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Top Study Tips to Ace Your Midterms

Posted by Amanda Dexter on Sep 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Amanda Dexter
Dr. Amanda K. Dexter received her optometric training at Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California, where she was Class of 2010 Valedictorian. She also completed a residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at the Veteran's Affairs Hospital in San Diego, California. Dr. Dexter is the Manager and Program Coordinator for OptoPrep, the premiere online study resource for the NBEO Part I & II.

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Well, I’m sure for most of you the first few weeks of the start of a new year in optometry school has been fun, but now it’s time to get back into midterm mode. After a break from class and tests, it can be hard getting back into the groove of studying for exams. We’ve come up with a few great study tips to get you motivated and back on track!

Space it out

A new learning technique called "spaced repetition" involves breaking up information into small chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time. So don’t try to memorize the mechanisms of action of all of the glaucoma medications in one sitting- instead master one or two classes of drugs every day and review each one you’ve already learned before moving on to the next.

Tell a tale

Turning the details you need to remember into a crazy story helps make the information more meaningful. For example, remember the order of anterior chamber angle for gonioscopy this way: I (Iris) Can’t (Ciliary body) See (Scleral spur) This (Trabecular meshwork) Sh*t! (Schwalbe’s line).

Move around

Research suggests studying the same stuff in a different place every day makes us less likely to forget that information. Every time we move around (from the library to the coffee shop or the coffee shop to the kitchen table), we force the brain to form new associations with the same material so it becomes a stronger memory.

Put yourself to the test

Quizzing ourselves may be one of the best ways to prepare for the real deal. And don’t worry about breaking a sweat while trying to remember the secondary action of the inferior rectus; the harder it is to remember a piece of information in practice mode, the more likely we are to remember it in the future.

Write it out

Put those third-grade penmanship lessons to good use. Research suggests we store information more securely when we write it out by hand than when we type it. Start by recopying the most important notes from each class onto a new sheet of paper.

-Dr. Dexter

The Top 15 Tips and Tricks for Studying for Part I of NBEO®

NBEO-Tips-large.pngWe’ve put together a ton of great tips and tricks for studying for Part I of NBEO along with two tailored study programs that will help you thoroughly prepare for the big day. Remember, you’ve made it this far and you can totally do this!

Some of the Top 15 Tips include:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Test Format
  • Tackle the Weak Subjects Early
  • Start Sooner and Ease Into It
  • ...and 12 more!

NBEO Part I Study Guide The Top 15 Tips and Tricks for Studying for Part I

Topics: Testing

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