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Essential Study Skills for DVM Students …what works, what doesn’t Anne LaFrance, LMHC Counselor, College of Vet Med

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Presentation on theme: "Essential Study Skills for DVM Students …what works, what doesn’t Anne LaFrance, LMHC Counselor, College of Vet Med"— Presentation transcript:

1 Essential Study Skills for DVM Students …what works, what doesn’t Anne LaFrance, LMHC Counselor, College of Vet Med

2 References and Resources Counseling & Wellness website, Study Skills section: “What works, what doesn’t” Scientific American Mind, 2013 Meta-analysis of 700+ scientific articles on 10 common study techniques “What Will Improve a Student’s Memory?” D. Willingham, 2009 (on website) Becoming a Master Student, Dave Ellis, 2003 Study without Stress: Mastering Medical Sciences, Kelman and Stracker, 2000

3 TIME Memory Reading & Notes Test taking

4 Evaluate your current study strategies…and what you’re willing to change …maybe some before your next exam?

5 Making the most of your time Expect to spend hours/week in learning activities… including about 25 hours/week studying A regular study schedule protects against cramming, lack of sleep, stress, and vulnerability to illness Planner use to track assignments, study hours, exams, and outside commitments can improve exam prep and decrease procrastination Without a planned schedule, multiple exams/week = poor allocation of time across subjects

6 Procrastination, goals, motivation, encouragement Procrastination is fueled by perfectionism and difficulty initiating work on high priority tasks Set daily goals & checkpoints, do work before “escapes” Hardest work when most alert, 3 hr. blocks, active breaks Allocate time/subject, manage distractions, avoid multi-tasking Daily & weekly rewards, plan for the unexpected Encourage & praise yourself, celebrate successes!

7 Memory …

8 What works What doesn’t Self-testing during daily study Distributed study sessions Continued reviews after you know the material Creating conceptual frameworks of related material Develop memorable CUES: mnemonics Re-reading, re-copying Cramming / massed study Highlighting text or notes Rote memorization Late night studying Pressure & sleep deprivation Multi-tasking while studying

9 Self testing Cornell Note Taking Flashcards Chapter review questions Retake prior quizzes and tests Quiz study partner from notes Highly effective across wide range of content and time intervals – forms multiple retrieval pathways

10 Distributed study periods & breaks MON.TUES.WED.THURS.FRI.SAT. SUN. Exercise >>>> Exercise >>>> VM 510 Notes ?s Ch. 3-4 VM 510 Open lab Cell Phys. Notes Ch. 1-3 VM 510 Notes ?s Ch. 1-3 Cell Phys. Ch notes Exam prep VM 586 lab notes Exam prep Cell Phys. Study grp. Dinner >>>> Dinner >>>>Chores >>>> VM 586 Notes/lab review VM 586 review ?s lecture notes VM 586 Ch. 3-5 Review ?s VM 586 Ch. 1-3 review ?s VM 586 Practice tests VM 510 Ch. 1-3 Review ?s Exam prep Anat. 1 open lab Chores >>>> Chores >>>>>Lunch >>>> Anat. 1 Ch. 1-4 review ?s Cell Phys. Review notes wks 1-3 Anat. 1 Review Notes wks 1-3 Exam prep Cell Phys. Old exams Exam prep Anat. 1 Old exams Relax >>>>

11 Distributed practice vs. massed practice Keppel: massed learners forgot almost 2/3s of items after 1 week Distributed learners recalled over 90% of items after 1 week Research meta-analysis: Average person using distributed learning sessions remembers better than 67% of those using massed learning, and these gains persist over years. (Donovan and Radosevich)

12 What’s wrong with these?? Re-reading, re-copying Cramming / massed study Highlighting text / notes Rote memorization Late night studying Pressure & sleep deprivation Multi-tasking while studying

13 Discuss current methods: what will you change? Self-testing during study Distributed study sessions Continue reviewing after you know the material Deep learning: how concepts interrelate, why meaningful Develop memorable CUES: mnemonics Multiple memory modes Re-reading, re-copying Cramming / massed study Highlighting text or notes Rote memorization Late night studying Pressure & sleep deprivation Multi-tasking while studying

14 Notes & self-test in one Review notes w/in 24 hours & add ?s Quizzing easily identifies unlearned material Active method for notating assigned reading Prompts user to summarize & synthesize concepts

15 A system for reading and note-taking 1. Pre-read: skim, note main topics 2. Read & take Cornell notes before lectures Monitor comprehension! Question how it connects w/existing knowledge, makes sense 3. Lecture notes: listen first, write main ideas 4. Review notes: a dd missing ideas & questions to notes and quiz 1x w/in 24 hrs. of lecture, review notes before next lecture, then at distributed intervals. 5. Exam prep: review & quiz all notes--lectures, labs & text

16 Test Taking

17 Test taking preparation Rate yourself on 1-5 scale, 1= low: 1.I clarify what topics & kinds of questions will on exams. 2. I study early & long enough to be prepared for exams. 3.I make a prioritized checklist of review materials and allocate study hours accordingly. 4. I study in 1-3 hour periods, distributed, with breaks. 5. I review using different methods: self-testing, prior exams, study groups, flashcards, open labs, etc. 6. I get 8 hours’ sleep the night before exams.

18 Test taking strategies 1.Arrive early, avoid anxious discussions w/peers 2.Preview test and points, make time notations in margin 3.Start with easiest items, mark unknowns for later 4.Keep self-talk encouraging, expect unknowns 5.Answer every item unless guessing is penalized 6.Review carefully: difficult & missing items, correct tracking on answer sheets 7.Do a test post-mortem on your preparation & mistakes

19 Post-mortem review Preparation: study methods, topics, time spent, distributed study, materials Identify key reasons for lost points: difficulties w/concept recall, definitions, studied wrong material, lack of practice, unclear expectations, focus, anxiety, ran out of time, etc. What will I do differently? Identify at least three specific things. Consider preparation, time management, types of review, mastery of concepts, use of review materials, knowledge deficits Reminders in planner about your revised plan for next exam

20 Managing test anxiety Strong preparation diminishes test anxiety. Sleep, exercise, limit the caffeine, good morning routine Let go of perfectionistic beliefs: you won’t know it all. Learn to control your focus and self-talk: I’ll just do the best I can. This is just one test. Breathe, relax, refocus: I am calm and clear. I’ve studied well, and can recall what’s needed. Monitor time, but don’t watch the clock. Website resources!

21 Evaluate your current study strategies…and what you’re willing to change Thanks for participating, and best wishes!


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