Archive for August 29, 2008

How to Survive Semester 1 – Part 1

August 29, 2008

Now that I am safely set for Semester 2, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the things I’ve learned with the incoming first semesters. Some of these tips are in the ‘do as I say, not as I’ve done’ category but hopefully, someone will heed them and use them to rock the term.

 General Study Tips

  • Pre-Reading is Good

Abandoning my pre-reading routine is probably what caused my disasterous downfall on Mini III.

Here’s what I Used to Do:

Prior to a given lecture, I’d go through the lecture handout and make my notes (this would usually take forty-five minutes to an hour for a two-hour lecture). During lecture, I’d follow along and make notes on my notes, highlighting anything the lecturer emphasized, amended or edited. Then, sometime later in the day, I’d read the notes again.

Here’s what you should do:

My routine was a bit more involved than what is generally recommened but any amount of pre-reading is beneficial. Ideally, pre-reading is only a part of your process (same day post-reading and weekend review round it out) but it is critical. If anything, it allows you to multi-task during lecture beacuse you know what’s being covered (so you can catch up on email, chat on Facebook, etc.).

  • Study Groups are Better

Once Mini I scores come out, people generally have a good idea of where their strengths lie and who’s extra-clever in which subjects. If someone is talking about how they aced biochem while waiting on line at Subway, don’t be afraid to ask them when they study and if you can study with them. Have no shame. Don’t worry that you’re being a leech. Small study groups are beneficial because they allow exchange of information and by explaining concepts to others, one can crystallize one’s own knowledge. Study groups work especially well for biochem and physio.