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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.

3 comments:

harry said...

wow...cool! thanks for this!

Siol said...

coool! thx. ive never thought of doing that before

Anonymous said...

Yeah cool