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How to study for success

Route to success in first year of dental school
by

Angela Hague

on 18 September 2015

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Transcript of How to study for success

A new approach?
A new approach?
Mind map lectures
Past/Mock Questions
Go through Learning Objectives
Different sessions
Made posters for each week of topographical anatomy
For DR sessions and Spot tests
Embryology
Work routine
Online resources - Blackboard, eBiolabs, Virtual Microscope
Posters - flash cards for lectures
Flash cards for mock questions
Textbooks

e.g. Rohen's Colour Atlas
Langman's Embryology
Settle to a good working routine
Keeping up with the learning
Practice questions in tutorial book or on Blackboard
I found that it took quite some time (about all of first term) to settle into a good working routine.
Before university it was very easy to get hold of the syllabus and just learn what you have to, do some practice papers and achieve decent grades
BUT
Here are some of the methods which I used for studying:
Own notes made in lectures and condensed notes afterwards
How to study for success!
Studying at school and studying at university was very different. There is a much more independent approach to studying at university, which is alright if you get on with your work, but hard for students who until now have had teachers at school telling them what to do.
Active learning
"...at university you have to actively find the material you need (mostly for anatomy), work out if it covers what you need to know and then find out the best way of learning it"
Pick out key points
"the material you need isn't represented in the easiest way to understand for the reader nor written specifically for a syllabus"
You have to plan out your time, make sure things don't build up
Control your own learning
Time management
Be ahead
"be certain to cover as much as possible well before exam time"
Identify problems
"highlight all the difficult things as there may not be enough time before/between exams to go through absolutely everything"
Biochemistry and Physiology
"I tried to fit in each series of lectures for biochemistry and physiology on the same page so I could remember my notes visually e.g. all of renal lectures condensed to one page."
Made my own notes using colours and spider diagrams so I can link everything together

Go over lectures afterwards
Check nothing is missed out
Use these notes for revision when needed
Learning Biochemistry
Learning Physiology
Learning details from lectures
Going over all of the workshop calculations
Doing practice calculations on eBiolabs
Going through the eBiolabs practicals to cover the whole Unit for the exam
...so this just involved using all the resources given and practising the calculations (which if done are quote "straightforward marks")

at least have a go at the workshops beforehand to know what is going on with each question
...and practise the ones you didn't get right again and again afterwards
Learning biochemistry involved:
Going through all the lectures thoroughly
Learning Physiology involved:
e-biolabs practicals
Using the histology booklet
Using the virtual microscope to print screen the histology slides and add notes to these to have a print out of the sessions
Using all the resources to make my own notes/spider diagrams
http://brisvm.soms.bris.ac.uk/webViewer.php?snapshotId=1377604988

Click on the hyperlink to interface with University of Bristol Virtual Microscope and see some inflamed gums!
Write down wrong answers from weekly spots
Go over them again
Make sure most of the learning objectives are covered
Anatomy
Used past/mock questions from Blackboard to make revision cards with notes for an answer to each question

Practice for mini-essays
Made learning easier if I could remember what was learned and in which week
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/157243309/
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Very straightforward due to good material provided

Going over lectures again whilst listening to e-lecture

Again making condensed notes to see everything together
Neuroanatomy
Highlighted key things in the Neuroanatomy booklet

Wrote out all pathways onto an A4 page to memorise everything in one location

http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrlynch/450141791/
Self testing
I'd try to jot everything down in a notebook to see if I could remember it

....and if not, I'd look at it again
?
When I did the pre-practical thoroughly, the session was much easier to follow

........and it aids learning if you have read up on some related material beforehand.

For
spot tests
the
Rohen's Colour Atlas
is very good - went through it regularly before exams to become more familiar with topographical anatomy
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Color-Atlas-Anatomy-Photographic-Study/dp/160913785X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377678202&sr=1-1&keywords=rohen+color+atlas+of+anatomy
If you have made your own notes, it is easier to remember than the lecturer's notes
....and then writing it out makes it easier to learn
Commit to long term memory
Go through lectures quickly afterwards so you don't forget all of the material
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnhoke/8791760300/sizes/m/in/photostream/
"I think these methods would be much more useful for visual learners and most of them I would have used at school"

So it may be good to first continue with how YOU used to study at school and see if it still works
EXTRA THING: Independent study
Design your own homework

Don't ignore instructions such as

"do the pre-practicals before the practical"

"look at the best textbook to aid your learning"

"make good notes"!
VARK learning styles
What learning style suits you best?
V-Visual; A-Auditory; R-Read-Write; K-Kinesthetic (hands-on)
http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/
Click on the link and take the quiz
Read-Write: notetaking
Another key thing for me was writing down as much as possible in lectures

I prefer getting full sentences down
for difficult things
as when I go back to this it is much clearer than notes that may confuse me

Even if you may not be taking it in whilst you are writing, you can read back at your own pace afterwards

It is always good to annotate slides with your own notes anyway
Listening
"I borrowed a few lectures that had been recorded when I really didn't think I had understood them or if I thought there was not enough time to make notes

However it is very time consuming to do this and personally I wouldn't find listening to all lectures again of much use as my style of learning is more visual"
Annotation of slides with your own notes may be done listening back to lectures but again would be very time-consuming
......and sometimes you don't need to listen to the whole lecture again.

How do you normally learn?
Consider which techniques work best for you
Background image by Dragfyre:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHCMC_Two_students_studying.JPG
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kreep/2607828956/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-open-university/5228996424/
http://php.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?title=Cardiovascular_System_Development
University definitely makes you think outside the box
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_cardboard_box_husky.png
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucgaloppin/6889545586/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmgimages/4881844153/
Watch this useful presentation on taking lecture notes at University.
Worth 44 minutes of time investment!
Full transcript