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    Basically I have never really had to study to pass exams, I sailed through GCSEs and A Levels without too many problems, but the fact that I do not know how to study effectively is now becoming an issue. I am a first year medical student in a PBL school, so there is a lot of self study. I know that I am a visual learner, and that I prefer taking notes by hand than on a laptop, but beyond that I am struggling. I have a tendency to basically copy out the textbook, which is time consuming and I feel like I'm falling behind. I'm trying to just include what is relevant, but everything seems to be relevant! Everyone else at my uni seems to manage just fine! :confused: If anyone has any advice I would really really appreciate it!
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    When I was a fresher I too found it difficult. Just the sheer volume of info to take in.... I still struggle with it sometimes but you just need to find ways to adapt. For me, I started off with writing tons of notes to now just trying to grasp key concepts.

    Do not copy out of the textbook - you won't learn anything from it. It is best to have things personalised. As you say you're a visual learner, do things according to how you'll learn best e.g. drawing anatomy, physiology - charts

    Speak to your personal tutor/student support to see what help they can offer.

    I created a website for 1st year medic - don't know whether it might be useful at all... (http://medic4u.webs.com/)

    All the best!
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    Try and do mindmaps instead of screeds of writing? I have cultured the use of them since last year and they are not only visual but make you think how to include info as concisely as possible but still invoke further knowledge from the buzz word/sentence. Use lots of colours too. I started with A3 as so much info for some things but now have honed the skill to get all I need on A4.
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    I think I'm going to try doing mind maps and flow charts and see if that works..
    (Original post by Catchetat)
    When I was a fresher I too found it difficult. Just the sheer volume of info to take in....
    I agree, it's the volume of stuff that makes it hard, not the actual content (at least in first year!)
    Thanks
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    (Original post by Beth107)
    Basically I have never really had to study to pass exams, I sailed through GCSEs and A Levels without too many problems, but the fact that I do not know how to study effectively is now becoming an issue. I am a first year medical student in a PBL school, so there is a lot of self study. I know that I am a visual learner, and that I prefer taking notes by hand than on a laptop, but beyond that I am struggling. I have a tendency to basically copy out the textbook, which is time consuming and I feel like I'm falling behind. I'm trying to just include what is relevant, but everything seems to be relevant! Everyone else at my uni seems to manage just fine! :confused: If anyone has any advice I would really really appreciate it!
    Highlighting Is a Waste of Time: The Best and Worst Learning Techniques

    Somebody I know liked this on Facebook. I think write, cover, repeat works well. Flashcards are a favourite of mine also
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    I think everybody feels this way in first year! I always thought the step from school to university would be about complexity but actually (at least, for medicine) it's volume. CRAZY volume.

    I also like to copy out of the textbook as the best way of learning. You feel very behind at first but the way I figured it, if that's the way you work best then it's the best thing for you to do. Ignore feeling behind and concentrate on bashing through it. It sounds pathetic but a sticker chart really helped me keep on top of things. Buy some nice ones from Paperchase and it'll help you feel less panicked because you know what you've done and also what there is to do so you can just pace it steadily. I made it through in the end.

    Another great thing is to see if you have past papers at your medical school because depending on where you go they repeat A LOT and it helps concentrate your revision. Anyway, my advice is that if copying out has helped you in the past and it's the best thing for you, it's STILL likely to be the best thing.

    "Mind maps" really don't work for everyone. I did them for an exam last year where I ran out of time to do the revision I would have liked to do and it turns out that because all mind maps look exactly the same (a circle with a lot of lines around it) they stayed in my mind for exactly the number of seconds I was looking at the piece of paper. Horses for courses, of course (mind maps are great for some people), but really, go with what you know works. If it's not broken, don't fix it.
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    Just make sure you know your lectures well, and other things they teach you.

