Saturday, July 4, 2015

Study Plan, week 1

Do you have at least one book in hand?  If you don't hop on back to my first post and buy one now!  You can't study without the books! 

My process has you doing about 20 questions a day (I am assuming that you will start with Codina-Leik). That is very reasonable and is not too cumbersome, you should be able to do it in 10-15 minutes or less probably.  You will have one longer study day (day 6). With the Codina-Leik book you can just do 20 questions a day from the back of the book (642 questions, so about 4 weeks) and with the Hollier book (600+ questions, but about the same time period because she is sectioned a little differently) she has sections of 26-27 questions. Don't do the full exams in Hollier yet though (she has three 100 question practice exams).  Remember to include geriatrics and pediatrics from the Hollier book, both are longer sections in the back of the book.  In my example, I will assume that you are using Leik first, so start with 20 questions a day. 

Every day: listen a little to your CDs.  Just let it soak in until you can almost anticipate on the next word.  Don't worry about studying it yet.  Listen to the first CD this week, every day of the week.  You may think you know it by heart by the end of the week! 

Day 1:   Answer 20 questions a day and keep track of your progress. I used small post-it notes on each page but you can use whatever works for you. It is important that you mark which ones you got wrong and which you got right but guessed about.  I used a circled plus for right guesses and a circled minus for wrong responses.  Don't worry too much that you are missing a lot of questions (I did), this is your pre-test to show your knowledge at the start.  You will see a big improvement as you go along!  After you finish these questions, review the rationales for all the questions, even the ones you got right.  If you have any time left over in your 15 minutes, look up something that you got wrong. 

 (See the next post for how I marked my progress) 

Day 2 - 5: same as Day 1, 20 (Codina) to 27 (Hollier) questions today.  If you breezed through the questions, don't waste the extra time!  Be sure to take advantage of the full 15 minutes study time by researching at least 1 answer that you missed or guessed on.  

Day 6:  this is the longest study day, it should take about 30 minutes depending on your knowledge base.  If you are a little weak, it may take longer, so plan for this.  
     After you have completed 100 questions (after 5 days), go back and look at every question that you marked (circled).  Study these, go to your text and research to understand the pathology behind the questions, what you did not understand, and what you need to learn or memorize.  Make notes for yourself on the topic, and try to understand what you got wrong, what you did not understand, and what it is that you need to learn.  Do not just memorize the question!  Seek to understand what the question is about.  Imagine yourself teaching the topic to someone else.  Or actually teach it to your study buddy! 

Day 7: go back to questions 1-100 and re-answer every marked question.  You don't need to keep track of this, it is a just a reinforcement to see if you are learning. You should be able to do this in 15 minutes or less (unless you missed a lot of questions). 

OK, that should keep you busy for the next week or so.  Remember, consistency is the key, so aim to study every day for this first week.  You want to develop the habit of learning.

To continue on to Part Four, click here
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links and I get a small commission of you use them. 

Copyrighted 2015, N. Sturgill, FNP 

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