e. Terms, Points, Concepts. All important terms, major points, and concepts
should be underlined or highlighted. Think of as many important things about each of
them as you can before referring to your notes. If you are having trouble remembering,
use flash cards for study. Write the idea, concept, or vocabulary term on one side and
the definition, etc. on the other. For example, write the disease on the front and its
signs and symptoms on the reverse.
f. Subject Matter. When the subject matter is very difficult, try to study when
your energy level is high. Retention seems to be better close to the end of the day or
near bedtime. Don't study in the first hour after awakening. It takes the body at least
that hour to work up to top efficiency. The more complex the subject, the longer it will
take you to learn it. Allow enough time, but take a break after about forty to ninety
minutes of study. About ten to fifteen minutes per break is sufficient.
g. Pre-examination Study. Before an examination, cramming should be
unnecessary. A review of one to three hours the night before the examination will do it,
if you have reviewed enough earlier.
2-19. ADDITIONAL RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS ABOUT STUDY
There have been a great many research studies on means and methods for
effective study. Following are conclusions reached by many of these studies. They can
be used in addition to those listed in paragraph 2-18.
a. Reinforcing Learning. Eat before you begin studying and skip the cigarettes
and drugs. This helps concentration.
(1) Initial reinforcement. Master the vocabulary first, especially the medical
terms which are new to you. Your knowledge becomes a living part of your mind when
you have read it, talked it over with others, written about it, and used it. The closer the
first study time is to the lesson, the better will be your recall and learning. If you say it
when you are seeing the material, you are reinforcing what you are learning.
(2) Review as reinforcement. When you review, be sure to check your
notes so that you reinforce only correct material. The following reinforcement review
schedule is recommended for effective learning (although difficult or boring material
needs up to twice as many reviews):
(a) Five minutes after learning.
Later the same day.
The next day.