    Know your anatomy, physiology etc

    And you say everyone else seems to be managing fine - i doubt that. a lot of people feel that way in first year

    stick to crash course, at a glance books - keep it simple

    ( and the best ppl to ask for advice are 2nd years in ur med skool)
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    (Original post by Beth107)
    Basically I have never really had to study to pass exams, I sailed through GCSEs and A Levels without too many problems, but the fact that I do not know how to study effectively is now becoming an issue. I am a first year medical student in a PBL school, so there is a lot of self study. I know that I am a visual learner, and that I prefer taking notes by hand than on a laptop, but beyond that I am struggling. I have a tendency to basically copy out the textbook, which is time consuming and I feel like I'm falling behind. I'm trying to just include what is relevant, but everything seems to be relevant! Everyone else at my uni seems to manage just fine! :confused: If anyone has any advice I would really really appreciate it!
    I just finished first year. I think its really important to emphasize what you really need to know. I've found that at least at my school they want you to know specific things most are highlighted in lectures. Focus on those.

    For example for the upper limb.

    Things like knowing the carpal tunnel, the 3 spaces in the axilla and what goes in them, cubital fossa.
    The origins, attachments and innervations of the muscles.
    Paths of the major nerves and arteries and veins.
    The common pathologies (where the nerves are vunerable to damage from fractures, erb's palsy, klumpke's and know what happens like waiter's tip, wrist drop etc etc)

    Instead of knowing every detail about the cephalic vein, just know: its on your lateral side, and it enters the axillary vein after going between the deltoid and pec major.

    Things like that save you much time and effort. Textbooks always go into way more detail than you need. Instead of memorizing the facts you need to know you memorize a lot of useless stuff.

    You need to get out of the habit of writing notes from the textbook. Its not very efficient. If you must write notes, do it off of any sort of powerpoint/handout your school gives you. Its much more high yield.
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    The rule-of-thumb of how I learnt to revise in first year is "what information would make me a good doctor?"... when looking at everything you're supposed to learn, only learn what you think is important for a doctor to know. That (quite obvious, when you think about it) realisation that you don't need to know everything, but just what is useful as a doctor, is very liberating. That way of studying bumped my grades up quite substantially.

    There's stuff that you just need to memorise and just requires writing and rewriting over and over. Drug lists, metabolic pathways, etc. you just need to draw out, draw out from memory, check, re-draw etc. for weeks to get it in your head. Anatomy needs more long-term commitment imo, little and often, you just can't cram anatomy (or at least, I can't, I find it physically impossible to cram something so conceptual).
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    (Original post by ukmed108)
    I just finished first year. I think its really important to emphasize what you really need to know. I've found that at least at my school they want you to know specific things most are highlighted in lectures. Focus on those.


    Textbooks always go into way more detail than you need. Instead of memorizing the facts you need to know you memorize a lot of useless stuff.

    You need to get out of the habit of writing notes from the textbook. Its not very efficient. If you must write notes, do it off of any sort of powerpoint/handout your school gives you. Its much more high yield.
    This is very true, I'm learning the importance of this (as a first year) cos I originally started making notes of everything in the textbook too!
    (Original post by Beska)
    The rule-of-thumb of how I learnt to revise in first year is "what information would make me a good doctor?".... That way of studying bumped my grades up quite substantially.
    \.
    I'm not doing Medicine, but this is a really good tip too! Never thought of that, thanks!
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    (Original post by Beska)
    The rule-of-thumb of how I learnt to revise in first year is "what information would make me a good doctor?"... when looking at everything you're supposed to learn, only learn what you think is important for a doctor to know. That (quite obvious, when you think about it) realisation that you don't need to know everything, but just what is useful as a doctor, is very liberating. That way of studying bumped my grades up quite substantially.

    There's stuff that you just need to memorise and just requires writing and rewriting over and over. Drug lists, metabolic pathways, etc. you just need to draw out, draw out from memory, check, re-draw etc. for weeks to get it in your head. Anatomy needs more long-term commitment imo, little and often, you just can't cram anatomy (or at least, I can't, I find it physically impossible to cram something so conceptual).
    Not intending to criticise this advice, but just to say this might vary by medical school! I know at mine that to do well on our exams requires dedicated memorisation of the minute, irrelevant single bullet points on the lecture slides that would seemingly scream "SKIP". Our exams are quite widely criticised by students for focusing far too much on small factual details to the detriment of clinical knowledge and testing of overall conceptual understanding, but at least if you know the sort of approach your faculty make you can prepare for what you're likely to see on the paper.
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    (Original post by chloemo14)
    Not intending to criticise this advice, but just to say this might vary by medical school! I know at mine that to do well on our exams requires dedicated memorisation of the minute, irrelevant single bullet points on the lecture slides that would seemingly scream "SKIP". Our exams are quite widely criticised by students for focusing far too much on small factual details to the detriment of clinical knowledge and testing of overall conceptual understanding, but at least if you know the sort of approach your faculty make you can prepare for what you're likely to see on the paper.
    Bloody hell, your exams sound horrible!
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    Just try different methods dude, thats all you need to do. Current society has the wrong idea that we all need to read the information, which is WRONG. There are different kind of memories, and you have to learn which one suits you best. Some people learn by listening, others by visualizing, others by drawing the information, etc etc. Try different things apart from reading, that's the best advice I can give to you. I love recording the lessons and then listening to them, for example
    I wish you luck!!


