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  1. #1
    utorontograd's Avatar
    utorontograd is offline GPA Advisor 515 points
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    The Lazy Man's Way to Higher Grades

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    The Lazy Man's Way
    to Higher Grades

    I received a question at www.medicalschoolreport.com . Here it is:

    “I am wondering about your suggestion of taking in the lectures online a
    few times and how to possibly do that 3 times each lecture even in fast
    speed that is a lot of time. I tried it first just to listen then I took notes then
    I listen to it fast forward and it still takes a lot of time. Also 9 hours a day
    is lot! Am I hearing right?”

    Here’s my answer:

    “Listening to lecture more than once is very time consuming and
    probably not necessary.

    I think you misunderstood me. I meant read your lecture notes over
    several times. Once after listening to lecture, once the next day, then
    once on the weekend.

    Have a couple more passes right before the test to tie up any loose ends
    and ensure that you know all the details.

    I hope you haven’t wasted too much time re-watching lectures.”

    Anna and I tried to minimize the time we spent listening to lecture
    because we found that the most productive use of our time – our highest
    yield activity, i.e. the activity that gave us the biggest boost of
    knowledge, was studying the notes ourselves.

    -This is why we watched pre-recorded lectures at 2x (double speed) on
    our school’s media web site. Doing this allowed us to get through 8
    lectures in the time it would normally take to get through 4.

    -We skipped any brown-bag/lunch n’ learn lectures given at lunch time
    (they were optional). We showed up for PBL right on time and then
    dashed out as soon as we were permitted to leave. We did the same
    thing at mandatory tutorials, gross anatomy demos and clinical demos.

    -We ate lunch a little early because at high-noon, our rural Dominican
    equivalent of a cafeteria was rammed with students. This meant having
    to wait in line much longer to get your food.

    -We took breaks when it was convenient for us. This way scheduled
    breaks didn’t interrupt our groove.

    -We studied in the library as early as we could while everyone else was
    either sleeping or in a lecture hall.

    -Later we studied at our apartment so we could avoid all uncontrollable
    distractions.

    -If I had a burning question, I’d call the professor or go see them one-on-
    one rather than wait in line after lecture (when they were being hounded).

    -We were in the gross anatomy lab early on weekends reviewing
    structures on the best cadavers while others were sleeping.

    -We scheduled our patient simulator sessions (Harvey) early before all
    the convenient time slots were taken.

    -We registered for each semester at the earliest and most inconvenient
    times because we knew that less students would be there.

    -We zigged when everyone else zagged essentially. As you can see, we
    minimized time spent on any school related activity that took us away
    from our highest-yield activity – studying our lecture notes. This is why we
    always had time to study each one multiple times on our own. This
    spaced repetition allowed us to master the information as it came. We
    were never pressed for time and we always enjoyed a couple of hours of
    free time in the evenings to unwind as we pleased.

    In summary, isolate your highest yield activity i.e. the activity that brings
    you the greatest boost in knowledge of the lecture material and spend as
    much time as you need to on it. Avoid other irrelevant activities so you
    can do this comfortably.

    How many other ways can you think of to cut corners on less relevant
    activities?

    Disclaimer: you have to play within the rules set forth by your school. We
    reluctantly attended all mandatory sessions. As a practical matter, you
    should too.

  2. #2
    lgseccionph is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Nice article. I'll try that.

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