
     
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  25. PreMedMissteps

    PreMedMissteps The Great West Coast Silver Donor

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    Some seem to get some kind of ego boost from having others believe that they never study.

    True story: one of my children's high school classmates loved to brag how she never studied, yet was straight A's. You'd see her leave school at 3 pm with only her purse....no books...furthering her image of someone who never studied. Come to find out later that her parents always purchased a "home set" of text books so that their snowflake wouldn't have the burden of carrying books.
     
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  26. Gurby

    Gurby 2+ Year Member

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    All of this "don't compare yourself to others" stuff is touchy feely rubbish. You are literally competing with all the other pre-meds across the country. More than half of applicants will be unsuccessful and not get in anywhere. You need to beat ~80% of those other pre-meds on the MCAT if you want to have a shot, along with jumping through all the other hoops. If you don't compare yourself to others you are just burying your head in the sand.

    There is a pretty well-established standard you need to meet as a pre-med (MCAT, GPA, EC's, etc). If you aren't meeting that standard you need to adjust your approach, try harder, or start thinking about alternative careers. If you are performing at a level that will get you where you want to go, then good for you, take a chill pill.
     
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  27. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    Definitely agree, because once you get to medical school (unless you're one of very lucky few who have a school that truly doesn't rank) you are literally ranked relative to your peers. This process is a competition, and to pretend otherwise is ingenious.
     
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  28. Gurby

    Gurby 2+ Year Member

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    Not sure if you meant disingenuous, but I guess both words fit depending on how much of a gunner you are :p
     
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  29. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    Med school admissions is not zero sum. You are not literally in direct competition with your contemporaries. You are in competition with the general trends of GPA and MCAT.
     
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  30. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    ;)
     
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  31. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Innate ability
     
  32. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    The only courses I ever really studied for were orgo and physics. Everything else took less than ten total hours per semester.
     
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  33. PreMedMissteps

    PreMedMissteps The Great West Coast Silver Donor

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    Well........ you are in competition with the other applicants, that's why we say med schools have competitive admissions.

    And, it is a zero sum game, even if it's not a situation of, "for you to get a seat, I must not get a seat." There aren't an infinite number of seats. Med schools can't simply increase their total seats just because there are more qualified applicants in a given year.
     
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  34. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    Except it's not. That's literally what zero sum means. If it doesn't require rejecting one applicant to accept another, by definition it isn't zero sum. When two applicants go to an interview, they are not competing for a seat. Both of them can be accepted because it is a non-zero sum game.

    There are not infinite seats, and medical schools try to accept a certain number of students so that they can meet their matriculation goals; however, when it comes down to your application, if they really want you they will accept you.

    The field is not 50,000 excellent applicants applying to target schools. There are myriad reasons why folks get rejected, but another applicant being accepted isn't one of them.

    So you are in competition with GPA and MCAT trends. Your academics are compared to the medians and quartiles of each school. The dude sitting in your bio class isn't directly your competition except within the confines of that class if that's how your prof chooses to grade.
     
  35. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    The only course I put a **** ton of studying into was abstract algebra. Not even orgo compares.
     
  36. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    Whether adcoms want to admit it or not admissions is a zero sum game. For someone to get admitted that means that someone somewhere will not.
     
  37. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    Except that literally does not happen. You are not rejected because another applicant is accepted.
     
  38. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    On a seat by seat basis no. But whenever you have a fixed number of spots, and an overabundance of qualified applicants, that means that when you get a spot that someone somewhere will not.
     
  39. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    It's not fixed. It's based on how many people they think they need to accept to fill their class. Additionally, it is at least locally flexible if an excellent candidate interviews late.

    That you may not get accepted because there are other more qualified applicants does not make it zero sum. That's not what zero sum means. Zero sum means that if applicant A gets accepted, you do not. That does not happen, so it is not zero sum.

    Edit: you're conflating zero sum with competitive. They aren't the same, and having a non-zero sum game doesn't preclude getting a negative reward while another player gets a positive reward.
     
  40. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    I also just realized this is not the social thread. I don't want to stay off topic, so I will gladly carry this convo over to the social thread if you so desire.
     
  41. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    It most definitely is...

    You do realize class sizes are fixed right?
     
  42. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy.

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    You do realize that schools admit more applicants than the class size, right? How many applicants they admit to fill their class size is not fixed, as a large number of accepted students will matriculate elsewhere. You are not competing for a specific seat in a fixed population. You are applying for an acceptance. They are not the same thing.

    Again, reply in the social thread if you want to keep discussing this. I don't want to keep derailing the thread.
     
  43. Menander's Bust

    Menander's Bust

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    Some people are great at cramming and purging. Ultimately if you learn material deeply and thoroughly that is better. Class grades are pretty much irrelevant. STEP 1 and 2 are everything. Just pass your class tests and really learn the material to where you retain it for STEP1. As long as you figure everything out by then you will look back and wonder why you ever cared about your biochemistry midterm or whatever.
     
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  44. mcfruits

    mcfruits Probationary Status

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    I truly believe everyone can succeed equally well, some people just have better foundations. By that I mean they're in better shape, get more sleep, or eat more nutritious food, more cardio (which has a lot of cognitive benefits), etc, on top of better studying efficiency or focus.
     
  45. altblue

    altblue Naive, experienced optimist 2+ Year Member

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    It's probably some mixture of them working harder than they said, them being smarter than you, and them working smarter than you. Whatever the mixture is is unimportant. What is important is learning what you can do differently, and if you can learn something from how your friend approaches topics.

    At the end of the day though, we just work with the cards we have. For example, there are people scoring 515+s after less than 2 weeks of study and I couldn't do that, so I've tried to be realistic with my expectations and how hard and smart I have to work to fulfill those expectations. Be modest and do the best you can man.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 3:05 PM
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  46. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    I think some ppl are getting too mixed up in the details in this thread. Yah, you gotta score better and get better grades than a lot of ppl to get into med school, but that doesn't mean you have to spend your days worrying about why other people might be outscoring you.

    Try to figure out how to do better in a specific class, on a particular professor's exam, how to use the resources at your disposal better, how to study more efficiently, how to have more energy throughout the day by sleeping and eating properly and getting exercise, are you blowing off enough steam, do you have a healthy outlet, etc. Those are the things that you need to improve in order to do better in school. Ask other people for help. Learn from people doing much better than you in the course. But don't let it get to you that you're suddenly average after being top of your class in high school. That's just the way it is. Education is a series of rooms in which you progressively become more and more average, but the point of education is not to be the best, but to prepare yourself for the things you want to do and as long as you focus on bettering yourself then you will make it to the next room.
     
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