Category Archives: Study Strategies

A Memo to Students who have been Disappointed with their Test Grades

Inspired by Richard Felder, Ph.D.

Dear student,

Many of you have told me that your test grades don’t reflect your understanding of the material and asked me what you should do to keep the same thing from happening on the next test. This is my response. Below you’ll find a set of questions about how you’ve been preparing for tests. I suggest that you print this memo and respond to the questions as honestly as you can, and then refer back to the memo and the questions several times before the next test. The question “How should I prepare for the test” becomes easy once you’ve filled out the checklist. The answer is “Do whatever it takes to be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of the questions.”

Good luck,
Richard Felder

To see the checklist…

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J&B: I’m nervous! How can I get a good start in grad school?

Dear J & B,

I’m not performing as well as I would like. I don’t attend lectures. I do spend 3 hours per hour of lecture watching media site. I’m a visual learner so I color code my notes. I then try to draw all the mechanisms. I’m studying all of the time, yet I never have time to do more than 1 pass through the material.

— Overwhelmed and Underperforming.

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Hot Link: Study Finds Studying a Big Appetite Stimulant

Why are we hungry when we study? Scientists at the University of Alabama found that intense mental activity, like studying for exams and boards, stimulates hunger more than physical exercise. Click on this link for the full article.

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Student Insight: Hiroe Serves a ‘Big Picture Sandwich’

Hiroe Hu is a student in Touro University California’s College of Osteopathic Medicine

“Know the big picture.” Despite its simplicity, this was one of the best pieces of advice that I ever received in medical school (thank you, Dr. Lin!). Over the past year, this has become my mantra that served me well in both my academic and personal life.

My study strategy almost always involves the “big picture sandwich.” First, I listen to lecture or watch YouTube videos to grasp the summary of the material. My second pass would be a more in-depth look into the materials: reading the slides, referencing textbooks, memorizing facts, and taking notes to put the knowledge into my own words.

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Doctor finds a reminder of the humanity at the heart of medicine

Jean Robey MDThis moving story by Arizona Dr. Jean Robey is a delicate, well-written exploration of a patient’s decision to allow himself to pass away.

“Hello? Hello, Mr. Bertsie. It’s Dr. Robey. I wanted to call you and check on you,” I said into the phone stopping my constant wrestling with papers and resting what was in my hands on my lap. Mr. Bertsie and I were meeting in the equinox.

“Oh, hello Doctor,” he said with a little relief, a little surprise, a little delight in his voice. “I’m doing OK. I walked the dog today.”

“Mr. Bertsie. Did everything go ok yesterday?” I pressed.

“Oh yes. They were all very nice and got me right in. I am glad to be done with it,” he confessed.

To read on, click here.

Dear Dr. J: You Can Catch Up!

Dr. J is Touro California Director of Academic Support Dr. Jill Alban.

Dear Dr. J,

I am already getting behind and I’m worried I’ll never catch up! What do you recommend?

— Behind the Wheel on Mare Island

catch-upDear Behind,

Use your week-ends to catch up and get ahead. You have 48 hours. Even if you give yourself 9 hours of sleep, 2 hours of exercise and time for breaks, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up. The most important thing is to create a study plan. Research on study strategies has demonstrated that good students create a study plan and stick to it. Once you’ve made your schedule-set it in stone. Make a commitment to follow it.

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Entertaining TED Talk on Procrastination

4d10247c2b89098e6f7103065276923e9432e914_2880x1620Blogger Tim Urban wrote so many smart and lively posts about procrastination, they gave him a TED talk on the topic! 

For more, you can visit Urban’s own blog. Here at EfficientLearning.org, we also have our own series of posts on procrastination exploring the problem and possible cures:

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Student Insights: Christina’s Successful Experience with Free Speed Reading Tool

No sooner did we post an item about a free speed reading tool than we found out the program had helped a current Touro student!

Christina Choy is a first-year student in the College of Pharmacy, class of 2020.

for-web-Choy,-Christina-Picture-II

Legentas was very helpful at introducing me to speed reading. I had always thought that I read quite quickly, however after starting the program I realized that I was reading inefficiently.

This program offers various eye gymnastics exercises and trains you to increase your visual span, as well as read in a rhythm that allows for better retention. Before I started Legentas, I was reading 204 words per minute. By lesson three, I was reading at 334 words per minute!

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12 Tips for Thriving in Grad School

“Grad school also is a unique experience,” notes Carol Williams-Nickelson, Ph.D, former associate executive director of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students in the helpful article “12 Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Grad School.”

It’s unlike college, where classes are of chief importance, cramming the night before leads to decent grades and there’s plenty of time for play and extracurricular activities. Being a graduate student is a full-time job that requires you to sharpen a variety of skills — and learn some new ones.

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Speed Reading Is Potent Skill for Grad School

karate-school-speed-readingIt has been recommended to the College of Pharmacy students that they take a speed reading course before school begins. This recommendation may be helpful to all professional and graduate students. In the next two years you will  have a mountain of reading. One way of managing your assignments may be to speed read. This is a link to a free speed-reading program called Legentas: https://www.legentas.com/eng/

 

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