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Med-Spot on Med-Source: Study Habits

Med-Spot 4.30.07 - Study Habits

So I came across this post over at Dr. Mama's blog & although I have yet to adopt this study regimen, I can virtually guarantee you will rock your classes if you do.

  • Realize that how painful something is to study is directly proportional to how much you need to study it.
  • Go to every class—and stay awake.
  • Read all of the material, painstakingly slowly, at least three times over.
  • The “gist” is useless; memorization is what counts.
  • After you think you’ve memorized something, try writing it all down on a blank sheet of paper. Hmm, maybe not as well memorized as you thought?
  • When you quiz yourself, which should be often, make sure you get all of the answers right three times in a row.
  • Beware the mnemonic. Mnemonics only work in very specific circumstances. For instance, “NAVY” is a handy mnemonic for remembering the order in which one encounters the important structures in the groin: Nerve, Artery, Vein, Ying-Yang. Most mnemonics, no matter how clever or bawdy, just inspire one to invention. Does that I in “PILES of POOP” stand for Ischemic? Infectious? Iatrogenic? Ipsilateral? Italian? Who the hell knows? I found that making up a memorable saying works much better. For instance, if you drink enough alcohol to affect your liver, there is a tell-tale pattern to the increase in the liver enzymes: the AST, aka the SGOT, is usually twice as high as the ALT, aka the SGPT. I remember this by saying “You AST for it, you SGOT it.” (I know it’s stupid. But it works—I remember not only the pattern, but that AST=SGOT.) Corny tricks like the ones for remembering someone’s name (you know, picturing Mr. Heinz as a giant ketchup bottle, for example) work well also.
  • You will never be hip again. Obviously.
  • Get enough sleep. Cramming all night the day before a test does not work for science classes.
  • Study similar things in proximity to each other. Calculus and physics go well together, for instance.
  • If studying something is making you fall asleep, take a power nap.
  • I said power nap. Do not let yourself sleep longer than 20 minutes.
  • Colorful highlighters and tabs and note cards are festive and helpful—up to a point. Past that point, they become time-sucking OCD rituals.

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