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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How to study for long periods of time without boredom!

The past two weeks I have been studying for my microbiology and immunology miniboard. I focused mostly using the Lange review book since I find it the most comprehensive without assuming you know the details. (I'm getting through this program by learning hardcore cramming skills.) While some people may read and understand and remember, I am not one of those people. I need time and repetition to drill it into my head. This takes time and patience. I greatly need the latter. So this is what I did.

I broke it into chunks.

To really focus, I wrote out what I was learning in my own language, Serendipitinese. It made it easier to find out what I was missing in understanding the concepts and much easier to read later on to review.

The problem with writing is that your hand gets tired. To conquer that, I read. This meant, when I wasn't writing, I was reading and vice versa. But even that get boring so I set up stations.

Stations are 20 minute intervals where you do different activities at each station. Think of circuit training.

I would spend 20 minutes doing questions and writing down things that I didn't understand, the holes in my knowledge. Then I would spend another 20 minutes rereading what I wrote from doing questions. Then I would spend another 20 minutes reading and writing from another section of the book directly. The last station is simply just reading ahead. I had four bookmarks and after awhile, I knew the material that I had written down from questions well enough to test myself on it. That created the fifth station: the one where I test myself to see if I really remember what was going on. The fifth station functioned as a review and a test but more importantly, it helped reduced the amount of material I was rereading in station two (rereading knowledge gleamed from questions).

Since it's all done in twenty minute intervals and alternates between reading, writing, and thinking. I wasn't bored with it. I can easily do two rounds of these stations without realizing it. My concentration was maintained and I was able to get my repetition in.

Let me know if you've tried it and how it turned out for you.


harry said...! thanks for this!

Siol said...

coool! thx. ive never thought of doing that before

Anonymous said...

Yeah cool