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Sara N

Study Tips/Methods to obtain a 3.9/4.0 GPA

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So I really want to get into medical school and I want to push through my last two years of biomedical science at York knowing i gave it my all. So if anyone who's obtained 3.9s/4.0 could share their study methods and tips, that would be much appreicated.

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Hi again Sara- unfortunately everyone studies differently and other people's study tips probably won't help you. The best way to improve your study habits is to figure out what works for you- do you work better in the morning, or at night? Do you work better at home, or in the library? I also think it's important to schedule breaks during studying; trying to study for hours at a time will just make your brain shut off. Again though, the frequency and duration of these breaks is completely a personal preference.

I wish there was an easier solution, but study habits vary a ton between people and you really need to figure it out on your own. I had a 4.0 GPA and my partner has a 3.9 something, but our study habits are very different and if we tried to use each other's methods, it would be a disaster.

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Youtube is your best friend for that. I think it is helpful because there are so many, you can just pick whatever you like and apply it if you think that will work for you. There's no right or wrong way, it's different for everyone AND for every class, but it's still nice to learn from awesome ideas some people have :) good luck!

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I’ll echo what Psych said, but for the hell of it I’ll tell you what tends to work for me anyways lol. I find what works best for me is reading material out loud to myself and then pretending to teach it to someone else by re explaining it in my own way. It forces me to find a way to make the material make sense in my brain and I tend to memorize it easier that way! Sometimes my explanations in my head are stupid and weird but that makes it even easier to remember haha. Not sure if you can apply this in your studies or not but yeah! Good luck 

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@RN_to_MD's comment made me think. I find that summerizing stuff in my own words helps a lot for comprehension and memorization. I always try to condensate my notes as much as possible, and then I explain it to someone else. That's my system, but I noticed that it works for several people, so you may want to try that! :)

But it really depends on the course I follow. For example, if there is really to logic behind and I just have to memorize stuff, I'll prioritize flashcards... or, if it's about something that requires a lot of logic, like organic chemistry, I'll mainly only do exercises. You have to be able to adapt to the material.

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Hi Sara, 

while this is a very broad thing and depends highly on the individual and what works for them, i can share with you a few tips that helped me raise my gpa significantly after my first two years and helped me get into two ontario schools this year (for reference, i had a GPA < 3.5 in first and second year and raised that to a 3.95+ in 3rd,4th, and 5th year). 

I started consolidating the material of each course much more systematically. I would give myself at least a week to study for each midterm or final, and make sure that i incorporated numerous methods to study for the course especially if it was highly dense. For example, for a pharm midterm i'd relisten to the lectures after each lecture throughout the semester and take notes on what i missed (i use notability and love it), then i would take typed up notes of the lecture material before the test, and later make condensed written notes on topics i was unsure of to focus on those sheets, and id make cue cards (before i knew anki was a thing) and that would be super helpful as well. sometimes id print my typed notes at a faded colour so that i would physically write in the answers, like fill in the blank style, to encourage me to be actively learning. I would do this for every test in my 3rd year because I was so worried about ruining that year as well, and it worked really well for me. In my 4th and 5th years, I studied much less intensely and didnt make one cue card because I gained the confidence in myself at that point after 3rd year, so it really does depend a lot on your mindset as well. 

Another thing that worked for me was making sure i was being healthy. In my 1st and 2nd years i studied harder and not smarter and would pull all nighters, but aside from a few late nights in 3rd+ year, I slept at a normal time and had time for social/EC things and working out which was huge for me too. I think thats important and it IS possible if you manage your time well. I think you are capable of bringing up your GPA, but you have to find what works for you! 

hope this helped at least a bit :) also, you may wanna consider taking a 5th year to bring up your gpa, i applied after my fourth year and got in luckily but i was planning for the high probability that my gpa wouldnt be high enough and then applying after my 5th year would do the trick with 3 solid years of high gpa. 

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On 7/9/2020 at 10:23 PM, RN_to_MD said:

I find what works best for me is reading material out loud to myself and then pretending to teach it to someone else by re explaining it in my own way.

I did this too!! I would literally teach all courses to my dog out loud as if I were a prof. My dog now has a BSc basically. It was fun 

I also made test questions based off of my notes and then ask them out loud and try to answer them without peaking at the notes. It put me on the spot and it really allowed me to identify concepts that I truly did not consolidate. I also had a list that was literally called  "I dont know list", which is a list of concepts that troubled me. Its important to identify areas you do and dont know, as a wise man told me in my first year UG. 

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Hi there, I come from an engineering background so I am inexperienced with studying for non-math type courses.  When you study more memorization-type classes, would you recommended reading the textbook that the lecture notes refer to? Or do you think that is a waste of time and generally only study from the lecture notes?

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8 hours ago, epyfathom said:

Hi there, I come from an engineering background so I am inexperienced with studying for non-math type courses.  When you study more memorization-type classes, would you recommended reading the textbook that the lecture notes refer to? Or do you think that is a waste of time and generally only study from the lecture notes?

It really sort of depends on what your testable content is- I found in several of my science courses in UG where only lecture content was testable (not textbook) profs expressed that the textbook had way too much minutiae that students easily got bogged down by, so they really only recommended reading the text if you were struggling to understand a concept or to help consolidate your learning a bit, and that it really wasn't necessary otherwise. If you can, it's easier to focus the energy on just the testable content, which I've personally found is usually just the lecture material.

Also I knew very few people that actually found textbooks useful in our LifeSci undergrads- they rarely got used- expensive paperweights LOL

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