Yo!! for those of you students (or not) who’re taking AP tests, there’s this channel called Crash Course that has a bunch of AP-related series. each video’s between 10-15 minutes long and a lot of students use them as review or catch-up on stuff that their class skimmed over/stuff they didn’t understand or missed. Here are the ones that I know are for sure AP courses:
For subjects like history, geography, business and even the sciences like biology and chemistry, a lot of content needs to be memorised! These are just a few of my tips on how to memorise all of the information you need before your exam.
Repeating over time- In the best scenario, studying for a test three weeks ahead is the most optimal way to study. Usually, the process is memorising chunks two weeks before and doing past papers the week of. However, more often than not, this doesn’t end up happening because the weeks get hectic/busy so the max time before a test is probably 1.5-2 weeks. The next few points are more catered to that time period!
Palm cards- This I feel is the most common way of memorising things, by putting information on palm cards and taking them around with you to study on the train, bus, or wherever you go. The cons of this is to make sure that you don’t copy the information onto them in a passive way. You learn it over again when you write it out so make that opportunity count!
Teach content to others- I have learnt over the past few years that this is one of my favourite ways to memorise- give a family member, friend or anyone (even your pets) the notes and teach them the topic, point by point. If you can’t explain a topic in a simple way where the other person can understand, it indicates that you haven’t learnt the information properly or enough to explain it in a test situation.
Film yourself- Another of my personal favourites, read over your information one palm card/paragraph/page at a time, turn on your phone camera or photobooth (on Mac) and film yourself talking like you’re in a Youtube video. If you do this a lot, it really helps because it’s almost as if you’re talking to someone else, and speaking it out loud helps you memorise.
Writing out notes- It’s best to actually type out/write out notes as you go in class, but before tests I usually handwrite them out again. This emphasises this in your mind and you can also ensure that you have learnt everything that is on the syllabus. Making them pretty is a plus!
Watch videos and Podcasts- Youtube has so many great videos on any topic. My favourites are Khan Academy (most subjects) , Crashcourse (science and history), Lisa Study Guides (English), Stated Clearly (Biology) and Eddie Woo (Maths). If you’re a visual/auditory learner, these really help because it feels like you are learning the lesson again.
Active textbook reading- Read over the text books and annotate/highlight. However, you need to ensure that you are actually reading the text, not just highlighting the words.
I hope this helped anyone who has trouble memorising, good luck with all of your exams!
So I think this might be the question I get asked the MOST often. People are always asking me how do I study for this or that class. So I thought I would just make a master post I could link you all to. :)
See below for additions to doing everything listed in that video.
Do problems. Do all the problems. Do them again.
Do all the problems in your book.
Get another book and repeat step 2
Trust me 99.9% of all math classes is pattern recognition. If you can learn how to solve the problem you can ace any set of variables they throw at you.
See math–because physics is JUST applied math. You have to learn how to read the questions and pull out the information you need–the only way to do that is to do dozens of questions!
Flow charts–break things up by group to understand them. You have to group things to remember what’s gram positive or gram negative
Don’t blow off the actual micro part of micro. If you understand the virulence factors you’re more likely to understand the sx/tx
I had to use a lot of silly sayings to remember all the little pieces of micro. So I would remind myself about the diseases of haemophilus influenzae by saying haEMOPhilus (epiglotitus, meningitis, otitis media, pnuemonia). It was silly but it worked for me.
Do all the problems. Do them again.
Get another book and repeat step 1
Flashcard the reactions you don’t understand–put the reactants on one side and the products on the back. Practice these backward and forward.
Draw out every step of reactions you don’t understand
Circle your electrons or mark whatever it is you lose track of
Count–count where everything went at the end to make sure you didn’t screw up.
Categorize. Do all members of this group react this way?? It’s easier to learn the rules and the exceptions than force memorize every individual compound’s reaction.
Understand real world examples. I related all of the stuff about heat to a cup of coffee. It worked for me
Talk through it! I had to read chemistry out loud or try to repeat it out loud in my own words to have any idea what was going on.
YouTube videos are absolutely perfect for gen chem!! (There’s even a whole CrashCourse series on Gen Chem that’s appropriate especially for high school level chem).
General Biology–Genetics/Immunology/Cell Biologyetc
You really need to watch my video
Cross relate–you have to integrate all your biology together to keep all that information in your head.
Flashcard only the stuff that can’t be understood. (Like cell markers, etc)
Charts! Biology is all about categorization and understanding the similarities between different groups of things. If you can simply remember the characteristics of a group it’s easy to know everything you need to about all the members of that group.
Look at the pictures until you feel sick.
Make flashcards of the pictures so you can at least do immediate identification of what you’re looking at even if you don’t know exactly what the pathology is.
Integrate! How does the physiology relate to exactly what is going on with the pathology? How does the pathology predict treatment?
Learn some latin and greek root words. Even if you have no idea what the word means you might be able to figure it out from there. :) I’ve gotten more than one question right by just figuring out what the word meant.
Understand the mechanism of the drug–it will really predict how it is used or what its toxicities are for
Flashcard the bare minimum or anything bizarre you can’t remember any other way.
Figure out the similarities in the names. If it sounds the same, it probably belongs in the same class.
Don’t learn in isolation. It’s hard to study pharmacology on its own–instead study it integrated with physiology and pathology whenever possible for the best understanding.
Study as case studies!! What diuretics would you give to a patient with CHF? With ESLD?
Charts–get poster boards or tape together a ton of sheets of paper and try to write out every pathway you can to see how it all is integrated.
Always track the flow of energy!! Where is your NAD/ATP/etc?
Group pathways by the “point”. Are you destroying carbohydrates or building fats? How does this compare to other pathways that do the same thing?
Try to rewrite the pathways from memory then see what you missed.
Spend a bunch of time with the specimens if you have access to them.
DRAW even if you suck at drawing
Learn the clinical correlations–why do you care
Thing about everything in relationship to one another!
Do questions!! Grey’s has a student question book I recommend.
I’ll probably add more to this list as I go and as more of you ask for specific subject advice, but here you go!!
When in doubt, always ask yourself “how would this be asked on a test?”. If you could write a test question about it, you should definitely know it!
And always remember that you should study for understanding and not just for a grade–always be learning and not memorizing. It’s more important you understand the material than you get the A!!