Study Tools/Tips

Above understanding finances, understanding the material that is taught in school is crucial and needs to be your number one priority. These are all study tools that my classmates and myself use on a daily basis.  We have found them to be invaluable and hope you will too. Click on the title to go to the web page of these resources.

Khan Acadamy

This is an incredible tool.  Salman Khan started making Youtube videos in 2006 to help others understand a certain topic. The company itself has produced over 6,500 videos.  The videos vary from 6th-grade math to advance anatomy and physiology.  The best part, all the resources are free.  If you need help with understanding the brachial plexus or how biochem works, simply search it at Khan Acadamy and chances are they will have a specific video for it.  Not only will they have the video but it will be explained very well… If they don’t have the video then try Youtube.

Brainscape

This is an online flashcard tool.  I was very hesitant about using this initially because I never liked flashcards.  With brainscape however, I could type them up on my computer then study them on my phone, computer, and Ipad.  They also use a learning module called spaced repetition.  This means you rank how well you knew that flash card, then depending on the response, it determines how soon that flashcard will pop back up during the study session.

Now there is a premium Brainscape that allows full access to their resources.  Personally, I think the premium is unnecessary. That’s me being cheap… It’s probably worth it. The premium would be nice.

Quizlet

Quizlet is another online flashcard resource.  It is like brainscape except it doesn’t utilize the spaced repetition learning.  What it does have is the ability to make flashcards as a group relatively easily. One other nice perk is the ability to access previous flashcards that other students have made.  It’s fairly easy to organize flashcards as a class or look up previous classes flashcards.

Another neat feature about Quizlet is their ability to take a quiz with your flashcards. What it will do is ask the question that you made on the front of the flash card, then take 3 other answers from other flash cards you have made and put them in an answer bank.  It is just like taking a quiz. It’s a great way to study.

Quizlet offers a premium membership, which again, isn’t necessary but might be useful to those that use flash cards with images.

One Note/Notability

One Note comes with Microsoft office and Notability is for IOS.  They are both programs that allow documents to be uploaded as a PDF and then take notes on them.  I can’t say much about Notability simply because I don’t use it.  However, I have colleagues that use it and they all enjoy it. I use One Note on my Surface Pro and it has been essential for me during class.

My professors teach so much information very, very quickly.  Using One Note has allowed me to download the powerpoints that are being used during the lecture and take notes on specific powerpoints.  I can draw arrows, highlight, and circle things that I think are important, which has been extremely helpful thus far.

Another perk of using these programs is (well at least One Note) you can share the notes you have taken with classmates. If you missed a day you can ask a colleague to share the notes he/she took.  I’ve used this feature a few times and it has been beneficial every time.

Human Anatomy Atlas 2018 (IOS)

This app has been incredible.  When I purchased it the price was $0.99! All the other anatomy apps I have seen have been $20 or more. With all the information this app provides it is well worth the price!  I don’t know if it is on some sale or not but for a dollar, this is a must-have.   I memorized all the muscles, yes including the face, just from this app.  It has been incredibly useful.  It has the innervation, action, origin, and insertion of the muscles.  It shows the boney landmarks, it tells you how to properly pronounce the words.  It is truly incredible and will enhance your gross anatomy knowledge immensely.  One last perk, you don’t have to be in the gross lab inhaling all the formaldehyde.

Good ol’ Paper and Pen

A good study technique is rewriting your notes after class.  Chances are during the lecture the notes that have been taken are frantically written down.   Then after few days, those notes are hard to understand/ interpret.  Grab a pencil and paper and copy your notes down so that it is legible. Make it look nice.

Whiteboard

I find using a whiteboard and dry erase markers to be extremely valuable. Especially if there is a process you need to memorize before the next test.  Drawing the process over and over again will solidify that pathway relatively quickly.

I bought a fairly cheap  17″ x 23″  whiteboard at Walmart.  Then I purchased my dry erase markers on Amazon (they are generally cheaper for more).  It cost me under $20 and I’ve had this whiteboard for a few years now.  This has been one of the better investments I have made for schooling.

Group Study

I personally struggle with this one.  I’m extremely social and will talk about any topic at any moment during a study session.  The issue is it won’t be on the material we should be studying.  With that said, it is awesome to see how others study and pick up on some of their techniques. The group needs to stay relatively small, anything over 5 tends to become unproductive.

Another perk about group studying is that someone in the group probably picked up on a detail that you overlooked in your study or notes.  This then gives you an opportunity to ask questions on a subject you didn’t understand very well and have someone explain it to you or vice versa. When you teach to someone, you solidify that subject in your mind or pick up on details that you actually didn’t understand as well as you thought.

Talk to your Professors

If there is a subject that you find yourself to be really struggling with, you need to talk to the professor.  Who knows the material better than they?  The professors also have invested a lot into you, they want to see you succeed. They are there to educate and help, not make a failure out of you.

Tutors

If you haven’t used a tutor before and a certain subject seems to more difficult than others… you need to use a tutor.  Tutors are selected because they have excelled in that specific subject.  Chances are they have some good study techniques to make a difficult subject simple. The hardest part about using a tutor is getting over your pride and asking for help.

With the help of a tutor, you will gain a better understanding of the material.  Not only that, if they are a friendly tutor they can be your friend! Who doesn’t want more friends?…I guess some people but yeah…  Tutors are extremely helpful.