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Please critique my study system

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by studentbear studentbear (Member)

5,557 Visitors; 206 Posts

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I tried to make this short but unfortunately that didn't work out (TLDR at the bottom.) I am returning to my BSN program after 2 years off-- I completed my first semester (fundamentals, health assessment, pathophys, and nursing research) with a decent enough GPA (>3.0). I had to withdraw my second semester due to some health issues and I'm finally going back this fall. Anyway, I have a tried and true method for studying, except I remember I would run out of time to complete the whole process before an exam. Let me explain. My process is thus:

1. Skim assigned chapters before class

2. Print out powerpoint slides and take notes on them in class

3. While re-listening to the lecture, combine the powerpoint, my class notes, and any pertinent info from the lecture that I caught while re-listening

4. Make flash cards

5. Practice questions

6. Make a study guide

7. More practice questions

Often I would just barely finish the note re-writing, possibly run through my flash cards once, and make a study guide before each exam. I remember it would take me hours upon hours to do step 3-- I'm talking 8hrs for a 3hr lecture was typical. This is the process I also used for A&P, microbio, etc before nursing school.

I'm reviewing the content from my first semester to prep for the fall when I return. I'll be taking med surg and pharm. I'd rather try and hone a more effective study system now, rather than while I'm in the midst of classes again.

Do other people have a similar process or am I just a weirdo? Any suggestions? Critiques?

 

TLDR; I spend hours re-writing my notes from lectures and am not always able to do other studying (flash cards, practice q's, etc.) prior to exams. I'm worried that I'm wasting time on re-writing notes when I could develop a more effective method. Help!

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2,083 Visitors; 313 Posts

I use ANKI to make flashcards from the assigned chapters, and study those daily as they come up for review.  Takes me a couple hours per chapter to make the cards from an ebook, and about an hour a day to review them, and I feel like I retain more than a lot of people who study a lot harder than I do.

Whatever you decide works for you, I think it's pretty self-evident that any study method which you don't even have time to complete before a test is not a good method.

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303 Visitors; 42 Posts

I would skip re-listening to lectures. I record lectures but only re-listen to certain parts if I was struggling. Often I could find the topic on youtube instead of re-listening at all. For me I only make flashcards of things I don't know, and that are hard for me to remember. I will typically only make like 20 flash cards not hundreds. 

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5,557 Visitors; 206 Posts

10 hours ago, Rionoir said:

I use ANKI to make flashcards from the assigned chapters, and study those daily as they come up for review.  Takes me a couple hours per chapter to make the cards from an ebook, and about an hour a day to review them, and I feel like I retain more than a lot of people who study a lot harder than I do.

Whatever you decide works for you, I think it's pretty self-evident that any study method which you don't even have time to complete before a test is not a good method.

Is ANKI similar to Quizlet? I typically use Quizlet which I love because I can put it in "test mode" which turns all of my flashcards into practice questions.

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2,083 Visitors; 313 Posts

Quizlet is awful IMO.  Lookup some youtube videos of ANKI - a lot of med students use it and have posted videos on the best way to use it.  I tried a lot of flashcard programs before finally finding this one.  The best thing about anki is the "cloze" cards, which should be explained in most of the videos too.

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

1,447 Visitors; 141 Posts

That seems...chaotic.

The re-writing of your class notes plus a study guide plus flash cards seems to be...repetitive, and not necessarily helpful? Print your powerpoints, take your class notes, but instead of rewriting all your notes put that energy into the study guide and flash cards.

Always leave time for practice questions. In my personal experience, doing tons of practice questions and reviewing the rationales helped me more than anything.

 

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strawberryluv is a BSN, RN and specializes in LTC, Med-surg.

11,562 Visitors; 726 Posts

What you're doing is way too much overkill. My study method is this, do not skim chapters. I just go to lectures and follow the professor's lecture with the power point slides. I am jotting down notes on the power point printouts as I listen to the professor. After lecture, sit down and summarize what you learned to yourself paying attention what you learned and need clarity on. You have to focus on understanding the concepts.  Then based on what is presented in the PowerPoint slide plus my understanding of the concept I would then read that section of material for the power point slide from the textbook.  However if i feel a particular power point slide concept is straightforward and i understand the concept- I won't read that section in the textbook.  Taking notes is a waste of time because its just rereading and writing the concept i read and understood.  I then try to teach myself the material I just read three or more times. I also watch a YouTube video on the concept to see how others understand the material. Next I do practice questions. This engages all the senses, how? I am using my hands to write notes as I listen to the professor lecture. I am watching a video on YouTube to see the concept come to life and others perspective n the concept. Then, reteaching the concept i learned is important to establish I fully understood theconcept. .That's how i learn 

Edited by strawberryluv
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243 Visitors; 45 Posts

I would skip on rewriting your notes and listening to lectures. I tried both of those things at one point while I was in nursing school and they were not helpful. If you do like rewriting information, at least rewrite in a different way that is easiest to understand for you so you aren't just blindly copying down information. I also wouldn't spend a lot of time skimming chapters. If you are able to go through the PPTs before class you could go through the slides quickly. Flashcards are awesome and I would definitely recommend that you keep using them!! Honestly, you have to decide how you study best and what specifically helps you and stay true to that 🙂 

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