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A Plea for Study Help/Advice

I feel like I've lost the last 2 months to the process of getting my head meds sorted out. The panic attacks of Wellbutrin have now given way to the 5:30 AM wake-up call of Prozac. At least I know that in a week or so, I'll be back on my usual sleep schedule. Prozac and I are old, if somewhat quarrelsome, friends. I may lose my libido, and have a harder time losing weight, but at least I know it will not pull any funny stuff on me.

Now, to focus on the Massage Cert. Ugh. Judging by the numerous study guides I've got, there are going to be lots of questions on lots of topics we barely touched on in school. I need to know a ton about Chinese Medicine, hydrotherapy, macro and micronutrients of all sorts… all things I'm not actually allowed to meddle with when I have a practice. It makes no sense!

I know that many of you fine folks have a lot more formal education that I do. Can you offer any study advice? I have gone and purchased my own weight in study guides, anatomy books, flashcards, etc., but I'm kind of at a loss for study infrastructure if you follow me.

Do you find it's helpful to sit at a desk with few distracting items in view? What time of day works best? Can you point me to any references (books, sites, whatever) on study procedures that you have found helpful? It feels like I'm terribly out of practice. Any thoughts you might have will be of immeasurable value to me!

Comments

eac
Dec. 14th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
Hi, sweetie. I'm glad your brain is sorting itself out.

Study infrastructure wise, I used to find that 2 thin gs worked we well for me:

1. Take good written notes as you're reading, and then rewrite them several times, summarizing each time, so that you end up with a short study guide you've created yourself.

2. As you sit down to read/memorize/learn things, formulate questions that you think are relevant about the material and then answer those questions using your own words. (See this: http://www.memory-key.com/StudySkills/elaborating_information.htm)
fenriss
Dec. 14th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
Hi. Hope you guys are settling into the new place well.

Very good suggestions. I sort of already intuitively do 1. I'd never really thought of 2 before, and find that link tremendously helpful! Thanks very much, hon.
vitruvian23
Dec. 14th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
Ditto on the taking notes from the reading, then taking notes from your notes. By the time you get to the second or third iteration, it should start sticking and have some kind of structure in your head, although possibly not on your pages if somebody else were to look at it. Then, after a day or so, go back through your self-generated study guide and go back to your source material if any of your topics or notes aren't pretty clear to you. The self-generated question thing is also good, although it probably matters more the more essay and short answer as opposed to multiple guess the exam is purported to be.

If you can't devote the time to two or three nights of super cram through the whole shebang, you need to start off by roughly categorizing what you need to get through into no more than five categories. Then you can start a cycle of creating study guides for one category on one night, then reviewing that one and creating a new one the next.
fenriss
Dec. 14th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
Actually, the whole stupid thing is multiple choice. Entirely. It is considered by most of the massage industry to be a bit of a joke, but it's the only standardized test they've got, so we all have to take it.

The reason I'm concerned is that the breadth of the topics id just massive. So your categorization suggestion is really the way to go. I figure if I can master the somewhat bigger concepts, the really tiny bits of info will come more easily. Thanks!

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