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Friday, June 12, 2009

25 tips: How to pass respiratory therapy school

Your Question: Do you have any study tips that helped you out? You mentioned that what makes it hard is the amount of information that's thrown at you... I was wondering if you had any tips for retaining the information? :) I've been highly advised to buy a voice recorder and tape the lectures... did you do that, and if you did, did it work for you?

My Answer:  When I was in school the only electronic device we had at our disposal was a voice recorder.  Still, I rarely recorded a class.  I found it better to take notes using a pen or pencil.  I use the same technique today when I take minutes at meetings.  I would then rewrite and organize all my notes as soon as I got home.  Usually by the time I finished this I had the material memorized.  After I graduated and got all A's using this method, I learned that studies proved this technique works.  

Every day I would do this, no matter how much work it seemed to be.  After I was done transcribing my notes I would go over all my other notes for that class for that Semester.  This is usually a lot of work the first week or two of the class, but after that it made me use better use of my study time.  By the time it came to taking a test all I had to do was review the material.  

Usually there were only one or two topics that were really confusing.  These topics I usually didn't worry about.  I would study what I did understand, figuring if I missed one or two questions on the test it wouldn't be a big deal.  However, once I had that material down, and as time permitted, I'd try to make sense of the more difficult material. 

Read How I Became A Good Student.

Here are some more study tips.
  • Don't be a slacker
  • Study hard.
  • Read and study the book BEFORE going to class
  • Go to every class
  • Go get your books early and study before class starts.
  • If you have an assignment, start working on it NOW. Get it done way before the deadline.
  • In other words, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
  • Take the best notes you ever took in your life
  • Recopy your notes as soon as you get home that night.
  • Organization is key to easy studying
  • Rewriting notes is a good way to memorize
  • Try to spend one night a week studying your ass off
  • Review your notes at least a half hour daily
  • If you don't understand something, refer to the book
  • Don't fret the small things. You can deal with those later.
  • If you don't understand something, don't spend all day trying to figure it out.
  • If you study as I recommend above, 24 hours before the test you should know most of your material and can just relax and review
  • 24 hours prior to the test when everyone else is cramming, you should feel confident that you did a good job studying all week and just go to bed early.
  • On the day of the test get up early, review your notes quickly in case you forgot something (especially review formulas), and then put your notes down and go to class.
  • By now you should feel rather comfortable you have most of the material down, so what you'll want to do is just make sure you know all the formulas.
  • Do not cram the day of the test
  • Don't cram in class. I used to always say, "If I don't know it by now I never will."
  • When you sit down to take the test write the formulas on the top of the page while they are fresh in your head. The rest you should have down pat already.
  • Take your time on tests. Don't try to be the first one finished.
  • If you don't know the answer right away mark the question and move on
  • Your first answer is usually your best.
  • Before you hand the test in, go over the questions you marked.
  • If you're not good at studying alone, make friends and group study
  • tutoring is a good way to retain information
  • Do not party with your friends during the week, save that for the weekend
  • Here and (better yet) here are some more good tips


Anonymous said...

I graduate in two months. What advice do you have for those of us starting our first 'real' job?

Scared Sh*tless....

Freadom said...

Check out this link for the answer to this question.

Anonymous said...

I am just starting respiratory school in the Fall. I appreciate your advice. Thanks you.

Andrew Arguello said...

I had a question for you. How do you deal with a test that u have to take, but non of the material you have studied doesn't even show up?? E.G. Last weeks lecture was on shock and sepsis, but all of the questions were on Swan Ganz and hemodynamics

Andrew Arguello said...

I just had a horrible quiz. But the lecture we had last week was on sepsis and shock. But all the questions on the test had to deal with Swan Ganz and hemodynamics?? How do I prepare for a curveball from the Instructor??