Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to Succeed in Pharmacy School

I've had several people ask me what my secret is to "not failing" and doing "well" on exams. There is no secret, really. It takes a lot of work. People that write it off as "oh it's because you're lucky and you're smart."

That is far from the truth. I work and study really hard, but I also balance it with fun and relaxation. They don't see the countless hours I spend in the horrible library studying for my exams and trying desperately to learn as much as I can before the exam. I find it really obnoxious when people who don't go to class, don't take notes in class, and try to cram everything in in one night think that I don't have to work at all for my grades. Yes, some people don't have to work at all and they gets straight As (those bastards) and some people work even harder than I do and barely pass.

So here's how I get through pharm school:

1) I go to class and here's the secret: I PAY ATTENTION in class. Well, at least try. Haha.
2) I take extensive notes. I will re-write things in a totally dumbed down way just to make sure if I come back to study and suddenly become dumber than a sack of bricks (totally happens all the time) I have a "stupid persons guide" to understanding the notes. It also helps make sure I'm paying attention in class.
3) I re-write my notes. Extremely time consuming... but if I need to get a concept, sometimes it's the only way for me.
4) Make sure you actually understand the concepts instead of just saying "oh yeah I know that" and then coming to it on the exam and going "OH F@#$!"
5) I wake up about 3 hours before an exam to wake myself up and get out of that groggy state and refresh my mind with the material on the exam.
6) Make sure you use any free time to relax and have fun. This is probably the most important part because it will keep you from burning out. I would go INSANE without my "fun time". And don't say there isn't any time. You need to make time.

And that's pretty much what I do. It's pretty simple, but it won't work for everyone. This is just how I do it. Haha so with that disclaimer- I don't want any comments about how I caused you to fail your exams.


Brahmin in Boston said...

That is amazing, Erin! What you have said here would definitely help the students who are looking for ways to do good in their studies.

I was one of those "intensive notes takers" in my class. But you wouldn't catch me dead in a library. LOL - the quieter it is the more distracted I used to get. It is the same now - I have to have some music or the TV switched on in order to read or write something.

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