Study Like It is The End of The World!

Last night, a high school friend Maracel posted in FB if anyone knows a good memory technique. I suddenly remembered Dr. Jesus G. Reyes who is in his 70s probably. He would passionately teach us memory techniques. Often times he would pick someone randomly from our class and call out their full names and birthdays. He never got mine right but I am still amazed at how he has trained his brain like an athlete trains his muscles.

Since the beginning of the school year is just around the corner, many of you will be battling with your memory. As a post graduate student, one thing I regret is that I am too lazy to memorize. Thus I have flunked a lot of tests and would sometimes give "basta nabasahon ko ito" as a vague reason to questions. If only...

Here is a technique that works good for me. I use a combination of the PQRST method and different memorization techniques after.

The PQRST method of reading a textbook is also known as the SQ3R method. PQRST stands for Preview, Question, Read, Self-recite and Test.

  • Preview - Peruse the whole chapter you are deciding to study. Read the title of the chapter, the chapter outline, the headings and subtitles, captions and graphs. Look at the pictures. This warms up your brain and gives you a birds eye view of what you are going to learn in the chapter.
  • Question - Ask yourself questions on how or why the author choose to use that title or picture. What do you need to learn exactly? Ask questions related to each title and subtitle. This makes you curious for answers
  • Read - If I have lots of time in my hand I read three times-that's what our teachers say. This is also the part wherein you look for the answers to your questions.  
    1. 1st reading - Usually I speed read first. This is a skill which is useful specially if you need to read lots of books in one day. An average person can read a 200 words per minute with only 60% comprehension.  Remember it is an average so you can still double your rate.I read around 329 words per minutes with a comprehension of 91%. Test yourself here.
    2. 2nd reading - On my second read, my goal is to increase comprehension. This is the time wherein I take down notes and make my own diagrams to better understand a topic. The more colorful it is, the better the retention. Just make sure it is organized.  Highlight only the important words. Don't highlight everything! When I get bored, I usually read my book upside down. 
    3. 3rd reading - Memorization and familiarization.
  • Self-recite - Answer the questions you have previously formulated. Recite the things you memorized earlier. You can look back on texts you have missed out.
  • Test - Answer the test found at the end of the chapter. If you have notes review it within 24 hours and repeat again after a week. This is to increase your retention and bulk of study materials when the exams come.
I'm just an average student and I need to practice this technique more. Studying is also a skill. Do not rely on your IQ level. EQ which is more on focus and discipline is the one that will get you on top of the Dean's list. 

Study like it is the end of the world.

Coleen enlightened me last night that med school is your review for the board exam. I've never looked  at medicine that way but it does make sense. I have three more years to top the Medical Board Exam.

Let's drink to that!



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