title kind of sums it up but I ran out of room. here it is:
I’m making great grades (all A’s) in my pre-reqs taking them at a community college. the only thing is I still have yet to get into that groove where I study regularly (I cram for every test at the last possible minute). I know this is not a good habit to start but I’m finding it harder and harder to break out of this rut and know that once medical school starts I won’t have the luxury of doing such. I don’t even know if I’ll get in with this habit i’ve created. I feel like I could do even better and absorb more material if I’d just break down and study. I think I need a routine. it’s hard as heck to study in my apartment and i’m always so tired after working all day and class 4 nights a week. and the weekends that’s the last thing I wanna do. This is really what I want but I wanna break out of this habit. the semester is almost over and i’m not worried about finals i’ll still keep my A’s but I want to improve. maybe it’s a new year’s resolution! any help would be appreciated and also if anyone else is going through the same thing. thanks
title kind of sums it up but I ran out of room. here it is:
- Miller J. Said:
I'm making great grades (all A's) in my pre-reqs taking them at a community college. the only thing is I still have yet to get into that groove where I study regularly (I cram for every test at the last possible minute). I know this is not a good habit to start but I'm finding it harder and harder to break out of this rut and know that once medical school starts I won't have the luxury of doing such. I don't even know if I'll get in with this habit i've created. I feel like I could do even better and absorb more material if I'd just break down and study. I think I need a routine. it's hard as heck to study in my apartment and i'm always so tired after working all day and class 4 nights a week. and the weekends that's the last thing I wanna do. This is really what I want but I wanna break out of this habit. the semester is almost over and i'm not worried about finals i'll still keep my A's but I want to improve. maybe it's a new year's resolution! any help would be appreciated and also if anyone else is going through the same thing. thanks
I wouldn't worry too much Miller...working full-time and doing school full-time just plain sucks. I would imagine there will be a lot more motivation to study in medical school since you won't have a job to juggle along with it for one, and two, you won't have a choice. ;P
I can guarantee you that cramming in medical school will not work. There is just too much information for you to be able to properly understand to be able to pass your exams in medical school. do your best to get out of that habit fast enough.
In medical school, you are going to have to understand what you have learned and apply it. You cannot understand enough when you cram, not to mention be rested enough to take the test properly.
Also something to keep in mind is that when you are in med school, you’ll find yourself surrounded by other med schools trying to study at every available moment.
If you want to get in the habit now, after whatever class you have spend 15 minutes going over what you have gone over in lecture. Highlight the areas that you feel that you need to go over in more detail.
No one says that there is just one way to study. Even if you just arrange a “study date” with another classmate, by going over the principles you’ve covered in class is a good way to assimilate the information. Even the process of just thinking about what you are learning is a form of studying.
I think you sort of answered your own question - what you need to answer for your own self is,
A) Do you want good grades?
B) Do you want a thorough understanding of the material?
B) usually, but not always, leads to A. However, achieving A does not imply B.
In other words, as has been said before, cramming will certainly get you good grades etc.
But you’re missing out on the understanding that comes from grasping the theory and applying it in problems. The latter is usually necessary if you want a somewhat permanent footprint of the material left in your memory center. Furthermore, once you have consolidated the material in your memory, it becomes easier to recall it, use it later, or build on it in later courses.
Consolidation involves physiological processes in your memory centers and in your frontal lobe. As with any physiological process, it takes time and a certain amount of repetition.
Cramming won’t help you there. With cramming, you are temporarily storing the material in your short term memory in your hippopotamus and associated limbic structures and recalling it within a short period. It is still evanescent and can elude you later.
Having said all that, if you can solve a problem and still recall what you crammed last semester without going to the textbook and saying “Oh yeah, I remember that!”, then my friend you have a gift and I envy you - cram away!
PS: Posting references to physiologic structures on a premed site is an extremely dangerous post. Forgive my errors and I do not intend to start a broader discussion on memory and intellect formation.
PPS: Yes, yes I know it’s the hippocampus and the hippopotamus is too large to fit in a human skull.
I’ve found that taking more challenging coursework has forced me to develop - if not always adhere to - better study habits. I don’t recall whether you’re planning on attending a University in addition to your CC credits. Whether or not you are, I’d recommend you push yourself to take some of the more serious courses, graduate level stuff if it’s available.
Lately, I’ve also been getting out of the house and studying more at the library - too many distractions at home.
Are you looking more for a general philosophy, or specific study/motivation tips?
hi Tim- would be great to hear some tips as above mentioned as well. I’m planning on mainly taking my pre-reqs at the comm. college level at least teh bio, chem, and physics… thinking of some genetics or biochemistry at a 4 yr.