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    First, a general point - some lifesaver somewhere on this forum recommended a program called "Anki". I've been using it over the last couple of months and my performance has definitely improved, my only regret is not knowing about it at the start of uni. I'd encourage OP or anyone else to look into it.

    (Original post by Beska)
    The rule-of-thumb of how I learnt to revise in first year is "what information would make me a good doctor?"... when looking at everything you're supposed to learn, only learn what you think is important for a doctor to know. That (quite obvious, when you think about it) realisation that you don't need to know everything, but just what is useful as a doctor, is very liberating. That way of studying bumped my grades up quite substantially.

    There's stuff that you just need to memorise and just requires writing and rewriting over and over. Drug lists, metabolic pathways, etc. you just need to draw out, draw out from memory, check, re-draw etc. for weeks to get it in your head. Anatomy needs more long-term commitment imo, little and often, you just can't cram anatomy (or at least, I can't, I find it physically impossible to cram something so conceptual).
    This is generally good advice and in clinical medicine is definitely how I've been learning. For pre-clin I think the only problems are:
    1) depending on how much ward time you get (we didn't get any, but I appreciate not all med schools are like that), you might not know what things are important for the FYs to know
    2) the exam focus is definitely different from med school to med school....


    (Original post by chloemo14)
    Not intending to criticise this advice, but just to say this might vary by medical school! I know at mine that to do well on our exams requires dedicated memorisation of the minute, irrelevant single bullet points on the lecture slides that would seemingly scream "SKIP". Our exams are quite widely criticised by students for focusing far too much on small factual details to the detriment of clinical knowledge and testing of overall conceptual understanding, but at least if you know the sort of approach your faculty make you can prepare for what you're likely to see on the paper.
    And this is definitely how pre-clin was for me (we probably go to the same medical school ) but I've actually been informed by the current pre-clins that since the curriculum has changed there's been a shift in exams to make them more clinically orientated (just a shame that they haven't adapted the lectures to teach these points to the students yet!) so perhaps over the next few years Beska's plan is going to be increasingly important for freshers.
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    (Original post by Catchetat)
    When I was a fresher I too found it difficult. Just the sheer volume of info to take in.... I still struggle with it sometimes but you just need to find ways to adapt. For me, I started off with writing tons of notes to now just trying to grasp key concepts.

    Do not copy out of the textbook - you won't learn anything from it. It is best to have things personalised. As you say you're a visual learner, do things according to how you'll learn best e.g. drawing anatomy, physiology - charts

    Speak to your personal tutor/student support to see what help they can offer.

    I created a website for 1st year medic - don't know whether it might be useful at all... (http://medic4u.webs.com/)

    All the best!
    This is awesome!!! Thank you so much!
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    (Original post by Catchetat)
    When I was a fresher I too found it difficult. Just the sheer volume of info to take in.... I still struggle with it sometimes but you just need to find ways to adapt. For me, I started off with writing tons of notes to now just trying to grasp key concepts.

    Do not copy out of the textbook - you won't learn anything from it. It is best to have things personalised. As you say you're a visual learner, do things according to how you'll learn best e.g. drawing anatomy, physiology - charts

    Speak to your personal tutor/student support to see what help they can offer.

    I created a website for 1st year medic - don't know whether it might be useful at all... (http://medic4u.webs.com/)

    All the best!
    hey, your website looks great - what med school do you go to? Its just that your syllabus seems very different to mine, with the content of the years a bit muddled, so was just curious
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    Some girl I talked with vouched over this : http://www.anatomonics.com/

    Idk whether it is good since I'm not medical student but she used to learn from this during her commute.
 
 
 
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